A number of crucial factors caused the decline of the Han dynasty. The following paper will discuss the reasons behind the demise of the dynasty. It will also talk about the establishment of the Sui and Tang with the emphasis on their reforms.
One of the reasons of the demise of the Han dynasty is partisan prohibitions (Tuan-Hwei 14). One of the Han's officials was accused of planning treason with the aid of university students and people who were against the eunuchs. The accusations infuriated emperor Huan who called for the arrest of Li and his followers. Political instability stands to be one of the major causes of the fall of the Han dynasty. After Huan's death, Dou Wu called for the prosecution of the eunuchs. However, another emperor named dowager Dou refused to have the eunuchs arrested and prosecuted. After the elimination of Dou Wu, the eunuchs reviewed Li-Young prosecution and hanged him. As such, this provided a leeway for the eunuchs to take over. They banned Li-Young's followers from serving in any office and even sent their families to exile. By now the empire was left at the mercy of the eunuchs.
Yellow Turban Rebellion
Another reason for the demise of the Han Empire is the Yellow Turban Rebellion that took place in 142 CE. During this period, Zhang Daolin claimed to have been visited by a holy prophet who made him a representative on earth. As such, he formed the five pecks of rice religion that accepted pecks of rice during trade instead of money. Because of the five perks of rice religion, the Yellow Turban Religion came into being and formed a militant organization. The organization stood against the Han authority. Yellow Turban movement emphasized that they would bring about utopian era of peace as opposed to the Han leadership. The rise of the Yellow Turban made it possible for the rebellion to spread across eight provinces.
The Demise of the Eunuchs
According to Edward (20), the fall of the eunuchs was attributed to the fact that various movements were finding the courage to rise against their leadership. Yuan Shao attack at the northern palace placed the eunuchs under siege. In 199 CE, the eunuchs fled, and Zhao Zhong was killed. The eunuch's fate was sealed when one of the leaders, Zhao Rang, committed suicide by jumping into the river.
Coalition against Dong Zhou
When the ambitions Dong took over power, he forced Yuan Shao to escape his rule. Prior to the escape of Yuan, Dong was made the excellence of works. With Dong being very ambitious, he forced emperor Shao to be demoted amidst protests by Shao followers and other officials. After Yuang Shao had fled, he formed his movement that consisted of former soldiers and commanders in the eunuchs rule. They set to challenge Dong Zhou. When Dong realized what lay ahead, he burnt the city to the ground. The fights and wrangles among the warlords paved way for the fall of the Han Empire.
The Rise of the Cao Cao
Cao Cao was a commander in the Yellow Turban movement. He was also the colonel of the western garden army. Adding the fact that he was the governor of Yuan province, he was able to take over the empire. Therefore, he took the empire from Luoyang to Xuchang where his headquarters were. On the other hand, Yuan Shu declared that the Zhong dynasty belonged to him. It did not go well with his followers, and they deserted him. At the time of his death, Yuan Shu was penniless after trying to offer his title to Yuan Shao. When Yuang Shao confronted Cao Cao, Cao Cao won forcing Yuan to retreat. The fighting sons of Yuan also paved way for Cao Cao to take swiftly over after eliminating one of them. By 207 CE Cao Cao had taken over the northeast. The rule of Cao Cao ensured that there was disunity for the longest time in China. However, Liu Bei was able to confront Cao Cao in 208 CE, but it still did not unite the people.
The fall of Han happened mainly because Cao Cao took over. First, he changed the empire headquarter location by taking it from Xian to Xuchang. He then took the title of excellence and went ahead to abolish the three senior officers which comprised of the three Excellencies. Instead, he created two offices consisting of the imperial chancellor and the counselor. In 216, Cao took over king and went ahead to violate the law that allowed the Li's only to take over such authority. After the death of Cao, his son took over, and emperor Xian agreed that the Han dynasty had come to its end (Lewis 201).
During Taizhong's rule, his father had set up most of the basic institutions. Therefore, the major task for him was to update the standards of the institutions. Taizhong was a remarkable leader with a number of innovations. Amidst all the post-rebellion challenges that Taizhong had to face, he managed to register the third of his population.
Taizhong also managed to engage into vast foreign affairs whereby he went against the eastern and western Turks. He started the establishment of sovereign on the rich and cultured oasis kingdoms. As such, Taizhong enjoyed immense international prestige brought about by his foreign relations. Taizhong also inherited his father's basic laws governance and institutions. As he continued to pursue them, he made a few innovations.
One of Taizhong's innovations was the Silk Road that was booming. The roads served as magnificent highways for merchants and their commodities (Hill 29). Taizhong secured the roads so that safety on the roads was assured. The silk roads fostered the travel of religion. On the other hand, the road also provided an opportunity for diseases to spread. People travelling along the road could be harboring diseases. The Silk Road boosted trade during the rule of the Tang dynasty thus increasing the popularity of Taizhong.
As stated earlier, Taizhong was passionate about development. Therefore, he was interested in the establishment of institutions and equipping them even better. As such, scholars and innovators were prospering during Taizhong's rule. Taizhong's style of governance made it easy for him to consult with his ministers and other officials. He is also known for openly accepting criticism. He reduced the tax base in order to provide a large and self-supporting military power. The soldiers were excused from taxes and labor services.
As an emperor, he impressively learned how to deal with great clans of shading who considered themselves as superiors of the royal house. Taizhong dealt with the shading clans by producing national genealogies. He ranked the loyal house as the highest to avoid conflicts with the clan over superiority. Taizhong developed state schools that were established by Gaozu that had a national academy directorate who was overseeing them. Among the schools that Taizhong came up with, there were preferential schools and medical schools. To compliment the system, Taizhong established a systematic approach that was used to edit the Confucian canon. The approach was also used in the provision of commentaries for the examination of students. In addition, Taizhong saw to it that official histories were compiled.
Edward, E. "What leads to the fall of a great empire? Using central questions to design issues based history units'. Journal of History, 2010. Web. 10 November 2014
Hill, E. Through Jade Gate to Rome: a Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty. Charlston, Carolina: Book Surge Publishing , 2009. Print.
Lewis, M. The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Tuan-Hwei, S. "Size and Dynasty Decline: the Principle-Agent Problem in the Late Imperial China , 1700-1850". Explorations in Economic History 2014: 54. Print.