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Qin Dynasty

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Qin Dynasty (秦 221 BC - 207 BC) followed Zhou Dynasty and preceded the Han Dynasty in China. Qin is sometimes spelt as Chin, a possible origin of the word China. (See also: China in world languages)

At the end of the Period of the Warring States, Ying Zheng of Qin was able to conquer all the independent states and put everyone under his own control, ending the so-called feudal system of the Zhou Dynasty.

His rule saw many great construction projects. The Great Wall was built to defend his empire against the Xiongnu in the north, a lavish tomb was created, and canals and bridges were also built. Much standardisation also took place, including weights and measures, cart axel-lengths, currency and Chiense characters. Characters from the former state of Qin became the standard for the entire empire.

Endless labor in the later years of Ying Zheng's reign started to provoke widespread discontent. The emperor was still barely able to maintain stability by his tight grip on every aspect of lives of the Chinese.

Ying Zheng proclaimed himself Qin Shi Huang Di, the First Emperor of China and he wanted his successors to rule China forever with the title "Emperor of China II", "Emperor of China III", etc. In legend, his sudden death gave his two high officials chance to forge an order for the heir to suicide, allowing the officials a chance to promote the younger son Ying Hu Hai as a puppet ruler.

Within the first 3 months after Ying Zheng's death at Shaqiu[?], widespread revolts by peasants, prisoners, soldiers and descendants of the nobles of the Six Warring States sprang up all over China. Chen Sheng[?] and Wu Guang[?], two in a group of about 30 soldiers assigned to defend against the Xiongnu, were the leaders of the first rebellion.

Ying Hu Hai was soon killed and replaced by the murdered heir's son, Ying Zi Ying. Then the Qin Dynasty collapsed, three years after the death of Ying Zheng.

Although the Qin Dynasty was short-lived, its Legalist rule had a deep impact on later dynasties in China.

Sovereigns of Qin Dynasty 221 B.C.-207 B.C.
Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號) Born Names Period of Reigns
Convention: "Qin" + posthumous name
Note: Qin Zhao Xiang Wang (秦昭襄王 qin2 zhao1 xiang1 wang2) had already been ruling Qin for 51 years when Qin anniliated Zhou Dynasty; however the other six warring states were still independent regimes. Historiographers thus used the next year (the 52nd year of Qin Zhao Shang Wang) as the official continuation from Zhou Dynasty therefore so should we. Qin Shi Huang Di was the first Chinese sovereign proclaimed himself "Emperor".
Zhao Xiang Wang|昭襄王 zhao1 xiang1 wang2 Ying Ze|嬴則 ying2 ze2 or Ying Ji|嬴稷 ying2 ji4 255 B.C.-250 B.C.
Xiao Wen Wang|孝文王 xiao4 wen2 wang2 Ying Zhu|嬴柱 ying2 zhu4 250 B.C.
Zhuang Xiang Wang|莊襄王 zhuang1 xiang1 wang2 Ying Zi Chu|嬴子楚 ying2 zi5 chu3 249 B.C.-247 B.C.
Shi Huang Di|始皇帝 shi3 huang2 di4 Ying Zheng|嬴政 ying2 zheng4 246 B.C.-210 B.C.
Er Shi|二世 er4 shi4 Ying Hu Hai|嬴胡亥 ying2 hu2 hai4 209 B.C.-207 B.C.
Zi Ying was often referred using personal name or Qin Wang Zi Ying (秦王子嬰 qin2 wang2 zi5 ying1)
Did not exist Ying Zi Ying|嬴子嬰 ying2 zi5 ying1 207 B.C.

See also: Chinese history -- Chinese sovereign -- Huns

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