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Qin () was an
ancient Chinese state Ancient Chinese states () were typified by variously sized city-states and territories that existed in China prior to its unification by Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 18 February 25910 September 210) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and ...
during the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ) was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and lower Yellow River valley in the second ...
. Traditionally dated to 897 BC, it took its origin in a reconquest of western lands previously lost to the Rong; its position at the western edge of Chinese civilization permitted expansion and development that was unavailable to its rivals in the
North China Plain 200px, The North China Plain is shown in dark. The Yellow River is shown as "Río Amarillo". The North China Plain () is a large-scale downfaulted rift basin formed in the late Paleogene The Paleogene ( ; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; ...
. Following extensive "Legalist" reform in the 3rd century BC, Qin emerged as one of the dominant powers of the
Seven Warring States The Seven Warring States or Seven Kingdoms () refers to the seven leading states during the Warring States period (c. 475 to 221 BCE) of ancient China: * Qin (秦) * Qi (齊/齐) * Chu (楚) * Yan (燕) * Han (韓/韩) * Zhao (趙/赵) ...
and unified the seven states of China in 221 BC under
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 18 February 25910 September 210) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. From 247 to 221 BC he was Zheng, King of Qin (, ''Qín Wáng Zhèng'', personal name 嬴政 ''Yíng Zhèng'' or ...
. The
Qin dynasty
Qin dynasty
it established was short-lived but greatly influenced later
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient histo ...
.


History


Founding

According to the 2nd century BC historical text ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'' by
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the H ...

