When was Qin Shi Huang born?
Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in China
Qin Shihaung Di (the first emperor) ruled the first great empire in the area for eleven years. He was born the son of a king who ruled a kingdom that was already planning to conquer every other state, and that for years prepared for military campaigns by mobilizing the masses for major construction projects, drawing people into the army, and doing the best Equip armaments that they could manufacture. Military power and the campaign were the main goals besides the continuation of the rule of their king. The state of the Qin rulers believed in a political philosophy called legalism, which allowed strict centralized control and the use of the population to strengthen the Qin. Qin Shihuang and his top officials followed the stipulations of this philosophy by first capturing the area and then using all the people for their projects and construction work or campaigns. They believed that part of strengthening his rule was forcing all people to simply obey him and not criticize him, and even dictate how people could write, what to believe, and what to do. He managed to make people more alike, to build a lot and to take over more areas, but people started to hate him and so he became paranoid for fear of attack and death and his family and high officials were all killed.
The first emperor was born in 259. His name when he was a child was Ying Zheng. When he was 13 in 246 his father died. He was too young to rule by himself, so officials, his mother, and others ruled in his place. There were many intrigues and sex affairs and children in his family and the royal court, and there was even an intrigue to replace him with another child. A senior official named Buwei and others were involved in intrigues and cover-ups. At some point the intrigue was exposed and people were tortured and killed. King Zeng then took over and Li Si became the highest official.
The Qin rulers occupied many other regions of the previous Zhou Empire and some surrounding peoples. Society was centralized to the point that anyone who disagreed against royal rule was executed or sent to a labor camp. Much of the literature was also destroyed. Society was enslaved to serve the rulers in their wars and major construction projects. Even Qin Sihuang's own son was demoted and sent to build the Great Wall for opposing him. The absolute power they wanted for themselves corrupted them and the dynasty quickly ended in foolish politics and the people rebelled.
During their reign they built the first Great Wall on their northern border, which was a great wall and fortification designed to keep northern tribes like the Xiongnu away. They built many roads and some canals for the transport of troops and food. They also built a large tomb called the Qin Mausoleum for Emperor Qin Shihuang and the Terracotta Army, and many other major construction projects such as the Ling Canal in Guilin in Guangxi Province and the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project near Chengdu in Sichuan Province have been carried out. The Qin royal family managed to unite the empire and hold control over it for 15 years; they standardized the writing system, money, and units of measure, and established an infrastructure that would later help the region flourish. By destroying the ideas and the teachings against which they were against, they established the dominant philosophies in their large region by themselves.
There are written records of the ancient history of Qin, but it is not known whether the records are accurate. It is said that Fei Zi was appointed to rule the city of Qin in the northwest. In 672, Qin rulers tried to expand the region eastwards. For the most part, the Qin did not attempt to conquer other states because they feared tribes around them would attack them if a large army left for a campaign.
Then about 61 years before Qin Shihuang was born, Shang Yang came to power as an imperial official in 361. During the two decades that he ruled, he made major political changes that became established. He entered and ruled according to a defined set of strict rules and a clear political philosophy. People eventually killed him, but his philosophy, called legalism, was adopted by the ruling courts of the last generations of Qin rulers. Shang Yang introduced many major political reforms to the government that were revolutionary for his time, and caused the course for Qin to become militarily stronger and more ruthless than the other states.
There was a well-known protocol for war throughout the Zhou area until it came to power that was quite similar to European ideas of chivalry in combat. Generals should allow opposing generals to set up battle formations and other ideas before the battle begins. There were also generally accepted family relationships and responsibilities such as those introduced by Confucians. Shang Yang eliminated the protocols and customs. He wanted submission to the ruling court to be the first responsibility and enemies to be ruthlessly destroyed. He also wanted everyone to be treated immediately according to a clearly defined law. In some ways, this legal system was really fairer because it was less arbitrary. He thought that everyone should be ruled by the same laws, whether from a ruling clan or a peasant clan. Political opposition cannot be tolerated under legalism. So one of the strengths of the Qin was strict central control and the partial abolition of the power of the nobility.
To encourage production, Yang Shang privatized the land, rewarding farmers who exceeded harvest quotas and enslaved farmers who failed to meet their quotas. To strengthen his kingdom, he used slaves for his main construction projects to create better infrastructure. He wanted to improve the transportation system so that armies could move more easily and increase internal trade. He also emphasized the development of large armies for the military offensive. He increased the production of the best armaments. Their technology saw great progress that iron tools and weapons became common. To replace chariots, the Qin organized mounted soldiers with masses of infantry. Eventually, the Qin armies were able to recruit and equip hundreds of thousands.
In 269, a general from Zhao defeated two Qin armies. After that, Fan Sui became the emperor's main advisor. He instituted legalism-type tactics and recommended attacking the other states and exterminating and subjugating the people within them. They began to prepare for great conquests and campaigns. Qin rulers had an advantage in the territory in the far west of the warring state territories, which was protected behind mountains and could therefore be well defended. So for a while they concentrated on building their army and colonizing and ordering the land in order to provide food for their expeditions and to generate wealth for the empire. They forced people to build the Wei River Canal, roads, and other projects and serve in the army.
