Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty 汉武帝

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汉武帝名刘彻,公元前140年至公元前87年在位。他当政期间,中国历史上出现了长达50年的盛世景象。
Liu Che, Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, was in power from 140 B.C. to AD 87. During his reign, China ushered in the flourishing age of more than 50 years.

汉初,刘邦分封一些同姓的子弟到全国各地做王,想借此确保刘家的天下。受封的诸侯王的权力很大。后来诸侯王的势力过大,严重影响中央的统治。
In the early Han Dynasty, Emperor Liu Bang appointed some people of Liu’s family to various parts of China as the dukes, hoping to remain the country in Liu’s family. Some of the dukes were very powerfu. Dukes were so powerful that they seriously threatened the governance of the central government.

汉武帝当政后,准许诸侯王把自己的封地再分给子弟,建立诸侯国,这就是”推恩令”,一个王国分出许多小侯国,直属的领地就小了,再没有力量对抗中央。后来,汉武帝又陆续夺去大批王、侯的爵位。这样,经过长期斗争,王国对中央的威胁终于解除了,中央集权制度得到加强。
After Emperor Wudi came into power, he allowed these dukes divide their fiefs to their offspring to establish new ??vassal states. This was called “Decree of Promoting Imperial Beneficence.” When one vassal state was divided into several smaller ones, the direct fief became smaller and the duke would have no power to threat the central government. Later, Emperor Wudi removed the ranks of nobility of many dukes. After long-term struggle, the threats of the vassal states to the central government disappeared and the system of centralization was strengthened.

汉武帝时期,儒生董仲舒为了适应中央集权政治的需要,对儒家学说进行了发挥。
During the reign of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, the Confucian Dong Zhongshu further expanded the Confucianism in order to meet the demands of political centralization.

第一,宣扬天是万物的主宰,皇帝是天的儿子,即天子,代表天统治人民。因此,全国人民都要服从皇帝的统治,诸侯王也要听命于皇帝,这叫做”大一统”。
First, he announced that the heaven was the master of everything and the emperor was the son of the heavy. The son of the heavy ruled the people on behalf of the heavy. Thus, all the people should be subject to the emperor’s ruling and dukes should also obey the orders of the emperor. This was known as “Great Unification.”

第二,提出了”罢黜百家,独尊儒术”的建议。主张只提倡儒家学说,其它各家学说,都禁止传播,以实行思想上的统一,从而巩固政治上的统一。
Second, he proposed the suggestion of following only the Confucianism while banning all other thoughts. Confucianism was made the only thought in the country and all other ideologies were forbidden from spreading so as to unify ideology and consolidate political rules.

汉武帝采纳了董仲舒的学说,汉朝政府里就有许多信奉儒家思想的人做了大官。儒家思想逐渐成为封建社会的统治思想。
Emperor Wudi of Han Dynasty adopted Dong Zhongshu’s idea and many Confucianism in the government were promoted to be senior officials and the Confucianism gradually became the ruling ideology of the feudal society.
Words:

统治tǒnɡzhì:government;
服从fúcónɡ:obey;
禁止jìnzhǐ:forbid.

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