Some of the issues that made Liu a favorite of many were the fact that he lowered taxes, he reduced the demand for labor from the state and the origin being from the peasants.
Liu appointed rich land owners as governors because of the distrust he had against merchants, he as well appointed officials that were loyal to him ensuring that he controlled all the powers within the dynasty. Liu died in 195 B.C and left a stable Han dynasty. Though there were power struggles within the dynasty after the death of Liu, they were resolved by capable leadership. The rule of Jingdi, Wendi and Wudi were predominantly peaceful, prosperous for peasants, expansion of China, art and trade thrived as well under Confucianism. The expansion saw northern Vietnam, Korean peninsula come under the Han dynasty. Trade routes to Asia were open including the famous Silk Road.
However, the wars of conquest meant availing large armies that ultimately became a burden to the economy of the dynasty. There was overpopulation and poverty struck. There was consequent banditry and even selling of children into slavery for survival. There was rampant corruption within the government even amidst the castigations by the Confucian moralists. As the years of Wudi were coming to an end, there was struggle between the concubines as to who was to be the heir. There was a compromise heir chosen to settle the war but there was little that could be done to save the dynasty that was fact deteriorating. The emperors that followed Wudi were no better as their reigns were laced with corruption, apathy and unprecedented levels of immorality (Cultural China, 2012).
Wang Mang who took over the reigns in 9 a.D attempted to revive the honor of the dynasty through his Confucian beliefs but this just killed the already ailing economy, abetted by terrible natural disasters. There was mass rebellion from the peasants till the death of Wang, a death that saw the dynasty fall into war again in scramble for power, a war which saw millions die and ultimately Liu Xui emerged victorious. Xui helped reestablish the dynasty but it never reached the heights it was at the beginning.
There was corruption everywhere, court officials as well as warlords gained more power and many more societal levels. Ultimately China was split into various warring factions that were eventually consolidated into three major kingdoms bringing an end to Han dynasty in 220 a.D.
Comparative view of Han and Roman Empires
There are striking similarities between these two empires. The first similarity is the vastness of the empires that enabled them to gather massive resources and technical skills hence prospering. The other factor that enabled both empires to greatly prosper was the commencement of the empires on good leadership that was visionary and focused on creating influential empires. The availability of good armies, disciplined and tactical was another advantage for both the empires. The empires also enjoyed good roads, bridges and forts that helped in fending off attackers. The empires also had goods that the outsiders needed for trade hence thriving of their economy.
Unfortunately, just as they had similar advantages that propelled them to power, so did they suffer the same faults that saw their ultimate demise. Both the empires fell thanks to weak leadership and individuals who were power-hungry within the governance ranks. In both empires, regents always attempted to have control of power from the ruling leadership hence weakening the governance structures. It is also noted that corruption led to the demise of both the empires as there was rampant corruption among the leaders in both empires. It is also noted that bitterness among the common people was aroused by corruption in both empires and ultimately the people rebelled against the establishments. Both the empires ultimately were split into various empires and they both came to a sad end.
Cultural China, (2012). The Collapse of the Han Dynasty. http://history.cultural-china.com/en/183History6001.html
Rit Nosotro, (2010). The Decline of the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire. http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/comp/cw07hanromecollapse33100120.htm
Socyberty, (2009). The Fall of the Roman and Han Empires. http://socyberty.com/history/the-fall-of-the-roman-and-han-empires/.