If you enjoy traveling the world, you’ve probably heard of the Great Wall of China, but how much do you know about its history? The only data we have about it is that it is enormous and that it is located in China. However, a structure of such magnitude must have much more to tell us, which is why we should now investigate the cause of the construction of this massive wall.
A multi-century cooperation
As you may assume, the Great Wall is far too large to have been constructed in a short period of time. Not only was it constructed in sections, but it was also constructed over some time during the seventh and eighth century B.C. At the time, conflicts were common, and many states constructed walls to protect themselves. The Chu state was the first to contribute to this massive undertaking.
During the period, various kingdoms existed, but it was the Qin Dynasty that consolidated them into a single empire. Even so, they needed to defend themselves from northern invaders, which is why the emperor ordered the consolidation of all the walls, giving birth to the Great Wall.
The wall has evolved over time, with sections repaired, modified, and expanded. Nonetheless, the majority of what we see today was constructed between the 14th and 17th centuries during the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall of China is approximately 6,000 kilometers long today.
While the Wall was built to protect the Chinese against the Mongols, it did not prevent them from being conquered eventually. Furthermore, this is not the only wall that has been built; other empires have done it as well, although none to the scale of the Chinese.
Hadrian’s Wall, in northern England, is an example of this sort of wall. It reaches 117 kilometers in length and was erected to separate the Romans from the barbarians. This type of building has always been motivated by military defense and, in the case of China, by the need to safeguard the country’s economy and progress, which are dependent on trade routes and the free flow of information.
Why This Name
The term “Great Wall” is mostly used by Westerners, as the Chinese refer to their own structure as the “10,000 Li Wall.” The Li is a quantitative unit of measurement that is approximately half a kilometer in length.
The Ming dynasty strengthened the walls but also added guard towers to ensure their protection. Nowadays, the wall is deteriorating significantly as a result of tourists who continue to take sections of it as mementos. Additionally, it is surrounded by carts and tourist shops. In any case, the Chinese authorities have already considered the best methods for restoring and preserving it.