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The Great Wall of China - Research Paper Example

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The Great Wall of China

It stretches to the north from the east and ends at the center of northern part of China. What is not true about the Wall is the myth that it can be seen from Space. This was confirmed by a Chinese astronaut when he went on his maiden voyage. People, however, have witnessed the wall from the airplane. Myths arise from questioning the history of the Wall. Were men buried in the Great Wall? Were human bones used to build its foundations?2 Such questions give rise to legends that may be excellent bed-time stories but not bona fide statements. The wall still holds a rich history and there are many historical, political and religious aspects connected to its construction. The Great Wall of China was constructed under military command. Many men had to take part in the construction unwillingly. The Ming Dynasty stationed one million soldiers in nine garrisons along the wall; also several prisoners were instructed to do tough labor at the wall building. This is proof of the fact that the Wall is full of versatile artifacts, which represent people from all over China. The Wall is said to be constructed in five ways namely, “rammed earth, adobe, stone, brick and cliff”.3 The work on the Wall was originally started in the 770 BC during the period of spring and autumn under a feudal system of Zhou Dynasty. Over a period of many decades different independent states built their own wall for defense purposes. During the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), the Wall became known as the 10,000-Li-Long-Wall starting from the Gansu Province and extending to the Liaoning Province. With the coming of each Dynasty, there was an addition to the wall, and by the time China was ruled by Ming Dynasty, the Wall near Beijing began to be built between 1368 AD and 1644 AD. There are two monuments which stand famously on each end of the Wall; the First Door under Heaven at Shanhaiguan on the east and the Last Door under Heaven at Jiauguan. The maintenance of the Wall construction lasted till the Qing Dynasty, which kept it intact till the early twentieth century. China sought defense from the outside invasion, but this purpose was least fulfilled with the passage of time. In the modern Western context, The Great Wall is merely utilized for the purpose of tourism. It is now considered to be one of the greatest heritages of the world.4 The Great Wall of China suffered a major destruction phase. The main causes of the downfall were the natural forces of “sun, wind and rain” the severity of which led to the ruin of the older sections of the wall made up of rammed earth. Ironically, the Wall was mainly damaged by people themselves. Most sections of the Great Wall were brought down in order to modernize the place by building motorways and railways, besides using the area for dams and pipelines for gas and oil. During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards literally dismantled several hundreds of kilometers of the wall. Ever since more than fifty years, the Great Wall has been opened to the entire world as a touring spot. This has also caused much damage because tourism is not well organized and is often managed at a cheap cost. People use the pathways for the purpose of hiking, and this has caused soil erosion through irreversible track.5 China is said to have been united under the Qin Dynasty for the very first time in the history. It was the first emperor of the Dynasty, Qin Shihuang, who removed ...Show more


The Great Wall of China: Historical, Political and Religious Aspect of the Construction Professor Date University The Great Wall of China: Historical, Political and Religious Aspect of the Construction The building of Great Wall of China is attached with many myths…
Author : delores58
The Great Wall of China essay example
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