IntroductionAlthough the ancient Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) lasted only fifteen years it had numerous achievements. Below we list many of the achievements and advancements in Chinese culture made by this dynasty. In the list of facts below you will see that many of the achievements of the Qin dynasty dealt with the unification of the various regions of China into a unified country. The first Qin emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was cruel and hated by the people but the advancements of China during his reign are numerous. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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Qin Dynasty Achieves the Unification and Expansion of China
- The Qin Dynasty greatly expanded the territory of China with a series conquests.
- Emperor Qin Shi Huang added significantly to China's ancient road system building numerous roads that resulted in improved commerce and unification of the various regions of the ancient civilization.
- During this dynasty ancient China's writing system was standardized. This was made possible through the efforts of a man named Li Si who served as the Chancellor (or Prime Minister) under both Qin emperors.
- Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified the currency of China. He made a uniform circular copper coin with a square hole in the middle the standardized currency; he abolished all other forms of currency. This resulted in an improvement in commerce.
- Emperor Qin Shi Huang put in place a unified language. This enabled better communication throughout ancient China leading to a stronger country.
- During the Qin dynasty all weights and measures were standardized which led to better commerce and contributed to the unification of China.
- Emperor Qin Shi Huang demanded all cart axles be the same length. This aided travel due to the fact that cart wheels made ruts in the road and carts with different size axles would have great difficulty traveling on the roads. The improved ability to travel aided commerce.
Other Qin Dynasty Achievements and Accomplishments
- During the Qin Dynasty the Great Wall of China was completed and made stronger. Although construction on the wall had begun centuries before the beginning of the Qin Dynasty vast improvements were made during the Qin Dynasty. Sections of the wall that were not connected prior to the Qin Dynasty were linked together. The wall served as a great defense for China against invaders from the north.
- The Zhengguo Canal was an important achievement of the Qin Dynasty. This canal was constructed for the purpose of irrigation of farm land in China's Guanzhong region. The Guanzhong region is the lower valley of the Wei River; which is the largest tributary of the Yellow River. The canal stretched 300 miles and took over ten years to complete.
- During the Qin Dynasty the Lingqu Canal was made. This canal connects the Xiang River and the Li River. It is the oldest contour canal in the world. Contour canals are navigable canals which closely follow the contour of the land.
- Perhaps the most famous accomplishment of the Qin Dynasty is the terracotta army. As part of his mausoleum Emperor Qin Shi Huang had thousands of life-size terra- cotta soldiers built, along with other terra-cotta sculptures including horses and chariots. Unearthed in 1974 this is now one of China's biggest tourist attractions.