The Great Wall of China

8 August 2016

The Great Wall of China is truly one of the greatest architectural achievements in recorded history. Each emperor of China added pieces to the wall to protect their dynasties. The great wall is actually a series of walls built to defend ancient China’s borders against northern barbarians. I don’t think the benefits of building the wall outweighed the costs because of the way the soldiers and peasants were treated and the time and money put into building the wall. Although the Great Wall is a spectacular sight to see now, it wasn’t as enjoyable back then.

Emperor Qin used peasants, soldiers, scholars, enemies, and anyone that he disliked to go right to work to build the wall. (Doc E) They worked seven-day weeks with very little food. (Doc E) During the harsh eight months of winter, the temperatures reached to -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. (Doc E) The workers were forced to leave their families and villages for many years. (Doc E) These workers were not paid for their hard work, it was slave labor. Tens of thousands of workers died from exhaustion, hunger, and extreme weather.

The Great Wall of China Essay Example

The Great Wall of China was built in a 2,000 year time period. That was a lot of hard work for the laborers and alot hard planning for the emperors who wanted to add to the wall. Emperor Qin built his part of the wall from 221-206 BCE (Doc A) Han built his section of the wall from 206 BCE- 220 CE. (Doc A) The wall didn’t cost as much as people would think. That is because none of the workers were paid. The emperors forced them to build the wall. The workers had to repeat the same process over and over which probably took forever.

Still, hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted on materials such as the ingredients needed to make dirt. Some people say the benefits of building the wall outweighed the cost, but I don’t agree. The only good thing people have to say about the Great Wall of China is that is beautiful and protected the people. Even though it did protect the Chinese, they could have paid workers or used volunteer workers and they could have cut down a little bit on the materials they used to save some money.

There are a million other reasons why building the wall the way some emperors did was not smart. In conclusion the costs of building the Great Wall of China totally outweighed the benefits. The emperors tortured innocent people by making them work very hard on the wall and the money spent on the project was a total waste. What do you think? Did the benefits of building the Great Wall of Ancient China outweigh the costs?

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