The Great Wall of China is a prehistoric run of fortifications and walls made of bricks, wood, stone, and other materials. It is located in northern China. In ancient China, Empires were building walls around their territories to act as boundaries and provide protection to the Chinese empires and states. The building of walls began as early as the 7th century BCE; the Great Wall was formed due to the joining of the walls that had been built. It is said that the Great Wall of China is approximately over 2,300 years old with the very first wall was put up in 221 BCE.
Construction of the Great Wall of China
Since various walls that were built by the Chinese empires form the Great Wall of China, there is no clear record of how long it took to construct the wall. Besides the various walls making up the Great Wall were built at different times. However, there is still no exact records to show how long the building took; archeologists suggest that all the walls that make up the Great Wall were completed in 22 centuries. After its completion, the Great wall has undergone numerous adjustments and advancements made by the various Chinese dynasties.
Why Was the Wall Built?
The building of the wall took place during the 7th and the 8th century. During this time, there were frequent battles especially between the Warring States dynasty and the Spring-Autumn dynasty. Different dynasties and empires were constantly in wars for various reasons such as the expansion of territories and the need for slaves. Therefore, to defend themselves, the different dynasties began to build walls and watchtowers at their respective regions.
During the Qin Dynasty, the whole kingdom was united. However, this kingdom was under constant threats from the northern tribes. To keep his kingdom safe, Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered for the joining of different walls and thus forming the Great Wall. Therefore, it can be observed that the primary purpose for the construction of the Great Wall of China was to provide protection. The creation of this wall helped protect the Qin Dynasty from the Mongols who were well known for coordinating raids. Apart from protecting the Chinese territory, the wall also prevented any Chinese from escaping.
Tactical Advantage and Significance of the Wall
The construction of the Great Wall happened during a period when most of the kingdoms had not gained any building techniques; however, China was already familiar with wall-building techniques. Therefore, the Chinese dynasties had a tactical advantage over their enemies. During this time, the wall was built by only stamping gravel between two board frames to provide protection from simple tools such as swords and arrows. During the 14th century, the wall was strengthened via the use of bricks.
The wall has been a crucial element in controlling the Chinese border by permitting imposition of duties on all goods transported through the Silk Road. The wall has been a significant Chinese landmark and has attracted numerous tourists from the different corners of the world.