The Legacy of the First Emperor: Recounting the difficult process of qin Shihuang’s establishment of a “unified” state

2022-08-01 0 By

221-ad 220 How did the Qin and Han Dynasties grow into a solid centralized state1. Strictly speaking, there had never been a single empire in East Asia before Qin Shi Huang unified China.The xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties we often refer to were federalist states in terms of actual rule, and the central government could directly control very limited areas.Therefore, after qin Shi Huang unified the six states, the emperors and ministers of qin Dynasty were still confused about the way forward.In this regard, Wang Wan, the prime minister, proposed that the Qin dynasty should follow the example of the Zhou Dynasty and enfief the royal families to the former places of the six states to monitor and intimidate the old forces of the six states in order to consolidate the state rule.However, Li Si, an important official, pointed out that although the enfiefment system could maintain the stability of the country in a short period of time, after two or three generations of succession, the blood relationship between the vassal Kings and the emperor became more and more distant. Whenever the emperor was incompetent or a vassal was in a powerful position, the local governments would challenge the authority of the central government and develop into separatist forces.The fall of the Zhou Dynasty is the best example.Therefore, Li si insisted on extending the county system throughout the country, relying on centrally appointed officials to govern the localities.Finally, Qin Shi Huang agreed with Li’s idea and introduced the county system throughout the country.2. A series of institutional decisions introduced by The First Emperor of Qin were essentially serving for the implementation of the county system.For example, it would be easier for the distant States of Qi and Chu to convey information and send troops to suppress if there were any changes.For example, the nobles of the six states moved to Xianyang, greatly reducing the centrifugal tendency of the six states.Unfortunately, qin Shihuang died before these systems could produce positive results.The second Emperor huhai who succeeded him was doting and incompetent, which led to the reality of the Qin Dynasty.The nobles of the former six states, such as Xiang Yu and Zhang Liang, the civilians of the six states, such as Chen Sheng and Wu Guang, and even the emerging local officials, such as Liu Bang, all joined in the anti-Qin wars, and the first unified dynasty in Chinese history went to collapse in just a few decades.3. Similar arguments took place in the early days of the Han Dynasty, which won the final victory in the scuffle at the end of qin.Although the Han Dynasty did not discuss this issue at the imperial council like the Qin Dynasty, the author of this book believes that the emperor and officials of the Han Dynasty agonized over whether to choose Guanzhong or Luoyang as the capital, which was in essence a continuation of the Qin Xianyang Palace Council.The establishment of Luoyang as the capital meant that the capital was placed in the field of four wars, which required that the supporting system of the state should be relatively stable and not likely to cause wars.Compared with the system of prefectures and counties, it was obviously more compatible with making Luoyang the capital.The location of guanzhong as the capital meant that the country was less afraid of wars and riots, which provided the foundation for the implementation of the county system.In addition, Guanzhong itself is the former capital of Qin.Therefore, in a sense, Liu Bang finally decided to make Guanzhong the capital, which was to finalize the basic state policy of “Han inheriting qin system”, declaring that the Han dynasty would inherit the heritage of the first emperor.Ii. What is the nature of Qin Shi Huang’s political legacy?1. The Legacy of the First Emperor is essentially an ideology.It is the domestication of Chinese thought.Since the domestication of The First Emperor of Qin, Chinese people have a sense of identity to the “unified dynasty”, which is often said by history books “view of the world”.As the founder of a unified empire in Chinese history, Qin Shihuang broke the historical inertia.But people have inertia, so this move of Qin Shi Huang, not only offended the nobles of the former six countries, but also made those used to the old system of intellectuals and ordinary people feel uncomfortable.And that discomfort, once stirred up, can easily turn into hatred or even violence.2. In order to suppress the thinking inertia of the people of the world and consolidate the rule of the Qin Dynasty, the First Emperor of Qin took a series of measures to reinforce the concept that “all under the heaven must be the land of the king”., for example, the famous “burning books” in the history of events, the purpose is to destroy the history of the six rule out all possible adverse to the rule of the qin dynasty historian, and establish the xia, shang, zhou, qin, one yuan inheritance pattern, create all political forces first obey a xia the three dynasty illusion, let everybody feel,It was reasonable to continue to submit to the monistic rule of the Qin Dynasty.The concept of “emperor” was created by The First Emperor of Qin, who took a word from each of the “three sovereigns and five emperors”. On the one hand, this reflected the uniqueness and authority of the new ruler of the empire, but on the other hand, it could be seen that the first Emperor of Qin wanted to inherit the ancient legendary times and let the ancient holy Kings enhance the legitimacy of his rule.In addition, the first emperor imitated the Son of the Zhou Dynasty and made six trips around the world.However, the emperor’s