Name Professor Class Date The Rise and fall of Qin Dynasty Background Before China’s unification as a state, it went through first a period of conflict where states were engaged in war in its bid to emerge as the dominant state. Among these warring states, Qin dynasty emerged as the victor by defeating and conquering other states under the strong leadership of Qin Shi Huang…
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In 225, the King of Wei surrendered where all of his territories were annexed to Qin dynasty. It was followed by the defeat of the Kingdom of Chu in 223 BC where its King was eventually killed and its General committed suicide. A year later, the Yan territory was taken until finally in 221, the last King of other warring states was captured with the seizure of the King of Qi (Portal 32-35). For the first time, ancient China was unified under a single leadership with Qin Shi Huang at the helm declaring himself as the first emperor of China (Portal 32-35). Qin dynasty’s rose to prominence as the first dynasty to unify China is a huge achievement considering that it started from a humble beginning. Qin dynasty begun when the last heir of the Zhou dynasty gave land to one of its Dukes, Duke Zhuang which enabled the Qins to start as one of ancient China’s vassal lords. Later, the small land granted by the Zhou dynasty expanded when Duke Zhuang’s son embarked on expansionary quest that eventually established the State of Qin (Yu 15). The Qin dynasty’s reign however was short lived lasting only for 15 years from 221 until 207 BC. Despite this short period of Qin dynasty’s existence, it left a lasting legacy in China that even its name as a country was derived from this dynasty. Unification of China In 221 AD, the Qin dynasty through the leadership of Qin Shi Huang finally emerged as the victor during the period of warring states through its superior and fierce military. Immediately after its victory Qin Shi Huang installed himself as the first emperor of China which unified China under one ruler for the first time. Qin Shi Huang first directive as the emperor of China was to initiate reforms such as the improvement of the administration of its bureaucracy with the establishment of shi bureaucracy where educated bureaucrats were tasked to administer the various functions of the regime. The nature of military also changed when the vassal warriors under the former warring monarchs eventually faded in significance when they were replaced by the conscription of peasants who were previously imprisoned. Implementation of Reforms The reforms initiated by the Qin dynasty yielded to the increase of collection of funds and this afforded the regime to improve its military capability by building the size of the army and further improve the technology of its weapons. This increased military capability provided the Qin dynasty the advantage to defeat other kingdoms during the period of warring states and eventually unified it to make it the China that we know today. The Legalist Sanction One of the systems employed by the Qin dynasty that made it an effective state and perhaps even became precursor of the present idea of nation state is the use of legalist sanction. Legalist sanction was the basis of the despotic regime of Qin dynasty. This legalist thought was founded by Shang Yang who espoused that people should be subservient to the state but the state must also be ruled by law without exemption that even its rulers are subjected to it (Yu 80). Following this absolutist principle, the Qin dynasty believed that it is the foremost duty of any leader to increase the power and wealth of the state. Legalist sanction also imposes that for a state to be orderly it has to employ strict laws to create social stability. The legalist sanction w
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