Riseand Fall Of Rome And China Essay
, Research Paper
There are some smaller arguments, but the main reason China was more successful in their empire was because of the succession of emperors, Rome usually had tremendous amounts of conflict when the power would change hands, whereas China did not. The Chinese had a certain excuse, for the actions that were taken when an old dynasty was overthrown. At a time of succession in Rome, there was usually a civil war, or many deaths to finally see who the new emperor was.
Rome had one major flaw when gradually turning into their Empire from fallen Republic, this flaw dealt with who came next in their line of emperors (succession.) The first of the emperors were the Julio-Claudian, all of whom related in some way. Tiberius, the stepson of Augustus, was the first of bad emperors. The major flaw in Rome s empire emerged, the next emperor (Caligula) was Tiberius s nephew. Tiberius did not pick someone who was qualified or who seemed would be the best emperor, but picked his own kin, disregarding everything else. At the end of his reign, another one of Rome s problems surfaced, the internal conflict between Emperor s and their people (in this case, guards.) Caligula was killed by his own guards. Arguably, the best Julio-Claudian emperor came next, Claudius. Claudius was a good emperor judging by the response of his people, however, Aggripina (his wife), arranged his murder so her son Nero could be emperor. This is another example of Rome s corrupt system of succession. After Nero s death, this marked the end of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Flavian Vespian emerged as the new emperor through a civil war. The Flavian Vespian Dynasty was short, that was good because the emperors were bad. Domitian was especially bad because he persecuted the Jews and Christians of Rome. Domitian was later killed by conspirators, this was a problem with Rome, whenever the emperor was not liked, he was killed. Thankfully for Rome, the Good Emperors came next to sort everything out, and resolve a major problem.
The Good Emperors came in 96 AD, the first of them was Nerva. Nerva, the first Good Emperor, solved the major problem of succession. Instead of creating turmoil with a civil war, or picking a relative, he trained a new man, Trajan. This man was qualified to lead the empire in a good direction. Trajan then picked Hadrian, and Hadrian picked Antoninus Pius, this was the climax of the Pax Romana. Marcus Aurilius brought back the tragic flaw that plagued the early Roman Empire, he picked his son, Commodus. He was no qualified, and that is why the fall began. There was five years of civil war next and finally the Severi prevailed. Septimus Serverus brought a autocracy to Rome. This was when the final fall of the Roman Empire happened. One of the final reasons Rome fell was because of its over expansion. They had many different kinds of people, other than Roman, this created a problem that led to the downfall China did not.
China never had the major flaw of the Roman Empire s succession because they (essentially), had an excuse. Each dynasty lasted for extended periods of time, 1800 years in all, because there were no big conflicts. Coming out of the Neolithic Age came the Shang Dynasty. They used bronze for about everything, in particular weapons, with good weapons they could win wars, if they could win wars they could expand their empire. The most important part of their lives was their emperor, or Son of Heaven. It was not the actual emperor that people marveled at, but the position as emperor, as being a Son of God. The Chou Dynasty came next, thereby overthrowing the. To keep the people from uproar, the Chou claimed that Tien said it was ok to kill the emperor because he was bad, they claimed that this was a Mandate of Heaven. The Romans had no way to justify succession between rulers, there was war and chaos. The Mandate of Heaven was used by each of the succeeding emperors. One other major area that the Chinese Dynasties excelled in was there expansion of their empire, Rome was too big and had too many different kinds of people in it. Since China conquered other parts of China, everyone was (relatively) the same.
Both Rome and China had very beneficial Empires, and even though both encountered some hardships, everything turned out for the better. Rome had many setbacks, and never really reached a positive outcome, however taught everyone how to govern, and how not to. China was extremely prosperous in the years to come, developing philosophical ideas, and better technology. However, Rome, still had that tragic flaw that hindered its development, China had no fault to overcome internally, so they could worry about their external problems.