The Great Wall of China, this ancient architectural wonder has stood the test of time, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this historical giant and see if it truly deserves its spot as one of the world’s greatest wonders.
Facts About The Great Wall
- The Great Wall of China is not a single continuous wall, but is made up of many walls and fortifications built by different Chinese dynasties over the centuries.
- The Great Wall is the longest wall in the world, stretching over 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers).
- The Great Wall is not visible from space with the naked eye, despite a popular myth. However, it is visible from low Earth orbit.
- The Great Wall was built using a variety of materials, including brick, tamped earth, stone, and wood.
- The Great Wall was also built by soldiers, prisoners, and peasants as forced labor.
- The Great Wall was not only used for defense, but also for controlling trade and immigration.
- The Great Wall was also used to collect taxes and customs duties.
- The Great Wall had watchtowers, beacon towers and barracks that were used to house soldiers and signal messages.
- Many sections of the Great Wall are now in disrepair and in need of preservation and restoration.
What are the Pros of the Great Wall? 1
- Military defense: The Great Wall served as a barrier to protect China from invasion by neighboring groups from the north, providing the first line of defense for the country.
- Spread of knowledge and influence: The construction and design of the Great Wall served as an inspiration for other cultures and countries to develop their own methods of defense and fortification.
- Cultural and artistic impact: The Great Wall played a role in shaping Chinese culture and art. It fostered new thoughts and ideas that influenced architecture and design.
- Economic benefits: The Great Wall served as a trading post, controlling and collecting taxes and customs duties on goods passing through. This helped to boost the economy and increase the wealth of the Chinese empire.
- It introduced new ideas like ethnocentrism which kept people isolated and only believe in themselves and that their ideas were best.
What are the Cons of the Great Wall? 2
Division of regions: The Great Wall served as a physical barrier that split the northern and southern regions of China, limiting trade and communication between them.
Obstruction of trade routes: The Great Wall also hindered trade by slowing down and obstructing the movement of goods and people along major trade routes.
- High maintenance costs: The Great Wall required a significant amount of resources and labor to maintain, making it a costly endeavor for the Chinese empire.
- Loss of life: Many lives were lost during the construction and maintenance of the Great Wall, due to harsh working conditions and the use of forced labor.
- Limited effectiveness: Despite its formidable appearance, the Great Wall was not always successful in preventing invasions. It was not a continuous barrier and many invaders were able to bypass or breach it.
- Corruption and bribery: The guards who were stationed along the Great Wall were often bribed by enemies, allowing them to pass through or circumvent the wall.
- Mongol invasions: Despite the Great Wall, the Mongols were able to invade China by finding ways to get through or around the wall. This shows that the wall was not always effective in preventing invasions.
If you want to learn more about the Great Wall, here are 6 Must-read books for an in-depth look at the Great Wall.
What was the problem with the Great Wall of China?
The Great Wall of China had several problems including high cost of construction and maintenance, environmental impact, limited effectiveness in preventing invasions, ethnocentrism, and issues with maintenance and preservation.
Was the Great Wall of China a good idea?
Yes, it was. The Great Wall of China was built as a defense against invasions from the north, but it had its drawbacks.
It was expensive to build and maintain, and its effectiveness in preventing invasions has been debated.
Is the Great Wall of China still important today?
Yes, it is.
The Great Wall of China is an important cultural and historical site that is visited by millions of tourists every year.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered an architectural and engineering marvel.
What is the biggest threat to the Great Wall of China today?
The biggest threat to the Great Wall of China today is damage and erosion caused by tourism and lack of proper maintenance.
Does the Great Wall of China still protect China?
No, it doesn’t. The Great Wall of China is no longer used as a military defense and does not protect China from invasions.
Is the Great Wall of China Poisonous?
The Great Wall of China is not poisonous and is safe to visit.
How did the Great Wall of China affect the environment?
The construction and expansion of the Great Wall required large amounts of resources and labor, which led to the destruction of natural habitats and displacement of local populations.