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The Eastern Han Dynastry

The end of the Western Han Dynasty was a result of the royal power falling into the hands of the Wang Family. Wang Mang (the empress’s brother) forced Emperor RuZi to abdicate and proclaiming himself as emperor, ending the Western Han Dynasty and starting the Xin dynasty. However the beginning of his rule was filled with controversial reforms, and led to mass revolts. Some of his resented reforms were the banning of slavery and the redistribution of land however his biggest mistake was the continuing reforms (up to 7 times) of the currency system which bankrupted many people. This resentment coupled with mass droughts throughout China and a dubious ascension to the throne triggered large scale uprisings.

The hatred for Emperor Wang Mang was so strong that in 17 AD, 2 major insurgents groups formed; the Green Wood men and the red brow men. A man named Liu Xiu and his elder brother (members of the Han royal family) joined the Green Wood Army under the leadership of Liu Xian who after defeating Wang Mang and ended the Xin Dynasty declared himself Emperor Gengshi.

Even though the Xin dynasty was defeated China was not united. During the uprising many stated declared their independents. Emperor Gengshi sent Liu Xiu to rebel any rebellion factions and to govern many states. Liu Xiu’s states were the only states that were governed effectively and as Emperor Gengshi’s power declined Liu Xiu power increased. In 25 AD Emperor Gengshi government collapse through war and incompetents and Liu proclaimed himself Emperor Geng Wu, making LuoYang City the capital. He restored the Han Dynasty and referred to his dynasty as the Eastern Han Dynasty, to distinguish it from the Western Han Dynasty.

In 37, Emperor Guang Wu (Formerly known as Liu Xiu) destroyed Chi Mei, Wei Xiao, Gong Sunshu and the other independent states and united the country. Emperor Guang Wu abolished Wang Mang’s misrules, stopped the wars, and strengthened the culture and education. During that period the social was stable and this period was named ‘Guang Wu Zhong Xing’.

The period from 57 to 88 AD was Emperor Zhang’s reign and Eastern Han scholars came to view this time as the high point of the dynasty, as later emperors had the ever increasingly involvement of eunuchs and relatives because of the early age of the emperors.

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