The Qin Dynasty only lasted for 15 years. Emperor Qin ruled his dynasty with absolute control. Punishment for those who disagreed with him was swift and harsh. One could be put to death simply by suggesting another way to do things.
Qin was the first man to control all of China, and he called himself First Emperor of China. He was a legalist, who believed that people are basically bad.
Qin developed a system of bureaucracy so that he could control every minute of his subject’s lives. He divided his empire into 36 provinces. Each province had two government officials so they could watch over each other. The provinces were subdivided into smaller districts. Officials at all levels were paid very well.
Qin also developed a spy system, so that all people kept an eye on each other. Spies were rewarded very well.
He used his control to make the huge changes he felt China desperately needed to protect itself. Anyone who objected to these changes was either buried alive or put to work building the Great Wall.
Changes introduced by Qin:
Qin set people to work building the Great Wall to provide the country with better protection.
Qin did not want the nobles to band together to remove him from power, so he took their land away.
He greatly weakened the teachers and scholars and introduced censorship. If a book was not about agriculture, medicine, or prophecy, it was burned. Qin did not want his people wasting time.
He allowed peasants to grow food or harvest silk only.
He built public works projects, such as bridges, roads, canals, and systems of flood control. The people he assigned to do this work had to do it quickly and well.
His law code applied to everyone. He created a huge law enforcement group to enforce the laws.
Qin standardized a system of weights and measures, a monetary system, a single written language, the same laws - all systems of standardization.
Qin did not believe that he was cruel. His systems of protection, standardization, and job assignment probably saved millions of lives from flood, famine, and war. Qin considered himself as an outstanding leader.
Qin planned for his son to take over one day. After Qin died of natural causes, his son tried to rule the county. A peasant led a revolt against Qin's government officials, and people all across the country joined in. The revolt was successful and the peasant leader became the new emperor. He called his dynasty the Han Dynasty.
Source: Qin Dynasty
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