Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Essay by puma9390High School, 10th gradeA, March 2008

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Emperor Qin Shi Huang, born as Ying Zheng was born in 259 BC. His father was the King of the Qin State. Ever since he was young, Ying Zheng was very aggressive. At twelve, he rose to the throne. When he was twenty two, he took complete control of his father’s state. In 221 BC, after Ying took control, he united the states of China and built China’s first empire, which is also, knows as the Qin Dynasty. After being the first emperor to accomplish this, Ying Zheng changed his name to Qin Shi Huang.

Qin Shi started his reforms by destroying the vassal system. Also, he established prefectures and counties, ruled by the emperor. He believed that in order to have a good economy, agriculture and trade was crucial. Raises in taxes and the blending of Chinese characters in writing, were some of the other changes that Qin Shi did.

In order to keep barbarians from attacking China, he ordered laborers to link together the separate walls build by previous states. The building of the wall cost a lot of laborers their lives due to diseases and exhaustion, which some citizens hated Qin Shi for.

To avoid the anarchy of the Warring State Period, Qin Shi Huang and his Prime Minister Li Si completely ended feudalism. They instead divided the empire into thirty six commanderies. Also civilian and military powers were separated to make sure that too much power did not fall in the hands of a single leader. The civilian leaders were also reassigned to a different commandery every couple of years to prevent him from building a base of power. Qin Shi also developed a huge network of roads and canals connecting the provinces to speed up trade between them and to speed up military...