The Chinese worked on the Great Wall for
over 1700 years. In turn, each emperor who came to power added pieces of
the wall to protect their dynasties. But the wall was not a solid wall.
It was a line of disconnected barricades.
Emperor Qin wanted a much better barricade to protect his people
from the Mongol invaders to the north. He wanted a strong wall 30 feet
wide and 50 feet high.
First Emperor Qin used peasants, captured
enemies, criminals, scholars, and anyone else who irritated him, and put
them all to work building the Great Wall. Laborers were not paid for
their work. It was slave labor.
About 3000 people worked on the wall
during the Qin Dynasty. Rocks fell on people. Walls caved in. Workers
died of exhaustion and disease. Laborers were fed only enough food to
keep them alive. There is an old Chinese saying, "Each stone in the
wall represents a life lost in the wall's construction.
This project continued long after First
Emperor Qinís death. Building the wall was a project that continued
for many hundreds of years until the wall was over 3700 miles long. Most
emperors used the same system that Qin used, forced labor.
Today, the Great Wall still stands. It
can be seen from space, itís that big!
the Great Wall of China
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