Sima Qian
, the Qin state traced its origin to
Zhuanxu Zhuanxu ( Chinese:  trad. , simp. , pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapore. ...
, one of the legendary Five Emperors in ancient times. One of his descendants, Boyi, was granted the family name of Yíng by
Emperor Shun Emperor Shun () was a legendary leader of ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty ...
. During the Xia and
Shang dynasties
Shang dynasties
, the Yíng clan split in two: a Western branch in Quanqiu (present-day Li County, Gansu, Lixian in Gansu) and another branch that lived east of the Yellow River. The latter became the ancestors of the rulers of the later Zhao (state), Zhao state. The western Yíng clan at Quanqiu were lords over the Xichui ("Western March (territory), March") region west of Mount Liupan, Mount Long and served as a barrier for the Shang dynasty against invasions by the Xirong, Western Rong barbarians. One of them, Elai, was killed defending King Zhou of Shang during the rebellion led by Ji Fa that established the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ) was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and lower Yellow River valley in the second ...
. The Yíng clan was however allied with the politically influential Chinese nobility, marquesses of state of Shen, Shen, whom the Zhou monarch relied upon heavily to manage the Rong people, and was thus allowed to retain their lands and continued serving as an attached vassal state, vassal under the Zhou dynasty. A younger son of line, Feizi, impressed King Xiao of Zhou so much with his horse breeding skills, that he was awarded a separate fengjian, fief in the valley of Qin (present-day Qingshui County, Qingshui and Zhangjiachuan County in Gansu) northeast of Quanqiu, and his Administrative centre, seat was named Qinyi (in present-day Qingtingzhen, Qingshui County). Both branches of the western Yíng clan lived in the midst of the Rong tribes, sometimes fighting their armies and sometimes intermarrying with their kings. It has been suggested by scholars such as Annette Juliano and Arthur Cotterel that having a horse-breeder as their ancestor may imply that the Yíng family had partial relation to nomadic tribes. As late as 266 BC, it was remarked by a noble of Wei (state), Wei that they shared customs with the Xirong, Rong and Beidi, Di tribes; the Central Plains (China), Central Plains states seemed to hold Qin culture and other peripheral states like Yan (state), Yan and Chu (state), Chu in low regard, due to the marginal location of their states. Qin was the second state after Zhao to adopt cavalry tactics from the nomads. Following the collapse of Zhou Dynasty, the Qin state absorbed cultures from two of the Four Barbarians from the west and north, which made the other warring states see their culture in low esteem. In 842 BC, the nobles revolted against the corrupt King Li of Zhou, overthrowing him the following year, and the country fell into turmoil. The Xirong tribes used the opportunity to rebel against the Zhou dynasty, attacking and exterminating the senior branch of Yíng clan at Quanqiu, leaving the cadet branch at Qinyi the only surviving Yíng clan in the west. After King Xuan of Zhou ascended the throne in 827 BC, he made Qin Zhong, Feizi's great grandson, the commander of his forces in the campaign against Xirong. Two years later in 822 BC, Qin Zhong was killed in battle, was succeeded by his eldest son Duke Zhuang of Qin, Duke Zhuang. To commemorating Qin Zhong's loyalty, King Xuan summoned Duke Zhuang and his four younger brothers and gave them 7,000 soldiers. The Qin brothers successfully defeated the Rong and recovered their lost patrimony formerly held by the deceased branch of Yíng clan, and King Xuan further awarded them the territory of Quanqiu. Duke Zhuang moved his seat from Qinyi to Quanqiu, and had three sons. When he died in 778 BC, his eldest son Shifu wanted to stay fighting the Xirong and avenge their grandfather, turning down the succession, so his second son Duke Xiang of Qin, Duke Xiang ascended as the clan leader. Soon afterwards in 777 BC, Duke Xiang married his younger sister Mu Ying to a Rong leader called King Feng (豐王), in an apparent attempt to make peace. The following year he moved the Qin capital eastward from Quanqiu to Qian (汧, in present-day Long County, Shaanxi), but Quanqiu soon fell to the Rong again after he left. His older brother Shifu, who led the defence of Quanqiu, was captured by the Rong but was released a year later. In 771 BC, the Marquess of Shen collaborated with the Zeng (state), Zeng state and the Quanrong nomads, attacked and sacked the Zhou capital Haojing, killing King You of Zhou and ending the Western Zhou dynasty. Duke Xiang led his troops to escort King You's son King Ping of Zhou, King Ping to Luoyi, where the new capital city of the Eastern Zhou dynasty was established. In gratitude of Duke Xiang's service, King Ping formally enfeoffed Duke Xiang as a Chinese nobility#Peer ranks of the Zhou dynasty, feudal lord and elevated Qin from an "attached state" (附庸 ''fùyōng'', a minor state with limited autonomy under the rule of other liege lord) to a major ancient Chinese states, vassal state, and further promised to permanently give Qin the land west of Qishan County, Qishan, the former heartland of Zhou, if Qin could expel the Rong tribes that were occupying it. The future generations of the Qin rulers were encouraged by this promise, and they launched several military campaigns on the Rong, eventually expanding their territories to beyond the original lands lost by the Western Zhou dynasty. The Qin state therefore viewed the Zhou rulers King Wen of Zhou, King Wen and King Wu of Zhou, Wu as their predecessors, and themselves as inheritors of their legacy.


