Much of what came to constitute China proper was unified for the first time in 221 BC.In that year the western frontier state of Qin, the most aggressive of the Warring States, subjugated the last of its rival states, putting an end to the Warring States Period.When the Qin state emerged victorious from the Warring States period in 221 BCE, the state's leader, King Zheng, claimed the Mandate of Heaven and established the Qin Dynasty.He renamed himself Shi Huangdi (First Emperor), a far grander title than King, establishing the way in which China would be ruled for the next two millennia.According to legend, a rich merchant named Lu Buwei befriended a prince of the Qin State during the latter years of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BCE).The merchant's lovely wife Zhao Ji had just gotten pregnant, so he arranged for the prince to meet and fall in love with her. Ying Zheng became king of the Qin state in 246 BCE, upon the death of his supposed father.
The leaders of the Qi, Yan, Zhao, Han, Wei, Chu and Qin states were former dukes under the Zhou Dynasty but had each proclaimed themselves king as the Zhou fell apart.
He also caused both incredible cultural and intellectual growth and much destruction within China.
Whether he should be remembered more for his creations or his tyranny is a matter of dispute, but everyone agrees that Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, was one of the most important rulers in Chinese history.
Qin Shi Huang (or Shi Huangdi) was the First Emperor of a unified China and ruled from 246 BCE to 210 BCE.
In his 35-year reign, he managed to create magnificent and enormous construction projects.