- The dynasty began when the King of Qin (known as the Tiger of Qin for his energy and determination) unified the seven states of China and made himself Qin Shi Huangdi meaning The First Emperor of Qin.
- Shi Huangdi was born Ying Zheng in 259 BC during the period of The Warring States.
- He was the son and grandson of Kings of Qin but of liitle real importance. His mother was not the King's principal wife and Zheng was one of only many sons the king fathered.
- Despite being unimportant in the family hierarchy, when Zheng's father died the future emperor was only 13 but, with the help of officials who could see he would make a strong King, he took up his role as King - and the rest is history
- Crowned King at the age of 22 in 238 BC Zheng, only then, took full control of the government
- In 221 he established the empire having united the remaining six states with the Qin state and took the title as First Qin Emperor. He was to bring about great changes to China even though he was only Emperor for a short time and his dynasty did not last long after his death
Below is an artist's impression of what the Emperor's main Palace of Apang at Xianyang would have looked like. It was completed in 212 BC and, according to the old records, it was 500 paces from east to west and 5000 feet from north to south - a very strange way of measuring it. The terraces could seat 10 000 people.
- Shi Huangdi died in 210 BC and was succeeded, not by his proper heir Fu Su, who had been killed in a palace plot, but by an incompetent and less able prince, Hu Hai, who named himself, Er Shi Huangdi, or Second Radiant, Glorious Emperor..
- In 209 BC revolts occurred in all parts of the empire
- In 202 BC Liu Bang, a former advisor to the first Emperor, emerged as the strongest leader and went on to establish a new dynasty - the Han Dynasty