Qin Dynasty: Unification of China

The Qin Dynasty was the first to centralize power in ancient China, laying the foundation for integrating Chinese culture and establishing “秦” as a cultural symbol.

Qin Dynasty

Before the Qin Dynasty unified China, the country was in a time known as the Warring States Period (475 B.C – 221 B.C). The Warring States period was a long and difficult period in Chinese history, characterized by division and conflict.

Qin’s military campaign began in 230 B.C with the war against the Han kingdom and concluded in 221 B.C with the defeat of the Qi Kingdom. The Qin conquered the six other major kingdoms, putting an end to the power struggles of regional leaders that had been ongoing since the Spring and Autumn Period(770 B.C). This marked the official establishment of the Qin Dynasty. 

Qin Shi Huang 

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of China. He established the imperial system and the system of three lords and nine ministers. He also created a system of prefectures and counties, abolishing the enfeoffment. Furthermore, he formulated a comprehensive legal system to implement the rule of law, and standardized writing, currency, weights and measures. 

Qin Shi Huang aligned with the historical trend, finally achieving the transition of Chinese society from fragmentation to unity. Also, the Qin Dynasty established the political system that has endured for over 2000 years in Chinese society. 

Rapid Decline

However, The Qin Dynasty fell fast because of harsh rule, unhappy people, and strong opposition from the conquered states. The heavy taxes, forced labor, and quick decline led to its collapse after only 14 years.  

Chinese Unification

Since the Qin Dynasty, unification has been the central idea permeating traditional Chinese politics and ideology. It is also a significant phenomenon in Chinese political civilization and a deep-seated aspiration in the hearts of the Chinese people.

Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army, located east of Xi’an, China, is a huge burial site connected to Qin Shi Huang’s tomb. It was built around 246 BC and took 39 years to complete. The army consists of over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses. Its discovery revealed the grandeur and meticulous organization of the Qin dynasty’s military, in the same time showcasing the exquisite skill and remarkable achievements of ancient Chinese sculpture art.

The Great Wall

Qin Shi Huang also ordered the construction of the Great Wall, a marvel of ancient Chinese labor and one of the wonders of world architecture. The Great Wall is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and, together with the Terracotta Army, has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, representing an iconic symbol of China.

The Dujiangyan 

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a remarkable ancient water conservancy project dating back to the Qin Dynasty. Situated in the Sichuan Basin, it is an engineering marvel that utilized hydrological principles to flatten the terrain, representing a masterpiece of ancient Chinese hydraulic engineering that continues to be operational to this day.  

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