STELLA'S CHINA STORYBOARD
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The Han excelled in warfare. Their military methods and new weapons helped them expand their dynasty. At its height, the Han dynasty reached west into Central Asia, east to present-day Korea, and south to present-day Vietnam.
The Han emperors made significant improvements in Chinese government. They adopted the centralized government established by Emperor Qin Shihuangdi. But they softened the harsh ruling style of the Qin emperor and brought Confucian ideas back into government.
Farmers in ancient China faced a number of difficulties. Several important advances made in agriculture during the Han dynasty improved their lives. Han farmers were expected to grow enough food to feed their families and to help stock the shared granaries, or grain storehouses. In addition to growing crops, farmers had to make their own clothing, build their own homes, and give one month of unpaid labor to the government for building projects such as canals and roads
Like agriculture, Chinese industry benefited from advances made during the Han dynasty. The Han government controlled the two most important industries in China, silk and salt. New inventions helped both industries.
During the Han dynasty, a key advance was made in art—the invention of paper. Paper was the ideal material for calligraphy, which is the art of fine handwriting. Calligraphy was important in Chinese culture. It was a style of writing especially valued for its natural flow, as if inspired by nature.
The practice of medicine during the Han dynasty involved some ideas and treatments that are still used in traditional Chinese healing today. The ancient Chinese believed that illnesses occurred when the forces of yin and yang in the body were out of balance. Healers tried to restore the natural balance of these opposite forces.
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