Qin Shi Huangdi wasn't always known as Qin Shi Huangdi or as an emperor at all. He was born in 259 BC as Ying Zheng. The
man officially known as his father was Zhuang Xiang the future king of the Qin state, and his mother was Zhao Ji. I say officially
known as his father because there was an ancient speculation that Ying Zheng was actually the son of another. Like many other
women of ancient China his mother had previously been the concubine of a wealthy merchant by the name Lu Buwei. Some thought
that Ying Zheng was Lu Buwei's son and not Zhuang Xiang's.
In 246 BC Ying Zeng's father finally became king of the Qin state. But soon after his father retained power he died leaving
his now thirteen year old son as his successor. Ying Zeng was obviously at too young of an age to properly rule so his mother
and Lu Buwei became his advisors. It is also during this time that another sex scandal arose. I will touch back on that later.
I have mentioned the state of Qin and some of you are probably puzzled as to what exactly I am talking about. At this point
in time in China's history China was nothing but masses of land made up of seven feudal states. Qin being one of them.
People love scandal, so I will explain the scandal that happened that made Ying Zheng take control of what by birth was
rightfully his. It happens that around the time of when Ying Zheng was in his early twenties that his mother had an affair
with what he and others dismissed as a eunuch, and had children by him. When the soon to be first emperor of China found out
Lao Ai ( the presumed eunuch) tried to stage a revolt in effort to kill Ying Zheng and take the throne for himself. It didn't
work, and as punishment Ying Zheng ordered his death and the death of all his family including those children by his mother.
Subsequently he removed his mother and Lu Buwei from power and appointed Lao Ai as his new prime minister in an effort to
strengthen his cabinet and set up his own "safety net". He was now twenty-two years old.
Qin Shi Huangdi is known for great accomplishments. Among these is the well known Great Wall of China, pictured above.
He is also known as the man who made China. What he did for China and his new country is best known as the " three unifications
". He gave China standardized weights and measures, a currency to be used through out the entire empire, and a unification
of the Chinese written language. Of course all of it was based on what the state of Qin had in effect, but it gave an order
and organization that the land had never seen before. He did all of this before he was a middle-aged man. He ordered the making
o roads to link the directions of his country. He is also well known for his mastery in political and militarily skills and
execution. How else would he have created the country that still exists today?
The legacy of Ying Zheng is not one to be questioned. He built a wall across his empire more than 4,000 miles long. He
created the country, killed many and changed everything. Some say it was for the better and some say it was for the worst.
Those who say it was for the better believe his pros out-weigh his cons, and those who say it was for the worse think the
cons out-weigh everything. However, the question still remains: what would have become of the feuding states if he had not
taken his place in history, if he was a straight pacifist like that of Gandhi ? (I am in no way comparing the first emperor
to Gandhi, it is not my intention). He even left something for people to ponder after his death. His necropolis and the well
known Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an. The mysteries they hold will be touched upon in further sections.