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The Decline and Fall of Imperial Rule in the Period 600 Bce to 600 Ce Demonstrated by Rome and the Han Dynasty

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Imperial Expansion

The decline and fall of imperial rule in the period 600 BCE to 600 CE demonstrated by Rome and the Han dynasty was the result of rapid expansion over various governed territories. Rome controlled vast expanses of land in Europe and especially those bordering the Mediterranean Sea. In comparison, the Han dynasty oversaw a myriad of states within eastern China. This vast expansion of states and empires contributed to their ultimate imperial decline. For both Rome and the Han Dynasty, weak and unstable forms of central government accompanied their rapid territorial expansion. The various types of the political strategies used during this period were not well suited to govern the extended territories. Moreover, the laws that were put into place were not easily enforced, thus contributing to a resultant unstable and weak political foundation. Rapid and often mindless expansion proved to be the primary cause of the imperial decline from 600 BCE to 600 CE. Power was defined by the amount of land which empires and states acquired and controlled. The Roman Empire best exemplified this approach, as they captured and obtained as much territory as possible. This practice of over-expansion led to a weakly structured government at the expense of the people, and, for that matter, the empire itself. Over time, the rapid strategy approach to expansion used by Rome proved to be initially quite successful. However, this endeavor eventually led to the end of their absolute rule, as they were unable to govern continually expanding territories. The Roman Empire became unmanageable as it stretched much too far from its mother city of Rome. Even more, the extensive land governed by the Romans made for cultural diversity but led to uneven and sometimes lack of control.

Like Rome, the Han dynasty had similar issues. Han China also expanded too rapidly and was divided into areas directly controlled by a central government that made for weak government amongst specific states. Influenced by the Qin, innovation was introduced by commanderies that mixed many ethnic cultures well beyond the Han Chinese. These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States in 54 BC against China's Han Dynasty by its regional semi-autonomous kings. In the Roman Empire there was competition and resulting battles for control over the most powerful territories. As controlled territories became too complicated and burdensome for the Empire to control and defend, the unstable Roman government could no longer expand to even more territories and continue to grow at such a rapid pace. As the years passed, the enemies of Rome became too powerful and small states governed by Rome became much too weak as they eventually were plagued with weak economies and cultural instability.

Another critical factor contributing to the imperial

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