Spring and Autumn period

Because their main concern was the Rongs to the west, Qin's interaction with other Ancient Chinese states, states in Zhongyuan, central China remained minimal throughout the Spring and Autumn period (722481BC), except with its immediate eastern neighbour Jin (Chinese state), Jin, a large vassal of the Zhou. Qin maintained Interstate relations during the Spring and Autumn period, good diplomatic relations with Jin and there were also marriages between members of the royal clans of both states, but relations between both sides had also deteriorated to the point of armed conflict before. During the early reign of Duke Mu of Qin, the Jin state was a formidable power under the leadership of Duke Xian of Jin. However, after the death of Duke Xian, Jin plunged into a state of internal conflict as Duke Xian's sons fought over the succession. One of them won the contention and became Duke Hui of Jin, but Jin was struck by a famine not long later and Duke Hui requested aid from Qin. Duke Mu sent relief food supplies and agricultural equipment to Jin. However, Qin was struck by famine later and by then, Jin had recovered and it turned to attack Qin. Qin and Jin engaged in several battles over the next few years. During the battles with Jin, Duke Mu heard that one of Duke Xian's exiled sons, Duke Wen of Jin, Chong'er, was taking refuge in the Chu (state), Chu state. After consulting his subjects, Duke Mu sent an emissary to Chu to invite Chong'er over, and helped Chong'er defeat his brother Duke Hui and become the new ruler of Jin, with his title as "Duke Wen". Duke Wen was grateful to Duke Mu and relations between Qin and Jin improved. With his eastern front stable, Duke Mu used the opportunity to launch military campaigns against the minority tribes in the west. In 627 BC, Duke Mu planned a secret attack on the Zheng (state), State of Zheng, but the Qin army retreated after being tricked into believing that Zheng was already prepared for Qin's invasion. Duke Wen had died and his successor, Duke Xiang of Jin, ordered his troops to lay an ambush for the retreating Qin army. The Qin forces were defeated at the Battle of Xiao (near present-day Luoning County, Henan) and suffered heavy casualties, and all three of its generals were captured but later released. Three years later, Qin attacked Jin for revenge and scored a major victory. Duke Mu refused to advance further east after holding a posthumous funeral service for those killed in action at the Battle of Xiao, and went back to focus on the traditional policy of expanding Qin's borders in the west. Duke Mu's achievements in the western campaigns and his handling of foreign relations with Jin earned him a position among the Five Hegemons of the Spring and Autumn period. In 506 BC, King Helü of Wu defeated Chu (state), Chu in the Battle of Boju and captured the Chu capital Ying (Chu), Ying (present day Jingzhou). Helü's advisor Wu Zixu, who was previously forced into exile by the already deceased King Ping of Chu and craved vengeance for the brutal execution of his father and brother, exhumed the King Ping's corpse and lashed it posthumously. This was a great humiliation for the Chu state, so Shen Baoxu, a Chu official and a former friend of Wu Zixu, travelled to the Qin court and pleaded for assistance from Duke Ai of Qin to recover the capital. After Duke Ai initially refused to help, Shen spent seven days crying in the palace courtyard, and Duke Ai was eventually moved by his devotion and agreed to send troops to assist Chu. The famous poem named "No Clothes" (), recorded in the ''Classic of Poetry'', was a battle hymn personally composed by Duke Ai to boost the morale#Military, morale of the Qin troops. In 505 BC, the Qin and Chu armies jointly defeated Wu in several battles, allowing King Zhao of Chu to be restored and return to the recaptured capital.


Warring States Period


Early decline

During the early Warring States period, as its neighbours in the Zhongyuan, Central Plains began rapidly developing, Qin was still in a state of underdevelopment and decline. The Wei (state), Wei state, formed from the Partition of Jin, became the most powerful state on Qin's eastern border. Qin most relied on natural defenses, such as the Hangu Pass (函谷關; northeast of present-day Lingbao, Henan) and Wu Pass (武關, in present day Danfeng County) in the east, to protect its Guanzhong heartland. Between 413 and 409 BC during the reign of Duke Jian of Qin, the Wei army led by Wu Qi, with support from Zhao (state), Zhao and Han (state), Han, attacked Qin and conquered some Qin territories west of the Yellow River.


Legalist reforms

After suffering losses in the battles with rival states such as Wei (state), Wei, the Qin rulers actively pursued legal, economic social reforms. When Duke Xiao of Qin, Duke Xiao came to the throne of Qin, he issued an announcement calling forth men of talent (including scholars, administrators, theorists and militarists) from other states to enter Qin and help him with his reforms, promising rewards of high offices and lands in return. Among these foreign talents, Shang Yang successfully conducted a series of Legalism (Chinese philosophy), Legalist reforms in Qin with the support of Duke Xiao, despite facing strong opposition from conservative Qin politicians. Dire primogeniture were abolished, with all commoners granted citizenship rights. Many were resettled in new clusters focusing on increasing agricultural output. Meritocracy was practised throughout, especially in the military, with soldiers and officers receiving due rewards according to their contributions, regardless of their backgrounds. However, tough and strict laws were imposed as well, with draconian punishments being meted out for the slightest of offences, and even the nobility and royalty were not spared. After decades, the reforms strengthened Qin economically and militarily, and transformed it into a highly centralized state with an efficient administrative system. After Duke Xiao's death, Huiwen of Qin, King Huiwen became the new ruler of Qin and he put Shang Yang to death by dismemberment#Tearing apart, chariot-tearing on charges of treason, but some believed that the king harboured a personal grudge against Shang because he was harshly punished for a minor infraction in his adolescence under Shang's reformed system. However, King Huiwen and his successors retained the reformed systems and they helped to lay the foundation for Qin's eventual Qin's wars of unification, unification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC. Shang Yang's theories were further elaborated later by Han Fei, another Legalist scholar who combined Shang's ideas with those of Shen Buhai and Shen Dao, that would form the core of the philosophies of Legalism. Qin rose to prominence in the late 3rd century BC after the reforms and emerged as one of the dominant superpowers of the
Seven Warring States The Seven Warring States or Seven Kingdoms () refers to the seven leading states during the Warring States period (c. 475 to 221 BCE) of ancient China: * Qin (秦) * Qi (齊/齐) * Chu (楚) * Yan (燕) * Han (韓/韩) * Zhao (趙/赵) ...
.


