Dissertation > History, geography > History of China > Feudal society ( 475 BC - AD 1840 ) > Qin and Han Dynasty ( 221 BC to 220 AD ) > Han (206 BC to 220 AD )

Western Han Dynasty Cultural Policy Research

Author LiZhen
Tutor QianGuoQi
School Qingdao University
Course Specialized History
Keywords Western Han Dynasty cultural policy culture
CLC K234
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 150
Quotes 4
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Cultural policy is an important portion in a country’s development policy. It is an epitome of a country’s culture. Summarizing the historical experience and inheriting the important achievements of preceding dynasties, the emperors of Western Han Dynasty pioneered a series of cultural management strategies, which had a far-reaching influence on future generations. And a comparatively systematic cultural policy initially took shape. The emperors of Western Han Dynasty praised highly of Huang Lao and worshipped Confucianism exclusively. Thus, it provided ideological conditions for making and implementing the cultural policy. They established an institution, which was responsible for book reservation and edition. They also launched a movement for collecting and reserving books from various channels. Furthermore, the shape of books was improved, and book circulation was actively promoted. They formulated the education policy, such as setting up the "Imperial College", establishing "Wujingboshi", improving the education system, encouraging the development of private schools, and laying emphasis on civilizing people with Confucianism. They also made the religious policy, such as establishing a fairly complete religious institution, institutionalizing "Yongjiaowuzhi", appointing "Taiyi-God" as the supreme god of the country, building a number of temples, and thinking highly of necromancers. In cultural communication, the emperors actively adopted the policy of cultural infiltration, and strived to assimilation. At the same time, they assimilated the essence of other nationalities’cultural achievements. They established the policy of literature and art, such as advocating the development of literature, putting the talented person in an important position, providing a good environment for their composition, founding "Yuefu" to collect folk songs and ballads, and completing a unique system of "Miaotangyayue". As for cultural policy, Western Han Dynasty is a connecting link between the preceding and the following dynasties. It first put forward "ruling the country with Confucianism" and it has the distinctive characteristic of stage. In the meantime, the cultural policy is enlightened, attaching importance on the role of Confucian classics. The cultural policy of Western Han Dynasty promotes Chinese culture to spread widely and encourages the reconciliation of nationalities. It also impacts on Chinese national character and national spirit, and provides a good example for the latter dynasties.

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