The Han Dynasty emerged just as the Silk Road was developed, and Han Dynasty merchants relied on the Silk Road to help them trade valuable goods and become rich. During the Han Dynasty, paper and the silk loom were invented, both of which became very highly-demanded goods for countries along the Silk Road and large sources of income for most Han Dynasty merchants. The Han Dynasty lasted 400 years, and was divided into two periods of time. In the Former Han Dynasty, the success of the merchants brought them roles in the government, but in the Later Han, merchants were overthrown and frowned upon. Very successful merchants were able to buy titles from the emperor, build luxurious mansions, and ride in carriages and carts. Along with their success came jealousy from other classes, and merchants became bottom of the social class with craftsman. Occasionally, there were laws forbidding them from doing certain “higher ranked” actions, such as riding in carriages with coachmen. Living in the Han Dynasty was a struggle for the merchants at the time, but they truly helped China connect with civilizations outside of its own.