Strong Rulers Unite China

Strong Rulers Unite China
Do Now
 Do Now: Complete the “Philosophy and
Religion in China” chart and questions
 HW: Study for your Unit 2 Exam on
Monday. (Review Sheet will be posted
on the course website today)
A Basic definition
Feudalism: loosely organized
system of government in which
local lords governed their own
lands but owed military service
and other support to a greater
king (Think kings with lords
controlling land in the countryside)
Qin Dynasty
The story of the Qin Dynasty in China is one of
harsh rule and ruthless social policy
Setting the scene
 In China, in 221 BCE, a man named Zheng conquered the
Zhou Dynasty
 “…cracking his long whip, he drove the universe before
him, swallowing up the eastern and western Zhou and
overthrowing the feudal lords…”
Shi Huangdi
Zheng becomes Shi Huangdi
 In 221 BCE, Zheng proclaims himself Shi Huangdi, “First
 Methods were brutal, but he ushered in China’s classical
 Historians call this classical because it set patterns in
government, philosophy, religion, science, and the arts
that served as the framework for later cultures in China
Shi Huangdi and Chinese Unity
 Determined to end divisions that splintered the Zhou
 After conquering warring states, he employed Legalist
advisors to create harsh rule in China
 Emperor Shi Huangdi abolished feudalism
 Replaced feudalism with 36 Military Districts and appointed
local officials to report back to him
 Sent spies to monitor the local officials
 Required all noble families to live in the capital of Xianyang
 Peasants received nobles land, but had to pay high taxes on
the land
 What is the benefit of having all the
noble families move to the capital city
with Shi Huangdi?
Unity continues
 Shi Huangdi…
 Standardized weights and measures
 Created a standard currency with Qin coins
 Created uniform Chinese writing
 Workers repaired roads and canals for trade
 Required cart axles to be the same width so
that wheels could run in the same ruts on
Chinese roads
Scales and
Crackdown on dissent
 Shi Huangdi moved harshly against critics
 Jailed, tortured, killed many who opposed his rule
 Hardest hit were feudal lords and Confucian scholars who
hated his law
 Approved book burning of all philosophy books and all
works of literature
 Only books about medicine and agriculture were spared
Shi Huangdi’s most famous achievement
 The Great Wall of China
 In the past, feudal states had built walls for protection
 Shi Huangdi ordered the feudal lord walls destroyed
 New walls were to be built and connected
 Hundreds of thousands of laborers worked on the wall
 Estimated 500,000 people died building the wall
 Wall is over 25 feet in many parts
 Shi Huangdi wanted a wall that would unite China and move
it from the “warring states” period
Collapse of the Qin Dynasty
 Shi Huangdi thought his empire would last forever
 Died in 210 BCE
 Anger over heavy taxes and harsh policies caused revolts
to explode all over China
 An illiterate peasant leader, LIU BANG, defeated rival
armies and created the HAN DYNASTY
 Like others, Liu Bang claimed to have the MANDATE OF

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