Ascendancy

Qin's power continued growing in the following century after Shang Yang's reform, owing the success to the industriousness of its people. The Qin kings authorized many state development projects, including large public works such as irrigation canals and defensive structures. One of the most obvious results of the reforms was the change in Qin's military. Previously, the army was under the control of Qin's nobles and comprised feudal levies. After Shang Yang's reforms, the aristocracy system was abolished and replaced by one based on meritocracy, in which ordinary citizens had equal opportunities as the nobles to be promoted to high ranks. In addition, military discipline was strongly enforced and the troops were trained to adapt better to different battle situations. Qin's military strength increased largely with the full support of the state. In 318 BC, the states of Wei (state), Wei, Zhao (state), Zhao, Han (state), Han, Yan (state), Yan and Chu (state), Chu formed an alliance and attacked Qin, but did not manage to advance beyond Hangu Pass, and were defeated by counter-attacking Qin forces. The alliance crumbled due to mistrust and suspicion and lack of coordination among the five states. Apart from the effects on Qin's military, Shang Yang's reforms also increased labour for numerous public works projects aimed at boosting agriculture, and made it possible for Qin to maintain and supply an active military force of more than a million troops. This feat could not be accomplished by any other state, except Chu, during that time. Qin's conquests of the southern states of Ba (state), Ba and Shu (state), Shu in present-day Sichuan province also provided Qin with major strategic advantages. The lands in the new territories were very fertile, and helped serve as a "backyard" for supplies and additional manpower. It was hard for Qin's rivals to attack Ba and Shu, since the territories were located deep in the mountains upstream of the Yangtze River. At the same time, Qin's strategic position in Ba and Shu provided it with a platform for launching attacks on the Chu state, which lies downstream of the Yangtze.


Wars against Chu, Han, and Wei

During the reign of King Huiwen of Qin, the Chu (state), Chu state to the southeast became a target for Qin's aggression. Although Chu had the largest operation-ready army of all the
Seven Warring States The Seven Warring States or Seven Kingdoms () refers to the seven leading states during the Warring States period (c. 475 to 221 BCE) of ancient China: * Qin (秦) * Qi (齊/齐) * Chu (楚) * Yan (燕) * Han (韓/韩) * Zhao (趙/赵) ...
at over a million troops, its administrative and military strength was plagued by corruption and divided among the nobles. Zhang Yi (strategist), Zhang Yi, a Qin strategist, suggested to King Huiwen to exercise Qin's interest at the expense of Chu. Over the following years, Zhang engineered and executed a number of diplomatic plots against Chu, supported by the constant military raids on Chu's northwestern border. Chu suffered many defeats in battles against Qin and was forced to cede territories to Qin. King Huai I of Chu was furious and ordered a military campaign against Qin, but he was tricked by Zhang Yi into breaking diplomatic ties with his allies, and his angered allies joined Qin in inflicting a crushing defeat on Chu. In 299 BC, King Huai I was tricked into attending a diplomatic conference in Qin, where he was captured and held hostage until his death. In the meantime, Qin launched several attacks on Chu and eventually sacked the Chu capital city of Chen (陳; present-day Jiangling County, Hubei province). The taizi, crown prince of Chu fled east and was crowned King Qingxiang of Chu in the new capital city of Shouchun (壽春; present-day Shou County, Anhui province). In the next five decades after King Huiwen's death, King Zhaoxiang of Qin shifted his attention to the Central Plains after the victories in the south against Chu. In the early years of King Zhaoxiang's reign, the Marquis of Rang (穰侯) served as Qin's Chancellor (China), chancellor and he actively pushed for military campaigns against the Qi (state), Qi state in the far eastern part of China. However, the marquis had his personal motives, as he intended to use Qin's powerful military to help him conquer a fief in Qi territories, since the lands were not directly linked to Qin and would not be under the Qin government's direct administration. Subsequently, King Zhaoxiang's foreign advisor, Fan Sui, advised the king to abandon those fruitless campaigns against distant states. King Zhaoxiang heeded Fan's advice and changed Qin's foreign policy to adopting good diplomatic relations with distant states (Yan (state), Yan and Qi), while concentrating on attacking nearby states (Zhao (state), Zhao, Han (state), Han and Wei (state), Wei). As a consequence, Qin began to launch constant attacks on Han and Wei over the next decades, conquering several territories in its campaigns. By then, Qin's territories had expanded to beyond the eastern shore of the Yellow River and Han and Wei were reduced to the status of "buffers" from Qin for the other states in the east.


