During Warring States period, there were seven major powers, each with significant power. The state of Chu has largest area, over 1 million square kilometers, with a population of 5 million; The state of Qi has strongest economic power with a population of over 3 million; The state of Wei was first to become strong during Warring States. A period that occupies a large amount of fertile land and has advantage of a pioneer; Zhao Kuo created a powerful cavalry force by occupying a plateau overlooking six kingdoms. However, state of Qin is relatively backward economically and culturally among seven countries, why can it unite whole country? There was a lot of discussion among ancients about reasons for unification of Qin state, but editor summarizes some of main factors and makes an in-depth analysis.First, geographical advantage of control over princes is only on one side.
The State of Qin is located in Guanzhong District and is known as Land of Abundance. Guanzhong has been land of four fortresses since ancient times. In east, there are fortresses such as Hangu Pass, Xiaoguan, Wuguan, and Tongguan, which border main roads leading to Guangdong. They are easy to defend and difficult to attack. ; The area is not threatened by any powerful nomads; Qinling Mountains and Daba Mountains are in south, roads are difficult to pass, and it is difficult to pose a threat to Guanzhong; west is a zone of activity for representatives of Xiqiang, Yiqu, Xizhong and other ethnic groups.
Situation with Warring States
Before State of Qin became strong, its threats mainly came from nomads in west, and State of Qin also constantly grew in fight against these nomads. During Spring and Autumn period, Qin state mainly fought against Shizhong, Qin Mugong "benefited country twelve times and opened up thousands of miles", which greatly weakened Shizhong's threat. During Warring States period, Yik Zhirong was annexed, making Qin's rear unthreatening. Thus, during Warring States period, threat to State of Qin mainly came from Kantō region, so there was a situation of "blocking three sides and protecting and using one side to control only princes." The annexation of Sirong area also allowed Qin to have natural land to breed horses. “There are tiger raccoon dogs in north that can be used to replace horses,” which gave a guarantee for the creation of a powerful cavalry.
Another important geographical advantage of state of Qin is that it has two main agricultural regions, which provided sufficient food security for war. The Guanzhong area, located in Weihe River basin, is flat and fertile for thousands of miles, which is very suitable for agricultural production, which is why it is called "Land of Plenty." During Shang Yang's reform period, "Reclamation Order" was promulgated to encourage farming and attract immigrants, which greatly contributed to development of agriculture in Guanzhong area. In late Warring States period, Zhengguo Canal was built to "irrigate more than 40,000 hectares of land and harvest each mu for one bell, so Guanzhong became a fertile field, and Qin became prosperous and strong in absence of evil years." " Another major agricultural area is Bashu. In 316 BC, Qin state annexed Bashu. Since then, Qin state has continued to develop here. The famous Li Bing and his son built Dujiangyan, making Chengdu Plain second "Land of Plenty".
Compared to State of Qin, six countries of Kanto are mostly connected by plains and lack advantages of State of Qin. Although state of Wei occupied more plains, it was at site of Fourth World War, and it was dangerous to defend, which led to dispersal of troops. Eventually, state of Wei went into decline due to attacks of Qi, Qin, and Chu around it. The land of Yanzhao is mountainous. Although you may not pay attention to world, agricultural production is not stable enough, and it is also facing threat of Qi. The state of Qi is located on Shandong peninsula, but at same time borders Yan, Zhao and Wei, and eventually fell into decline due to combined attack of five countries. Although state of Chu is large in size, most of land in its territory has not been developed, which has led to a situation of vast land and a small population. The northern border of state of Chu is too long, and at same time, it must be defended against three great powers of Qin, Wei, and Qi, which also led to dispersion of troops. And South Korea is too small to be very competitive.Second, Qin has highest degree of centralization
During Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, general trend in political development of various countries was that enfeoffment system was constantly replaced by a centralization system, and aristocratic system was gradually replaced by a bureaucratic system. The enfeoffment system seriously weakened power of country, therefore, having entered period of Warring States, all countries carried out large-scale reforms: in state of Wei there was reform of Li Kui, in state of Chu - reform of Wu Qi, in state of Qi there was New Deal of Qi Weiwang. However, among reforms of other countries, most fundamental were those of Qin and Shang Yang.
The basis of Shang Yang's reform is to strengthen centralization of power. Economically, he abolished surviving system of community wells and established private land ownership, which also undermined economic basis of nobility, abolished enfeoffment system and advanced system of prefectures and counties, making local vertical of government in hands of monarch, that is, abolish rule of etiquette that existed in past, that "punishment cannot be punished by a doctor", and strengthen authority of monarch and country; This policy dealt a heavy blow to aristocratic forces of Qin state and strengthened autocracy of monarch. The autocratic monarchy and centralization of power favor concentration of human, material and financial resources of country, allow large-scale engineering construction, as well as large-scale foreign conquests.
Another core of Shang Yang's reform is "one people" policy, which is to strictly control production, production and thoughts of ordinary people. The "one people" method is to manipulate levers of rewards and punishments, "open a door to be conquered and show a path that must die", and use some extraordinary means to force people to obey. "Reward" is use of people's utilitarian psychology to induce, while "punishment" is use of coercive measures to prohibit. The policy of agrarian war is a concrete manifestation of "one people" policy. By participating in war, you can get more material and power rewards. To prevent ordinary people from deviating from path of "one people", strict punishment laws were introduced to restrict them. The policy of agricultural warfare, firstly, increased production of grain in state of Qin, and secondly, increased combat effectiveness of army. The people see battle as a hungry wolf sees meat,” and became a true “teacher of the tiger and wolf.” ". The national foundations of Qin. Serving agriculture and war, he turned into a war machine.
