The Han Dynasty Ruled from 206 BCE to 220 CE. Many Chinese people still relate to themselves to be "the people of Han". But sadly the era of the Han Dynasty was coming to a end and the last known emperor was Emperor Xiandi. He rule all the way up until 220, he was forced to give up the throne.
Under his rule, court officials became corrupt and worked for their own gain instead of the good of China. Three main groups struggled for power within the government: court officials, the emperor’s servants and bodyguards, and clansmen of the empress. But while these three powerful groups were fighting within, other powerful forces who were unsatisfied with the corrupt government were also battling for power and control.
The peasants became increasingly frustrated with their condition and the growth of corruption in government. They believed the emperor’s servants had too much power over the emperor. In 184, these peasants attacked the North China Plains in the Yellow Turban Rebellion. This rebellion was led by Zhang Jue, a Daoist faith healer. The government spent great amounts of money from their trade and tax income to raise armies to counter the revolution.
Emperor Wendi, the man who would finally reunite China, was not fully Chinese. He was also partly Mongolian, the land to the north of China. In the 400 years after the fall of the Han dynasty, constant war and fast changes of leadership fragmented China. Wendi was an official in the Bei Zhou court of northern China. When the system collapsed in 581, Wendi took advantage of the chaos and established the Sui dynasty. During the 580s, Wendi defeat the western and southern regions of China. He united the entire country under a individual emperor for the first time in 400 years.
The Sui dynasty was also the beginning of a golden age of art and culture. Wendi supported scholars and received their support in return. Wendi became a, supporter, of the arts. Painters came to his court from all over the country. The religion of Buddhism was encouraged to flourish alongside Confucianism. Many large and beautiful stone Buddha statues throughout China were build during the Sui era. Buddhism grew in popularity over the course of the Sui era.
After Wendi’s death in 604, his inheritor, Yangdi, continued his policies. Yangdi strengthened his position in south China, and improved a set of Confucian tests for government officials that would be used in the Tang and Song dynasties. Unfortunately, he was also greedy and cruel. Yangdi loved luxury and wanted to advance his wealth and power. Under his rule, relations with the Turks, the people to the west, broke down. This led to the threat of invasion and rebellion