Imperial science essay

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Imperial science essay

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. The theme of unity, disunity, and unity was felt through each successive dynasty and Imperial science essay a major part in the changeover of dynastic families. Two groups in society were at the core of the dissent that almost always accompanied the downfall of each successive dynasty- the scholar-gentry and thee eunuchs.

Their inability to see eye to eye defined many periods in Chinese history, two such eras being the Han dynasty and the Ming dynasty. What then were the roles of the two societal groups that had such control over Imperial Chinese civilization? The scholar-gentry had its beginnings in the gentry class, families with great wealth.

As the Chinese became gradually more focused on scholarship, openings for men with education became apparent. Civil service exams were established and the men who passed these rigorous tests became members of the new scholar-gentry class.

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Most of the class originated from wealthy landowners who could afford to allow their sons to study, although ordinary male peasants could sit the exam if so desired. Most were appointed by the emperor to local positions performing day-to-day governance, belonging to an intermediate ruling class.

Although they received no official salary, they did enjoy much of the prestige, power and privilege of the higher ruling Imperial science essay. In Imperial China, castration and eunichism were a traditional punishment and a way to gain employment in the Imperial service. Many eunuchs came from poor families volunteering young sons, and were often castrated before the age of The argument for their employment in high-ranking civil positions was that they had no heirs to form their own dynasty and would not consort with the queens who they served, however they formed their own allegiances with other eunuchs and gained their power through this bond.

Due to their high office holding self castration was made illegal. The tension between eunuchs and the scholar-gentry was always great, some have suggested because the eunuchs represented the will of the emperor, whereas the gentry represented the will of the bureaucracy.

The Han dynasty saw perhaps the first major clash between the scholar-gentry and the eunuchs. The founder of the Han dynasty, Liu Bang, placed new emphasis on education, rather than inherited status, and held examinations to find the most able to fill his governmental offices. The Confucian classics were mainly studied, being favored over Taoism at the time.

Strategic marriages between the wealthy scholar families were also preferential9, and this new class began according more respect to its females. In the earlier stages of the dynasty, they were given positions in the centre of the government 12and soon obtained control of the civil service, much to the dismay of the scholar-gentry.

The Confucian scholars disliked the eunuchs, as they saw them as fools lacking in education and interfering with their good government. This was finally brought about by a Taoist who prophesized an event and sent his son to murder a man in confidence of this. As an associate of the eunuchs, the Taoists execution was stopped, however the gentry executed the son anyway.

The eunuchs then accused the gentry of violating imperial orders and conspiring with other scholars in an illegal alliance, plotting against the government. Lingdi, the emperor of the time, ordered the scholars arrest, with many dying in prison. Men of wealth, but no scholarship began seizing more influence through bribery of the court eunuchs, and the generals commanding troops became more independent at the blessing of the eunuchs as well.

All of these factions, the landed gentry, court aristocrats, generals and eunuchs became the new power base, similar to the structure that saw the decline of Ancient Rome. Although willing to cooperate in the face of rebellion at the end17, the factionalism between the scholar-gentry and the eunuchs brought about the destruction of the Han dynasty.

The Ming dynasty began and ended in much the same fashion, with the scholar-gentry and the eunuchs playing very similar roles. The scholar officials who populated the ranks of bureaucracy were still recruited through the examination system, and as in earlier periods, the focus was still the Confucian texts.

The expansion of the printing industry however had made the spread of knowledge easier and as a result bolstered the amount of candidates worthy of the exams. The scholar-gentry of this dynasty were graded into nine hierarchies, with salaries accorded to each rank.

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If graded highly, the scholar could advance a rank, or if inadequate could be demoted, dismissed or punished. Scholar-gentry who had entered into civil service through the examinations were classified as executive officials.

Imperial science essay

Other scholar-gentry who had not been awarded in an official capacity were given roles as lesser functionaries. In this role they performed clerical and technical tasks for the government agencies and after nine years of this service could be accepted into the civil service ranks.

The eunuchs held no such power at the start of the Ming dynasty.These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to Imperial College London.

You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place. Imperial University Personal Statements. My fascination with science began in primary school and .

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