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An introduction to the life of qin shihuangdi

From an early age, he was King of the state of Qin. During his lifetime, he conquered all the seven warring and diverging states — becoming the first person to unify China. He took the title Emperor of the Qin dynasty and shaped the history of modern China. Qin Shi Huang used his power and influence to standardise Chinese customs, teachings, and political practices.

He was ruthless in dealing with opposition, burning books and executing scholars who opposed his centralisation. Qin Shi Huang is credited with unifying fragmented walls in northern China to complete the Great Wall of China — providing a bulwark against Mongols to the north. Fixatedony his own immortality, during his lifetime he ordered the building of a city-sized mausoleum, guarded by a life-sized Terracotta army. Later records suggest he was the illegitimate son of his father and his concubine.

This illegitimacy may have been an attempt to diminish his reputation by later scholars. In 246 BC, his father died after a short reign, making Ying Zheng king at the age of 13.

Due to his age, Lu Buwei acted as the regent. The coup was unsuccessful and King Zheng had Lao and his extended family executed. After this attempted coup, Ying Zheng assumed full power as King. The major political issue of the time was the constant fighting between the different Chinese states.

Qin Shihuangdi – Life and legacy

But the Qin state was the most powerful, and gradually they succeeded in conquering neighbouring states, expanding their sphere of influence. There was much resistance from the other states, but Qin had the most advanced military and disciplined army. In desperation, the smaller state of Yan sent an assassin Jing Ke to kill Zheng by hiding a sword within a gift of a map. However, the assassination attempt failed.

An introduction to the life of qin shihuang the first emperor of china

A second assassination attempt was later carried out by a former friend of Jing Ke — a musician named Gao Jianli. The assassination attempt failed again, but it made King Zheng even more paranoid about attempts on his life. Between 230 and 222, King Zheng successfully oversaw the conquest of other Chinese states such as Hann and the northern country of Yan, Wei, and the largest state Chu in 223.

  1. Over a period of more than 30 years, around 700,000 labourers built him a palace for the afterlife. Emperor qin shih huang was the first emperor of china he unified china and built the great wall of china that is still intact today emperor qin.
  2. This helped to improve trade and travel. He was crucial to the formation of China as a unified state and was even responsible for giving China its English name.
  3. The assassination attempt failed again, but it made King Zheng even more paranoid about attempts on his life. When Zheng, at age 13, formally ascended the throne in 246 bce, Qin already was the most powerful state and was likely to unite the rest of China under its rule.

The last state to fall was Qi. Historians have stated that after the conquest, Emperor Huang ordered many of the people from conquered territories to be castrated and made into his slaves On unifying China, King Zheng pronounced himself Emperor of China, claiming a mandate from Heaven. This was passed on from Emperor to Emperor. He was worried about these states descending into factionalism and rebelling against his rule. He divided China into administrative provinces, reducing the importance of clans, and making civil appointments on the basis of merit rather than hereditary rights.

Shihuangdi

In economics, the currency and units of measurement were unified, and a series of transport links were built, such as roads and the impressive Lingqu canal. The Qin script was also standardised. The biggest public works scheme was strengthening the Great Wall of China — an immense defensive work to keep out Xiongnu tribes from the north.

Qin Shi Huang also sought to unify philosophical thought; he was distrustful of philosophical texts which he feared may undermine his current power. Many books were banned and burnt, with severe penalties for their ownership. It is said 400 scholars were buried alive for holding onto banned books.

Instead, a legalism was made the official ideology of the Qin dynasty. Qin Shi Huang is reported to have had 50 children, with many different concubines. There is no record of an Empress.

Towards the end of his reign, Qin Shi Huang became obsessed with finding the elixir of immortality.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang biography

He ordered many scholars and young men to seek out potions and secrets which would enable him to gain immortality. He even had secret tunnels built under his palace, because he believed travelling in tunnels enabled him to escape the sight of evil spirits. An estimated 16,000 men probably slaves from captured territories would have been needed to build the huge edifice and 6,000 life-sized Terracotta warriors. The Emperor died while visiting Eastern China. The cause of death is thought to be from ingesting Mercury pills, which were ironically likely to have been an attempt at giving him immortality.

Li Si was worried his death would lead to an uprising — taking advantage of his death and power vacuum.

  1. Between 230 and 222, King Zheng successfully oversaw the conquest of other Chinese states such as Hann and the northern country of Yan, Wei, and the largest state Chu in 223. After the failure of such an expedition to the islands in the Eastern Sea—possibly Japan—in 219, the emperor repeatedly summoned magicians to his court.
  2. The achievements and faults of qin shihuang, the first emperor of china updated to extend his life through about the achievements and faults of qin shi.
  3. With everyone using the same money and measurements, the economy ran much smoother.
  4. An army of clay warriors guards the tomb of china's first emperor, qin shi huang the life-size terracotta solider they dug out of the ground turned out to be.
  5. However, the assassination attempt failed.

After his death his second son Qin Er Shi assumed command, but the Empire quickly fragmented during great civil unrest. We have surpassed Qin Shi Huang a hundredfold. When you berate us for imitating his despotism, we are happy to agree! Your mistake was that you did not say so enough.

  • He was very ambitious;
  • Qin Shi Huang is credited with unifying fragmented walls in northern China to complete the Great Wall of China — providing a bulwark against Mongols to the north;
  • Then he quickly conquered the Zhao and the Wei;
  • Excavation of this enormous complex of some 20 square miles [50 square km]—now known as the Qin tomb —began in 1974, and the complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987;
  • Qin Shi Huang also sought to unify philosophical thought; he was distrustful of philosophical texts which he feared may undermine his current power;
  • He had a vast network of roads and canals built throughout the country.

Last updated 1 March 2018. Famous leaders — A list of famous leaders who led their country.