Wars against Zhao

Starting from 265 BC, Qin launched a massive invasion on Han (state), Han and forced Han to cede its territory of Shangdang (上黨; in present-day Shanxi province). However, Han offered Shangdang to Zhao (state), Zhao instead, which led to a conflict between Qin and Zhao for control of Shangdang. Qin and Zhao engaged in the three-year-long Battle of Changping, followed by another three-year siege by Qin on Zhao's capital city of Handan. The conflict at Changping was deemed as a power struggle, as both sides pitted their forces against each other not only on the battlefield, but also in the domestic context. Although Qin had an abundance of resources and vast manpower, it had to enlist every man above the age of 15 for war-related duties, ranging from front-line service to logistics and agriculture. King Zhaoxiang of Qin even personally directed his army's supply lines. The extent of mobilization and the exhaustion in the aftermath was not seen in world history for another 2,000 years, until this concept of total war re-entered the stage during World War I. Qin's eventual victory in 260 BC was attributed to its use of schemes to stir up internal conflict in Zhao, which led to the replacement of Zhao's military leaders. Following the Qin victory at the Battle of Changping, the Qin commander Bai Qi ordered the 400,000 prisoners-of-war from Zhao to be executed by Premature burial, burying them alive. Subsequently, the Qin forces marched on the Zhao capital city of Handan in an attempt to conquer Zhao completely. However, the Qin troops were unable to capture Handan as they were already exhausted and also because the Zhao forces put up fierce resistance. King Xiaocheng of Zhao offered six cities to Qin as a peace offer and King Zhaoxiang of Qin accepted the offer after being persuaded by Fan Sui. Within Zhao, many officials strongly opposed King Xiaocheng's decision to give up the cities and subsequent delays caused the siege on Handan to be prolonged until 258 BC. Meanwhile, Bai Qi was consecutively replaced by Wang Xi, Wang Ling and Zheng Anping as the Qin commander at the siege. In 257 BC, Qin was still unable to penetrate Handan after besieging it for three years, and Zhao requested aid from the neighbouring states of Wei (state), Wei and Chu (state), Chu. Wei was hesitant to help Zhao initially, but launched an attack on Qin after seeing that Qin was already exhausted after years of war. The Qin forces crumbled and retreated and Zheng Anping surrendered. The combined forces of Wei and Chu continued to pursue the retreating Qin army and Wei managed to retake part of its original lands that were lost to Qin earlier.


Infrastructural works

In the middle of the 3rd century BC, Zheng Guo, a hydraulic engineer from the Han (state), Han state, was sent to Qin to advise King Zhaoxiang of Qin on constructing irrigation canals. Qin had a penchant for building large-scale canals, as evident from its Min River (Sichuan), Min River Dujiangyan Irrigation System, irrigation system. King Zhaoxiang approved Zheng Guo's idea on constructing an even bigger canal. The project was completed in 264 BC and the Zhengguo Canal, canal was named after Zheng. Qin benefitted from the project as it became one of the most fertile states in China due to the good irrigation system, and also because it could now raise more troops as a consequence of increased agricultural yield.


