Great Wall of China

page 3


Top 4 reasons the
Great Wall of China
was built

To impede invaders
coming from the north

This worked against feeble armies. However, the wall would serve more as a psychological than a physical barrier against a determined, well-manned military force. A formidable invader could easily breach a lightly guarded part of the wall. Or, it could muscle its way through one of the gaps between the individual wall sections.

To serve as
lookout posts

The ancient Chinese had rational fears about being invaded by nomadic armies from the north.

To provide the army
with a swift early
warning system

Fire signals (nighttime) and smoke signals (daytime) were relayed from one watchtower to another. Messages could be rapidly sent over great distances.

To create an elevated
military roadway through
the rugged terrain

This helped speed the deployment of soldiers from one area to another along the Great Wall of China.

Great human cost

Million plus

Over the centuries, more than a million people (peasants, soldiers and prisoners) helped build the wall. Thousands died in the process.

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