While the West usually inherited the patriotism, valor, and interest of their parents or relatives from generations before joining the military, the other half of the world had quite a different approach. As the pattern of generational aspiration passed on for generations and is still quite prevalent today, leading an army, particularly in imperial-led countries, was imperative to keep tight-grip control of a nation and its people.

One good example of examing the rise and fall of military dynasties is the rise and fall of Imperial China. Scanning through its historical accounts, one could easily identify the recurring trends that made the country skyrocket into its golden era before crumbling down into nothing but a thing in the past. For centuries, the powerful families managed to pass on thrones from one generation to another before members of the royalties would end up betraying each other because of an uncontrollable thirst for power, ineptitude, or being too young and too impressionable to lead an army and a nation.

Western Han Terracotta Army
Western Han Terracotta Army (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

While China had established dozens of dynasties with significant contributions to its history and evolution, one of the most well-known and consequential periods was the Han Empire dynasty.

The Rise of the Han Empire

The Han Dynasty, the contemporaries of the Roman Empire, held the longest empire to rule over unified China between 202 BC and 220 AD. Some historians would even go on and say it was the country’s “golden era” as economic, cultural, and scientific accomplishments flourished and thrived during this period, contributing to the formation of Chinese identity. Its rule was briefly interrupted due to civil unrest and rebellion before being re-established by a different branch of the same family, and from then on, the dynasty would continue to expand thanks to its massive exportation of silk over what would become known as the Silk Road and its control over the two largest rivers in the country.