What economic factors helped to cause the collapse of the Han Dynasty?Economic Han

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Han Dynasty spanned from approximately 206 BCE to 220 CE. Their fall was precipitated by the failure of rich landowners to pay taxes. In addition, scholars declared that they did not have to pay taxes. As a result, the burden of taxation fell heavily on the poor, and the inequality in this society started to destabilize it. Some peasants also evaded tax collectors by running away.

Without money, the emperors could not maintain the infrastructure of roads and canals, and the army also began to fall apart and could not repulse outside invaders such as the Mongols. These attacks began to weaken the Han government. In the past, the Han government had often paid off rival warlords but could no longer afford to do so. In 220 AD the Later Han fell, which was contributed to by the revolt of the Yellow Turbans, a Taoist society. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most imporant economic factors that caused the fall of the Han Dynasty was taxation.

By the time that the Han Dynasty was getting weaker, it was unable to tax many of its subjects.  This was because it was not strong enough to force them to pay their taxes or to give the labor that they owed the government.  When this happened, the central government had to increase the levels of taxation that it imposed on the people that it did control.  As the government did this, those people tended to leave (when possible) the territory that the central government controlled.  As this happened, the government came to have less and less money to use for things like maintaining its military strength.

In this way, the Han Dynasty lost its economic power, thus hastening its decline.

mercysonnie | Student

The Han dynasty collapsed as a result of a number of factors, social, economic and political. Some of these factors were intertwined. For example, the politics of the time led to a number of economic issues, and these contributed greatly to its downfall.

The last ruler of the Han dynasty was emperor Xian. It was during his rule that the dynasty collapsed. One of the economic factors at the time was the fact that he was enforcing hefty taxation laws. The kingdom was already collapsing and the taxation laws only made the people more rebellious. The citizens who were able to leave left. The others formed rebel groups such as the Yellow Turban Rebellion. This rebellion only added strain on the already weak economy of the Han dynasty. Eventually, this and other factors led to the collapse.