Qin Dynasty

Having witnessed more than 2,000 years of slave society, the history of China welcomed the birth of the first consolidated, centralized, feudal empire. This dynasty was the Qin (in 221 B.C), whose significance would be recognized in the later ages.

In the States and Warring period (from 475 BC to 222 B.C), namely the end of the slave society, many small states battled with each other. Seven strong states survived, which were called the “Seven Powers”, namely, Qin, Qi, Chu, Wei, Yan, Han, and Zhao. Qin, situated in the northwestern region, carried out earlier reformations of agriculture and military affairs and flourished quickly. In the year of 247 B.C, Yinzheng was enthroned, who at the time was only 13 years old. Later, at the age of 22, Yinzheng was in control. He began to make efforts to swallow up the other six powers and consolidate China. He recruited talents, such as Zhengguo who was the spy from Zheng, whom Zhengguo Dyke was named after. This helped to turn the 40 thousand hectares of saline-alkali soil into fertile farmland. This would supply enough to influence consolidation. In less than 10 years, Yin annihilated the remaining six powers and succeeded to make out a new vast empire. As a result, the Qin Empire was established and Yin has been called the “The first Emperor”.

Yin, after consolidation, adopted many important measures, such as the Junxian system. According to this system, China was divided into 36 counties. Furthermore, the emperor himself would only appoint the officials of each county, as well as the central government. Henceforth, names and rules had been settled down.

Characters were standardized too. The difference between characters of the states had become a hindrance to the communication and exchange of culture. It was established that Xiaozuan, the type of Qin state before, should be the current character. From then on, the regular documents and writings in Chinese would make contributions to the inheritance and development of the Chinese culture.

Weights and measures were also standardized, which stimulated the soaring of economy and also reinforced the central regime. Autocracy had also penetrated into the circle of thought. In the year of 213 BC, Yin gave orders that all the history and Confucius classics should be burned except History of Qin was those who dared to disobey would eventually be killed. On the other hand, Yin gave orders that the different parts of the Great Wall of Qin, Zhao and Yan should be renovated and a new Great Wall reaching the desert to the west and seaside to the east be put into use, in case the Huns invaded. Furthermore, Qin had over 700,000 laborers construct Li Mountain Mausoleum, which is now listed as one of the greatest wonders of the world as well as Qin tomb and its figures.

Yin brought China into an extraordinarily new phase through consolidation of the regions of China and the establishment of a vast multiracial feudal empire led by the Han nationality.

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