Characteristics Of Qin Shi Huangdi
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Qin Shi Huang: The First Emperor of China
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This style of destroying old ideologies so the new ones cannot be criticized is something akin to early Communism, and I find the destruction of the texts irrational and inappropriate. One of the reasons he was so paranoid is because he was scared of the power, and on this level, I can finally connect to him on a human level. Responsibility took a heavy hit on him at an early age, and as he only had one parent to guide him, his mother, he did not have the same moral compass that other rulers might have had.
It is debated whether Emperor Qin was a warlord, or a prodigy in Chinese advancement. I personally believe he was a intelligent young man who cracked under the pressure of gaining power at such an early age, and, consumed by the pursuit of perfection and approval he had sought from his father that he would never get, he made such great strides, advancements were made, despite the consequences and costs. I do know one thing for certain, though. While Mao Zedong and Emperor Qin may be sometimes compared, the emperor did do one better.
He created the foundation for a society that would last for centuries to come, and created a basis of thought that would carry on for generations; with China as a unified, strong, progressive state. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content Posted on March 2, June 15, by zanedash. A portrait of the emperor done when he was in middle age.
A statue of the emperor near his tomb. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. As part of the plot, the lute was fastened with a heavy piece of lead. He raised the lute and struck at the king. He missed, and his assassination attempt failed. Gao Jianli was later executed. In BC, King Zheng unleashed the final campaigns of the Warring States period , setting out to conquer the remaining independent kingdoms, one by one.
In BC, the last remnants of Yan and the royal family were captured in Liaodong in the northeast. The only independent country left was now state of Qi , in the far east, what is now the Shandong peninsula. Terrified, the young king of Qi sent , people to defend his western borders. In BC, the Qin armies invaded from the north, captured the king, and annexed Qi. Some of the strategies Qin used to unify China were to standardize the trade and communication, currency and language. For the first time, all Chinese lands were unified under one powerful ruler. The words, "Having received the Mandate from Heaven, may the emperor lead a long and prosperous life.
The Seal was later passed from emperor to emperor for generations to come. In the South, military expansion in the form of campaigns against the Yue tribes continued during his reign, with various regions being annexed to what is now Guangdong province and part of today's Vietnam. In an attempt to avoid a recurrence of the political chaos of the Warring States period , Qin Shi Huang and his prime minister Li Si completely abolished feudalism.
Qin Shi Huang and Li Si unified China economically by standardizing the Chinese units of measurements such as weights and measures , the currency , and the length of the axles of carts to facilitate transport on the road system. Under Li Si, the seal script of the state of Qin was standardized through removal of variant forms within the Qin script itself. This newly standardized script was then made official throughout all the conquered regions, thus doing away with all the regional scripts to form one language, one communication system for all of China.
While the previous Warring States era was one of constant warfare, it was also considered the golden age of free thought. Beginning in BC, at the instigation of Li Si and to avoid scholars' comparisons of his reign with the past, Qin Shi Huang ordered most existing books to be burned with the exception of those on astrology, agriculture, medicine, divination, and the history of the State of Qin. According to the later Records of the Grand Historian , the following year Qin Shi Huang had some scholars buried alive for owning the forbidden books. In Han times, the Confucian scholars, who had served the Qin loyally, used that incident to distance themselves from the failed dynasty. Qin Shi Huang also followed the theory of the five elements , earth, wood, metal, fire and water.
It was also believed that the royal house of the previous dynasty Zhou had ruled by the power of fire, which was the colour red. The new Qin dynasty must be ruled by the next element on the list, which is water, represented by the colour black. Black became the colour for garments, flags, pennants. In BC, the state of Qin had defeated the state of Han. A Han aristocrat named Zhang Liang swore revenge on the Qin emperor. He sold all his valuables and in BC, he hired a strongman assassin and built him a heavy metal cone weighing jin roughly lb or 97 kg.
