Dbq- Han China and Greece

Topics: Plato, Confucianism, Aristotle Pages: 2 (616 words) Published: December 17, 2011
After viewing the documents, it is clear that Classical Athens and Han China are very different politically. Athens focused on the rights of the individual whereas Han China preferred dominance that used an imperialist approach. However, the reason for this difference in political beliefs can be based on the difference of population. It is easier to be a democracy with a smaller population than a larger one. That said it is also easier to rule many people with a select elite. Another difference is that their social aspects are opposites. Athenians believed that everyone should obey the laws of society and turn in those who break them. Han china thought that it is better to obey the rules but should always prefer family over government. Despite many differences, both Classical Athens and Han China thought there should be class distinctions between poor and the wealthy, few and many, free people and slaves. In document 4, Pericles describes the Athenian form of democracy and a few of their laws. Pericles showed the importance for all men who are able to participate in government and politics. Document 6 shows a conversation between two Chinese philosophers named Wan Chang and Mencius about how an emperor of Han China was “appointed” to office. Mencius indicated that the emperor himself was not appointed by peasants, but by “Heaven”. Documents 2 and 3 show the population differences and document 1 compared the size of Attica and Han China. Because Athens had a smaller population and a smaller province, a “true” democracy was easier to uphold. Fewer votes meant less of a challenge to keep count. Because Han China had a larger population and a greater size a land, no one could truly voice their own personal opinion. Instead the emperor appointed smaller classes of rulers to govern specific areas. In document 9, a Greek philosopher names Socrates explains to one of his friends that citizens must obey and enforce the laws created by their government; if one does not...
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