The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China – Part 2/9

April 18, 2010

Months after becoming king at thirteen, Shi Huangdi overcomes his mother’s desire to rule in his name and leads his nation to war. He is the youngest king to wage war and soon proves he is also the greatest warrior—he becomes known as the Tiger of Qin.  Shi Huangdi wages war against his enemies for ten years. There are seven countries besides Qin. The seven countries in what we know as China today were Zhao, Yen, Wei, Han, Chi, Chu and Qin.

During the war to conquer Zhao, Shi Huangdi’s army takes ten thousand prisoners. The rules of war say these prisoners must be fed and sheltered. However, Shi Huangdi changes the rules.  He shows his troops what to do by beheading an enemy troop and calls on his army to do the same.

He says, “There is only one way to treat weakness and that is to exploit it. There is only one way for Qin to survive, and that is to conquer.”  All 10,000 Zhao prisoners are beheaded.

Go to Part 3 of The Man Who Made China or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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