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How the Great Wall of China affected the Quin, Han and Ming Dynasty?
The Great Wall is one of the most outstanding and famous features China has to offer. In fact, the Great Wall is one of the seven wonders of the world. There were three dynasties who built the wall. The dynasties were the Qin Dynasty, the Han Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty. These three dynasties contributed to the wall in various ways yet some of their reasons and methods were the same. There were various decisions made by the dynasties that were both helpful and others that just bottomed out.
The first dynasty that worked on the wall was the Qin. This group initiated building on the wall in 221 B.C. This took place just following China becoming unified after suffering many battles between various feudal states. The first Chinese emperor was Qin Shi Huang (individual for which China and the dynasty was named). Huang was an egotistical leader and preached that people were evil. In turn people believed that they needed a strict set of rules. The dynasty burned most of the Confucian literature since they thought it promoted free thinking which would cause the evil people to rebel. This did not to prove true.
Huang began work on some old ruins of the wall which he connected to new parts of the wall. The wall was built with local materials such as dry-laid native stone. This stone was very scarce so engineers would use resources from the earth to build the wall. These parts of the earth would be compacted into 4 inch layers that were packed very tight. These pieces of the earth would be inserted into wooden frames. This process took a long time and the wall would only grow 4 inches at a time. The wall was not very large, which showed that a lot of hard work and time had not been placed into the wall since it could only grow at a slow rate. Thus that showed that harsh rules halted work progression. This could have saved future dynasties some problems and in the long run made China stronger and a more consistent dynasty. The next group that worked on the wall was the Han dynasty. This gave a reincarnation to past literature, especially Confucianism.
With Central Asia in the hands of China, this gave them time to work on the wall to prevent future attacks. This stalled trading, but since there were gates to enter China trading could take place. The entrances were very busy since China was a huge export for goods. Among these goods were jade, gold, spices, horses, gems and silk. Silk was probably the most important good being exchanged. Silk roads were built for a path to China to trade.
The rules were not as harsh this time with the Han, but previous problems from the Qin had withheld technology. The Han did succeed in surpassing the Qin in amount of work accomplished on the wall. This set up the Ming dynasty which played a stellar role in building the wall.
Due to being ignored for some time it had become rusty and not as durable, this making work harder. The method that the Chinese had to resort to an old method that was very complex. The first step was that they would lay a bed of red willow reeds along with twigs at the bottom of a wooden frame. Following that, they would fill frames with a mixture of water with some fine gravel. This gravel had been tamped with soil. When the mixture was completely dry, the frame would then be removed. This left a solid piece of tamped earth. The tamped earth was reinforced by the willow reeds which is similar to how concrete is now held up with steel.
The Han dynasty did some solid work on the wall and it was a certain improvement from the work that the Qin started. Yet these two dynasties were key points in building the wall, the Ming did the most significant amount of work on the Great Wall of China. The Ming Dynasty was the third and final dynasty that built the wall. The work that the Ming did crushed the Han and Qin in accomplishments. It was Ming who came to power in 1368. They were farther advanced technologically and beyond master builders when it came to wall structuring. The dynasties were solid architects at a point in which China had become a major power throughout the world. Trade ships from China went to India, Japan, the Persian Gulf and the South Pacific and the main export involved was tea.
The technique that the Ming used to build the wall was simpler than the Qin or Han had used. The Ming portion of the wall was packed encased in kiln-fired brick. This method pushed wall building technologies to the limit. The wall winds across China s most difficult terrain rising in some places at 70| angles. This dramatic portion of the wall would not have been possible without the Ming s brick making techniques. Europe was still using the awkward method of cut-stone. While the Ming s used their state-of-the-art kilns to mass produce bricks. Their bricks were as strong as today s masonry bricks.
The three dynasties that built the Wall were unique in and of themselves. In the 1st dynasty we see a leader who sought to standardize human thought. His followers believed people were inherently evil and nonconformist thought was a capital punishment. Educated free-thinkers were sentenced to prison and used as labor to build the Wall. The Qin dynasty fell in 209 B.C. lasting only 12 years. In 206 B.C. the Han dynasty came into power and was more humane with literature and the arts being brought back. Although the dynasty lasted 400 years, because of their painstaking way of building the wall it was not built to the magnitude we see in the Ming dynasty. The revolutionary technology of the kiln-fired brick enabled the Ming to excel in building the Wall. Although the Ming culture was very prosperous it was distrusted by foreigners and this is where we see China closing off to the outside world. In conclusion trying to control the thought of the people was unsuccessful and the lack of technology was unsuccessful but the combination of the people s will and technology brought about the supreme success.
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