Prince Zheng was born in 259 BC. His father was king of the Qin state. At the time Zheng was born, China was divided up into 7 major states. These states fought each other all the time. Historians call this time in Chinese history the Warring States period.Growing up as a prince, Zheng was well educated. He learned about China's history and also about war. He would someday rule the Qin and would lead his warriors into battle against the other states.
Although Emperor Qin was a skilled leader, he also was a tyrant. He outlawed most forms of religion requiring people to be loyal and obedient only to the government. He also ordered that most of the existing books be burned. He wanted history to begin with his rule and the Qin dynasty. Those scholars who did not bring their books to be burned were killed.
Today Qin Shi Huang may be most famous for his tomb. He had over 700,000 workers constructing his tomb throughout his life. They built a vast terracotta army of 8,000 soldiers, horses, and chariots that he thought would protect him in the afterlife. Go here to learn more about the terracotta army.