The Han Dynasty

Decent Essays

The Han Dynasty, dating from 206 BCE-220 AD, was founded by Liu Bang who was the winner of the civil wars that followed the collapse of the first Imperial dynasty in China (Qin Dynasty). The Han dynasty is considered an influential empire that created a spiritually and philosophically enlightened nation through the teachings of Daoism, Legalism and Confucianism. At the time that Liu Bang first founded the Han dynasty the basic structures of the Qin state were retained, and the ideology of the Qin state initially drifted deeper and deeper into a Legalist and Daoist union. Many elements of these ancient philosophies can be distinguished in the religious and superstitious beliefs and practices that were performed in Han China. The implementation of these three philosophies during a time of political corruption, and spiritual chaos helped to create an overall calmer and intellectual society. The philosophical and spiritual movement of this time and in turn shaped modern religions, state ethics and beliefs.

Prior to the so-called da-yi-tong (great unity) within the political systems of the Qin and Han dynasties, the Warring State period was in chaos; not only within a political context, but also in terms of the intellectual and ideological views of society during Han China. This breakdown within the political and social norms gave rise to a philosophical crisis. The philosophy of Confucius begins from some basic assumptions, several of which are derived from The Analects of

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