King Zheng (260-210) entered his reign in 246 BC. When he was just 13 years old. During a short period of time, his ruling officials mobilized Qin for conquest and then began invading the other states. Several of the states surrendered instead of fighting. They started the campaign for the conquest in 230. In 230, Han, which was their neighbor to the east, surrendered to the Qin. They defeated Wei in 225. In 223 they managed to take Chu after their first attack was foiled. Chu also had a large army and territory, but they were surprised by a surprise attack in the second campaign. In the year 222 BC BC the Qin Yan and Zhao took over. In 221 BC The Qin conquered the last state called Qi.
Emperor Qin Shihuang's reign (221 BC-210 BC)
In this way, the area of the Qin royal court became an empire. King Zheng proclaimed himself Qin Shihuang Di. Centralizing the power and standardizing the various peoples they had conquered were their primary goals. The philosophy of legalism of Qin Shihuang justified strict rule to increase the strength of the empire and the superiority of the emperor and his top rulers. They even wanted to standardize people's thoughts, thinking that standardizing and crushing any disagreement against the rule of the court would encourage their power. One of the first ordinances of the Qin Empire was that they must be given all weapons. They decreed that every man had to serve in the army for one year. Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the demolition of the ramparts of former states, but ordered the construction of a great wall through the north to repel the Xiongnu. Weights, measures and the minting of coins were standardized. Under Li Si, the writing system was standardized by ordering everyone to write in the script used in Qin. The rulers wanted everyone to be able to understand their order and that officials could understand each other in order to communicate with one another. Officials were selected based on their merit and ability to serve and follow Emperor Qin Shihuang. Even his own son, who contradicted him by admonishing him not to kill scholars, was demoted and sent north to help build the Great Wall.
In 214 the emperor secured his northern border. He appointed Meng Tian to lead an army of approximately 100,000 to drive out the nomadic Xiongnu tribe. As part of the defense strategy against them, Meng Tian oversaw the geography, overseeing the construction of the Great Wall and forts along the border. He employed hundreds of thousands of workers in the process. The line they chose for the Great Wall which demarcated the territory of the empire from that of the northern nomads, had often been the boundary of successful empires and kingdoms. It is said that the defense facilities extended over 10,000 li or more than 4,000 kilometers. In this way the south-eastern areas were added to the empire.
Several attacks on his life took place. Because he killed many scholars and officials and enforced his brutal rule, many people hated him. He wanted to live forever, and perhaps one of the reasons why he ingested poisonous substances that he got from Daoists to try to achieve immortality. He also ordered the construction of the Qin Mausoleum, where he could rule in the event of his death. He owned a large army of terracotta warriors built to protect him. Emperor Qin Shihuang died in 210, and Li Si and Zhao Gao kept the news of his death secret.
Li Si and Zhao Gao were its senior officials. Zhao Gao was a eunuch, and Li Si was famous for his writings on the philosophy of legalism and for introducing legalism into the empire. These two installed the son of the emperor Huhai as successor against the actual will of the dead emperor, because they thought that he would be influenceable as the second emperor. He was called Qin Er Shi. In her drive for power, Zhao Gao killed Li Si. Qin Er Shi exterminated his family members and numerous officials in an attempt to strengthen his control over the empire. He ordered foolish construction projects and tactics and forced people to obey him. Zhao Gao forced Qin Er Shi to commit suicide. He also threw a general named Meng Tian into the prison, where Qin Er Shi eventually committed suicide.
Qin Er Shi's nephew named Ziying became the third emperor. There were revolts all over the empire and many local officials declared themselves kings of their territories at the time. He tried to maintain his power and survive in the area he still ruled by recognizing the regional kings. Revolts against him began and the new regional kings began to fight each other. Chu rebels led by Liu Bang attacked him. Liu Bang defeated Ziying, and Ziying was executed in 207. In 206 the capital of Qin was destroyed. This marked the end of the Qin Empire. Liu Bang defeated his main rivals in the war to become emperor of a new empire to be called the Han Empire.
Qin Shihuang's legacy
The Qin Dynasty lasted only 15 years and ended in suicide and death. But during their brief reign, their wars for conquest destroyed more than half the population and much of the culture, literature, and science of the Zhou era. The population is believed to have fallen from about 40 million at the end of the Zhou Dynasty to about 18 million at the end of their rule. In carrying out their plans, they caused enormous misery and destruction, but they built the infrastructure such as roads, canals, and the Great Wall, which were very useful to the people at a later time. There was a standardized written language for the whole empire published by Li Si. This writing system later became the general language of literature for the whole area into the modern age. By even standardizing scripture and ideas, customs and religion, they laid the foundation for later empires.
Philosophy and religion
Legalism became known, but Moism and probably dozens of other philosophies and schools of thought were destroyed, and numerous scholars and philosophers were killed. Moism is said to be a popular philosophical school of the warring states, but its followers were particularly attacked. An early form of Buddhism was destroyed. From this time of destruction and empire establishment, only Confucianism, Legalism and Daoism emerged as the main religions and philosophies of the area. Confucianism, introduced in the Han era, had become somewhat mixed up with legalism. Scholars taught that a strong emperor was necessary. Mencius' philosophy later became the standard Confucianism of the rulers of the Han Empire.
Among the peasants and ordinary people, what has been called necromancy and activities of a medium for contact with the souls of the dead people was a dominant religious belief. People led by a shaman performed rituals and ceremonies at altars and shrines. People wanted to make sure that dead souls passed into the other world and they wanted to receive blessings from them too. Divination was also very popular.
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