How Did Qin Shi Huangdi Unify China? To What Extent Was His Rule A Brutal Tyranny?

1013 words - 4 pages

Qin Shi Huangdi or commonly known as just Qin Shi Huang, was the emperor of China from 221BC. Qin Shi Huang (then known as Ying Zheng) became the King of Qin at the age of 13 but did not assume control until he was 22. He was the one responsible for unifying china. Qin Shi Huang assumed autocratic control, introducing a new currency, and by creating a unified system of weights and measures, writing and currency. Qin Shi Huang was both a brutal tyrant and a great leader. He used violence to take control of china, killed scholars and burnt books to wipe out heresy and brutality was the basis of his greatest achievements. Today, Qin Shi Huang is still well known by his brutal tyrannous style of leadership rather then his many great achievements.Ying Zheng (Qin Shi Huang) became the King of Qin at a tender age of 13 following the death of his father, Chuang Xiang, but did not assume control until the year 238BC, when he was 22 years old. Before that, the state affairs and power fell into the hands of Lu Buwei, a high-ranking minister of state, and the empress dowager. When Ying Zheng took control, he immediately erased the power of both the Empress Dowager and that of Lu Buwei to suppress a rebellion.After the rebellion, Zheng set about reforming and strengthening his kingdom. He searched for outside advice and promoted a new elite of both civil and military officials (including mandarins such as Li Si and Wang Wan) and then carried out the improvements advocated by his father, developing the military and agriculture. Soon Qin became the strongest of the seven warring states and between 230 BC and 221BC, Zheng succeeded in defeating all his opponents. He found himself master of all the former warring states, and for the first time in history, China became a unified, multi-nationality empire under a central government.After unification, Zheng ordered his ministers to discuss possible titles for a supreme ruler of the country and a name for the empire. Zheng considered is accomplishments far greater then those of 'San Huang' and 'Wu Di', rulers in the ancient times, so he used the given names of these two predecessors to make the title 'Huang Di' meaning the word emperor. Zheng then divided the country into 36 prefectures, broken down further into counties, townships, rings and lis. They were put under control of military and administrative officials who were all directly appointed or removed by the emperor himself. This meant that the emperor had both the military and administrative powers of China concentrated in his hands.Qin Shi Huang was also responsible for the 'three unifications' and the construction of a road system. The unifications were of weights and measures, of the Chinese written language, which made it easier for the different parts of the country to communicate, and of currency, which involved the abolition of the currencies of the former six kingdoms in exchange for Qin coins. Qin Shi...

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