The aristocracy of the Qin were largely similar in their culture and daily life. Regional variations in culture were considered a symbol of the lower classes. This stemmed from the Zhou and was seized upon by the Qin, as such variations were seen as contrary to the unification that the government strove to achieve. Of the many Chinese states, Qin had the advantage of a favourable location: Its territory in modern Shaanxi province is well guarded from the east by mountains and gorges and has easy access to the North China plain through the Yellow River passes. No major battle ever took place in Qin’s heartland.