1. Book burning
According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the First Emperor of Qin annexed the State of Qi and unified China in 221 BC, his Chancellor Li Si suggested suppressing the freedom of speech, unifying all thoughts and political opinions. This was justified by accusations that the intelligentsia sang false praise and raised dissent through libel.
Beginning in 213 BC, all classic works of the Hundred Schools of Thought - except those from his own, the school of philosophy known as Legalism - were subject to burning.
Li Si proposed that all histories in the imperial archives except those written by the Qin historians be burned; that the Classic of Poetry, the Classic of History, and works by scholars of different schools be handed into the local authorities for burning; that anyone discussing these two particular books be executed; that those using ancient examples to satirize contemporary politics be put to death, along with their families; that authorities who failed to report cases that came to their attention were equally guilty; and that those who had not burned the listed books within 30 days of the decree were to be banished to the north as convicts working on building the Great Wall. The only books to be spared in the destruction were books on medicine, agriculture and divination.
2. Burial of the scholars
After being deceived by two alchemists while seeking prolonged life, the First Emperor of Qin ordered more than 460 of them in the capital to be buried alive in the second year of the proscription, though an account given by Wei Hong In the 2nd century added another 700 to the figure. The Crown Prince Fusu counseled that, with the country newly unified, and enemies still not pacified, such a harsh measure imposed on those who respect Confucius would cause instability. However, he was unable to change his father's mind, and instead was sent to guard the frontier in a de facto exile.
The quick fall of the Qin Dynasty was attributed to this proscription. Confucianism was revived in the Han Dynasty that followed, and became the official ideology of the Chinese imperial state. However, many of the other schools of thought disappeared.