itineraries were much larger than those of the Son of Zhou.One reached as far as today’s Hunan province.Everywhere qin Shihuang went, he left a large number of stone carvings praising his achievements in unifying the whole country.The purpose is to subdue and intimidate the old forces of the six states, and constantly in the hearts of the people of the world to strengthen the qin Dynasty great unity can be sung, shun the impression of heaven should be people.So as to stabilize the qin dynasty.3. Unlike the first Emperor of qin’s practice of burning books, the Han dynasty began to rearrange and revise pre-Qin classics, but the author of this book points out that burning books is essentially the same as repairing books in order to consolidate the ruling foundation of a unified dynasty.Although the writing of the Han dynasty was supposed to sort out pre-Qin classics, in fact, those classics that were not conducive to the consolidation of the unification were excluded or marginalized.On the contrary, those classics that help to strengthen the concept of unity and cultivate people’s “view of the world” become the focus of compilation and interpretation.Iii. How did the changes and development of the Qin and Han Dynasties affect the ordinary people at that time?1. Although the qin and Han empires established a centralized system and constructed a concept of tianxia, it served as a model for subsequent Chinese dynasties.But in the Qin and Han dynasties, the control of this system over local areas was still quite weak.2. At the level of power, the civilian society in the Qin and Han dynasties was controlled not by local governors appointed by the central government, but by local strongmen.Until the Eastern Han Dynasty, the total number of bureaucrats in China was only 150,000, while China’s population had reached about 40 million.Such a narrow bureaucratic system faced with such a large number of people, coupled with the arrival of foreign officials, unfamiliar with the situation of the jurisdiction, it is difficult to carry out effective governance.In order to better achieve the task of governance, the local officials in the Qin and Han dynasties had to keep cooperation with the local strongmen.In the Eastern Han Dynasty, when the central government declined, the local strongmen grew stronger and stronger, so that many local governors became puppets of the strongmen instead of cooperating with them.3. On the ideological level, officially certified Confucianism failed to penetrate into the people effectively, and Taoism really dominated the minds of the people.The author points out that Confucianism differs from other schools of thought in that it focuses on moral education rather than idolaty, and that to become a Confucian intellectual one must study many obscure books before he can truly enter the Ranks of Confucianism.But at this time, printing had not been invented, books were in short supply, literacy rates were inevitably pitifully low, and few people could fully grasp Confucian theories.It can be seen that Confucianism penetrated most into the intellectual class in the Qin and Han dynasties, but did not have much influence among the masses at the bottom.4. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the religious vacuum at the bottom was filled by Taoism.Unlike Confucianism, which emphasized family and national interests over individual interests, Taoism preached curing disease and prolonging life.During this period, daoists who mastered the art of medicine or witchcraft wandered among the people, developed believers and established the first Taoist organizations.At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, taiping Dao, a branch of Taoism, rose.The founder, Zhang Jiao, called on believers to overthrow the decadent rule of the Eastern Han Dynasty with the slogan “Heaven is dead, yellow heaven should be established”.This is the origin of the yellow Turban uprising in history.The profound threat and far-reaching influence of this uprising on the Han Dynasty also confirmed once again the influence of Taoism in the eastern Han people.As we already know from the previous explanation, the depth of local control of the Qin and Han empires was very limited.In fact, the Qin and Han empires were much smaller than we imagine in the breadth of governance.Although the Qin dynasty was nominally large in size, at that time, the people of today’s Huaihe River valley and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basically did not recognize the new identity of “Qin people”.It was not until the Liu Bang Group from the Jianghuai Valley founded the Han Dynasty that the region was initially tamed.Since then, the effective ruling area of the Han Empire was basically limited to the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River.As for the western regions, which the Han and Han dynasties had spent nearly two hundred years managing, they now only established a number of military strongholds in oases on the edge of deserts.It can be said that the legacy of the first Emperor is only a preliminary integration in reality.Its real significance lies in that it broke through the institutional inertia of the loosely federated states of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, pointed out the direction for the expansion and deepening of Chinese civilization in the following two thousand years, and laid the foundation for China to develop into a united and multi-ethnic country with a large population.Although qin’s war to unify the world was cruel, it created a unified China for us, which was a great achievement.A book every day, I am focused on reading comfortable flying light like smoke want to know more wonderful content, come to pay attention to comfortable flying light like smoke, Scorpio sister talk about emotion Xiaoyu view of the world