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Qin Dynasty

Qin Dynasty

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Qin Dynasty

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  1. Qin Dynasty 221-206 BCE

  2. Review: Warring States Period • Final End of Zhou Dynasty • Lasts 450? BCE-221 • All Feudal States Battle each other • New weapons and strategies  brutal war, breakdown of social values • Smaller noble estates taken over by larger—10/12 major states  6 • Qin wins

  3. Why were the Qin the Most Successful? • Location—Western State far from Zhou capital  always more independent • Underrated—Seen as Western Savages • Fertile land (food for troops), Mountains (protection) • Military Practice  experience fighting the nomadic tribes, influenced by nomadic tribes. Not a ‘gentleman’s sport’ • Shang Yang’s reforms

  4. Who was Shang Yang and What were his reforms? • Influential, legalist, advisor in the Qin State during the Warring states Period • 3 basic beliefs • Things should be standardized • People should be treated the same • Loyalty to the state was the most important thing

  5. The Division of Qin State • Learn from Zhou Mistakes Needs help with control because too big for 1 person to run but can’t have lords building their own little kingdoms • The Fix? • Divide state into administrative units, districts, counties, and units of 100 families • Put competent people in charge—job, not friends and family • All report to superiors, to Shang Yang, then to King • Why does it work? • Organized but without the loyalty and relationship ties of the feudal system

  6. What else did Shang Yang do? Punishment Reward • Took land from nobles • Wrongdoingslavery • Farmers who didn’t meet quotas—lost land • People who knew about crime, punished the same as if they committed the crime • Gave land as reward to people • Give slaves to loyal people • Peasant immigrants from other states gained land • People turned in criminals were rewarded

  7. What is the result of his policies? • The Qin had tight control over their state. While other states dealt with uprisings and lack of loyalty, the Qin didn’t permit it • Qin focus was solely on defeating their enemies, total control by 221 • BTW--Shang Yang is executed

  8. Who is in Charge? • Shihuangdi—”First Emperor”—brutal and very smart, very legalist • Applies the successful system of Shang Yang to all newly conquered territory

  9. How did the Qin Consolidate their Power? • Broke down walls of cities they conquered • Confiscated all weapons of people they conquered • Set up Spy System—reward those who turned in disloyal people, punishments for others • Punishments—usually hard labor somewhere for the empire • Censorship of all dissenting ideas • Result? Fearful, dis-unified, population with no ability to rebel

  10. What was built with the punishment of Hard Labor? Joining defensive walls to protect from Nomads (The Great Wall) Built by forced labor Estimates—100s of Thousands died in constructing it “A thousand may die so that a million may live” Dual purpose—punishment and protection Also canals, irrigation, and roads

  11. Censorship: No ideas allowed that contradicted Qin policies Burning of Books—all philosophical texts burned All books unless key texts on medicine, war, or agriculture Anyone who discussed ideas, punished, anyone who didn’t turn others in--punished Burying of Scholars: buried 460 scholars alive

  12. Qin Efficiency Accomplishments • Military Protection (Wall) • Economy: • In an attempt to unify the empire Shihuangdi standardizes: • Coins • Weights and measures • Axle size—trade and transport • Script and language • Determined not to follow Zhou mistakes of many different ‘countries’ in one • Truly Unifies China

  13. Problems for Qin • People in EVERY social class are unhappy • Nobles have lost power and privilege • Previous State Leaders are now under control of 1 • Many peasants, farmers, commoners—hard labor • Scholars/intellectuals—Harassed, silenced • Community structure weakened by spy network • Shihuangdi is paranoid and unfocused • Convinced people will try to kill him, how can he live?

  14. Shihuangdi’s Paranoia and Obsession • Multiple Assassination Attempts—slept in different place every night • Searching for the Elixir of Life--immortality • Terrified of death—never wanted to talk about it, refused to name an heir--instability • Built an elaborate tomb to protect himself in death

  15. Terracotta Warriors • Found in Shihuangdi’s tomb by farmers in 1974 • 6000 Clay Warriors • Bronze weapons, horses, and chariots • Mercury Rivers • 700,000 men to build • Workers killed to keep secrets • UNESCO World Heritage Site

  16. The end of the Qin • “Empire will last 10,000 years”, lasted 15 • Shihuangdi dies in 211 after taking mercury pills—meant to give him eternal life • Was on a trip to the east, 2 months away from the capital—assistants hide his death • Back at the capital, conspiracy to put his second son on the throne • Second Son Huhai—terrible ruler without the intelligence, charisma, or brutality of his father • People immediately rebel, war begins • By 206 Empire is defeated by Liu Bang—the first emperor of the Han Dynasty

  17. Legacy of the Qin • Qin  terminology ‘China’ • First truly unified state • Centralized control—all power held by one but in an organized fashion=‘bureaucracy’ • Unified economy, communication system, trade and transport • Legalistic example for future leaders • Chairman Mao? Current government? Other nations?