Qin Dynasty: The first dynasty of unified imperial China, 221 B.C. to 206 B.C.
The ruthless First Emperor of All China, Qin Shi Huangdi, founded the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C. During his reign, the First Emperor ordered the creation of a defensive wall (the Great Wall of China) to keep the warlike Xiongnu out of Qin lands. He also massacred Confucian scholars and ordered books burned.
Upon Qin Shi Huangdi's death in 210 B.C., his second son seized the throne. Qin Shi Huangdi himself was buried in a massive underground complex near present-day Xian, along with his wondrous Terracotta Army.
The Qin Dynasty did not long outlast its founder; it saw two Emperors in the space of 4 years, before falling to the founder of the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C.
"The Qin Dynasty imposed a rationalistic, legalistic form of government on early China."