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Old July 17th, 2017, 03:24 AM   #1
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Why was Imperial China so cruel and brutal in its punishments compared to European Ki


Why were Chinese emperors and the Chinese legal system in general so brutal in their punishments, compared to European absolute monarchs in the modern period? Like for example, the Chinese have laws like the entire bloodlines of political enemies have executed, this even includes relatives of the emperor. You really do not see anything like this even if you go back to the Middle Ages among the nobility, where even cousins were executed. And even European Kings who were accused of being tyrants in one way or another like Phillip II, Nicholas I, or Louis XVI were basically nowhere near even the good Chinese emperors in terms of the harshness of their punishments, in fact even under the more autocratic czars like Nicholas I and Nicholas II exile rather than capital punishment was the standard sentence for political dissidents.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 04:27 AM   #2
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it is related with the population size, degree of centralization and ..history practice.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 05:55 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heylouis View Post
it is related with the population size, degree of centralization and ..history practice.
That in no way answers the OP's question.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ren0312 View Post
Why were Chinese emperors and the Chinese legal system in general so brutal in their punishments, compared to European absolute monarchs in the modern period? Like for example, the Chinese have laws like the entire bloodlines of political enemies have executed, this even includes relatives of the emperor. You really do not see anything like this even if you go back to the Middle Ages among the nobility, where even cousins were executed. And even European Kings who were accused of being tyrants in one way or another like Phillip II, Nicholas I, or Louis XVI were basically nowhere near even the good Chinese emperors in terms of the harshness of their punishments, in fact even under the more autocratic czars like Nicholas I and Nicholas II exile rather than capital punishment was the standard sentence for political dissidents.
More cruel than the European Absolute Monarchs who practiced Quartering? Or executed by being boiled alive in oil?

And didn't Henry VIII basically execute the Poles because of one family dissident?
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:56 AM   #5

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I dunno, good old Vlad was "not a nice man".

And the Byzantine Emperors had a habit of maiming and murdering rival claimants to the throne.

And Robespierre, who ironically, suffered the same fate he condemned many others to.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wenge View Post
That in no way answers the OP's question.
1. population size. when you get more population, you get more people to kill...
2. degree of centralization. you can actually kill more people rather than losing the seat of emperor
3. historical practice. in fact, sentence to death to a whole family is rare in history. but you kind of get used to it when historical records accumulate many references.

Last edited by heylouis; July 17th, 2017 at 07:31 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 11:13 AM   #7

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On account of Han Xin's execution, in which his entire family were put to death, you can read on Simaqian's opinion section. The historian felt it was deserved, and it doesn't seem like it even crossed his mind that those who weren't directly responsible shouldn't be punished. The past had a different set of moral standards that's much harsher than those of modern times.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
On account of Han Xin's execution, in which his entire family were put to death, you can read on Simaqian's opinion section. The historian felt it was deserved, and it doesn't seem like it even crossed his mind that those who weren't directly responsible shouldn't be punished. The past had a different set of moral standards that's much harsher than those of modern times.
Along with that have any of the mass graves of punished armies ever been discovered? For example at Yima in Henan where 200,000 of the surrendered of Zhang Han's Qin army were buried alive?

Burying alive or impalement/blinding in the west are the most frequent mass punishments I've read but has any archaeological evidence ever surfaced to substantiate this?
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Old July 17th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #9
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because chinese have better historical record.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:15 PM   #10

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If it is about the law then then first matter that must be considered was the source of law of China during that time and likewise that of Europe.
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