Unification

Image:QinJin.jpg, upframe, left, State of Qin
(bronzeware script, BC) In 247 BC, the 13-year-old Qin Shi Huang, Ying Zheng became king of Qin after the sudden death of Zhuangxiang of Qin, King Zhuangxiang. However, Ying Zheng did not wield state power fully in his hands until 238 BC, after eliminating his political rivals Lü Buwei and Lao Ai. Ying formulated a plan for conquering the other six states and unifying China with help from Li Si and Wei Liao. In 230 BC, Qin attacked Han (state), Han, the weakest of the
Seven Warring States The Seven Warring States or Seven Kingdoms () refers to the seven leading states during the Warring States period (c. 475 to 221 BCE) of ancient China: * Qin (秦) * Qi (齊/齐) * Chu (楚) * Yan (燕) * Han (韓/韩) * Zhao (趙/赵) ...
, and succeeded in conquering Han within a year. Since 236 BC, Qin had been launching several assaults on Zhao (state), Zhao, which had been devastated by its calamitous defeat at the Battle of Changping three decades ago. Although Qin faced strong resistance from the Zhao forces, led by general Li Mu, it still managed to defeat the Zhao army by using a ploy to sow discord between King Qian of Zhao and Li Mu, causing King Qian to order Li Mu's execution and replace Li with the less competent Zhao Cong. Zhao eventually fell to Qin in 228 BC after the capital city of Handan was taken. However, a Zhao noble managed to escape with remnant forces and proclaim himself king in Dai. Dai fell to Qin six years later. After the fall of Zhao, Qin turned its attention towards Yan (state), Yan. Crown Prince Dan of Yan sent Jing Ke to assassinate Ying Zheng but the assassination attempt failed and Qin used that as an excuse to attack Yan. Yan lost to Qin at a battle on the eastern bank of the Yi River in 226 BC and King Xi of Yan fled with remnant forces to Liaodong Peninsula, Liaodong. Qin attacked Yan again in 222 BC and annexed Yan completely. In 225 BC, the Qin army led by Wang Ben invaded Wei (state), Wei and besieged Wei's capital city of Daliang for three months. Wang directed the waters from the Yellow River and the Hong Canal to flood Kaifeng#History, Daliang and King Jia of Wei surrendered and Wei was conquered. In 224 BC, Qin prepared for an attack on Chu (state), Chu, its most powerful rival among the six states. During a discussion between Ying Zheng and his subjects, the veteran general Wang Jian (Qin), Wang Jian claimed that the invasion force needed to be at least 600,000 strong, but the younger general Li Xin (Qin), Li Xin thought that 200,000 men would be sufficient. Ying Zheng put Li Xin in command of the Qin army to attack Chu. The Chu defenders, led by Xiang Yan, took Li Xin's army by surprise and defeated the Qin invaders. The defeat was deemed as the greatest setback for Qin in its wars to unify China. Ying Zheng put Wang Jian in command of the 600,000 strong army as he had requested and ordered Wang to lead another attack on Chu. Wang scored a major victory against the Chu forces in 224 BC and Xiang Yan was killed in action. The following year, Qin pushed on and captured Chu's capital city of Shouchun, bringing an end to Chu's existence. In 222 BC, the Qin army advanced southward and annexed the Wu (region), Wuyue region (covering present-day Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces). By 221 BC, Qi (state), Qi was the only rival state left. Qin advanced into the heartland of Qi via a southern detour, avoiding direct confrontation with the Qi forces on Qi's western border and arrived at Qi's capital city of Linzi swiftly. The Qi forces were taken by surprise and surrendered without putting up resistance. Following the fall of Qi in 221 BC, China was unified under the rule of Qin. Ying Zheng declared himself "
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 18 February 25910 September 210) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. From 247 to 221 BC he was Zheng, King of Qin (, ''Qín Wáng Zhèng'', personal name 嬴政 ''Yíng Zhèng'' or ...
" (meaning "First Emperor of China, Emperor of Qin") and founded the Qin Dynasty, becoming the first Chinese sovereign, sovereign ruler of a united China.


