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  Chen Sheng and Wu Guang's Revolt Against Qin
 
Chen Sheng and Wu Guang led an uprising against the rule of the Qin Empire in three century B.C.. It was the first large scale peasant uprising on Chinese history.
After the death of Emperor Qinshihuang, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, his son Hu Hai took the throne. He was such a tyrant he began recklessly increased levies and corvees. Many families were broken up and thousands of people lost their lives because of the forced labor.
In 209 B.C., two Qin army officers were herding a group of 900 miserable poor peasants to the frontier of Yuyang for guard duties. Two peasants, Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were chosen as chieftains of the group. When they got to Dazexiang of Qixian County, they found themselves unable to move on because of a continuous heavy rain, which lasted for several days on end, rendering the roads impassable. Hence it would anyway be impossible for them to arrive at their destination in time. According to the law of the Qin Dynasty, any delay of this kind was punishable by death.
The officers were very cruel to the peasants. Chen Sheng and Wu Guang took a chance and killed the officers. They explained the situation to their fellow peasants and called on the people to revolt against Qin. Chen Sheng further said, ¡°We¡¯ll face death anyway, why don¡¯t we die for some grand course. If one has to die, he has got to die like a man. Are the princes and lords and prime ministers born leaders...?¡± They put up the banner: ¡°Remove the tyrant and overthrow the Qin Dynasty¡± and began their revolt.
The uprising force soon captured Dazexiang and Jizhou county as well as six other nearby counties. Poor peasants joined uprising force by the scores. After the peasant force conquered Cheng County, they established the first revolutionary regime of peasants in the history of China. Chen Sheng was made king and the state was called "Zang Chu." 
The rebel force quickly grew into a large army with a thousand war chariots and over several hundred thousands of soldiers. They broke up into three forces to attack different targets of Qin.
When the branch closed in on Xiangyang, the Qing capital, the Second Emperor of the Qin Dynasty became panic-stricken and ordered his armies in various parts of the country to launch a counter-offensive against the rebels. As the leader was short of war experience, the branch was defeated by the overwhelmingly larger Qin army.
Meanwhile, because of the split in his own ranks, Chen Sheng was assassinated by some traitors and Wu guang was killed by his subordinates too.
Though the rebel leaders were dead, the flames of rebellion kindled by them against the Qin were sweeping across the country. Before long, the rebel army led by Liu Bang stormed and occupied Xiangyang. The feudal autocracy of the Qin which had lasted for barely 15 years was swept away by the relentless waves of peasant uprising.

 

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