Qin Shi Huangdi“The First Emperor”(259-210 B.C.E.) Victoria Warnock
The Qin Dynasty
Timeline 260 Born 259 B.C.E 255 250 Becomes king of Qin at 13 245 240 Coup d'état attempted by his own mother 235 230 Attempted assassination by messenger sent by crown Jing Ke 225 Unifies China and becomes emperor of all China 220 Begin to construct the Great Wall of China 215 The burning of the books Death by Mercury poisoning, buried with terracotta army 210 Collapse of the Qin dynasty 205 200
Life in the Qin Dynasty • Shi Huangdi was born into an area of warring states • In the time when Shi Huangdi ruled, he controlled everything, even by mentioning that his ruling could be improved could get you killed • He implimented a spy system to ensure people weren’t conspiring against him • The quality of life was very low due to paranoia and fear
Shi Huangdi’s History • Shi Huangdi’s original name was Ying Zheng, but changed it when he became emperor • His mother was the concubine of the king of Qin • A merchant offered her to the prince and they ended up giving birth to Shi Huangdi • Became king of the Chinese state of Qin when he was 13 years old • When he was legally allowed to become king when he was 22 years old, his mother and her lover attempted to assassinate him to gain control • In 221 B.C.E, he finally managed to gain control over all of China and gave himself the name Shi Huangdi meaning “First Emperor”
Before Expansion After Expansion
History Cont. • Early in the Qin dynasty, the Mongols from the north began to try to invade China, so the emperor Began the building of the Great Wall of China • Feudalism was abolished and replaced with a district like system all controlled by the emperor • He had all weapons of the people melted down to avoid conspiracy. These made 12 large bronze statues in the main hall of his palace • He also forced the nobles to live in the palace so he could ensure they weren’t conspiring against him
History Cont. • Shi Huangdi also standardized the writing so that everyone in China would be using the same characters • He also standardized the measuring system and currency of gold and bronze • Highways began to be constructed stretching out to all the major area’s of the empire • Shi Huangdi also began the construction of a larger greater palace made out of magnetite so as to detect if people were coming in with concealed weapons
History Cont. • The emperor also set to the building of his mausoleum, that would be worked on by over 700,000 workers • The emperor burned most books • A philosopher criticized Shi Huangdi • The emperor did not like being criticized or having people think he was wrong so he burned all books except those about Qin History • He also ordered anyone who talked about these books would be killed along with their families
History Cont. • When it was discovered that over 460 scholars were criticizing Shi Huangdi, they were ordered to be buried alive in the capital • When he fell ill, he told his son he would become the next emperor, but a favourite eunuch of the emperor changed his will and ordered Shi Huangdi’s son to commit suicide and so his other son would become emperor • The emperor’s other son would go on to lose the empire within 3 years
Achievements • Unified China after about six centuries of warbetween states • This made it easy to standardize things such as measurements, currency, and writing systems • Roads could now be build to connect all major area’s of the empire • There was also a downside to this. Because it was such a vast area and number of people, it was difficult to maintain and Shi Huangdi resorted to a very controlling and invasive method, by having a spy network and punishments for those who did not accept him, or his ideals
Achievements Cont. • Another accomplishment was the expansion of the Great Wall of China • This was needed because of the constant advancement from the Mongols • This wall was used to protect the people from invaders and was also used as a watch tower • It also helped prevent invaders from bringing in horses or stolen goods
Political Reforms • Existing feudal systems were abolished, taking away power from aristocrats • The empire was divided into 36 different prefectures, which were subdivided even further • Each area was under the charge of a military personnel, but Shi Huangdi held power over everything from the capital • Shi Huangdi took trips around the empire to ensure everything was in order • He burned most of the books in the country to standardize thinking • Heavy taxes were implemented
Shi Huangdi’s Law • Original law was based on the Confucianism ideal, where the ruler ruled by compassion instead of force • Shi Huangdi preferred the teachings of legalism, meaning a strong ruler, and stern punishment • All members of a family were punished if someone disobeyed the law • Law went by guilty until proven innocent • Death was reserved for people who threatened the emperor or the state • This could be done by beheading, being cut in half, burning in a cauldron, or being torn by horses
Terracotta Army • Was discovered in 1974 by farmers • the statues were found in battle formation • Each warrior is uniquely different from the next • Found near the emperor’s resting place as if they were to protect him in his afterlife • Warriors face the east where his conquered enemies were located
Conclusion • Shi Huangdi did amazing things such as unifying all of China. He was also a paranoid leader, he implemented many harsh conditions to keep an eye on the people and to ensure that no one would try to over throw him because he was almost assassinated many times. He standardized aspects of most parts of peoples lives to ensure limited conflict, and maximize unity. Shi Huangdi was responsible for many people’s death because he did not trust anyone.
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