Located in northern China and it is one of the greatest attractions in Beijing, this gigantic wall is seen as a big miracle in architecture and human labor. It can be viewed on a space craft a few hundred kilometers above the earth. The construction of the Great Wall was under the order of Emperor Qinshihuang, who had unified China and established the Qin Dynasty. He employed about one million people, which took up one-twentieth of China's population at that time, to build the whole wall. The purpose is to keep out the northern tribes to invade the country. It's amazing to know there was no construction machinery in ancient time, so the building of the Great Wall was a tremendous hardship for the laborers, especially in the rugged mountain landscape of northern China.

Nevertheless, the Great Wall is the most welcomed sightseeing spot in China today. Mao Zedong once said, "You're not a true hero if you haven't visited the Great Wall". When you're walking on the scene, you may feel the splendid culture and the harsh environment that people have faced in the past.

The History and the Cause of Construction of the Great Wall

"Keep the enemies from entering by building walls on our dangerous landscape" was an important principle and experience obtained during the Great Wall's construction. It had been wholly adopted in later imperial dynasties when restoring and rebuilding the wall. The dangerous landscape means high cliffs, mountain passes, hill valleys and at river flowing fast areas, where these places will save much building time and precious manual labor while they will be worked effectively.

The origins of the Great Wall trace back to the three ancient states of Qin, Zhao and Yan. It was at the time of the Warring States Period and era of changing from slave society to feudal society in the region of the middle and lower reaches of Yellow River. The relations between states were getting closer and closer. The trend of being unification was meanwhile getting stronger and stronger. The seven states, Wei, Zhao, Han (韩), Chu, Qi, Qin and Yan were quite powerful, and they were struggling to control the Yellow River, the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River regions, and unify all the states by means of arms. At the same time, the nomadic Hun and other barbaric tribes in northern China had strengthened and threatened the land of these ancient states. The military forces of Qin, Zhao and Yan were not capable to keep the armies from invading because their soldiers and carriages were too slow and badly equipped respectively. Therefore they managed to reform their military systems and build a defensive wall in the north.

Infantry and cavalry became the main forces of the Qin's army, with new meriting and promotion mechanisms. Thus, the fighting strength was tremendously upgraded. The army defeated the Wei State in 332 BC. They also effectively kept the Huns from entering the north by building high defensive walls and dispatching soldiers to watch out.

Military reforms had also been made by Zhao and Yan States, and the parts of the Great Wall were built, to prevent the barbaric tribes from the northeast. 

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