Han and Roman Technology DBQ Essay
From the pestle and mortar of Han, China to the flowing aqueducts of the Roman Empire, technology was a big part of ancient civilizations. From the 2nd century BCE through the 1st century CE, both the Han and Roman empires were dealing with the advancements in technology. There were many different attitudes between the two empires, but there were also differences in opinion within the empires themselves. In the Han Empire, some believed that technology was an essential part of an empire and requires government intervention, while others saw it an expensive burden. In the Roman Empire, some believed that technology was necessary, but not necessarily enlightened, while others saw it as a way to show how great their civilization really was.
Han government officials felt that technology was indeed an important part of a civilization and required government intervention. The Han government official in Document 1 said, “I request that establish water conservation offices in each district and staff then with people who are experienced in the ways of water. There should be one high official and one deputy with just enough workers to meet the need”. This shows that he felt it was important for the government to have some control, and to have people who knew what they were doing in charge. Shown in Document 4, later on in 31 C.E Tu Shih, a governor of Nanyang, invented a water-powered blowing engine for the casting of iron agriculture implements, this machine was widely adopted and used, showing the positive effects of government manufacturing.
With the evolution of technology in the Han Dynasty also came the monopolization of iron and salt, which in turn, worsened the lives of peasants and produced less efficient tools. This is shown in Document 2 by Huan Guan about iron tools made by the government “These tools are often crude and not very functional.” This is saying that items made by the government were not always up to par....