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Qin Shi Huang (259-210 B.c.) And His Empire

In 221 B.C., Ying Zheng,
ruler of the State of Qin and a man of great talent and
bold vision, ended the 250-odd years of rivalry among the
independent principalities during the Warring States
Period, establishing the first centralized, unified, multi-
ethnic feudal state in Chinese history?the Qin Dynasty
(221-207 B.C.). He called himself Qin Shi Huang or ?First
Emperor of Qin.? He standardized the written script,
weights and measures, and currencies, and established the
system of prefectures and counties. The sovereigns of the
next 2,000-odd years followed the feudal governmental
structure established by him. He mobilized more than
300,000 people over a period of a dozen years to build the
Great Wall, which stretches for 5,000 km in northern China.
Qin Shi Huang had work on his enormous mausoleum started
early in his reign. The terracotta warriors of the
?underground army? guarding the mausoleum, unearthed in
1974, amazed the world. The 8,000 vivid, life-size pottery
figures, horses and chariots have been called the ?eighth
wonder of the world.?.

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