At a signal, the muscular assassin hurled the cone at the first carriage and shattered it. However, the emperor was actually in the second carriage, as he was travelling with two identical carriages for this very reason. Thus the attempt failed. The Qin fought nomadic tribes to the north and north-west. The Xiongnu tribes were not defeated and subdued, thus the campaign was tiring and unsuccessful, and to prevent the Xiongnu from encroaching on the northern frontier any longer, the emperor ordered the construction of an immense defensive wall.
It connected numerous state walls which had been built during the previous four centuries, a network of small walls linking river defences to impassable cliffs. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, Ying Zheng ordered the destruction of the sections of the walls that divided his empire among the former states. To position the empire against the Xiongnu people from the north, however, he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire's northern frontier.
Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. The human cost of the construction is unknown, but it has been estimated by some authors that hundreds of thousands,  if not up to a million, workers died building the Qin wall. Later in his life, Qin Shi Huang feared death and desperately sought the fabled elixir of life , which would supposedly allow him to live forever.
He was obsessed with acquiring immortality and fell prey to many who offered him supposed elixirs. In one case he sent Xu Fu , a Zhifu islander, with ships carrying hundreds of young men and women in search of the mystical Penglai mountain. Legends claim that they reached Japan and colonized it. Some of the executed scholars were those who had been unable to offer any evidence of their supernatural schemes. This may have been the ultimate means of testing their abilities: if any of them had magic powers, then they would surely come back to life when they were let out again.
No one would confess to the deed, so all the people living nearby were put to death. The stone was then pulverized. The cause of Qin Shi Huang's death is still largely unknown. Reportedly, he died from Chinese alchemical elixir poisoning due to ingesting mercury pills, made by his alchemists and court physicians, believing it to be an elixir of immortality. After the Emperor's death, Prime Minister Li Si , who accompanied him, became extremely worried that the news of his death could trigger a general uprising in the Empire. Li Si decided to hide the death of the Emperor, and return to Xianyang. The idea behind this was to prevent people from noticing the foul smell emanating from the wagon of the Emperor, where his body was starting to decompose severely as it was summertime.
Eventually, after about two months, Li Si and the imperial court reached Xianyang, where the news of the death of the emperor was announced. After his death, the eldest son Fusu would normally become the next emperor. Li Si and the chief eunuch Zhao Gao conspired to kill Fusu because Fusu's favorite general was Meng Tian , whom they disliked  and feared; Meng Tian's brother, a senior minister, had once punished Zhao Gao.
Qin Er Shi, however, was not as capable as his father. Revolts quickly erupted. His reign was a time of extreme civil unrest, and everything built by the First Emperor crumbled away within a short period. Qin Shi Huang had about 50 children about 30 sons and 15 daughters , but most of their names are unknown. He had numerous concubines but appeared to have never named an empress. The Chinese historian Sima Qian , writing a century after the First Emperor's death, wrote that it took , men to construct the emperor's mausoleum. British historian John Man points out that this figure is larger than the population of any city in the world at that time and he calculates that the foundations could have been built by 16, men in two years.
Han Purple was also used on some of the warriors. Also among the army are chariots and 40, real bronze weapons. One of the first projects which the young king accomplished while he was alive was the construction of his own tomb. Modern archaeologists have located the tomb, and have inserted probes deep into it. The probes revealed abnormally high quantities of mercury, some times the naturally occurring rate, suggesting that some parts of the legend are credible.
Traditional Chinese historiography almost always portrayed the First Emperor of the Chinese unified states as a brutal tyrant who had an obsessive fear of assassination. Ideological antipathy towards the Legalist State of Qin was established as early as BC, when Confucian philosopher Xunzi disparaged it. They eventually compiled a list of the Ten Crimes of Qin to highlight his tyrannical actions. Jia Yi's essay, admired as a masterpiece of rhetoric and reasoning, was copied into two great Han histories and has had a far-reaching influence on Chinese political thought as a classic illustration of Confucian theory.
