Han Dynasty (202 BC － 220 AD)
The Han Dynasty was founded by the Liu family in 206 BC, just in this year, Liu Bang, prince of Han, defeated the Qin army in the valley of Wei. The Chinese people consider the Han Dynasty, which capital was stood at Chang'an, to be one of the greatest periods in the entire history of China. As a result, the members of the ethnic majority of Chinese people to this day still call themselves " people of Han ," in honor of the Liu family and the dynasty they created.
The expansion also led to trade with the people of inner Asia . From 138 BC , Emperor Wu also dispatched Zhang Qian twice as his envoy to the Western Regions, and in the process pioneered the route known as the Silk Road from Chang'an, through Xinjiang and Central Asia, and on to the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thereafter, the Silk Road was developed.
The development of better tools causes agriculture improving. Iron tools were made of better quality, and oxen drawn ploughs were commonly used. Irrigation systems were increased to help develop the areas of North China. Crop rotation was also practiced from 85 B.C. onwards. The state attempted to monopolize the production of iron and salt, which were the two biggest sectors of the economy, but succeeded for less than a century. Silk weaving and copper work were also important activities.
Just as a new class of gentry was introduced, education became more important during this period. Many encyclopedias were compiled, the best known is the Book of the Mountains and Seas, which contained everything known at the time about geography, natural philosophy, the animal and plant world, and popular myths. The Han period produced China's most famous historian, Sima Qian whose Records of the Grand Historian provides a detailed chronicle from the time of legendary Xia emperor to that of the Emperor Wu. Technological advances also marked this period. One of the great Chinese inventions, paper, originate from Han times.
The Han Dynasty can be actually looked as two separate dynasties. It is considered one dynasty by the Chinese because the second dynasty was founded by a member of the former Han dynasty who declared he had restored the Han Dynasty. This movement was begun by the Yellow Turbans. This uprising served to unite the factions who had previously been fighting one another because they needed to unite to defeat the Yellow Turbans. Despite conquering them, China did not return to a united state. Rather, three kingdoms emerged and the Han dynasty came to an end in 220 AD.