Qin Shi Huangdi's Rule: Absolutist Rules

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Throughout history, there have been many absolutist rulers who have made a dramatic impact over the territory that they governed. These rulers hold complete and supreme authority which in turn enables them to dramatically transform the political, social and economic aspects of life in their empire. After the period of warring states in imperial China, a new dynasty emerged, called the Qin Dynasty. Qin Shi Huangdi assumed the throne after it the crown was passed down to him from his father. He began a legalist and centralized form government and reconfigured Chinese history and society. Likewise, after a period of feudalism in Europe, a new monarch emerged in France named King Louis XIV. Similar to Qin Shi Huangdi, he gained power once his father,…show more content…
“Document #1” entitled, “Qin Dynasty” proves that Emperor Shi Huangdi attempted to centralize political power by discussing how he “transplanted [nobles] from their homes to the capital” (Doc 1). The reason why he did this was to monitor their actions and make sure they couldn’t potentially overthrow him. In “Document #4” entitled “Modern History”, it is also proven that King Louis XVI also strived to centralize political power by discussing how he “encouraged, and even commanded [nobles], to leave their castles in the countryside… and come live with [him] at Versailles. Similar to Shi Huangdi, the reason why he did this was to keep the nobles in order and maintain good relations with them. Both Emperor Shi Huangdi and King Louis XVI knew the potential power the nobles could gain. For example, in feudal Europe during the middle ages, nobles (lords) were given large plots of land from the King in exchange for military service. The relationship between the lords and the king was meant to be mutual, however, the nobles began to abuse the power they were given. The knights and the serfs who were bound to the lands of the nobles became more loyal to them than to their king. Emperor Shi Huangdi and King Louis XIV did not their power to be threatened which is why they kept nobles close to them and under their watch. King Darius of Persia is…show more content…
“Document #2” entitled “The Emperor with an ego big enough for all time” proves that Emperor Shi Huangdi had many reforms that focused on the betterment of society by discussing his “most significant reforms” such as a “standardize Chinese script [writing], weights, measures, and even the length of the cart axles”(Doc. 2). Additionally, Qin Shi Huangdi also created an extensive network of roads and canals that improved the trade and communication of troops between provinces (Doc 2). The reason why he did this was to improve everyday life for the citizens of the Qin dynasty. For example, the standardized axle length made travel much safer, easier and faster since everyone’s cart took up the same amount of space on the road. As well as creating standardized axle, Qin Shi Huangdi created a standardized currency that was used throughout the empire. A single currency benefited the dynasty by making trade and communications much easier. In “Document #5” entitled “Ten Kings and the Worlds They Ruled”, it is proven that King Louis’s reforms focused more on religious affairs by discussing implementation and goal of his policy: “Louis tried to impose uniformity in religious affairs… his actions made the edict [of Nantes]” (Doc 5). The reason he created the Edict was to establish toleration towards Huguenots (Protestants). However, the
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