The Rise and Fall of Dynasties In Ancient China

China has many different peoples with widely different cultural backgrounds. In fact its populace is comprised of 56 ethnic groups. Why could these peoples have united as One China? The key to this miracle was the Idea of Zhong-hua, what is often translated as Sinocentrism. The program explores how this idea was forged in ancient China and finally utilized by the First Emperor of Qin to bind many different people under one flag. Many years of civil strife came to end in 221 BC with the first unification of China by the First Emperor. New discoveries are making clearer his extraordinary ambition towards the supreme power, which gave China the last impetus to its unification. His famous terracotta warriors, a symbol of his power were proven to have originally been brightly colored. And these colors provide important clues to the First Emperor's firm determination to place himself at the center of China. In fact, Qing was one of remote tribes who were disdained as barbarians by the states in the Central Plains. Qing gained power through drastic military and political reforms and went on conquering other tribes, but they met tenacious rejections from the people in the conquered states. To conciliate them, the Qing started to claim that they were the Xia. By calling themselves the successor to the Xia they tried to legitimize their rule over China. The First Emperor, however, did not content with the earthly power. Archaeologists took clues from items and remnants excavated from Qin's old capital to prove what grandiose plan he introduced in construction of his capital city. What the First Emperor desired to build was in fact a Celestial Empire. The latest archeological evidence shed new light on the last step to the unified China, the foundations that made China, and Asia, what it is today.
45 minutes
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