By around 7 BC, the Chinese were affluent in wall-building and architectural techniques. This became known as a way to defend the borders against enemies and ways of defense. These techniques were applied by the Qi, Yan and Zhao to defend their land and borders. These walls were intended to protect themselves from small range attacks. However, these divided feudal lands were soon unified by Qin Shi Huang who conquered all of China and centralized its power. To ensure centralization, he destroyed all wall sections currently in the country to promote unity. He then ordered the building of a new wall to protect his empire from the Xiongnu in the north. However, much of his present day walls have been destroyed or eroded. Great Wall of China History
Although much of the Great Wall of China had been destroyed or eroded, the Chinese’s motivation to restore the wall was not in vain. However, it would not be until 1449 during the Ming Dynasty until the plans were even considered. The main reason for its consideration was the defeat of Ming’s army by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu. Also, the Manchurian and Mongolian tribes in the north threatened China. This prompted China to develop a new strategy to prevent intruders and to protect from enemies. Great Wall of China History
The design proposed by Ming was much stronger and more fortified which used sophisticated bricks and stone which lasted longer. The wall built by him is the current one today in China. Although the walls had extrodinary success in defending the Manchu invasion at first, they failed in stopping Yuan Chonghuan’s later Manchu invasion around 1644. After the Manchus captured Beijing and formed the Qing Dynasty. Under the Qing Dynasty, the Great Wall of China was further fortified and extend to the south to defend against the Miao.
Since then the Great Wall of China has remain relatively intact. However, many parts away from the main sections of China such as Beijing and other major cities are in disrepair. Many steal stones for use in their village or vandalize the walls. Many other sections are undergoing massive erosion as well. No study has been done to determine how much of the wall is still intact though. Great Wall of China History
Nevertheless, the Great Wall of China has served as a monument to Chinese technology, culture and progress. China takes great pride in its history and the Great Wall of China is no exception. It is a popular tourist spot today and a regular destination spot to anyone visiting China.