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State building: Rise of Chinese dynasties


Read the passage and answer the question that follows.
"[Historians] hold it a mark of fame to defy the ruler, regard it as lofty to take a dissenting stance, and they lead the lesser officials in fabricating slander. If behaviour such as this is not prohibited, then in upper circles the authority of the ruler will be compromised, and in lower ones cliques will form. Therefore it should be prohibited.
'I therefore request that all records of the historians other than those of the state of Qin be burned. With the exception of the academicians whose duty it is to possess them, if there are persons anywhere in the empire who have in their possession copies of the Odes, the Documents, or the writings of the hundred schools of philosophy, they shall in all cases deliver them to the governor or his commandant [overseer] for burning. Anyone who ventures to discuss the Odes or Documents shall be executed in the marketplace. Anyone who uses antiquity to criticize the present shall be executed along with his family.'"
Sima Qian quoting EmperorQin Shi Huang in the Annals of the Great Historian
Why might Qin Shi Huang have wanted to suppress historians?
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