Emperor Wudi's Greatest Achievement

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Emperor Wudi’s greatest achievement was his vast territorial expansion, but that success came at the expense of his country’s welfare because he abused his power to protect himself and fund his military. As the emperor, he had control over his dynasty, but he used it in a way where he was always on top, and no one was politically powerful enough to take him down. In addition to his power, he funded his government by taxing the rich and taking over the economy. The majority of the government's revenue was directed towards the military and their quest for domination. Wudi’s powerful authority combined with a rich government to fund the strong military led to extensive campaigns at the expense of his country’s welfare. Emperor Wudi had…show more content…
He was a very efficient administrator for the economy because he always maximized the government’s revenues through the strict control of the people’s occupations and manipulating the economy. The government protected the economy but also benefited from it by buying surplus grain whenever there was an abundance to prevent severe declines in market prices and sold the government-stored grain whenever market supply was inadequate thus preventing severe price increases. Not only did this create a stabilized economy that does not fluctuate dramatically, but it also makes the government wealthier. In addition to the wealthy government, Emperor Wudi was an autocrat who was essentially above the law and had full control over the money without any resistance. To maintain his power, he regularly changed the chief ministers who conducted court business and allow his personal secretary do the business in private. Besides the chief ministers, Emperor Wudi made arbitrary and heavy financial demands on his lords or he stripped the lords of their rank on the slightest pretext and turned their fiefs into commanderies or countries. His vigorous policy of weakening the lords made them powerless adornments in the state organization. His obsession with complete authority benefited him personally, but…show more content…
Wudi’s main rivals were the Xiongnu tribes, which were nomadic tribes without an overarching organization that dominated the West Manchurian to Mongolia, and South Siberia into Chinese Turkestan. The Xiongnu tribe was eventually pushed into the Gobi Desert and inflicted 50,000-100,000 casualties on the Han Dynasty. As a result of the nomadic tribes disappearing, diplomatic relations were instituted which were known as the tributary system, which is where native rulers kept their authority and were protected by China’s military governors, but in return had to give extravagant gifts and men for the government and military. As his ambitions continued, he attacked the big city of Ferghana. Due to the long distance, the campaign was very expensive because he had the establish military colonies that contained self-sufficient garrisons of soldier-farmers, had to transport resources to these colonies, and replace the great losses of men and horses. However, in the end, his military was successful which pierced the nomadic barrier to the west opening the door to numerous trade routes such as the Silk Road to the West. From the trade routes, Wudi’s palaces filled with rare imports from the West, and it was rumored that the imperial treasury became so full that the strings holding the coins together were rotting. The government shared its wealth with the people

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