221 B.C.-A.D. 589
UNIFICATION AND LONGEVITY: QIN AND HAN,
221 B.C.-A.D. 220
China during the Eastern Zhou period was chaotic and divided.
Ultimately, a rival state named Qin (pronounced “cheen”) prevailed
militarily over all other states and unified China under its rule in 221
B.C. The Qin then imposed its name on the rest of China, and it is from
“Qin” that we get our term “China” in English and also the various
pronunciations of “China” in many other European languages.
Several factors contributed to the Qin victory. Geography played an
important role; the Qin was relatively isolated in western China from
the rest of the states. The Qin was a rugged, semifrontier region
located in the very fertile valley of the Wei River, a tributary of the
Yellow. The Qin's natural geography made it easy to defend but very
difficult to capture, which also worked to the Qin's advantage.
Because most of the great battles during the Eastern Zhou were fought