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Great Wall History

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Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period


The Great Wall is a kind of military defense systems which connects castles by the walls. The history of this building can be traced back to the spring and autumn and warring states period. At that time the Great Wall had two kinds, one kind was between countries for mutual defense, the other served the northern countries for defending the nomadic tribes' harassment from the frontier.

  

  • Qin Dynasty


After Emperor Qinshi unified six-nation in 221 B.C., previous mutual defense walls between the six countries were demolished; meanwhile the original northern border walls were modified and linked, forming the Great Wall through the entire northern frontier in Qin Dynasty. It took 9 years to finish this construction with a total length of more than five thousand miles.

 

  • Han Dynasty

 

In the early Han Dynasty, besides repairing, more protective walls were built beyond the Great Wall to defending northern nomads. The total length had been more than 10,000 miles in Western Han Dynasty. The wall far exceeded it in Qin Dynasty and became truly "Great Wall".

In the early Eastern Han Dynasty, the Great Wall's inner defensive lines were built. Then, the Great Wall was continuously repaired in Jin Dynasty, the Northern and Southern Dynasties and Sui Dynasty.

 

  • Tang Dynasty

 

The Great Wall had no need to repair in Tang Dynasty because the Tang Emperor Li Shimin adopted an active attack to uniform northern nationalities.

 

  • Yuan Dynasty

 

The Yuan Dynasty was overthrown while the Ming Dynasty was established. The ruler attached importance of repairing the Great Wall in case of the harassment from Mongolian descents. The repairing project was divided into three stages which made the wall become a more complete defense system.

 

  • Ming Dynasty

 

The Ming Great Wall stretched 6350 kilometers starting from the Yalu River in the east to the Mount Qilian foothills in the west. It was composed by the castles, walls and smoke piers. It was more perfect and stronger than that in past dynasties.

  • Qing Dynasty

 

The Qing Dynasty had not built the Great Wall and ended the history of over 2,000 years to build the wall. But the Great Wall still exists; it is not only the magnificent ancient architecture, but also the proof of Chinese historic and cultural development.

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