The great wall of china
Traditionally known to the Chinese as the "Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li", the stretch of formidable defensive structures built to ward off invasion of the Celestial Empire by barbarians is most often called the "Great Wall" or the "Wall of China" by Europeans. History of the Great Wall of China
The history of these extraordinary fortifications goes back to the Chunqiu period (722-481 B.C.) and to the Warring States period (453-221 B.C.), so-called because of the long struggle among seven rival dynasties for supreme power. The construction of certain walls can be explained by these feudal conflicts, such as the one built by the Wei in 408 B.C. to defend their kingdom against the Qin. Its vestiges, conserved in the center of China, precede by many years the walls that the Kingdoms of Qin, Zhao and Yan erected against the northern barbarians around 300 B.C. Beginning in 220 B.C., Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Empire of the Ten Thousand Generations, undertook to restore and link up the separate sections of the Great Wall which had been built in the 3rd century B.C., or perhaps even earlier, and which stretched from the region of the Ordos to Manchuria. Towards the west, he had the fortifications extended in the valley of the Huanghe all the way to Lanzhou. Thus was the first cohesive defense system of which significant vestiges still remain, completed, shortly before the accession of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.). During their reign the Great Wall was extended even further, and under the emperor Wudi (140-87 B.C.) it spanned approximately 3700 miles (6,000 kilometers) between Dunhuang in the west to Bohai Sea in the east. The danger of incursion along northern Chinese border by the federated tribes of Mongols, Turks and Tunguz of the Empire of the Xiongnu, the first empire of the steppes, made a defense policy more necessary than ever. Alternating military actions with intensive diplomatic efforts, this policy entailed massive relocation of...
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