San José State University
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Thayer Watkins
Silicon Valley
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The Rise and Fall of the Qin (Ch'in) Empire

During the Warring States period in China from 480 to 221 BCE there were six major states vying for domination. There were several lesser states which were important but not likely to be important in the contest for domination. Qin was thought to be one of those lesser states.

It was clear that one kingdom would eventually dominate the rest. The kingdom of the Qin in the west was not one of the six major states. To the surprise of most, Qin, through political manipulation and military campaign, conquered all of its competitors one by one. This is the story of the rise and fall of the Qin Empire starting long before the Warring States period until its fall some decade and half after the death of its founder. The names of people and places are given in the pinyin style of transliteration but the Wade=Giles form is given in parentheses the first time a term is used.

Source: Li Yu-Ning (ed.), The First Emperor of China, International Arts and Sciences Press, White Plains, New York, 1975,

For more on the history of China see China.

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