China, imperial: 1. Qin dynasty, 221–207 BCE

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Abstract Qin was the first imperial polity in China's history and despite its brevity its influence remained palpable throughout the imperial millennia. It annexed its rivals by military means, but the unification of “All-under-Heaven” was legitimated long before it happened by competing thinkers of the preceding Warring States period. Qin relied on a highly centralized and impressively effective bureaucratic organization, which allowed it to fully utilize human and material resources of the realm. However, its excessive mobilization of the populace backfired, causing huge popular uprisings and the dynasty's swift collapse.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Empire
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781118455074
StatePublished - 2016


  • Mid- to late 3rd century bce–
  • bureaucracy
  • China
  • eastern Asia
  • imperial history
  • unification


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