Qin Shihuang’s many faults and unattractive features derive in large part from his achievements. One of his most well-known traits is harshness, which at times was considered despotic. He is said to have maintained strict order over his kingdom, and valued obedience above all. As the first ruler to have united many Warring States and subsequently impose a central government with astonishing alacrity, this trait may seem expected in some ways. However, historical accounts should be taken with a grain of salt. Our only concrete sources about the Qin dynasty come largely from Han historians. Qin Shihuang's legalism, which believed strict rule was necessary because people inherently could not be trusted to govern themselves, was explicitly opposed to scholars' Confucianism, which believes that humans can and should try to improve themselves.From Qin Shihuang's legalist perspective, these views held by scholars were divisive, and consequently, scholars were persecuted in different ways, as seen below. …show more content…
While Qin Shihuang can be blamed partially for the faults of legalism, it was seen as the only way to unite the people and maintain order in the short term. …show more content…
Technically it was not his idea, but that of Li Si to suppress thoughts and unify political and intellectual opinions by destroying books. The burning of books was also motivated by Qin Shihuang's desire to standardise scripts, because it was a method of removing books with non-standard writing. The many different political theories known as the ‘Hundred Schools of Thought’ and many history books were destroyed in the process, with the exception of books on legalism as well as a few on divination, medicine, agriculture, and
Unifying China was a major turning point in Chinese history, ending the constant wars and creating the basis of a country that would last into today. Qin also showed his cruelty through how he unified China. For instance, as he defeated the other states and added their land to his empire, he enslaved and abused many of the people he defeated (Gracie). The number of slaves he had and his method of conquering have contributed to his mixed reputation as a great leader but also as a tyrant. Unifying China was arguably the most influential thing that Qin ever did, creating not only a turning point in history, but also a whole new empire after many years of
Although Qin Shi Huang-Di is sometimes seen as a fantastic leader and unifier, he was also paranoid, oppressive, and tyrannical. For example, he was constantly worried about people who opposed him and about keeping control of his country. When Confucian scholars talked behind his back or criticized him because his administration was built on Legalism, he decided to get rid of them and ordered the arrest and execution of over 400 scholars (Gracie). This dislike of opposition and debate has carried over to the communist party of China today, showing just how much of Qin’s legacy has lasted. Along with the arrest of the scholars, he also used other means to end intellectual opposition.
One of the difference between the Qin and the Han dynasty is that Qin dynasty practiced Legalism and the Han dynasty practiced Confucianism. For the Han dynasty, in Document 3, states that they had a exam system of giving opportunities for everyone across the dynasty who has outstanding moral and learning to have a chance to have a role in the government, which shows that the Han dynasty emperor gave more opportunities to the commoners. For the Qin in Document 2, says that the people follow the rules, and there are no trouble because the people understand what happens when they do not follow the rules, which leads to punishments. Which shows that the Qin dynasty had strict rules for people to just obey for the government and have no say. Taking
Qin Shi Huang made many changes to how he wanted to rule China, however, some of the most important and famed revisions were his different methods of managing his land. Distribution of lands during previous dynasties, like the Zhou dynasty(1046 BCE-256 BCE) (Britannica, Zhou dynasty, 2016, 2018), was too lax compared to the Qin; because they allowed pre-existing rulers to maintain their land. “Zhou kings sent members of their family to set up fortresses and rule new territories in the conquered lands. They also made local rulers into feudal lords who ruled for them.
78) that would eventually bring down the Zhou Dynasty and give way to the Qin Dynasty where it was ruled with ruthless efficiency(p.79). Another factor of how and why China succeed in unifying in contrast to India, is where there were many different views, and being opposed of things changing in India, If someone “opposed the polices of the new regime in the Qin Dynasty those individuals would be punished and
China’s Last Empire. The Great Qing. William T. Rowe. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. 360 pages including Emperors and Dynasties, Pronunciation Guide, Notes, Bibliography, Acknowledgements, Index, Maps and Figures.
The government became a bureaucracy he strengthen the military, and made giant technological advances. Qin developed legalism forcing his power of the government on people, only forcing his power that enabled him to build his tomb. If his people did not follow these rules they would have been severely punished. Like other second wave civilizations China absorbed the religion of
The Qin and Han Dynasties were similar in that they both believed in a strong centralized government, which strengthened and unified their empires, but they differed in that the Qin followed the strict Legalism while the Han followed the more flexible Confucianism, and the way they interacted with outsiders; the Qin tended to be more defensive of outsiders while the Han were more interactive and wanted to build relationships with foreigners. First, the Qin and Han Dynasties believed in a strong centralized government. The implementation of a strong centralized government led to the success and growth of their dynasties. The centralized government creates a pyramid of power and influence, with the main leader, the emperor, on top.
The main theme that entangles itself in all of the source material is the idea of how governments should be run in such a powerful empire, such as Imperial Rome and the Han Dynasty. Starting with the first source, it is evident that the first Qin emperor believed that only the orthodox teachings should be tolerated, which meant that the works of the Five Classics and its teachings were to be extinguished. The next primary source serves as a supplement to explaining the fall of the Qin dynasty due to its warring ideas and Jia Yi argues that if Confucius teachings were implemented then the dynasty would have still been intact. The third source explains how the Qin dynasty was unjust in its equal appropriation of punishment against criminals regardless of motives or social class. Essentially, Dong Zhongshu believed that a dynasty could not be successful if it failed to establish a fair and righteous justice system for its citizens.
Shi Huangdi was a strong supporter of legalism which caused him to oppress his people. He would punish his people in inhumane ways such as murdering them. In Document Set 3 source B, it shows scholars being executed and their books being burnt, so that there was one central power. Shi Huangdi didn’t want anyone going against him or the laws so he’d penalize people very harshly.
For one thing, Qin Shihuangdi was selfish. Qin Shihuangdi made himself emperor and ruled his empire with ferocious efficiency. Qin Shihuangdi had the Great Wall built for thirty years causing countless thousands to lose their lives.
In accordance to Li Si, this is bad for the Qin Dynasty and believes that the practice of such schools could result in a rebellion