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Early Indochina

1. ) Why did the political chaos of the Period of the Warring States give rise to philosophies such as Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism? Compare and contrast these philosophies and explain which would be the most effective in ruling a large, complex society such as China. The doctrine of Legalism that guided the Qin dynasty, the first unified dynasty after the Warring States period, emphasized strict adherence to a legal code and the absolute power of the emperor. This philosophy, while effective for expanding the empire in a military fashion, proved unworkable for governing it in peacetime.

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The Qin Emperor presided over the brutal silencing of political opposition, including the event known as the burning of books and the burying of scholars. The Han dynasty followed after only 12 years, and was the first dynasty to embrace the philosophy of Confucianism, which became the ideological underpinning of all regimes until the end of imperial China. Under the Han Dynasty, China made great advances in many areas of the arts and sciences. Emperor Wu consolidated and extended the Chinese empire by pushing back the Xiongnu, enabling the first opening of trading connections between China and the West, along the Silk Road.

The Daoist thought developed in response to the turbulence of the late Zhou dynasty and the Period of the Warring States, just like Confucianism. Unlike Confucianism, the Daoists considered it pointless to waste time and energy on problems that defied solution. Instead of Confucian social activism, the Daoists devoted their energies to reflection and introspection, hoping to understand the natural principles that governed the world in order to live in harmony with them.

Confucianism was most effective at leading China to success and therefore should be considered the most effective in ruling such a large complex society like China. Legalism is only effective during wartime, which a large society should hope to avoid in order to thrive. Daoism would make it fairly difficult to govern such a large society since it centers on introspection and reflection, not really allowing much room for societal advancement. 2. ) Compare and contrast the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.

What were the essential differences between the two? What hope did they give to the common people of India? Which was more conducive to political and social stability? Why? Evidence from both Buddhist and Hindu scriptures show that the two traditions were in dialogue with one another from a very early date. They shared similar religious terminology and practicing the art of yoga. Ancient India had two philosophical streams of religious thoughts: the Shramana and the Vedic.

These two religions have shared paralleled beliefs and have existed side by side for thousands of years. Both Buddhism and Jainism are continuations of the Shramana belief while modern Hinduism is a continuation of the Vedic belief. The Buddha rejected various religions’ path to salvation. He teaches that to achieve salvation one does not have to accept the authority of the scriptures or the existence of God. The focus of the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhists is not so much about worshipping a god or achieving heaven in the next life.

The purpose of the holy life in the Buddha’s path is about liberation from the cycle of rebirth and experience awakening in this very life. Buddhist teachings discourage rites and rituals, while the Hindu hold them in high regard. The Buddhists rejected the caste discriminations of the Hindu religion. Both religions gave the Indian people hope that if they were better people, they would end up in a better place or as a better person. Hinduism was more conducive to political and social stability because it more definitively held one accountable for one’s actions in their life. . ) What were the main achievements and limitations of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire? What were the key turning points in Roman history? The main achievements of the Roman Empire, were a huge empire, an advanced bureaucratic system that managed taxes, public works, bridges and aqueducts. Also they had one of the most efficient, effective and brutal army’s that the world has ever seen. The only major limitation over all, that helped cause Rome fall was the fact that usually Roman army’s had more loyalty to their general than the state.

This meant that constant civil war plagued Rome throughout much of its history, majorly weakening it in the end. Although part of Rome survived up until late in the Middle Ages, but it was called the Byzantine Empire. 4. ) Compare and contrast the decline and collapse of the Han and Roman empires. Are there common problems that always help to explain the collapse of powerful empires? Use examples from earlier empires to back up your arguments. One problem that both Empires had was lack of consistently good leadership.

The later or eastern Han empire was well governed at first, in the first century CE, but after 106 CE there was a succession of weak boy emperors, exploited by unscrupulous officials. Rome seems to have been considerably more durable and resilient than the Han system, which collapsed for good in the third century. The Roman Empire was also very heavily beset at the time, with frequent usurpation and civil war, foreign invasion etc but remarkably recovered. This recovery owed much to the strong Illyrian emperors of the latter third century, but no such leadership seems to have stepped forth to the rescue of Han China.

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