Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mike Posner "Cooler Than Me" ~ The Great Wall of Qin part 1 of 3

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Who was the First Emperor of China?

Giving your students a close look at the First Emperor of China will open their eyes to the wonders of an ancient land that was hidden from the world for centuries.

Qin Shi Huangdi (259 - 210 B.C.), the First Emperor of China, was a man of "extreme power" as his many accomplishments demonstrated. He was also called Qin Shi Huang, Shi Huangdi Di, Qin Shihuangdi, and King Zheng. His given name was Ying Zheng. The legends that described him as a great warrior and ruthless tyrant were written over 100 years after his death. When archaeologists discovered the Terracotta Army in Xi'an in the center of China (in 1974), the legend of Qin Shi Huangdi came to life.

What we know about Qin Shi Huangdi:

He became king of the western state of Qin at age 13 after the death of his father.

Qin Shi Huangdi united the 'Seven Warring States' in 221 B.C. into a united China through combat and harsh laws. Six of the seven states were weakened by endless warfare, while the state of Qin grew prosperous at the other states' expense. After his victories, King Zheng gave himself a new title to reflect the magnitude of his accomplishments: Qin Shi Huangdi (First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty).

He supported the Legalist philosophy which believed that man was basically evil and needed to be controlled with a strong authoritarian government. The books and teachings of Confucius were banned and destroyed.

Weights and measures were standardized under his rule. Currency and the legal system were also unified.

Feudalism was abolished and land was given to peasant farmers.

To protect his empire from invasion from the north, Qin Shi Huangdi ordered that his country's defenses be built up with the creation of a Great Wall. This first wall was built with stones in the mountainous regions of the country, and with earth in the plains. Most of this original wall has eroded away with the passage of time. Later dynasties have replaced most of the wall built by Qin Shi Huandi.

Qin Shi Huangdi was buried in a mausoleum unlike any other. The word 'mausoleum' can mean one of two things: either a stately and magnificent tomb, or a burial place for the remains of many individuals, usually in the form of a small building. In the case of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi it was both! But instead of his mausoleum being a tomb with other people buried there, he had himself buried with approximately 8000 life-sized men and horses all made out of terra cotta clay. The statues in the tomb included archers, infantry men, chariots, and horses. According to the Chinese historian Sima Qian, 700,000 men constructed this underground army and worked for over 36 years to construct this magnificent mausoleum.

Cathy Diez-Luckie, Figures In Motion - Publisher of Captivating Activity Books for Children

To receive a free e-newsletter and explore fascinating facts about the great men and women of history and the time in which they lived, with links about famous people, archaeology, art, architecture, maps, and geography sign up at http://www.figuresinmotion.com/club.html

Learn about a new hands-on teaching resource for ancient history Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper FIgures to Cut, Color, and Assemble (for children ages 6 to 12) at http://www.figuresinmotion.com Make your own action figures from ancient history (including a figure of Qin Shi Huangdi, First Emperor of China)!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cathy_Diez-Luckie

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