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Han Wudi (156-87 BC)

Emperor Wu, namely Liuche, was the sixth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 24 A.D.). He reigned from 141 BC to 87 BC and his reign is one of the most celebrated in Chinese history. After his death, he was given a posthumous title of Emperor Shizong.

Came to the throne at the age of sixteen, Emperor Wu, besides carried out a series of reforms, devoted himself to military conquests and territorial expansion. So, people call him Emperor Wu (Martial Emperor).

Emperor Wu's most important military campaigns were against the Xiongnu, an ancient tribe that lived in North China who posed a powerful threat to the Han Empire. After three expeditions, Emperor Wu finally drove the Xiongnu into the far north of Gobi, thus maintaining the safety of the Hexi Corridor. In order to avoid the aggression of other nomadic tribes, Emperor Wu also ordered the construction of the Great Wall.

In 138 BC, Emperor Wu sent a diplomatic expedition to Central Asia to try to find allies against the Xiongnu. Failed in his original purpose, Chinese ruler became aware of the cultures and customs of other nationalities. Eventually, this lead to the opening of the Silk Road which later served as a route for cultural and economic exchange between the east and the west.

In order to pay his military cost, Emperor Wu raised taxes, nationalized many private businesses and confiscated property for the nobility. He also restrained other thoughts but made Confucianism a state ideology.

During the reign of Emperor Wu, Western Han Dynasty was in a period of great prosperity.

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