Shi Huangdi’s Policies and Achievements 4th draft 1/30/09 Kai W Core 3/4 Mission Hill Middle School, Rm, 3
The policies and achievements of Shi Huangdi in unifying Northern China were very impressive. He standardized the Chinese culture in many ways. He had many great achievements in his lifetime. The Qin Dynasty began in 221BCE and lasted until 206 BCE when he tried to end opposition in his empire. His death was the downfall to everything for which he fought.
To keep power in his empire, Shi Huangdi had to standardize China. “First, he ended the feudal state system. He then reorganized China into states and countries ruled under a central controlling government.” (Jeffery 101, WikiAnswers.com) That helped maintain power in his empire. He also changed the laws to be more specific and direct. Many of the Emperor’s laws were aimed at controlling government officials while other laws governed every day life. His laws were detailed. Second, “To make it easier to trade, the emperor standardized money, weights, and measures.” (Frey 217) He only allowed coins with holes made out of gold or bronze to be used. Many people used other items such as shells and pearls as money until then. The emperor had measuring cups and weights made so each showed the same amount no matter who used it. Third, the emperor also standardized the writing system. “He got rid of many of the characters that were in use across China.” (Frey 217) He later approved 9,000 characters. These changes ordered by The Emperor of Qin made him control China more affectively
Shi Huangdi began his life known as Ying Zheng. After the unification of China he proclaimed himself as Shi Huangdi, and some people called him the Emperor of Qin. Shi Huangdi did many great things. “To protect his empire from invaders, the Emperor of Qin ordered a long wall to be built along China’s northern border.”(Frey 218) This was one of the greatest and most well known accomplishments. Unfortunately, he had many people work against their will in bad conditions to build it. This made it harder to build and much more risky. Whenever someone died working on the Great Wall, it was said that his or her body was buried in the wall.
Another interesting thing that he accomplished, was building a series of palaces across China so he could get some sleep without the constant threat of someone trying to assassinate him. Building multiple palaces helped him accomplish getting sleep because, he could be at any which one of his palaces at any time. That made it harder for hit men to track him down. “He also unified China economically and established prefectures and provinces with further townships.” (www.warriortours.com/) Then they were put under control of his military and administrative officials who were his direct appointees. He did this so he could expand his empire through other people. This tactic was very effective.
"The changes introduced by the Emperor of Qin to unify China and protect China aroused a great deal of opposition." (Frey 219) Confucian scholars really did not like Shi Huangdi or his decisions. They believed in proper behavior and good examples. As an act to stop scholars from spreading their knowledge to other people, Shi Huangdi had the scholars give up their books to be burnt. He killed many scholars so they stopped plotting also if they didn’t give up their books. The people of China were so shocked by this brutal action, some scholars decided to give up their lives. The Emperor’s son was unfortunately found plotting so he was banished to go work on the Great Wall. The Emperor executed about 460 scholars to try to stop them plotting against him. The conflict hit the highest point at around 213 B.C.E when a scholar warned the Emperor that if he didn’t follow the ways of the past, his empire wouldn’t last much longer. The scholar was right!
The Emperor of Qin said his empire would last for 10,000 years, but it fell apart shortly after his death. He died in 210 B.C.E. (only after ten years of ruling). No one knows for sure how he died, but he did die. He was desperately looking for an immortality elixir but his age coght up with him before his magicians could find the potion. “He died insane and alone” (http://www.utexas.edu/). A civil war followed until 206 B.C.E. Liu Bang, a peasant leader, established the Han Dynasty, which turned out to become a very successful one too. The emperor built one of the most elaborate tombs to ever be constructed by a ruler of China. In his tomb, he had a whole army buried with him! When archeologists discovered it, they were flabbergasted.
Shi Huangdi’s policies and achievements were plentiful. He standardized and unified the Chinese culture for better or for worse. He tried but failed to end opposition in his empire. This led to his death and the downfall of his empire. Shi Huangdi was an interesting and amazing ruler of China.
Works Cited Frey, Wendy. History Alive. Alavosus, Laura, Editor. Palo Alto, CA, 2004, Teacher's Curriculum Institute. Jeffery 101, 2008, What Were the Three Steps Shi Huangdi Took to Unify China. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_three_steps_Shi_Huangdi_took_to_unify_China.htm&action=edit&wpNewq=1&go=1 The Qin Dynastyhttp://library.thinkquest.org/12255/library/dynasty/qin.html Emperor Qin Shi Huang—First Emperor of China http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shaanxi/xian/terra_cotta_army/qin_shihuang_1.htm Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) http://www.warriortours.com/intro/history/qin/ The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huangdi http://www.utexas.edu/courses/wilson/ant304/biography/arybios98/smithbio.html
Author’s Page Hi. My name is Kai. I live in Santa Cruz, CA and I spend most of my time at soccer fields and skate parks. I’m 11 years old and in 6th grade. My hobbies are playing soccer competitively and with my friends, skateboarding, and snowboarding. I have a brother, a mom, a dad, and some fish. If I could go anywhere in the world I would like to go to Manchester, England so I could go see my favorite soccer team, Manchester United, play at their home field. My favorite soccer player is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is on Manchester United and an incredible player at that. If my career as a professional soccer player doesn’t involve Manchester United, I would like to play for the Houston Dynamo. I am really interested in engineering and hope to one day to create the most fuel-efficient cars of the future. I would like to go to Cal Poly for an education in engineering. I am interested in engineering because it would be fun to make something that helps people and you can call it your own. My favorite skateboarder is Rodney Mullan. He is extremely good at what he does and seems like a nice guy. He skates for Almost (a skate company) and competes in competitions. I hope to be as good as him one day. I have a great life! I enjoy many things. I have a loving family and that’s what matters.