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The Qin Empire, 350 - 206 BC



The Qin originated as one of the many competing political entities in China during the so-called Warring States Period (475221 BC), which saw the nominal vassals of the ruling Zhou dynasty revoke their allegiance and openly wage war upon each other. From their heartlands on the Wei river, the Qin conquered territories in the western periphery of the disintegrating Zhou Empire during the first half of the third century BC. They subsequently destroyed their remaining six rivals  Zhao, Yan, Wei, Qi, Han and Chu  and in 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang became emperor and established the Qin dynasty as the first to rule a united Chinese realm. Qin success depended in part on the adoption of Legalism as its guiding principle sometime during the fourth century BC. It imposed a high degree of civil obedience and military discipline upon Qin subjects, which was enforced by a brutal penal code. Thus the Qin were able to create a highly centralised administration and mustered the largest work force and army in China, which was put to use in vast construction works (cf. the Great Wall of China) and military campaigns. However, despite its military might, the death of emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210 BC sparked a nationwide rebellion against the harshness of Qin rule and the dynasty effectively ceased to exist in 206 BC

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DinosaurQueen1774's avatar
Hey Zhou what do ya know!