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Introduction to the Qin Dynasty
Transcript of Introduction to the Qin Dynasty
Places to See
Introduction to the Qin Dynasty
Although the Qin Dynasty lasted only 15 years, it was a classical age, meaning it influenced later empires because of its
use of legalism
to rule, and use of
The Qin Dynasty only consisted of two emperors, the second being only a figurehead.
The first ruler of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huangdi, conquered the other 6 states of Ancient China, ended the Era of the Warring States, and unified China for the first time in history.
Legalism and censorship were both demonstrated during this dynasty.
The empire lasted from 221-206 BC
To unify this empire, Qin Shi Huangdi standardized measures and writing, and controlled what his subjects could or could not do by enforcing strict laws.
The Qin dynasty was known for its use of legalism; many people feared the emperors, which made them more powerful since they could control everyone in the community, and obeyed the rules to avoid severe punishments.
Government officials during this empire had the ability to restrain what people read.
The second emperor of the Qin Dynasty was Shi Huangdi's son.
The Qin Dynasty ended soon after Shi Huangdi died because the people started revolts since they couldn't stand the strict laws and punishments.
Sources (in Endnote form)
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Qin Dynasty (Time Travel Edition)
What to Avoid
Presented by: Sammie Chum, Debra Chan, Rain Liu, and Ricky Lee
The Great Wall of China
The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
The Ling Canal
The Great Wall of China is one of the most profound achievements from the Qin Dynasty that still attracts tourists today.
The Qin, Han, and Ming Dynasy contributed to the construction of the Great Wall, but Qin Shi Huangdi had initially started the connection of all the walls at around 221 B.C.
Qin Shi Huangdi had decided to combine the numerous amount of walls that stretched along the coasts of the warring states to form the Great Wall.
The Great Wall stretches along the northern coast of China for about 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles), about 25 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide.
Many commonners and soldiers had built the Great Wall, but there is no exact amount. It is estimated that around 500,000 commoners and 300,000 soldiers had built it.
Many people died from building the Great Wall, that there are bones buried in it.
Even though the Great Wall can be seen today, it has eroded and has been built over and over again. By traveling back to this time, one can witness the process of its construction and how the Great Wall had initially looked.
The Qin Dynasty was the first dynasty to impose mass censorship throughout the land. This meant that Shi Huangdi had controlled what information his people were able to obtain.
The Ling Canal is a canal that has beautiful scenery and great Chinese archeitecture.
The Ling Canal was a canal completed in 214 B.C., ordered by Qin Shi Huangdi to unify the northern and southern parts of China while connecting the two largest water sources in China.
The canal connects the Yangtze and Pearl River and the water flows out into the Xiang River (70 percent) and the Li River (30 percent).
The canal was used to transport food and resources to the army and irrigated the land around it, the canal was continously used for such purposes in the Han Dynasty as well.
The Ling Canal was built extremely well, since it had lasted for more than 2,000 years.
The canal is about 10 meters in length and 1.5 meters deep while stretching out for about 34 km.
The Ling Canal is located about 66 km northeast of Guilin City.
The Ling Canal can still be found in China today. The original canal provided a chance for people to take walks around it and boat rides along the canal to enjoy the scenery of nature and the Chinese civilization.
Although the Qin dynasty was successful and prosperous for several years, they were very focused on legalism and the use of force, thus there are certain things to be avoided when traveling to that time period.
Do not use other forms of Chinese writing or measurements that are used now, use the standard forms that were introduced by the emperor.
Respect government officials and obey all laws to avoid being harshly punished.
Do not mention anything related to Confucian writing and ideas since they oppose Legalism.
Do not suggest improvement on anything to government officials because the government believed in absolute rule against the people.
Observe all the laws, even the minor ones or the ones that sound ridiculous, because people were arrested for offenses that they did not even know existed.
The Qin Dynasty was the first dynasty to unify the small states into the Middle Kingdom by:
Imposing a central government in the capital.
Splitting land into areas with an appointed civil governor, a military commander, and an imperial inspector from the Middle Kingdom.
Certain archeitecture also marked the unification of the small states, such as the Ling Canal and the Great all of China.
Creating standardized measurements and writing, which improved communication.
The Qin Dynasty unified the currency by using a single standard coin that was simple in design, known as the Ban-Liang coin.
The Qin dynasty was the first dynasty to unify China as a whole.
Because of its simplicity, it did not have many variations; it was the standard currency of the Qin Dynasty.
During the time of the Qin Dynasty, the Chinese had believed that during the afterlife, people could bring whatever or whomever was buried with them. Therefore, Qin Shi Huangdi had buried everything he could've possibly needed with him in the afterlife. His burial was called The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.
The tomb was incredibly large, it was about the size of a city.
About 1,900 clay/terracotta soldiers were found and there's an estimate that there are about 4,200 more.
The terracotta soldiers were made of clay, each containing a unique and different face. They stand up to about 2 meters and weigh up to 300 kg.
Alongside of the terracotta warriors were some life-size clay horses as well.
Not all of the tomb had been unearthed yet since there is also a legend that inside of it flows "rivers of mercury", coincidentally the ingestion of mercury led to the death of Shi Huangdi.
It is estimated that the construction of the mausoleum lasted for 37 or 38 years.
The tomb is located on the southern parts of Lishan Mountain, which is shaped like a dragon. In terms of where the tomb is on the mountain, it is on the eye of the dragon.
Since many mysteries still lie within the burial of Shi Huangdi, the witness of what the terracotta soldiers had looked like back then and the creation of the site and the soldiers can only be seen by traveling back into that time.
This map shows the start of the expansion of the Qin Dynasty and its capitals.
This map shows the size of the Qin Dynasty compared to modern China, and the length of the Great Wall completedin the Qin dynasty.
He insisted on everyone calling him "The Emperor of China" and created strict laws for the whole society.
Legalism was the philosophy that Qin Shi Huangdi had used to conquer many of the warring states and rule.
Anyone who broke the laws had to endure harsh punishments such as helping to construct the Great Wall, which was tedious work.
He had the power to control what everyone did, and ordered noble families to move to his capital so he could have full control over them.
Shi Huangdi also forced his subjects to work on exhausting projects.
The Qin Dynasty was divided into 34 smaller regions and the emperor appointed officials to each region to make sure nobody disobeyed his laws.
Many of his people feared him but couldn't do anything about it unless they wanted a death sentence.
He banned the right to possess weapons and his punishments were so cruel that revolts broke out after he died, because of his harsh ruling.
One famous example was the vast burning of Confucian texts and burial of Confucian scholars. This act, conceived by Li Si, one of Qin Shi Huangdi’s closest ministers, was done to stop the criticisms directed at the Qin government and to get rid of any ideas that imposed their way of ruling.
Qin Shi Huangdi used this idea and even furthered his grip on the nation by burying the Confucian scholars, and forcing many of them to construct the Great Wall and do harsh labor. Many of them died because of the terrible working conditions.
Beginning of Qin Dynasty
Beginning of Era of Warring States
Zhou Dynasty breaks up into many small warring states
Qin Shi Huang Di conquers the other 6 states and unifies China