|Western Han (206 BC - 8 AD)|
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After Xiang Yu committed suicide at the river of Wu, the war that lasted 4 years ended. B.C 202, Liu Bang ascended the throne and changed the dynasty to Western Han, also known as Early Han. Because he was the first emperor of Han, he was known as the High Emperor of Han (Han Gaozu). He learned the lesson from the cruelty of Qin, and set laws that reduced slavery and encouraged production.
The successors of Gaozu, emperor Wen (Han Wen Di) and and emperor Jing (Han Jing Di), helped to bring China to a prosperity never seen before (known as the prosperity of Wen and Jing). They placed huge emphasis on agriculture, made reforms, created a safe community and made economic development possible. Then, after Emperor Wu (Han Wudi)'s changes to politics, military, and economy, the rule of Han reached its pinnacle.
After the death of emperor Wu (Han Wudi), emperor Zhao and emperor Xuan made Han more prosperous by economic advancements, reduction of slavery and price of salt, opening its doors to foreigners and marriages to the Nomads in the north.
The prosperity of Han helped to spread its fame. Until Russia claimed Far East Siberia, China was the largest country in the world. The group of people of the Central Plains are called the Hans and foreigners call Chinese the people of Han because of this.
During the late Western Han, the central government became very corrupted and was ruled by relatives of the empress. One of these relative in AD 8, Wang Mang, dethroned the current emperor and proclaimed himself emperor. After his ascension to the throne, he renamed the dynasty to Xin.