In the year 221 B. C. E. , there was a great ruler over theCh’in kingdom in China, named Shih Huang Ti.
Shih waspower hungry and wanted more land so he gathered hisarmy and captured the surrounding kingdoms. As the ruler ofso many kingdoms he became “the first emperor” of China. Shih showed his tyranny when he burned all history books toinsure that his people and future generations would onlyremember him and none of the earlier rulers. He had a strongarmy but the fierce tribes north of China, the Mongols andthe Huns, were stronger.Order now
These nomadic tribes would comeinto China and steal crops and animals and then destroyeverything left behind. Shih was very disturbed with theseinvasions, so in the year 214 B. C. E. he freed prisoners andgathered workers and herds of animals.
He gave all this toMeng T’ien, his loyal general. Meng and the men and animalswere sent north to fortify Shih’s kingdoms from invadingarmies. Shih planned to make a great wall by extending andenlarging preexisting walls made by previous rulers. This”great” wall would serve as a barricade to keep out all tribesthat wanted to invade China.
It also served to separate thecivilized acts of the farmers in China to the barbaric acts ofthe nomadic tribes. What Shih did not know was that theconstruction would cause many deaths and much suffering tothe builders of the wall. The wall which Meng and his mencreated had watchtowers, forty feet tall, every two hundredyards. The purpose of these towers was to alert thedefending soldiers of approaching, attacking tribes. Thesoldiers at the towers signalled to each other by day usingsmoke signals, waving flags, blowing horns, and ringing bells;by night by lighting firework-like objects in the sky. The wall,itself, was approximately fifteen hundred miles long, thirtyfeet high and, at the base, twenty-five feet thick.
It was madeof the core of earth and gravel. Actually, it was two wallsaligned with each other and then filled in with a stone basepounded smooth. The wall traveled over mountains andthrough valleys. It went from Liatun, on the coast nearKorea, westward to the northern end on the Yellow River,southward to Lint’ao to close off the north west area of theempire from the Huns.
The great wall is sometimescompared to a dragon with its head in the east and its tail inthe west and its winding body. The dragon in China isconsidered a protective sacredness rather than a destructivecreature. The top of the wall is approximately thirteen feetwide so six people riding horses could ride side by sidealong the top. On the side of the wall there are reliefs, whichare two- dimensional figures on the wall. The Great Wall ofChina took hundreds of years to be totally completed andconstantly maintained. As a barricade against invadingarmies it was very successful at keeping out unwantedpeople.
Unfortunately, in the year 1215 AD, the Mongolscame down, under the rule of Genghis Khan, and destroyedmajor parts of the wall. It took two years of constantfighting, but the Mongols were successful at breakingthrough the wall. Also, many years later, the Manchus,another strong tribe, penetrated the wall and took over partsof China. During the Ming Dynasty( 1368-1644 A. D.
), theGreat Wall was repaired by General Xu Da andwatchtowers were added by General Qi Jiguang. Most ofwhat tourists see today was made by these two generals. During World War II, the Great Wall was used for thetransportation of troops. The Great Wall is so huge that it isthe only man made creation which can be seen from themoon. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA Mrs.
Ruchlin 7-K3/12/92 BIBLIOGRAPHY Delahoye, H. . Drege, J. P. .
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