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China Ancient History Emperor Qinshihuang’s Standardization of Chinese Character
Emperor Qinshihuang’s Standardization of Chinese Character

The written characters of China are from the same origin, and accomplished a lot during more than 800 years between Shang Dynasty and West Zhou Dynasty. However, up to the period of Spring and Autumn as well as Warring States, due to the long-term separation, the states developed independently and it surely affected the progress of Chinese Characters. Hence, after the unification of Qin Dynasty, the embarrassing condition was that the same characters were voiced and written differently all over China, which to a most extent disrupted the nationwide cultural and economic communication. Such a risky condition was the root of Chinese separation before Qin Dynasty.

In such circumstance, Emperor Qinshihuang ordered Li Shi who was roughly the premier of Qin Dynasty to carry out the Chinese character reform. The solution they made was based on the Characters used before Qin Dynasty and finalized the basic form of Chinese Character, which historically was named Xiao Zhuan(relatively is also the primitive type of Chinese characters, today majority of Chinese people unable to recognize such a type of character. People who want to see what it is can visit the museum, where people can see the real type shown in the calligraphic masterpieces) or Small-size Seal Character and then popularized all round China. Since then, Chinese character was standardized finally.

Cheng Miao, a prison officer, on the basis of the new-style characters in folk community created a new type named Lishu or Regular Type of Chinese. Such a character type was simple and easily writable. Up to the early time of West Han Dynasty, Lishu instead of Xiaozhuan became the nationwide used writing type. Emperor Qinshihuang and Li Si’s Chinese Character Reform played a great role in consolidating the national administration and promoting the development of economy and culture

Writer: David from Seeraa International
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