The Legalists Rule in China

1 min read
The Legalists Rule in China

Confucius taught people that they were good. The Legalists thought something different, their idea was that each person was evil and that they needed a ruler to control them all.

The Legalist teaching was adopted by the ruler of the Ch’in state: Shih Huang-ti. This emperor united all of the Chinese states together into one large kingdom. He let the Legalists make the rules since he had adopted their teachings. Shih Huang-ti was the first emperor of the Ch’in Dynasty. This emperor's name meant "The First Emperor".

Shih Huang-ti buried alive hundreds of scholars who believed in Confucius' teachings because the emperor did not want the scholar's teachings to spread. He also burned many books that glorified past rulers and books that were written by Confucius. The books that Shih Huang-ti did not burn were the ones that he deemed essential like books on farming, medicine, and pharmacy.

The emperor died in 210 B.C. He wanted to be buried with an army of soldiers that would accompany him to the "afterlife." This wish was granted by his stone workers. The army that the stoneworkers made for him was an army of terracotta warriors. Before the emperor died he told his servants to lock all the stonemasons in his tomb since they could have stolen some of his treasure while building his terracotta army. So far 8,000 terracotta soldiers and animals were found in the emperor's burial pit.