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History of the Great Wall

The construction of the Great Wall started during the Warring States Period on 7th century B.C, it had a history of more than 2,500 years.

At that time, it was the Warring States Period, Many dukedoms built walls in Central China to protect themselves from each other and from the "barbarians", the walls were built in the states of Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao, Wei and Qin.

These seven dukedoms conquered many other small states and became "the Seven Most Powerful States in the Warring States Period".

When Qin Shihuang, the first emperor in Chinese history, unified China and established the first centralised feudal state in China, he ordered that the northern sections of the Walls built by different dukedoms be linked up and put together into one defensive bulwark.

Emperor Qin Shihuang sent general Meng Tian with an army of 300,000 forced labourers for the mission and built part of the new wall. That was the Qin Great Wall-From Lintao in Gansu Province in the west to Liaodong in the east.

The Han Great Wall started from Lop Nur in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to Liaodong in the east, which stretched about 10,000 Km (20,000 Li, one li = 500 metres) and in the following dynasties, except tthe Tang Dynasty when the Great Wall was all within the boundary of the Great Tang Empire, the Great Wall was under constant construction and repairing.

Today, you may find some remnants of the wall scattered in the northwest of China, but not in the eastern part of China.

The Ming Dynasty was the last dynasty in Chinese history when large scale construction of the Great Wall took place, and most of the walls we see today were built in the Ming Dynasty. The Ming Great Wall stretched from the Yalu River in the east to Jiayuguan in the west, covering a total length of more than 5,000 Km.

At present, however, Shanhaiguan Pass is generally considered as the eastern end of the Great Wall because the section from Shanhaiguan Pass to the Yalu River was poorly built and maintained. Shanhaiguan Pass is also considered as "the First Pass Under Heaven".

The Qing rulers did not continue building the Great Wall, they adopted a new policy by building a Summer Resort in Chengde to entertain the Mongolian and Tibetan nobles to ensure a peaceful boundary.

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