Emperor Qin Shi Huang -- First Emperor of China
Statue of Qin Shi Huang
How did he come to the throne?
Qin Shi Huang, born as Ying Zheng in 259 BC, was the son of the king of the Qin State. At the age of thirteen, he succeeded his father's regality. Ying Zheng was very aggressive and ambitious at an early age. He assumed full power at 22 by ridding himself of his premier, Lu Buwei, who acted as regent while he was a minor. He wanted to unify and subjugate all the states like Han, Zhao, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi by the powerful political, economic and military strength of the Qin State. Ying Zheng realized his ambition and built the first feudal and centralized empire in Chinese history in 221 BC. This was what we called - the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC). Ying Zheng was the first emperor of a united China, so he proclaimed himself Qin Shi Huang.
"Qin Shi Huang"
When Ying Zheng unified China, he considered his achievement surpassing the legendary "San Huang (three emperors)" and "Wu Di (five sovereigns)". He created a new title for himself: "Huangdi" together with "Shi (means the first)", hence get the name "Qin Shi Huang" or "Qin Shi Huangdi", which means he was the first emperor of China. He hoped his descendants would follow in his steps to rule the country for eternity.
Achievements and Defects
Clay Figure Soldiers in Qinshihuang's Tomb
The symbol of the Chinese ancient civilization, the Great Wall bears witness to Qin Shi Huang's centralism. He ordered conscript laborers to link together the defensive works against marauding nomads already built by the former states. That was the forerunner of the modern Great Wall. Another world-famous achievement is the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian, which was discovered nearby the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Both are the wonders of China. But during their construction, countless conscripts lost their lives. It's really wasting manpower and resources.
Decline of the First Emperor
Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum
Two Sons of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
Fu Su Hu Hai
Mystery about Emperor Qin Shi Huang
What did Qin Shi Huang die from?
Why the Emperor Qin Shi Huang did not determine the empress?