Qin, from a tiny base, had become a great power, ruling the land and receiving homage from all quarters for a hundred odd years. Yet after they unified the land and secured themselves within the pass, a single common rustic could nevertheless challenge this empire Because the ruler lacked humaneness and rightness; because preserving power differs fundamentally from seizing power. In more modern times, historical assessment of the First Emperor different from traditional Chinese historiography began to emerge.
The reassessment was spurred on by the weakness of China in the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century. At that time some began to regard Confucian traditions as an impediment to China's entry into the modern world, opening the way for changing perspectives. At a time when foreign nations encroached upon Chinese territory, leading Kuomintang historian Xiao Yishan emphasized the role of Qin Shi Huang in repulsing the northern barbarians, particularly in the construction of the Great Wall. Ma compared him with the contemporary leader Chiang Kai-shek and saw many parallels in the careers and policies of the two men, both of whom he admired. Chiang's Northern Expedition of the late s, which directly preceded the new Nationalist government at Nanjing was compared to the unification brought about by Qin Shi Huang.
With the coming of the Communist Revolution and the establishment of a new, revolutionary regime in , another re-evaluation of the First Emperor emerged as a Marxist critique. This new interpretation of Qin Shi Huang was generally a combination of traditional and modern views, but essentially critical. This is exemplified in the Complete History of China , which was compiled in September as an official survey of Chinese history. The work described the First Emperor's major steps toward unification and standardisation as corresponding to the interests of the ruling group and the merchant class , not of the nation or the people, and the subsequent fall of his dynasty as a manifestation of the class struggle.
The perennial debate about the fall of the Qin Dynasty was also explained in Marxist terms, the peasant rebellions being a revolt against oppression—a revolt which undermined the dynasty, but which was bound to fail because of a compromise with " landlord class elements". Since , however, a radically different official view of Qin Shi Huang in accordance with Maoist thought has been given prominence throughout China. Hong Shidi's biography Qin Shi Huang initiated the re-evaluation. The work was published by the state press as a mass popular history, and it sold 1. In the new era, Qin Shi Huang was seen as a far-sighted ruler who destroyed the forces of division and established the first unified, centralized state in Chinese history by rejecting the past.
Personal attributes, such as his quest for immortality, so emphasized in traditional historiography, were scarcely mentioned. However, he was criticized for not being as thorough as he should have been, and as a result, after his death, hidden subversives under the leadership of the chief eunuch Zhao Gao were able to seize power and use it to restore the old feudal order. To round out this re-evaluation, Luo Siding put forward a new interpretation of the precipitous collapse of the Qin Dynasty in an article entitled "On the Class Struggle During the Period Between Qin and Han" in a issue of Red Flag , to replace the old explanation. The new theory claimed that the cause of the fall of Qin lay in the lack of thoroughness of Qin Shi Huang's " dictatorship over the reactionaries, even to the extent of permitting them to worm their way into organs of political authority and usurp important posts.
Mao Zedong was reviled for his persecution of intellectuals. On being compared to the First Emperor, Mao boasted:. He buried scholars alive; we have buried forty-six thousand scholars alive You [intellectuals] revile us for being Qin Shi Huangs. You are wrong. 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. Tom Ambrose characterises Qin Shi Huang as the founder of "the first police state in history".
Quotations related to Qin Shi Huang at Wikiquote. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Qin Shi Huang disambiguation. First emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Relevant articles. Founding figures. Main article: Jing Ke. Main article: Gao Jianli. Main article: Qin's wars of unification. Further information: History of the administrative divisions of China before Main articles: Legalism Chinese philosophy and Burning of books and burying of scholars. Main article: Zhang Liang Western Han. Main article: Family tree of Chinese monarchs early.
Main article: Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. See also: Terracotta Army. This section appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources , rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Macmillan Publishing, ISBN World History: Volume I: To , 5th ed. Thomson Higher Education Publishing, Dawson, Raymond Stanley. Brashier, K. Oxford University Press. ISBN , Indiana Univ. Press Bloomington , Accessed 25 December ISBN X. Chinese History: A Manual , pp. Harvard University Press Cambridge , Accessed 26 December The Great Wall , p.
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