First Emperor Qin took land away from the nobles. He did not want
the nobles rising up against him. Anyone who argued with Qin was
either buried alive or put to work building the Great Wall.
He introduced one system of weights, measures, money, written
language, and laws. Nobody argued with him.
Code: He introduced a new law code that applied to
everybody. He created a huge law enforcement group, whose job was to
enforce the laws.
Peasants were assigned a job. They were either assigned the job of
farmer or of silk maker. It they tried to do anything else besides
their assigned job, they were sent to work on the Great Wall. If
people were lazy or slow at doing their assigned job, they were sent
to work on the wall.
Qin practiced total censorship. He persecuted scholars and
destroyed books. He defined useless books as any book about anything
except books about medicine, agriculture, or prophecy. Useless books
were burned. Over 400 scholars who refused to turn in books were
either buried alive or sent to work on the wall. Qin did not believe
in any education for the common man. According to Qin, the more time
people spent studying, the less time they had to grow food. He
especially disliked the teachings of Confucius. He had all
Confucius' books burned.
did not think his rule was cruel. He said, "A
thousand may die so that a million may live." He built roads,
canals, and bridges. His public works projects probably saved
millions of lives that would have been lost to floods and famine.
Although many people died building the Great Wall, it did provide an
advantage in war.
No rebellion occurred during his rule. He died in
210 BCE. Once he was dead, his son took over. His son did not rule
for long. People revolted again the Qin government all over the
The peasant who led that revolt became the new
emperor. His dynasty was called the Han Dynasty. Life vastly
improved during the Han