The Qin Dynasty in Ancient China
By Noah M.
Have you ever read a novel? It was really long, right? Compare the size of the novel to the size of a short story. The short story is nowhere near as long as the novel, but still tells a story. The Qin Dynasty is like the short story: nowhere near as long as the others, but just as great.
Uprising of the Qin
The Qin dynasty didn't just randomly take power all of a sudden. No, they fought their way there. The Qin's road to the throne was laid down in the heat of the Warring States Period, weaving right past their enemies and rival states. So the Qin stepped up their game. They became the most aggressive state during this time, plowing straight through anyone in their way. In 221 BC, the Qin had defeated all of the rival states and put an end to the Warring States Period. In that year, Shi Huangdi reunified China and began the Qin dynasty.
This is a picture showing the size of the Qin dynasty, where it was located in China, and how long the empire lasted.
Shi Huangdi - The First Emperor
Shi Huangdi ruled from 221 BC to 210 BC. He was also the first to unify all of China under one government. He was a very strict ruler who believed in Legalism and, because of his beliefs, controlled with a strong government enforcing strict laws and harsh punishments. Also because of his believing in Legalism, he made all of the people practice it, causing Legalism to be practiced more then than any other time in Chinese history. His belief in Legalism also caused him to order the burning of all books that didn't agree with Legalism, only leaving behind the books supporting Legalism and books about agriculture, medicines, and predictions of the future. Huangdi also standardized the following things: legal codes, bureaucratic procedures, system of writing, and coinage (currency/money). He died in 210 BC and, without him, the dynasty only lasted three (3) more years.
Accomplishments and Important Facts
- The name "China" was probably derived from "Qin" (Ch'in)
- Shi Huangdi's real name was "Zhao Zheng"
- "Shi Huangdi" means "first sovereign emperor"
- Had the Great Wall of China built
- Established basic administrative system and approximate boundaries that would last for the next 2,000 years in China
It is amazing how many things the Qin accomplished in their small time-span. It's like a new-born baby getting every award in the world, getting 100 trillion dollars, and becoming president, all before they're even one year old. Though I never had one in the first place, the Qin is officially my personal favorite dynasty.