After Shang Yang was split by car, systems and laws formulated by Shang Yang were implemented and implemented for a long time. Until Qin Shihuang founded Qin dynasty, its basic policy still followed policy formulated by Shang Yang. "Historical Records" gave a very positive assessment of Shang Yang's reform: "In ten years of practice, Qin Mingda said that road does not pick up relics, there are no thieves in mountains, and enough in family. people are brave in public wars and timid in personal battles, and city is ruled.” However, this so-called "Qin Ming Dao" is initial effect of reform, and long-term implementation of this policy will inevitably lead to negative effect of "the world will suffer from Qin dynasty for a long time." .
Compared to Qin, reforms of six countries of Kangto are not as thorough and radical. Among them, Qi and Chu have retained a large number of remnants of enfeoffment system, and it is difficult to coordinate internal forces. According to archaeological finds, tombs of six countries in Kanto region show several differences in levels from monarch to common people, while tombs of Qin state are dominated by tombs of monarchs, which simply reflects power of monarchs in six eastern countries has not yet reached a high degree of concentration. For example, in state of Chu, Wu Qi's reforms seriously threatened interests of nobility, and he was eventually executed and reforms reversed. In middle and late Warring States period, "Qi had Mengchang, Zhao had Pingyuan, Chu had Chunshen, Wei had Xinling" and other feudal monarchs. They had great power, even higher than monarch. This is remnant of representative enfeoffment system.Thirdly, coherence and continuity of national policies
In a monarchy, monarch plays a key role in development of country. In this respect, state of Qin is undoubtedly relatively fortunate: state of Qin began with Qin Xiaogong, and experienced rulers of Huiwen, King Wu of Qin, King Zhaoxiang, King Zhuangxiang, and Qin Shihuang are all prominent monarchs. This is done in order to avoid collapse and large-scale corruption of Qin state in a certain generation. In this regard, six eastern countries are not so lucky. From beginning of reign of King Huai of Chu, state of Chu was basically a mediocre and incompetent monarch. The State of Qi has been basically a mediocre monarch since beginning of King Qi Ming's reign. There was a big mistake, and only prominent monarchs of Yanzhao were King Yanzhao and King Wuling of Zhao.
The country's monarch lacks foresight, which not only seriously weakens country's strength, but also leads to foreign policy instability. After strengthening of state of Qin, a situation of struggle between "joint vertical" and "Lian horizontal" developed. "He Zong" means that six countries of Kanto form an alliance to fight against Qin together, and "Lian Heng" means that state of Qin defeats country in east to destroy "He Zong". In early days, Hezong showed his strength many times. In 296 B.C. King Mengchang united Qi, Wei, and Han to attack Qin, and Qin was forced to return occupied lands. However, commonwealth policy did not survive. Later, state of Chu betrayed alliance, which led to collapse of Qi-Chu alliance. The state of Chu was attacked by Qi and Qin, and its power declined. After that, Hezhong had no success.
The monarch of State of Qin has always insisted on a policy of supporting weak countries in east to attack strong countries. After Wei State was defeated, Wei State basically became target of Qin State alliance. With Wei State as a buffer, it was difficult for six countries to directly attack Qin State. The State of Qi was target of State of Qin Lianheng. Although State of Qin did not directly send troops to attack State of Qi, main policy of Lianheng was to oppose State of Qi. In 284 BC Le Yi led five kingdoms of Yan, Zhao, Chu, Han, and Wei to attack Qi, leading to decline of Qi. After that, state of Qin adopted a policy of "long and short attack" in order to stabilize state of Qi and defeat each of them.
Talent is a rare resource during Warring States period. Every country has a culture of educating scientists. The so-called "princes of world want to fight and recruit heroes to feed themselves. Also." However, due to relatively backward culture of Qin state, there is a lack of talent. However, Qin state actively attracted talent from other countries: Qin Xiaogon had Shang Yang, King Huiwen had Zhang Yi, Zhaoxiang had Fan Ju, and Yingzheng had Lu Buwei and Li Xi. During Yingzheng's reign, he issued an "order to drive away guests", so Li Xi published "Book of Objections and Expulsion of Guests" which discussed importance of talents from other countries to Qin, and Yingzheng withdrew order.
The six countries of Kanto are different. The State of Wei used to be a country with great talents, and Wei Wenhou became powerful through reuse of talents, but after that, Wu Qi, Shang Yang, Zhang Yi, Fan Ju, and Sun Bin were pushed out of Wei State. and brain drain was severe. The State of Qi was a gathering place for talents during Warring States period, but they mainly studied academic activities and rarely participated in political activities, so it was difficult for them to play a role in mainstream politics of country. During reign of King Yanzhao, State of Yan recruited talents extensively, but they mainly used them to attack State of Qi, and subsequent monarchs did not have such activities.
The general policy of State of Qin is good and stable, so territory of State of Qin continued to expand during Warring States period. By middle of Warring States period, state of Qin was second in area only to state of Chu with a population of 5 million, comparable to state of Chu. The other six countries find it difficult to compete with Qin in terms of area and population. Through Qin's continuous military and diplomatic victories, Qin finally formed a situation of dominance after battle of Changping, and situation of unification of six countries is irreversible.