Qin Dynasty was the first unified China empire. It is history’s irony that the last empire of China was also Qin Dynasty, although the Chinese Character was different. The first unified China, Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 206 BC) was established by Qin Shi Huang (meaning the first emperor), Ying Zheng (259 BC – 210 BC). Their legal system was too strict to people. Qin Shi Huang was a dictator. People did not like this kingdom. As a result, Qin Dynasty was always fighting against traitors. Only the charismatic character of the first emperor kept Qin Dynasty. After the first emperor’s death, resistance army ruined Qin Dynasty.
After the fall of Qin Dynasty, 2 leading generals of the rebellion army started a civil war. One is Xiang Yu. The other is Liu Bang. After the Qin Dynasty had gone, Xian Yu was the king of Chu Kingdom. Liu Bang was the king of Han Kingdom. They were in the same resistance army fighting against Qin Dynasty. They started to fight to be the next Emperor of the unified China, after Qin Dynasty.
Xian Yu was 6 feet tall. He was strong. He was brave. People said that a baby stopped crying if its parent told him General Xian Yu was coming. He was an excellent fighter and strong leader who did not like compromises. Xian Yu was originally from Chu kingdom, which was destroyed by Qin Dynasty.
Liu Bang came from nowhere. He was a farmer’s son. In his young days, he was a hoodlum just hang around in the town near his home. Only notable was that he was always with his friends, who did not regret to die for Liu Bang.
Liu Bang continued to lose battles against Xian Yu. Magically, however, Liu’s territories continued to expand and became bigger than Xian Yu. Liu won the final battle against Xian Yu and became the Emperor of Han Dynasty, a kingdom of the second unified China.
It is intriguing to compare these 2 generals and consider what made Liu Bang the winner and Xian Yu the loser. The keyword is people. Xian was a strong fighter and his enemies and even his own people were afraid of him. The fear kept uniformity of Xian’s army. He was a violent commander. When he won a battle, he killed almost all of enemy’s king, king’s family, king’s army, king’s solders, and king’s people. History shows that Xian Yu buried 250,000 soldiers alive, who surrendered in a battle. People were afraid, but they hated him. When he was there, nobody moved. Once he was gone people betrayed. This is the process he kept losing own supporters.
On the other hand, Liu Bang banned his soldiers plunder civilians. He forgave the most of surrendered and made them the head of their territory. He kept hiring from farmers, merchants, craftsmen, or any and all class of society. When he gained his new territories, he assured citizens law and order. He made their local people the head of his new territory. People in his territory enjoyed peace and order. Once acquired, he never lost his land.