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The Qin Governance Essay

465 words - 2 pages

The Qin/Ch'in Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the Zhou Dynasty and followed by the Han Dynasty in China. The unification of China 221 BC under the First Emperor (Qin Shi Huangdi) marked the beginning of imperial China.The Qin government was totalitarian, which placed absolute power in the hands of the ruler, ruling by means of strict laws and harsh punishments. Qin Shihuangdi ruled exactly like this and took severe actions to eliminate all challenges to his authority. Those who criticized Qin politics were executed. To silence the criticism of imperial rule, the First ...view middle of the document...

This anti-intellectualism ran counter to the atmosphere of free learning that had prevailed in the Qin state in the years before. To reduce the threat of insurrection, descendants of the ruling houses of the six conquered states were forced either to relocate to the capital or be exiled. All weapons owned by private citizens were confiscated, and the metal either was stored in the capital, or the metal was used to help make the gigantic metal statues and bells that decorated the imperial palace.Feudalism was abolished, and land was taken from landowners and distributed among peasants, who were then taxed by the central government. A new code of law was devised and applied to all citizens equally, regardless of rank.Conscription was devised; Males between seventeen years old and sixty years old was to serve one year in the army.Endless labor in the later years of Qin Shi Huang's reign provoked even more widespread discontent amongst the populace. However, the emperor was able to maintain stability due to his tight grip on every aspect of the lives of the Chinese people. The extent of this harsh rule was finally ended a few years after the First Emperor's death, in which the Qin Dynasty was overthrown, and Han Dynasty succeeded.. The new dynasty uplifted some of the harsh laws that was set by the Qin Dynasty, thus making the populace happy once more.

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