Qin Dynasty

Qin Dynasty

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  • The ruler of the Qin dynasty was Qin Shihuangdi. An ambitious person, he came to the throne in 246 b.c. at the age of 13. In 221 b.c., he defeated the last of his rivals and founded a new dynasty, with himself as emperor. 
  • I am now the ruler  of this dynasty!
  • He created a single monetary system and ordered the building of a system of roads throughout the entire empire. Many of these roads led out from his capital city of Xianyang, just north of modern-day Xi’an
  • Qin Shihuangdi was equally aggressive in foreign affairs. His armies advanced to the south, extending the border of China to the edge of the Yuan River, or Red River, in modern-day Vietnam. 
  • In 1974 farmers digging a well about 35 miles east of Xi’an discovered an underground pit near the burial mound of the First Qin Emperor. The pit contained a vast army made out of terra-cotta, or hardened clay. Chinese archaeologists believe that it was a re-creation of Qin Shihuangdi’s imperial guard, meant to be with the emperor on his journey to the next world. 
  • When the Xiongnu challenged Chinese communities near the northern frontier, a number of states constructed walls to keep out the nomads. Warriors on horseback, however, had definite advantages over the infantry troops of the Chinese. Qin Shihuangdi’s answer to the problem was to strengthen the existing system of walls and to link them together.
  • Today we know Qin Shihuangdi’s project as the Great Wall of China, and it serves as an architectural reflection of the Qin dynasty’s defensive needs. It was by the country's  northern border.
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