Chapter 23 Alexis Alati

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the han dynasty

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  • The Han dynasty excelled in warfare. The Han reached west into Central Asia, east to present-day Korea, and south to present-day Vietnam. The Han dynasty had a large and well-organized army. Advances in iron making improved the strength and quality of armor. Another favorite weapon of the Han was the crossbow. A crossbow is made of two pieces of wood in the shape of a cross.
  • 23.2
  • The Han emperors made many improvements in Chinese government. They softened the harsh ruling style of the Qin emperor. The government of China during this time functioned as a bureacracy. This is a large organization that operates using a fixed set of rules and conditions. The highest-level Han officials lived in the capital and gave advice to the emperor. Lower officials cleaned roads and stored food. One key improvement made by the Han concerned the way civil servants, or government workers, were hired. Every three years, civil servants could be promoted or demoted depending upon an evaluation of their work.
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  • Several important advances made in agriculture during the Han dynasty improved their lives. Han farmers had to grow enough food to feed their families. farmers had to make their own clothing, build their own homes, and give one month of unpaid labor to the government. One invention that helped farmers was the chain pump. The chain pump made it easier to move water from low irrigation ditches and canals up to the fields. The Han also invented the wheelbarrow. 
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  • 23.5
  • Silk is a material produced from the fibers of a silkworm cocoon. During the Han dynasty, the Chinese developed a foot-powered machine that could wind the fabric on a reel. The valuable silk trade began during the Han dynasty. Salt was an equally important trade item. Salt was valued in ancient times because people used it to help preserve meat and vegetables.
  • During the Han dynasty, a key advance was made in art, the invention of paper. Paper was a good material for calligraphy, which is the art of fine handwriting. Before the invention of paper, the Chinese wrote on silk.A variety of materials were used to make paper. They included silk fibers, hemp, bamboo, straw, and seaweed. 
  • 23.6
  • 23.7 and 8
  • The ancient Chinese believed that illnesses occurred when the forces of yin and yang in the body were out of balance. One technique developed by Chinese healers for this purpose was acupuncture. In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into specific parts of the body.second healing technique was moxibustion. In this method, a moxa—a small cone of powdered leaves or sticks—is placed on or near the skin and burned. The Chinese of this period also invented two very useful instruments, the seismograph and the magnetic compass. 
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