“The great Opium War of 1840 and the resulting transfer of Hong Kong Island to Britain. How Jardine and Matheson profited from the illegal trade of opium and convinced England to launch an assault on China. Tea and opium are intrinsically linked and one sixth of Britain’s economy was due to trade in opium, an illegal substance.”
Qin Shi Huang Di
“…Qin Shi Huang Di made life a little easier for the rest of China. He standardized all the measurments, roads, writing and other stuff so that it wouldn’t be so fucking confusing to travel around the country there. He built some wooden walls which would become the basis for the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest and most balls-out construction projects in human history. Sure, he was oppressive, tyrannical and brutal, but he was also pretty damn efficient and he laid the groundwork for a Chinese national identity that has lasted upwards of two thousand years.
He was also totally paranoid. Early in his reign, some jerk assassin named Jing Ke tried to stab Qin Shi Huang with a fan and even though Qin managed to whip out his sword and kill the shit out of Jing, he was pretty much untrusting of anyone from that point on. His paranoia led him to relocate the leaders of each of the states he conquered to live in the capital of Qin so that he and his men could keep an eye on them. He had royal food tasters try everything before he ate it. He rarely came out in public. He burned scholarly works that disagreed with his philosophy of Legalism and buried Confucian scholars alive so that they wouldn’t fuck with him. While there’s really nothing cool about burning books and executing scholars, you sort of have to respect the fact that Qin Shi Huang was willing to go that extra mile to ensure the longevity of his reign.”
Qin Shi Huang Di