Qin Shi Huang unified China

The First Emperor of a united China, Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC), ruled from 259 BC to 210 BC.

Qin Shi Huang was the first Emperor of China and was renowned for establishing the core imperial administration of ancient China. Born Ying Zheng, he is credited with subduing the Warring States and declaring himself Emperor of China.

Before becoming Emperor, he ruled the Qin state, one of the most powerful powers during the time of the Seven Warring States in ancient China. Although Emperor Qin’s Qin dynasty was brief, it significantly impacted all of ancient China. During the Qin Dynasty, for instance, the Great Wall of China was constructed to protect the northern boundaries.

History of Qin Shi Huang :

In 259 B.C., Emperor Qin was born Zhao Zheng to Qin State King Zhuangxiang and Queen Dowager Zhao. His father and the preceding rulers of Qin State had waged a lengthy and successful struggle against the Shang and Zhou dynasties, establishing Qin State as a formidable power.

His mother, Queen Dowager Zhao (previously known as Zhao Ji), was a mistress of the wealthy merchant Lu Buwei. After receiving approval from Lu, she proceeded with her marriage to Prince Yiren (King Zhuangxiang of Qin).

At age 13, they inherited the throne of Qin.

After three years of rule, the first emperor of China, King Zhuangxiang of Qin, passed away in his early teens. Due to his age, Lu Buwei governed the State of Qin for around nine years.

He subjugated all the warring states to his power.

Emperor Qin was born during a period when his empire, the Qin State, was one of the Seven Warring States engaged in an endless struggle for dominion.

Upon inheriting the throne of the Qin State in 247 BCE, Ying Zheng was granted the title King Zheng of Qin or King of Qin. In the subsequent 26 years, he launched a tremendous drive to unite the Warring States (Zhao, Wei, Han, Chu, Qi, and Yan) under his dominion.

In 230 BCE, the state of Hán was the first of the six warring states to fall to the might of Qin. When King Zheng brought the State of Han under his dominion in 229 BCE, many of its citizens were likely immensely relieved since they had endured a string of disastrous harvests and natural calamities. Three years later, in 226 BCE, the Qin state absorbed the northern kingdom of Yan. Wei and Chu capitulated in 225 and 223 BCE, and the State of Qi was the last to fall in 221 BCE.

At 38, he has crowned the first emperor of a united China.

When he was anointed Emperor of China, King Zheng was in his late 30s. He was the first ancient Chinese Emperor to unite all former Zhou dynasty territories under a single, unified government. In 210 BC, his rule gave rise to the Qin Dynasty, which lasted barely longer than a decade.

As Emperor, he endeavored to standardize procedures among the conquered territories. Thus, for instance, the Emperor standardized measures to facilitate commerce between states.

The Imperial Wall

The Great Wall, the Sichuan Dujiangyan Irrigation System (built circa 255 BCE by the Qin state), and the Lingqu Canal in the south are ancient China’s three most significant engineering achievements. Two of them were initiated by Emperor Qin.

Emperor Qin constructed the Lingqu Canal in the south to ease traffic between the north and south. Additionally, this enabled him to expand his kingdom towards the southwest.

The Great Wall, one of China’s most cherished treasures, was begun by Emperor Qin. He intended to employ a network of tiny fortifications to prevent northern and western nomads from invading China. The construction of the wall necessitated the employment of tens of thousands of laborers and the procurement of tonnes of local materials. According to some historians, hundreds of laborers perished during the construction.

Emperor Qin was also noted for removing fortifications that he thought separated the people inside his reign. The dismantling of these fortifications also hindered the reemergence of feudal rulers.

How did Emperor Qin die?

During his sixth journey to Eastern China, it is reported that the Emperor became very ill while spending time at Pingyuanjin. In Shaqiu prefecture, he died of sickness on September 10, 210 BC. He was with his most trusted advisor, Prime Minister Li Si, and his youngest son, Yin Huhai.

According to some ancient historians, the Emperor died of mercury poisoning. Long fascinated with living forever, Emperor Qin sought far and deep for the elixir of life. He probably ingested some type of poisonous concoction, including mercury. Others assert that the first Chinese monarch succumbed to stress.

Prime Minister Li Si kept the death of the Emperor a secret for many weeks until the Emperor’s caravan arrived at the capital city of Xianyang for fear that it might spark an insurrection against the Qin dynasty. Then, Li Si and Prince Huhai fabricated a letter from the Emperor to the Emperor’s eldest son, Prince Fusu, instructing him to commit suicide.

With Fusu out of the way, Prince Huhai became Emperor Qin Er Shi and assumed the throne (Second Emperor of Qin).

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