259 - 210 BC
Chinese Emperor
Shih Huang-ti was the first ruler to unify all of China. He started out as king of Ch'in, the most militaristic of the 'Warring States'.

In 221 BC his armies annexed the six states that rivalled Ch'in, and he assumed the title of First Emperor (Shih Huang-ti) of a new dynasty - the Ch'in.

The emperor unified China with merciless brutality and vowed that all Confucian doctrine, which set limits to the power of the ruler, should be erased. He ordered his chancellor to burn all the literary classics of the past.

Shih Huang-ti established a centralized administration and constructed a network of roads and canals. He fought against the steppe peoples from the northern desert, and he began that immense work, the Great Wall of China, to set limits to their incursions.

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The Ch'in Empire