The First Emperor Of China

Qin Shi

Qin Shi's Life

The Qin leader who defeated the Zhou was a 39-year-old man who called himself Qin Shi Huangdi, meaning ‘supreme emperor of the first generation’. Qin Shi Huangdi was the first to rule a united empire within China. Apart from periods of disunity, this system of imperial rule lasted from 221 BC to AD 1911.


Qin Shi's Power Over China

Qin Shi did many powerful things. He ordered people to make the Great Wall Of China in 220–206 BC that stopped other countries invading. He had so much control over China that he could start battles, start building projects, create irrigation systems and kill people for the sake of it.

Qin Shi's Legalism Limits

People who did not obey Qin Shi he would torture, hard labour or even put to death. In 213 BC, a scholar criticised Qin Shi Huangdi's cruelty and said that the ‘old ways’ were better. Qin Shi Huangdi ordered the scholar's execution. He also had the scholar's supporters executed and their books burned, except those books on farming, medicine, fortune-telling and the Qin dynasty and its achievements.
Qin Shi Huangdi