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Qin Dynasty

In 221 BC, King Ying Zheng established the first unified empire in Chinese history and named himself Shi Huangdi which means "the First Emperor". He unified the Chinese script, currency and measurement system. His policies were focused on the exploration and stabilisation of the Chinese frontier. One of his projects to protect his domains included the renowned Great Wall, which was built on the foundations of older walls. History remembers Qin Shihuang as a tyrant. Severe laws and penalties were enforced as a social control while supreme power lay with the emperor.

Another of the emperor's grandiose projects included the Terracotta Army. Excavated in Shaanxi Province, this is part of the emperor's massive mausoleum. Tens of thousands of conscripts were sent to construct his tomb. The dynasty's tyrannical reign lasted a mere 16 years. After the emperor's death widespread rebellion broke out. Eventually a rebel army led by Liu Bang, a former local official, established the Han dynasty.