Emperor Qin Shi Huang | Biography, Accomplishments, Family

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Highlights of Emperor Qin Shi Huang:

Occupation Emperor of China
Born 259 BC
Died 210 BC
221 BC to 210 BC
known for First Emperor of China, established the Qin Dynasty

Biography of Emperor Qin Shi Huang:

Early Life

In 259 BC, Prince Zheng was born. The Qin state’s king was his father. China was divided into 7 major states when Zheng was born. These states were always at war with one another. The Warring States period is how historians refer to this period in Chinese history.

Zheng had a good education since he was a young prince. He gained knowledge of both war and Chinese history. He will eventually control the Qin and command his soldiers in conflicts with neighboring states.

Becoming King

Zheng’s father passed away when he was just thirteen years old. Zheng, who was still quite young, was now king. A regent assisted him in governing the country for the first several years, but by the time he was 22, King Zheng assumed complete power. He had much ambition. He desired to stifle any opposition and unify China under his control.

Uniting China and Becoming Emperor

King Zheng set out to annex the other six Chinese states after he had complete authority over the state of Qin. One by one, he engaged them. He took control of the Han state first. The Zhao and the Wei were then swiftly subdued by him. The mighty Chu state was his next target. The surviving Yan and Qi states were quickly overthrown when the Chu state was vanquished.

King Zheng was now in charge of all of China. He proclaimed himself to be the first emperor and changed his name to Shi Huang, which translates to “first emperor”.

Establishing the Empire

Qin Shi Huang put a lot of effort into structuring his new empire. He want it to function well for a very long time. He implemented improvements in a variety of fields, including:

Emperor Qin didn’t want the captured states to view themselves as sovereign countries. He created administrative divisions inside the nation. 36 “commanderies” were present, and these were further subdivided into districts and counties. Additionally, he stated that candidates for government positions would be chosen based on their qualifications.

Economy: By establishing a single currency (money) and uniform measurement systems, Emperor Qin also brought about the unification of China. The economy operated much more smoothly when everyone was using the same currency and measurements.

Another significant change involved the standardization of writing. Writing was practiced in China during the period in a variety of methods. Everyone had to teach and use the same style of writing during the reign of Emperor Qin.

Emperor Qin made numerous improvements to China’s infrastructure through construction. In the entire nation, he oversaw the construction of a large network of roads and canals. Trade and travel were enhanced as a result. He also started the Great Wall of China’s construction. He joined many of the country’s existing fortifications to create a lengthy wall that would defend China against invaders to the north.

The Tyrant

Emperor Qin was a capable leader, but he was also a despot. He declared most religions to be unlawful and only permitted loyalty and submission to the government. He also mandated that the majority of the current books be destroyed. He desired for the Qin dynasty and his authority to be recorded in history. Scholars who failed to bring their texts for burning were put to death.

Constructing a Tomb

Perhaps Qin Shi Huang is most known now for his tomb. during 700,000 people were employed by him to build his tomb during the course of his life. He believed that the enormous terracotta army they constructed, which included 8,000 men, horses, and chariots, would defend him in the afterlife. For more information about the Terracotta Army, click here.


In 210 BC, Qin Shi Huang passed away while touring Eastern China. Huhai, his second son, accompanied him on the journey. He faked a letter from his father to his older brother instructing him to commit suicide in order to conceal his father’s passing in his quest to become emperor. After his brother committed himself, Huhai ascended to the throne.

Facts & information about Emperor Qin

The idea of attempting to live forever consumed him. He assigned his top researchers to the task of discovering an elixir of immortality that would allow him to live forever.

Emperor Qin anticipated that his family would govern China for a very long time. However, only three years after his passing did the empire fall.

According to some records, he was not the son of the King of Qin but rather the son of a menial trader.

There were numerous attempts to assassinate him when he first assumed the role of King of Qin. He might have become so fixated on living forever because of this.

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