Professor Name Date Emperor Qin Shi Huang As one of the long-standing countries in our civilization, China certainly has a storied history. The Chinese people are extremely proud of their traditional heritage, and they have a right to be…
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when the country set course to become unified, by about 221 B.C., during which time he provided leadership and direction to the country. Emperor Qin Shi Huang was the First Emperor of this new and Unified China, and his reign, first as king and then as Emperor, stretched from 246 to 210 B.C. To be fair, it should be noted the Emperor is recorded to be quite a tyrannical figure in Chinese history. This was likely necessitated by the fact, however, that he had to struggle to keep the country unified during this initial stage of China being governed by an Emperor, particularly during the first part of his reign. It was a paradox of sorts, as this 35 year rule of power by the Emperor saw both great advances in cultural and intellectual pursuits, yet also resulted in great amounts of destruction throughout the land (Donn & Donn 2003). Perhaps owing to this reason, there are different schools of thought when considering the perceived greatness of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Yet, history cannot erase the fact that the first emperor of a unified China must be considered when broaching any discussion about what forms the foundation of the country that we know today. The basis for modern day China can certain be traced back way before the time of Christ, with the line of emperors that sough to advance the region into the most powerful and greatest country on earth. At the time that the Emperor came into power, China had really been ravaged by division. As such, the infrastructure of the country was in tatters, and there was little direction about how the country would experience any type of progress (Wood 2008). The people really did need a strong leader if they were going to advance as a civilization, so it was almost by necessity that Emperor Qin Shi Huang ruled with an iron fist so to speak. This dominate and charismatic leader, however, was able to accomplish a great deal during the 35 years he held onto the position of emperor. Some of the many accomplishments entailed the numerous construction projects completed, adding greatly to the vitality of the region (Feuchtwang 2011). In addition, history shows us that China began to develop its own distinct culture and tradition during this time, as well as becoming known for its intellectual pursuits that are still marveled at today. In the end, however, there was also great destruction throughout the country as there were many who did not seek a unified China of this fashion, but the emperor was able to hang on. To understand how he did this, it would help to go back to the beginning and work our way forward. There is not tremendously reliable evidence about the birth and family lineage of Qin Shi Huang. It is widely believed that he was born as an illegitimate chid, and we are not entirely certain of his birth father of record (Wilkinson 2000). Just as today, illegitimate children in China are frowned upon a bit in the social hierarchy, so this likely contributed to some of the negative criticism aimed at the First Emperor. History today does shed a bit different of a light on the record of his birth, but the evidence is still not conclusive. The reality is, however, that we know Qin Shi Huang become unified China’s first Emperor at the early age of 13. Even though such young rulers are not unheard of in ancient civilization, this emperor actually ruled by proxy for the first 8 years, as Lu Buwei was the figure head and decision maker during that time. Buewi was the modern day equivalent of Prime Minister and, interestingly, is the person
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