中国第一位皇帝——秦始皇 Qinshihuang - The First Emperor in Chinese History
Qinshihuang - The First Emperor in Chinese History
It was not until 770 BC that the State of Qin came into existence as one of the vassal states in western China. Later, it emerged as one of the seven most powerful states in China, assisted by Shang Yang's reform. King Ying Zheng (259 - 210 BC) embarked on a campaign of expansion. In the space of only ten years, from 230 BC, Qin vanquished Han, Zhao, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi one after another, and united the whole of China in 221 BC.
Ying Zheng called himself "the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty"(Qinshihuang).
Qinshihuang enacted a sweeping series of reforms to consolidate his rule. The government was presided over by a prime minister. The Yushidafu supervised the bureaucracy, and the Taiwei was commander-in-chief of the army. They were all appointed and removed by the emperor himself. The whole country was divided into 36 prefectures (later increased to more than 40), which were in turn divided into counties. The magistrates of the prefectures and counties were also directly appointed and removed by the emperor.
In the Warring States Period, linear measures differed from state to state. Qinshihuang set fixed standards for length, volume and weight, which propelled the development of the economy. The Qin Dynasty also issued a uniform currency. Round coins with a square hole in the middle were used all over China, and set the pattern for the coins of later dynasties.
Of great significance for the development of communication and culture was the standardization of Chinese characters. The first reform of the characters resulted in the seal script (zhuan). Then, the official script (lishu), a simplified version of the seal script, was devised. Today's regular script (kaishu) developed from the official script. In 213 BC, Qinshihuang's prime minister, Li Si, had all books, except for those on medicine and agriculture, burned, in order to strengthen the regime's ideological control of the people. To further guard against dissent, the emperor had 460 Confucian scholars buried alive.
To curb the incessant invasions of the Hun (Xiongnu) nomads in the north, the Qin Dynasty set about building the Great Wall by linking up already existing defensive walls that had been built by various states. In the south, Qinshihuang subdued the Yue people.
Qinshihuang established the first united multi-ethnic feudal country on Chinese soil. Qin's territory, embracing over 20 million people, reached the Pacific in the east, Longxi (west of the Longshan Mountains) in the west, the Great Wall in the north and the South China Sea in the south. However, to achieve this, Qinshihuang had to resort to tyrannical methods.