Was the First Emperor a good leader? By Samuel Negri


Today I have been tasked with analysing the First Emperor, then I will determine if he was a good emperor or and bad one.

Biography on Qin Shi Huang:

I will now start with a small biography on the First Emperor.

The First emperors name was Qin Shi Huang and was born on February the 18th in 259 BC.

When he was thirteen he became the King of Zheng of Qin and by 221 BC he had conquered all of China and became the first Emperor.

During his reign he had done many things that changed China a lot which has created the debate, was the First Emperor good or bad.

He died on 10 September 210 BC from him consuming mercury, he did this because he believed it would give him eternal life.

The definition of a good leader:

A good leader is someone who can make decisions that the group is happy with, the leader is also selfless and always thinking about others, they can achieve things and must be aware of there actions.

Great Wall of China:

One of his most notable achievements was the Great Wall of China, this wall would stop many Mongolians from successfully invading China. Even though it is not used by the army any more it has become a national icon and has bought tourism to China which has boosted China's wealth by a lot. While building the Great Wall of China over one million people died building it, also its original purpose wasn't to keep out invaders, it was so the emperor could sit down and look at his conquered land.

Even though the Great Wall of China stoped many invasions from the Mongols its original purpose wasn't to protect. This shows us the First Emperors was a very selfish man, being selfish isn't something that makes a good leader.

The Great Wall of China

The improvement of transport:

The Emperor had a good idea for China that benefited himself and the people, this Idea was making better transport.

By making better transport trading would be easier since getting goods around the country is fast, this would of course boost China's economics. Moving around China would also be easier for people and the army. By having a mobile army would make it so he could send an entire army to a invasion quickly or a rebellion from the people. Making this would also cost a lot of money and lives.

The reason why the Emperor did this was for two main reason, wealth and power over his country.

Having better transport would mean that the country would be richer but knowing the Emperor he would just be thinking about himself, so a richer country means a richer Emperor and also with his transport he can move his army which can stomp invasions and obliterate riots created by the people.

This was a pure selfish act from the Emperor that was only in his own interest.

Terracotta Army:

On the topic of army's, the Terracotta was the biggest clay army in the world and was meant to serve him in the after life when he died. Around 700,000 people worked on this and it took 37 years to make.

The features of the Terracotta Army included a wooden chariot at the front and a small group of soldiers behind, the number of soldiers behind the chariot is 30 soldiers.

This served absolutely no purpose to China at all.

The Terracotta Army was a massive wast of money and resources with no up sides besides from the very off chance that there is an after life, but now this is a really a great icon for China and is making lots of money off this ancient relic.

Unfortunately despite the Terracotta Army in the modern day being a money dispenser for China it's original purpose was very selfish of the Emperor to commanded his workers since it was a wast of resources, time and money.

Terracotta Army

Reducing the Chinese Diction:

Originally the Chinese had 10,000 words in its language over years of culture, religion and stories from generations. But when the Emperor came into power he soon reduced those to 3,000 thousand words completely throwing out all of the culture, religion and stories of the past.

This maybe only one down side but it is quite a big one, just think of all the things we could've learned about ancient China because of those words. But despite this down side it's up side is fairly positive. Decreasing the word count made the language easier to learn for other countries, making it easier would boost the population of China.

My conclusion about this is a 50/50 situation, the Emperor had a strong disregard for Chinese culture, but in doing so he made it easier for new comers to migrate to China and boost China's economy.

Was the Emperor a good Leader?

Despite all the useful things he has done over his reign, my opinion on this Emperor still stands.

Qin Shi Huang was a selfish, greedy Emperor which means he wasn't a good Leader.

You may argue that all of his achievements did something great for the Chinese economy such as the Great Wall of China with its great tourism attraction and capable defences, and yes I would agree the Great Wall of China was a great thing, but the Emperor didn't intend the great Wall of China to fend off armies, he just wanted to see the land that he conquered from high up. Another down fall was that over one million people died making this Wall. The emperor didn't make it for the people he made it for himself.

My favourite example of the Emperors self centred personality was the Terracotta Army which severed no purpose to anyone apart from the Emperor himself. The Terracotta Army in those days were a wast of money, resources and 37 years.

My conclusion is mainly based around the emperors selfishness, which are qualities of a bad leader. When you are leading a group you ask for people's opinions on the matter, and after you have heard all of them you choose the best one for the group or you come up with your own that combines everyone's.


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