Great Wall Of China

Great Wall Of China World Civilization II April 17, 1998 The Great Wall of China To the northwest and north of Beijing, a huge, serrated wall zigzags it’s way to the east and west along the undulating mountains. This is the Great Wall, which is said to be visible from the moon. This massive wall has not only been one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World, but it has also been inspiration for many artists, and writers. The building of the Great Wall is one of the biggest tragedys, but through this tragedy arose triumph with the wall, being so much to so many people. The Great Wall of China is much more than a wall, and was built for many reasons that are hidden to most. Construction of the Great Wall started in the 7th century B.C.

The wall states that under the Zhou Dynasty in the northern parts of the country each built their own walls for defense purposes. After the state of Qin unified China in 221 B.C., it joined the walls to hold off the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes in the north and extended them to more than 10,000 li or 5,000 kilometers. This is the origin of the name of the 10,000-li Great Wall. (Karls, Robert 10,000-li Great Wall) To understand everything about the Great Wall it is necessary to know the many components of the wall, and their purposes. The Great Wall was renovated Pearson 2 from time to time after the Qin Dynasty.

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A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and took 200 years to complete. The wall we see today is almost exactly the result of this effort. With a total length of over 6,000 kilometers, it extends to the jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west and to the mouth of the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east. What lies north of Beijing is but a small section of it. (Karls) The Badaling section of the Great Wall snaking along the mountains northwest of Beijing was built at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century. Being 7.8 meters high and 5.8 meters wide at the top on the average, it has battle forts at important points, including the corners.

(Karls) Located 10 kilometers south of the Badaling section of the Great Wall and built in an 18.5-kilometre-long valley, the pass has always been an important gateway northwest of Beijing. The name is believed to have its origin in the workers and slaves conscripted to build the Great Wall in ancient times. Cloud Terrace, built in 1345, was originally the base of a pagoda over looking the main road of the town of the pass. The arched gate of the terrace and the walls inside the arch are decorated with carvings. Of elephants, lions, birds, flower and heavenly kings as well as charms in six languages-Sanskrit, Tibetan, Phats pa (Mongolian), Uygur, West Xia and Han.

(Karls) The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing, is linked to the Gubeikou section on the east and the Badaling section on the Pearson 3 west. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is crenellated for watching and shooting at the invading enemy. Some of the battle forts on the wall are as close as 50 meters apart. It is one of the best sections of the Great Wall. (Karls) Located in Miyun County northeast of Beijing, the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall, like the Simatai division, belongs to the Gubeikou section of the colossal defence barrier. The battlements in the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall are built along the ridge of a mountain, where the soldiers can resist the invading enemy by taking advantage of the high terrain.

(Karls) Located to the east of Jinshanling, the Simatai division of the Great Wall is 3,000 meters long and has 35 battle forts. The wall rises and falls with the precipitous mountain ridge, while the battle forts are located high up the hills. From the Beakon Tower alarm was raised by means of smoke signals, at night by fire. Smoke was produced by burning a mixture of wolf dung, sulfur and saltpeter. Shots were fired at the same time. Thus an alarm could be relayed over 500km within just a few hours.

(Karls) From Shaikwan on the the gulf of Liao Tuna to the Hwang Ho, Chin Shih Hwang Ti’s Great Wall followed the highlands of the southern rim of the Mongolian basin and thus had some phisical justification. However in it’s continuation westward along the north bank of the Hwang Ho. The Wall ceases to conform to a natural region. For it crosses the 15 inch isohyet and embraces a large area of sparce and variable rainfall. The Ordos wich is far more suited to Pearson 4 pastoral economy than intensive agriculture thus indisregarding geographical factors and attempting to include permanetly within his domains, essentialy pastory lands. Chin Shih Hwang Ti defeated his own ends and the main purpose of the wall, i.e.

the seperstion of these two economies. Often there were large numbers of nomads living within The Great Wall while it was sited so far north. Nineteen Hsiung-Nu tribes occured at the Ordos region at the time of the three kingdoms (ad 220-265). While the Han emporers remained powerful and energetic they were able to keep the northern pastorialists under control but emidiatly there was a weakening of imporial power. The old forces reasserted themselves and thestruugle between the two ways of life was renewed. Chin Shih Hwang Ti’s wall to the north of the Ordos was eventually abandoned and one to the south conforming closely to the 15 inch isohyet was built.

The Great Wall of China has done it’s job well seperating these two areas as well as protect that part of China from being attacked. (Forbes, Geraldine Asian Studies) The Ch’in Dynasty began its reign over China in the year of 221 B.C. The very first emperor at that point in time self appointed himself and proclaimed himself to be Shih Huang Ti, or the first emperor of the Ch’in dynasty. The name China is derived from this dynasty.( Ledoux, Trish Ancient Civilizations) With the assistance of a shrewd legalist minister, the First Emperor wielded the loose configuration of quasi-feudal states into an administratively centralized and culturally unified empire. The hereditary aristocracies were abolished and their territories were then divided into smaller provinces that would Pearson 5 be governed by bureaucrats appointed by the emperor.

The Ch’in capital, near the present-day city of Xi`an, became the first seat of imperial China. A standardized system of written characters was then adopted, and its use was made mandatory throughout the empire. To promote internal trade and economic integration the Ch’in standardized weights and measures, coinage, and axle widths. Private landholdings was adopted, and laws and taxation were enforced equally and impersonally. The quest for cultural uniformity led the Ch’in to outlaw the many contending schools of philosophy that had flourished during the Chou.

Only legalism was given official sanction, and in 213 B.C. the books of all other schools were burned, except for copies held by the Ch’in imperial library. (Ledoux) Shih Huang Ti also attempted to push the perimeter of Chinese civilization far beyond the outer boundaries of Chou dynasty. In the south his armies marched to the delta of Red River, in what is now Vietnam. In the southwest the rim was extended to include most of the present-day provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan. In the northwest his conquest reached as far as Lanzhou in present-day Gansu Province; and in the northeast, a portion of what today is Korea acknowledged the superiority of the Ch’in.

The center of Chinese civilization, however, remained in the Huang He valley. Aside from the unification and expansion of China, The best known achievement of the Ch’in was the completion of the Great Wall. (Twitchett, Denis The Cambridge History of China Vol 1) Pearson 6 The Ch’in Empire ruled China around 200 BC. They unified all of the provinces under their rule and set up a strong system of government. This system included a huge system of taxes and required public labor of all of the citizens of China. The unification under the Ch’in Empire allowed public works projects to be unified on a vastly larger scale.

Along with the use of tax-paying peasants for labor, the rulers also used convicts and other unfavorable groups to complete massive public works constructions such as highways, dams and walls. Twitchett, Denis The Cambridge History of China Vol 3) The Great Wall’s construction was begun in 221 BC under the emperor Meng T’ien …

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