Eventually, the Legalists were briefly triumphant when the Qin (Ch'in; 221–206 ), a western frontier state whose ruling class had embraced the Legalist authoritarian philosophy, succeeded in conquering all of China. Shi Huangdi (Shih Hwang-ti), or "First Sovereign Emperor," presided over a centralized administrative system that replaced the semi-independent states of late Zhou and inaugurated measures to enhance state power and control over the people. Weights, measures, and the Chinese writing system were unified, and defenses were strengthened by filling gaps in the northern frontier walls, thereby creating the Great Wall. An aggressive foreign policy was pursued among the barbarians to the north and south, and thus China's first empire was formed. Those doctrines not officially sanctioned were extirpated by the Burning of the Books decree, which resulted in the destruction of much of China's non-Legalist literature of the pre-Qin period.


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