Imperial Strategies in the Early Chinese Empires – NEW!

This module introduces students to the imperial strategies of the Han Empire (202 BCE–220 CE), the first long-lasting centrally administered empire in the area we now call China. Through four class meetings, students will explore the question of imperial expansion, first by studying the prior Western Zhou and Qin dynasties, and then from the vantage point of Han emperors and their advisors. By exploring Han expansion north, into Central Asia, and south, students will aim to understand the motivations of imperial officials, their understanding of the challenges they faced, and their strategies to overcome those challenges and grow their empire. By the end, students should able to identify both why and how the Han dynasty pursued and achieved such remarkable territorial expansion.

Original version authored by Andrew Hardy

Readings and Primary Sources

Module Lesson Plan:

Lesson 1:

Lesson 2:

Lesson 3: