Qin Dynasty Founded in China (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Qin Dynasty, although brutal and short, unified and centralized China politically and culturally and separated the ancient feudal history from the imperial history of China.
Summary of Event
The Qin (Ch’in), who ruled a poor frontier province during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (Eastern Chou; 770-256 b.c.e.), saw themselves as a hardy warrior people. In the decade before the establishment of the empire in 221 b.c.e., the Qins conquered province after province and defeated all other claimants to succeed the discredited Zhou as rulers of China. Having conquered all the warring states and united southern and northern China for the first time, King Zheng (Cheng) of the Qin proclaimed himself to be Qin Shi Huangdi (first emperor of Qin) and established the Qin Dynasty (221-206 b.c.e.).
The Qin were strongly influenced by the philosophy of Legalism. Like Confucianism, Legalism offered practical solutions to the problems of government. Unlike Confucianism, the solutions offered were rooted in ruthless practicality and pragmatism rather than the virtues of gentlemanly behavior. Legalism arose as a reaction to the disorder of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, when weak kings allowed invasion, insurrection, and civil war to split China into several warring states. Legalists blamed the weakness of the Zhou kings for the disorder and proposed that the proper remedy to China’s ills was for rulers to hold...
(The entire section is 1590 words.)
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