Military Might: The Key to the Qin’s Unification of China
A military official dressed in earthen armor and wielding a bronze knife was a common sight during the early days of the Qin Empire. During the Warring States Period (221-207 BCE) in China, the state of Qin’s militaristic and authoritarian government was integral to the rise of the Qin Dynasty. Through military might, the Qin defeated and conquered six other city states and established itself as China’s first empire. By establishing a rigid authoritarian government, providing its military force with state of the art weaponry and armor, and employing battle tactics that it acquired battling nomads and barbarians, the Qin military machine subjugated its adversaries and assimilated them to their empire. With a rapidly growing population, a rigid authoritarian government was needed to oversee the kingdom. The Qin Dynasty had a government designed to keep all its subjects working towards the expansion and glory of the kingdom. The Qin Empire instituted an ongoing census of its entire population. The information gathered during the census streamlined tax collection, which was used to fund public works projects. The Qin Dynasty used tax funds to enhance road networks for trade and military logistics. The census also served as a tool to determine the Qin’s potential labor and military force. From this manpower pool, the Qin government drafted temporary fighters during long battles, volunteered laborers to work on public infrastructure such as military fortifications, and contracted artisans such as blacksmiths and metallurgists to provide military hardware. Finally, the Qin’s legislature is based on punishment of punitive crimes. This legalism ensured that its citizens do not graduate to larger larcenies by having severe punishments for petty crimes. The Qin suppressed other political views such as Taoism and Confucianism and stressed the importance of patriotism to reach the goal of unifying...
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