Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Tamerlane, Mussolini, Stalin, Togo and all the rest of the great conquerors failed where Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s First Emperor, succeeded. National Geographic has a short film that is worth watching.
While history records this emperor as a cruel and brutal tyrant, he did several things that made sure China would stay unified. First, he forced every nation he conquered to accept one written language. Anyone who protested was killed. Today, more than twenty-two hundred years later, China still has one written language but many spoken languages. He also created one form of money and a code of laws that everyone had to obey. Soon after the man who made China died, a rebellion swept the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 B.C.) away and the Han Dynasty replaced it (206 B.C. to 219 A.D.).
Qin Shi Huangdi may have been the only conqueror in history who did not allow those he defeated to retain their written language. Because of this, China has survived for more than two millennia—something no other civilization may claim.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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