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Great Wall of China
VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. Who was the first emperor to build walls that eventually became part of the Great Wall of China, and how and why did he build them? What were some of his other accomplishments?
The first emperor to build walls in China was Emperor Qin (Ch'in), for whom China is named. He wanted to prevent the nomadic hordes of the northern plains—the Huns, Mongols, and Manchus—from attacking. His 4,000 miles of walls were built of compressed earth in only 12 years. Qin also standardized measurement, created a single currency, and had a life-sized terra cotta army built to guard his tomb.
2. During which dynasty was a second part of the Great Wall constructed? How large was it, and when was it built?
3. What was the most significant import that came to China via the famed Silk Road?
Although traders returned to China from their travels along the Silk Road with gold, ivory, and coral, the most significant import was the religion of Buddhism, which revolutionized China.
4. What was the impact of the Great Wall of China on Europe?
The wall forced the nomadic hordes to turn away from China and move westward, where they pillaged and burned the Roman Empire, forcing Europe into the five centuries of the Dark Ages.
5. Who replaced the Mongols as the rulers of China, and what significant actions did the new rulers take regarding the Great Wall of China? How long did this dynasty last, and who replaced it?
The Ming dynasty replaced the Mongols, and the Ming leaders were determined that the mistakes of the past would not be repeated. In 1368 they began creating the world's largest and greatest engineering project. Built of stone, the Ming wall stretched from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert, 4,000 miles in all. The Ming dynasty lasted until 1644, when the Manchu, a nomadic tribe, replaced it with the Qing (Ch'ing) dynasty, which lasted until 1912.
6. What is the status of the Great Wall of China today?
Today the Great Wall is protected. It has become a symbol of China and is often used in business advertisements. However, preserving the 35,000 miles of wall remains a challenge, partly because the wall is so complicated and vast that not a single accurate map of it exists. It remains the greatest construction ever built by man.