The Unification of Government
Qin Shi Huang (original name Ying Zheng) was once the king of the state of Qin, but with his trusted advisor Li Si, Qin Shi Huang managed to take over all the other states. Ying Zheng first decided to attack the weak state of Han, which had already suffered from attacks from the Qin State. He managed to take over the Han State capital: Zheng. After capturing this capital, the king surrendered in one year. When Ying Zheng was finished with the Han state, he moved on to conquer the state of Zhao. In 236 BCE when Zhao was attacking the Yan state, Ying Zheng invaded the kingdom of Zhao. Many battles took place and the Qin Warriors forced the Zhao back to their capital city. Unfortunately for the Zhao, its kingdom was hit by an earthquake and a terrible famine followed. Ying Zheng then launched an attack on Zhao's capital from the north and south. The Qin troops bribed a minister in Zhao to create problems, but their plan failed so they instead just attacked the Zhao army and succeeded. A few months later they captured the king and brought an end to the kingdom of Zhao. Ying Zheng then fought many other battles and in 211 BCE he conquered the Qi state which was the last state to fall to his armies. All of the states were then united into one country called China.
Unification of currency
Qin Shi Huang knew how important a nationwide currency was so he created one called the half liang coin. The half liang coin weighs 7.8 grams and is over three centimeters in diameter. It also contains a square hole in the center. With this new central currency, it ended the problem of having different currencies among different areas, which could be different shape and weight.
Unification of Weights and measurements
Under Qin Shi Huang's rule, weights and measurements were unified nationwide. For measurements, Qin Shi Huang created units called yin, zhang, chi, cun, and fen. One yin was equal to 10 zhang, 1 zhang was equal to 10 chi, 1 chi was equal to 10 cun, etc. As for liquid measurements, there were units called Hu, Dou, and Sheng. Like the previous measurements, one hu was equal to ten dou, and one dou was equal to one sheng, which is equivalent to 200ml. This unification of weights and measurements made it easier for the people to trade and buy goods from different areas in China.
Unification of Written Language
Qin Shi Huang's prime minister, Li Si, along with scholars, helped create new literary texts. A new, simplified, script emerged called the Small Seal script. This small seal script allowed people to transfer ideas easier since all of China was using one main written language.
Unification of Laws
Qin Shi Huang created a new code of laws called the Qin Law Code. In this code, basic officials reported to county officials on agricultural and farming statuses such as floods, droughts, and insect pests. The penalties under Qin Shi Huang’s system were harsh though. A penalty for a petty theft such as stealing some jewelry would be cutting off the hand the person stole from. For a large offense, the penalty could be being ripped apart by a chariot or the mass murder of the criminal’s family. With this harsh code of laws, it probably discouraged people from doing crimes.