259BC: Ying Zheng (Shi) is born. Father of Yiren, Ying’s childhood is miserable as he contains no chance of succeeding to the throne.
A wealthy merchant named Lu Buwei, then changed both Ying and his father’s life forever. By granting them wealthy connections and assisting them monetary wise, Yiren was able to seize the throne that previously belonged to Qin. Lu Buwei also reaped the benefits by becoming prime minister.
The alternative story states the Ying’s father was King Zhuang Xiang of Qin, and whilst still a prince, he was sent as a hostage to the state of Zhao. Whilst there, he had a relationship with a concubine, supplied to him by Lu Buwei. Soon the concubine became pregnant, although it was not clear whether the child was Xiang’s or not. However, Prince Xiang later became king, and his son, Ying Zheng, succeeded after him.
246BC: Ying Zheng succeeded his father at 13 years old.
Zheng ordered that constructors begin work on his mausoleum, which was to be built at the foot of Li Mountain in Xian. It is suspected that 700, 000 men worked on the project for 40 years.
When he was 21, Ying overthrew Lu Buwei and gained full power as an emperor. Chancellor Li Si’s ( 246BC - 208BC) influence prompted Zheng to adopt the notion of ruling the country by law, and feudalism was introduced. Qin became the strongest state in China, however Li Si said that Zheng would never conquer all of China if the remaining states united against him.
221BC: Ying Zheng defeats China’s 6 warring states and establishes the first monarchy under a united China.
Zheng renamed himself in order to suit his new powerful position, thus he called himself Shi Huang Di. ‘Shi’ meaning ‘beginning’, whilst Huang and Di were the most respected leaders in Ancient China. Due to the fact he was the first emperor of China and Qin, the name Qin is often placed before his name in order to make him Qin Shi Huangdi.
210BC: Emperor Huangdi dies, leaving the throne to his son, Qin Er Shi. Huangdi although was on the throne for 36 years, he only ruled as China’s First Emperor for 11 years.
Positive outcomes through his rule
United China’s 7 competing states into an empire with 36 provinces, each governed by central appointees
With the unification of China, Shi Huangdi united all the chinese characters so all the writings became the same. He did the following with weights and measures and the currency. This benefitted China’s economic growth and cultural trade. These changes have also lasted into modern day china
Implied the first legal system in Chinese history
Ordered the building and restoring of the Great Wall
Improved transport in China by commanding a proper road system be built. This coupled with axels widths being set at the same gauge throughout the empire, ensured that traffic flow became far more efficient.
Negative outcomes through his rule
Sever punishment was not only inflicted onto the perpetrator, but his family, friends and neighbors also
Ordered 460 priests and shamans be buried alive under the accusation they were squandering his wealth by claiming they were looking for medicine that grants eternal life
Suppressed his people from learning about politics, so they could not overthrow him and his army
Demanded the construction of his monolithic mausoleum
Definition of Legalism: The application of widely publicized law, accountability and “showing nothing”. Dependance on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.
Definition of Fuedalsim:
Quotes about Shi