Your Name Due Date Introduction If you ask someone what they know about China most people will mention gun powder, the food, and the Great Wall of China. It is one of the longest continuous structures ever constructed by man…
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It is a truly captivating site. The Great Wall was never intended to stand as a testament of art or the grandeur of architecture, it served a far more simpler and practical purpose. Yet, all the same it is remarked as one of the greatest architectural feats of human history, like the pyramids at Giza and the city of Machu Pichu; and remains so today. It is still worthy of further research and discussion. History There is a myth that has become truly intertwined with the legend of the Great Wall of China. The myth tells the story of the wall as one great single undertaking, spanning, decades, of continuous building. However, this is, simply, not the case. The wall was built in different sections, in different locations, ultimately linked, throughout the years. ("Chinese Heritage Quarterly" 1) It is Qin Shih Huang, or the First Emperor, who is credited with conceiving of the idea to create a wall of immense length and strength that would prevent the invasion of the threatening Huns. However, many scholars today acknowledge that there are portions of the wall that may date back to smaller construction efforts that predates the rule of Qin Shih Huang. All the same the greatest portions were inspired by his intention to protect China from outsiders. There were, in fact, several Chinese Dynasties that contributed to the Wall, the Qi, the Wei, and the Zhao, however, it is three dynasties that are attributed with the greatest contributions. Qin Dynasty Again, Qin Shih Huang is responsible for the many of the oldest parts of the Great Wall. He foresaw the Wall as a fortification to protect the country from Hun invaders, as well as, ensure the rule of his descendents and future emperors who will take power after him. As one can see in the photograph these older sections of the wall have are formed of simple, natural materials, and are bit worse for wear in some sections. However, Qin, despite all of the innovations he brought during his rule, book printing and road building, but much of his rule was considered harsh and, even, cruel. The use of force to maintain work on the wall, along with a number of other sources of social unrest, resulted in a rebellion that ended his dynasty just after his death ("Chinese Heritage Quarterly" 1). Han Dynasty The Han Dynasty, regarded as one of the most powerful of Chinese dynasties, also, feared invasion from Hun Forces. This diplomatic rule attempted to make peace with by offering trade and economic incentives. However, this had little success and the Chinese resorted to a few offensive battles, but they became too costly to finance. The Han focused on adding to portions of the Great Wall, again as a defense, but this time it moved west toward the Gobi Desert; the intention being to protect the Silk Roads that were so essential to the empires economy ("The Great Wall of China"). As can be seen in the photograph, there is distinct difference in style and coloring of the stones in comparison between the Qin and the Han contributions; the Hans stones are darker and red Ming Dynasty The Ming Dynasty is credited with being the most prolific contributor to the building of the Great Wall. In fact, the majority of the wall that we are familiar with today is remnants of the works of this dynasty added between the years of 1368-1644 C.E. The Ming
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