Shihuang's Faults And Unattractive Features Of The Qin Dynasty

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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

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