Han Golden Age
1. Exhibit A: Civil Service Exam
The civil service examination system was a method of recruiting civil officials to work and maintain a stable government. These exams were based on merit and skill rather than family or political connections. Passing the difficult exams, which were based on classical literature and philosophy, offered a highly sought-after status. Any male adult in China, regardless of his wealth or social status, could become a high-ranking government official by passing the examination. They were tested on their knowledge of the Confucian classics, their ability to write, and the "Five Studies": military strategy, civil law, revenue and taxation, agriculture, and geography.
Civil service exams still exist today and are one way that government jobs are filled in the state of New York.