The second half of the Eastern Zhou 东周 period
Chinese Name: 战国
English Name: Warring States period; zhan Guo period
Duration: About 476 BC – 221 BC
King: Kings of the vassal states
Vassal states: Qi 齐, Qin 秦, Chu 楚, Yan 燕, Han 韩, Zhao 赵, Wei 魏
The Warring States period 战国时期 was an era of fierce struggle among the princes of various countries in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty 东周. There is no clear time limit between the Spring and Autumn 春秋时期Period and the Warring States Period in history. It ended in 221 BC when Qin united the six states, and the war lasted for more than 200 years.
During the Warring States period, the population was more than 20 million. In 249 BC, the total area of the seven heroes of the Warring States period was 2.18 million square kilometers.
In the Warring States period, Chu 楚 was in the south, Zhao 赵 was in the north, Yan 燕 was in the northeast, Qi 齐 was in the East, Qin 秦 was in the west, and Han 韩 and Wei 魏 were in the middle. Among the seven great powers, the three great powers along the Yellow River Basin from west to East is Qin, Wei, and Qi. They have the power to control the situation.
Major Historical Events
Frequent wars 战乱频繁
In 403 B.C., King Weilie of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty 东周威烈王, the Communist Lord of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, ordered the three princes of Han 韩, Zhao 赵, and Wei 魏, which officially formed the situation of the seven heroes of the Warring States period.
From more than 140 princes in the early spring and Autumn period, after more than 360 years of merger, there were only more than 20 in the early Warring States period. Among them, the Qin state of Ying 嬴in the west, the Qi state of Jiang 姜 in the East, the three Jin Dynasties 三晋王朝 in the Central Plains (Zhao, Wei, and Han), the Chu state of Mi 芈 in the South and the Yan state of Ji 姬in the north are the strongest. It is known as the “seven heroes of the Warring States period 战国七雄”.
Shang Yang Reform 商鞅变法
The state of Qin began the “Shang Yang reform” from the time of Duke Xiao of Qin 孝公, and passed through King Huiwen秦惠文王, King Wu 武王, and King Zhaoxiang 昭襄王 of Qin. For more than a hundred years, a relatively consolidated centralized rule was established. The state of Qin paid attention to water conservancy and agricultural production, and rewarded military merit, and excellent military equipment.
At the same time, the state of Qin made full use of strategic advisers to plan wars for Qin and became stronger and stronger among the vassal states. Finally, it defeated powerful enemies in the East and became the first powerful country in the world.
Battle of Chang Ping 长平之战
The battle of Changping was a war between the state of Qin and the army of Zhao from May to October in the 47th year of King Zhaoxiang of Qin (260 BC).
Qin and Zhao fought for the upper party and broke out a large-scale war. It took three years for the state of Qin to send troops to make Han cede the Shangdang 上党 to the state of Qin to win. The battle of Chang Ping lasted only five months. Zhao was finally defeated. Qin won and occupied Changping. About 450000 soldiers of the State of Zhao were killed in this battle.
The idiom “talking on paper 纸上谈兵” is often used to describe Zhao Kuo 赵括 who lost the battle of Changping.
According to the historical records, the biography of Lin Xiangru in Lianpo《史记·廉颇蔺相如列传》: Zhao Kuo, the son of Zhao She 赵奢, a famous general of the state of Zhao in the Warring States period, learned the art of war when he was young, and his father could not defeat him when talking about military affairs.
Later, he succeeded Lian Po 廉颇 as general of the state of Zhao. In the battle of Chang Ping, we only knew how to handle it according to the military book, but we didn’t know how to adapt. Finally, he rashly attacked and was defeated by the Qin army. It’s called “talking on paper”.
The Emperor And The Assassin 荆轲刺秦
Jing Ke 荆轲, the Jiang family, was born in the late Warring States period. He was a descendant of Qing Feng 庆封, a senior official of the state of Qi in the Spring and Autumn period. He was also a famous assassin in the Warring States period.
Jing Ke likes reading and fencing. He is generous and chivalrous. After traveling to the state of Yan 燕, Tian Guang 田光 recommended it to Prince Dan 太子丹.
After the state of Qin 秦 destroyed Zhao, it directly pointed to the southern boundary of the state of Yan. Prince Dan was frightened and decided to send Jing Ke into the Qin Dynasty to assassinate the king of Qin. Jing Ke offered a plan to present the head of Fan Yuqi 樊淤期, the traitor of the state of Qin, and the map of Yan Dukang 燕督亢to the king of Qin for camera assassination. Prince Dan couldn’t bear to kill Fan Yuqi, so Jing Ke had to meet Fan Yuqi privately and tell the truth. Fan Yuqi committed suicide in order to complete Jing Ke.
After Jing Ke and Qin Wuyang entered the Qin, the king of Qin solemnly summoned him in Xianyang palace咸阳宫. During the examination of fan Yuqi’s head and offering the map of governor Kang, Jing Ke failed to stab the king of Qin. He was seriously wounded by the king of Qin and killed by the guards of Qin.
Hundred schools of thought 百家争鸣
Hundred schools of thought refers to the emergence of different schools of intellectuals in the spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.) and the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) and the situation of competition between various family schools.
In Chinese history, the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period are the most brilliant times of thought and culture with stars shining. During this period, there was an unprecedented academic situation in which all schools of thought heckled and argued with each other. It occupies an important position in the history of Chinese ideological development.
Severe punishment and law to govern the country
During the Warring States period, all countries used severe punishment and laws to govern the country. A number of new written codes have been formulated for this purpose.
Most of them should be the legal provisions of the state of Qin in the Warring States period, which is valuable information to understand the legal situation of Qin or other countries.