How Great Were the Differences Between Han China and Ancient Athens? Essay
How Great Were the Differences Between Han China and Ancient Athens? Isabelle Han China and Ancient Athens were both very successful cities. The Chinese empire was much larger and was a more unified nation than Greece. Greece was made of many city-states that fought between themselves more often than they fought together. But despite their disputes, Greece had managed to produce many talented philosophers and historians, such as Pericles, Sophocles, Socrates, and Plato. Many historians think it was because of the Greek political system.
The following document will compare and contrast Ancient Athens and Han China and show how different the two nations really are using facts about the cities’ physical nature, their governments, and their citizenship: Physical In this time period, China was much larger than Greece. China is larger than Greece even today. Ancient Greece was a series of mountainous islands, whereas China was one large landmass. Both of them were next to several large bodies of water, and they had natural trading ports, which may have been why they were such successful nations.
Greece had many cliffs which would ward off any enemies coming to take over their land, and China had the Great Wall, which served the same purpose as the cliffs of Greece did. The only difference was that the Great Wall was man-made, and Ancient Greece’s cliffs were natural landforms, which made Ancient Greece the perfect place for a strong empire. Han China had almost 207 times more people(exactly 64,685,000 more people) than Ancient Athens. Han China had more slaves and unskilled workers than Athens, but they only made up about 7% of the population, whereas slaves in Athens made up more than one-third of the population.
Athens and Han China had similar opinions when it came to the distinction between master and slave. Their empires both accepted and lived by the law that those who rule are supported by those who are ruled. Most of the men that worked in Athens were farmers. Most of the men that worked in Han China were peasant farmers or urban skilled workers. They had distinctive classes, the lower class, the middle class, and the high class. The ruler (or rulers if there are more than one) and the religious leaders, aristocrats, and major government officials made up the high class, the citizens (urban skilled workers such s farmers, merchants, etc. ) made up the middle class , and the slaves or unskilled workers made up lower class. Government Athens had a government very different from others at this time period. Pericles, a famous statesman, gave a speech about the government of Athens. Parts of his speech are still being used today by many leaders of the world. His speech informed the people that their government was unlike neighboring states. He thought their government should be a model to other nations.
He called their government a democracy because the administration was in the hands of all the people, not just a few. Pericles’ Laws- In the settling of private disputes, everyone is equal before the law. Election to public office is made on the basis of ability, not on the basis of membership to a particular class. No man is kept out of public office by the obscurity of his social standing because of his poverty, as long as he wishes to be of service to the state. And not only in our public life are we free and open, but a sense of freedom regulates our day-to-day life with each other.
In our private affairs, then, we are tolerant and avoid giving offense. In public affairs, we take great care not to break the laws because of the deep respect we have for them. We give obedience to the men who hold public office from year to year. We pay special regard to those laws that are for protection of the oppressed and to all the unwritten laws that we know bring disgrace upon the transgressor when they are broken. Democracy was an entirely new idea to the world around 480 B. C. The Athenian Assembly was open to all free adult male citizens.
In other words, They governed themselves. They could speak about anything practical, as long as he could command an audience. The council was composed of 500 men, chosen from a list of volunteers that were over the age of 30. Council members were always paid for their services, but they could never serve for more than 2 years. There was also an inner council called the Prytany, made of 50 men, who met every day to administer the the government. The composition of the Prytany changed often. In theory, no one remained in power long enough to become entrenched.
The opportunity of power was only offered to one class of men, made of 10 generals in the armed forces who were only allowed to serve for a year. These generals often played large roles in nonmilitary affairs. The Chinese empire was the largest political system in the classical world. Han China, the largest city in China at the time, had a very successful government. The people of Han China stressed central authority but also expanded the powers of the bureaucracy. The emperor would appoint governors to each district of his domain.
Those governors would name officials to be responsible for smaller regions. They would all exercise military and legal powers in the name of the emperor. These leaders helped spread the effectiveness of the central government. Citizenship Ancient Athens had a very specific idea of what the perfect citizen was. A good Athenian citizen would be interested in his affairs, as well as the affairs of the state. And he would respect other citizens. They would also be extremely well informed on general politics. Any man who didn’t take an interest in politics had no business there.