History Essay Paper on The Han Wudi Period

The Han Wudi Period (140-87 BCE)

The Han Wudi period was characterized by significant political, cultural, and economic developments. Political development was characterized by establishment of a more weakened central government, which was more of an imperial democracy. Wudi’s officials, with the aid of the imperial troops, established frontier administrative districts that partly decentralized government functions (Giersch, 2006, p. 30). Some aspects of the cultural development included the invention of paper and porcelain. The invention of the paper was critical in enhancing literacy levels in ancient China, as well as encouraging the documentation of Chinese workrs, which were then shared across generations. Economic developments included the introduction of economic practices, such as mining and cultivation, which increased food supply, commerce and wealth. It also repaired the old Qin roads into the Southwest, enabling the government to extent its influence, while simultaneously encouraging northward flow of trade from Yunnan’s rich trade areas of the southeast.  

Han Wudi issued a decree that made Confucianism the only official teaching approach because it had proven effective. His action initiated a process that made Confucianism become the empire’s ideological framework many centuries later. Han Wudi’s domestic and foreign policies offered his successors the framework for pursuing aggressive imperial greatness until the present times. For example, the Han Dynasty expanded China’s influence into Korea, Vietnam, and even across Central Asia because of its expansionist policies (Andrea & Overfield, 2001 p. 146). Its domestic polices enhanced the standards of civil service through the introduction of civil service examinations for government officials, and the acceptance of Confucianism as an orthodox ideology (Walker, 2012, p. 85). Its long-lasting impacts include China’s expansionist influence, Confucianism ideology, and increased commerce within and outside China.      


Andrea, A. J., & Overfield, J. H. (2001). The human record : Since 1500, v.2: Sources of global history. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Giersch, C. P. (2006). Asian borderlands: The transformation of Qing China’s Yunnan frontier. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press.

Walker, H. D. (2012). East Asia: A new history. Bloomington, IN: Author House.