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Why was the Great Wall of Chi­na built?

Con­struc­tion on The Great Wall ofChi­na was start­ed in approx­i­mate­ly 220 B.C. as a means to pre­vent bar­bar­ian nomads from invad­ing the Chi­nese Empire. As it nev­er effec­tive­ly pre­vent­ed inva­sions, the Great Wall came to serve more as a psy­cho­log­i­cal wall between Chi­na and the out­side world.
Cred­it: Lin­tao Zhang Get­ty Images News Get­ty Images

The Great Wall is an assem­bly of walls and for­ti­fi­ca­tions built over the course of hun­dreds of years. Most of the Great Wall still in exis­tence was con­struct­ed dur­ing the Ming Dynasty in the 14th cen­tu­ry. While the Chi­nese were locked in an ongo­ing con­flict with Mon­go­lian tribes, they turned their atten­tion to wall build­ing on the coun­try’s north­ern bor­der. The wall was a key com­po­nent in a large­ly defen­sive stance adopt­ed after a peri­od of expan­sion. While ear­ly sec­tions of the wall were con­struct­ed of rammed earth, Ming con­struc­tion incor­po­rat­ed the use of bricks and stone. Dur­ing this peri­od, thou­sands of watch­tow­ers were con­struct­ed on the wall.
The Great Wall is wide­ly rec­og­nized as one of the most-incred­i­ble archi­tec­tur­al accom­plish­ments in his­to­ry, though as many as 400,000 work­ers died ear­ly in its con­struc­tion. While por­tions of the wall are in poor con­di­tion, it con­tin­ues to serve as a pow­er­ful sym­bol of Chi­nese strength.
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