Eastern Dynasty

Eastern Han Dynasty

 Regarded as a continuation of the Western Han (206 BC – 24 AD) and the Eastern Han (25 AD – 220 AD) was established by Liu Xiu, who became the Emperor Guangwu. With Luoyang in Henan Province as its capital city, the dynasty was reined over by 12 emperors in a span of 195 years.

 

Political History



In the year of 25, Liu Xiu, a descendant of Western Han royalty defeated Wang Mang, who had usurped the throne of the Western Han, thus establishing the Eastern Han. In his second year on the throne, he revised all the policies that Wang Mang had set.

The most prosperous period of Eastern Han was the middle period of the first century. After the reigns of Emperors Guangwu, Ming and Zhang, the Han Dynasty regained its prosperity. Overall, its economical, scientific and cultural development surpassed that of the Western Han.

After the middle period of the Eastern Han, most of the emperors were juveniles and the real royal power was held by both distant relatives and eunuchs. This caused darkness and corruption in the later period when farmers all over the country launched rebellions against their rulers.
In 184, the Yellow Turbans Uprising, launched by a Hebei farmer Zhang Jiao, hit the regime hard. In the late period, royal power totally fell into the hands of eunuchs which put the court into chaos. During the reign of the last emperor of Eastern Han, Emperor Xian, royalty was dominated by the treacherous court official Dong Zhuo. Finally, Cao Cao, a minor warlord, seized power and Emperor Xian was forced by Cao Pi (the second son of Cao Cao) to abdicate. Thus, the Eastern Han Dynasty came to an end.

Western Dynasty

 

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