Culture and society

Before Qin unified China, each state had its own customs and culture. According to the ''Yu Gong'' or ''Tribute of Yu'', composed in the 4th or 5th century BC and included in the ''Book of Documents'', there were nine distinct cultural regions of China, which are described in detail in this book. The work focuses on the travels of the titular sage, Yu the Great, throughout each of the regions. Other texts, predominantly military, also discussed these cultural variations.Lewis 2007, p. 12 One of these texts was ''The Book of Master Wu'', written in response to a query by Marquis Wu of Wei (state), Wei on how to cope with the military threat posed by competing states. Wu Qi, the author of the work, declared that the government and nature of the people were reflective of the terrain they live in. Of Qin, he said: According to Wu, the nature of the people is a result of the government, which is in turn a result of the roughness of the terrain. Each of the states is expounded upon by Wu in this manner.Lewis 2007, p. 13 Following a visit to Qin in 264 BC, the Confucian philosopher Xun Kuang noted that Qin society was "simple and unsophisticated" and their people stood in awe of their officials, but was completely devoid of Confucian literati. Though disliked by many Confucians of its time for "dangerously lacking in Confucian scholars," Confucian Xun Kuang wrote of the later Qin that "its topographical features are inherently advantageous," and that its "manifold natural resources gave it remarkable inherent strength. Its people were unspoiled and exceedingly deferential; its officers unfailingly respectful, earnest, reverential, loyal, and trustworthy; and its high officials public-spirited, intelligent, and assiduous in the execution of the duties of their position. Its courts and bureaus functioned without delays and with such smoothness that it was as if there were no government at all." In his ''Petition against driving away foreigners'' (諫逐客書), Li Si mentioned that guzheng and percussion instruments made of pottery and tiles were characteristic of Qin music.


Rulers

List of Qin rulers based on the ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'' by
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the H ...

Sima Qian
, with corrections by Han Zhaoqi:


In popular culture

The events during the reigns of Duke Xiao of Qin, Duke Xiao, King Huiwen of Qin, King Huiwen, King Wu of Qin, King Wu and King Zhaoxiang of Qin, King Zhaoxiang are romanticised in a series of historical novels by Sun Haohui. The novels are adapted into the television series ''The Qin Empire (TV series), The Qin Empire'' (2009), ''The Qin Empire II: Alliance'' (2012) and ''The Qin Empire III'' (2017). The Japanese manga, "Kingdom (manga), Kingdom" by Hara Yasuhisa, tells a fictionalised story of the life of Qin Shi Huang and the unification of China with some references to the era of Duke Mu. Qin is a playable faction in the PC game ''Oriental Empires'' by Iceberg Interactive. ''A Step into the Past'' tells about a 21st-century Hong Kong VIPPU officer who travels back in time to the Warring States period of ancient China. He is involved in a number of important historical events that leads to the first unification of China under the Qin dynasty. The series' first original broadcast ran from 15 October to 7 December 2001 on the TVB Jade network in Hong Kong.


Qin in astronomy

Qin is represented by two stars, Theta Capricorni () and 30 Capricorni (), in Girl (Chinese constellation), ''Twelve States'' asterism. Qin is also represented by the star Delta Serpentis in asterism ''Right Wall'', Heavenly Market enclosure (see Chinese constellation).AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 6 月 24 日
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References


Citations


Sources

* * * Watson, Burton. (1993). ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty ...

Records of the Grand Historian
by Sima Qian''. Translated by Burton Watson. Revised Edition. Columbia University Press. . * Li Si. ( BC). ''Petition against driving away foreigners'' (《諫逐客書》). {{DEFAULTSORT:Qin Qin (state), Ancient Chinese states States and territories established in the 9th century BC 9th-century BC establishments in China 221 BC States and territories disestablished in the 3rd century BC 3rd-century BC disestablishments 1st-millennium BC disestablishments in China