Shi Huang Di: Essay

by Brendan on December 13, 2012

Qin Shi Huang was born in 259 BC and died in 210 BC. Before becoming the emperor of China, he was the King of the Chinese State of Qin, from 246 BC to 221 BC. He took the throne at the age of thirteen, succeeding his father’s regality. Qin Shi Huang was very aggressive and ambitious at an early age. Qin Shi Huang’s actual name was Ying Zheng but when he unified China, he proclaimed himself Qin Shi Huang and almost all around the world, his actual name wasn’t commonly remembered but most people remember the name Qin Shi Huang or some might say Shi Huang Di. He unified China, becoming the first emperor of China. He ruled China for 11 years until he died in 210 BC at the age of 49.

Qin Shi Huang was very talented and had a bold vision. He ended the rivalry among the independent principalities during the Warring States Period, unifying China. Qin Shi Huang achieved many of his goals and in fact, they are so renowned and known all around the world including the west! However, to achieve these many achievements, sacrificed numerous lives of the people of China. He had those who opposed him or spoke against him executed and had many imprisoned. Qin Shi Huang was known for his harshness and brutality but he indeed has a profound influence on Chinese history and culture.

One of his goals was to built the Great Wall of China. Its purpose was to prevent invasion from the north side of China and nomadic or wandering tribes to pass through. The Great Wall of China is said to be one of the eight wonder of the world but in order to built such thing, humans were sacrifice. Qin Shi Huang needed the wall built quickly so he had all the slaves and prisoners to built it. Ranging from one million to two million people were sent to built. However, only 30 percent of that number survived. Most of the Great Wall of China of what you see today is mostly built by the Ming Dynasty.

His greatest achievement, was unifying China. The unification includes war among dynasties. Many died. He lead the Chinese State of Qin to conquer Han, Zhao, Yan, Wei, Chu and Qi. He called himself “Qin Shi Huang” and Qin Dynasty was created.

After the unification, he believed that in the spirited world, his dead enemies and his dead soldiers would seek revenge on him. He decided to built the Terra-cotta Army where they would protect him in the spirited world. Qin Shi Huang had many people building this army. It took over 720 000 people to take 37 years to build this. The army was close to his mausoleum. It took countless lives to build another wonder of the world.

Qin Shi Huang had done a lot of positive things that benefited China but he had been a harsh ruler towards China too. He wasted a lot of manpower and resources.

He suppressed many scholars who were no of his liking. Consequently, many scholars involved were killed in Xian Yan and Qin Shi Huang took drastic measures to quell rebellions.

He tried to wipe out his heresy by burning classic literature except books on medicine, divination and agriculture. He ordered many scholars to be buried alive because they secretly kept books that weren’t allowed to be viewed. He even ordered 460 Confucianists, followers of Confucius, to be buried alive for daring to disagree with him and 700 more stoned to death by his soldiers.

He confiscated weapons and implemented a harsh legal system to punish offenses. All people under Qin Shi Huang were equal before the law. People who breaks them would be punished severely. The state wasn’t ran by Qin Shi Huang but by the system he created. If the law is enforced well, the weak rulers would be strong. Qin Shi Huang made an order that secrets or special tactics are to be told to him at once to make sure no one would dethroned him. Those who are the rulers are the most powerful and most superior among all but the ruler himself isn’t.

Qin Shi Huang longed for longevity, so he sent his ministers to go on a quest seeking an elixir of immortality. However, death claimed him before he could find success on that matter. While the quest continued, one of his subjects says that eating mercury wouldn’t give Qin Shi Huang immortality but extends his life further. Instead of extending his life, mercury poisoned his mind, body and shortened his life instead. He departed from the world in 210 BC.

Qin Shi Huang caused both incredible cultural and intellectual growth, and much destruction within China. Whether he should be remembered more for his creations or his tyranny is a matter of dispute, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, was one of the most important rulers in Chinese history.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ken May 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Very well written piece of essay, loved it, and was a great source of information. Out of ten, I would say about nine.

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