In the year 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shihuang defeated all his enemies and unified China for the first time in its history. During his reign, the Huns from the north were a constant threat, often coming down to the Yellow River Basin and taking land from people in the Hetao Area, located at the top of the Great Bend of the Yellow River in Ningxia and Inner Mongolia. To protect his people and safeguard his political power, the Emperor ordered General Meng Tian, commanding 300,000 soldiers, to defeat the enemy force. To prevent further attacks by the Huns, he decided to consolidate and extend the Great Wall of China.
Many people believed that it was Emperor Qin Shihuang who first built the Great Wall. But research showed that before Qin's wall, the six ducal states had already built their own walls to prevent attacks from each other and the Huns. Qin's wall was built by connecting parts of the walls belonging to the past ducal states Qin, Zhao and Yan, plus adding several thousand miles of its own. The Qin Dynasty Wall resembled a gigantic dragon, extending from Lintao in the west to Liaodong in the east. Thus it was named 'Wanli Changcheng' (Ten Thousand Li Great Wall).
Generally speaking, Qin's wall can be divided into three sections: western, middle and eastern. Thewestern section started from the present Min County in Gansu Province, winding its way to Inner Mongolia via Guyuan County in Gansu Province; Jingbian, Yulin, Shenmu in Shaanxi Province; ending at the south bank of the Yellow River. The middle section started from Xinghe County in Inner Mongolia, winding its way to the north border of Wulanbuhe desert by way of Daqingshan Mountain, Guyuan County, Yinshan Mountain and the Yellow River. This part was built mainly by using rubbles left from existing walls. The eastern section started from Huade County, Inner Mongolia, through Hebei Province, ending in Fuxin City in Liaoning Province. This part was built on the foundation of the ruins of Yan Dynasty walls.
It took about nine years to finish this grand project. The construction took many lives and a great deal of money and materials. From a historical aspect, during Qin Shihuang's rule, the wall had served its role as a defensive force to protect people from wars and ensured them a peaceful and stable society.
|Qin Dynasty Wall, Guyang, Inner Mongolia || |
|Wall Ruins of the Qin, Zhangbei, Hebei |
Map of Great Wall of King Zhao of Qin
Further reading: Qin Dynasty , General Meng Tian Attacked the Huns in the North