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The History of the Great Wall of China

The History of the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of ancient walls and fortresses located in northern China. This wall has a length of 21,196.18 kilometers.

The Great Wall of China is the most well-known symbol of China and has a long history. At first, the wall was built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the third century BC. as a means of preventing attacks from Xiongnu tribes and other nomadic tribes.

For more than 2,000 years the construction of the wall was continued by Chinese rulers. The most famous and preserved part of the Great Wall was built in the 14th to 17th centuries, during the Ming dynasty. Although the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it functioned as a real symbol of Chinese civilization that had existed long ago.

Qin Shi Huang and the Beginning of the Construction of the Great Wall of China


The construction of the Great Wall of China can be traced to the 3rd century BC, but many fortifications including the inside of the walls have been built hundreds of years before. The fortresses were built when China was still divided into several warring kingdoms.

Around 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor to unify China under the Qin Dynasty, ordered the removal of defense costs between countries and unified a number of walls along the northern border into one defense system. The wall was then extended by more than one 10,000 li (li is about a third of a mile). The aim of this project is to protect China from attacks by nomadic tribes in the north.

The construction of the Great Wall of China is one of the most ambitious development projects ever carried out by any civilization. The famous Chinese General Meng Tian was in charge of the project.

According to some notes, it is also said that the construction of the Great Wall of China used troops of troops, prisoners, and ordinary people as workers.

Most of the Great Wall of China is made of soil and stone. The wall stretches from the Shanhaiguan China Sea port more than 3,000 miles west to Gansu province. In some strategic areas, the walls are overlapped for maximum security.

The wall has a foundation as high as 15 to 50 feet, then it is about 15-30 feet high and topped with a 12-foot or higher fort. The building also features guard towers placed along the wall intervals.

When Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Great Wall around 221 BC, the workforce that built the wall consisted mostly of soldiers and inmates. It was said that as many as 400,000 people died during the construction of the wall. Many of these workers were buried inside the wall itself.

Great Wall of China World History


With the death of Qin Shi Huang and the fall of the Qin Dynasty, many parts of the Great Wall were damaged. After the fall of the Han Dynasty later, a series of border tribes took control of northern China.

Among the most powerful of these tribes is the Northern Wei Dynasty. When in power this dynasty improved and expanded the existing wall to defend itself from attacks from other tribes.

The Kingdom of Bei Qi (550–577) built or repaired a wall of more than 900 miles. Repairs and extensions were then continued by the short-lived Sui Dynasty (581–618).

With the fall of the Sui and the rise of the Tang Dynasty, the Great Wall lost its function as a fortress, because China had defeated the Tujue tribe in the north and expanded its territory past the original border protected by walls.

During the Song Dynasty in power, the Chinese were forced to retreat under the threat of the Liao and Jin people in the north who took over many areas on both sides of the Great Wall. The strong Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty (1206-1368), founded by Genghis Khan, finally ruled all of China, parts of Asia and parts of Europe.

Although the Great Wall was not so important to the Mongols as military defense, the soldiers were still assigned to the wall to protect traders and caravans traveling along the Silk Road trade route.

Construction of the Ming Dynasty Wall


Apart from its long history, the Great Wall of China as it is today is mostly built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Like the Mongols, the early Ming rulers were less interested in building border fortresses, and the construction of walls was limited to the end of the 15th century.

In 1421, emperor Ming Yongle proclaimed the new capital of China, Beijing, at the site of the former Mongol city, Dadu. Under the cold land of the Ming rulers, Chinese culture flourished, and that period saw a large amount of construction beside the Great Wall, including bridges, temples, and pagodas.

The construction of the Great Wall as it is known today began around 1474. After the initial phase of regional expansion, the Ming rulers largely took a stand and the expansion of the Great Wall became the key to this strategy.

Great Wall of China in the Modern Period


In the mid-17th century, the Manchus from central Manchuria and the south broke through the Great Wall and entered Beijing. In the end, they forced the Ming Dynasty to abdicate, marking the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.

Between the 18th and 20th centuries, the Great Wall emerged as China's most common symbol for the Western world, and a symbol of physical good - a manifestation of Chinese power - and psychological representation of barriers maintained by the Chinese state to expel foreign influence and exercise control over its citizens.

Today, the Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural achievements in human history. There was an attempt to maintain the structure of the wall, but more concrete steps only materialized in 1980, when China made the wall an attraction and a source of tourism income.

In 1987, UNESCO established the Great Wall as a World Heritage Site, and the popular claim that emerged in the 20th century stated that this wall was the only man-made structure seen from space.

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