Seeking the truth of history: Why did Qinshihuang build the Great Wall?

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The Great Wall is a masterpiece in the history of world architecture. It sits between mountains and winds on the desert. It is magnificent, solid and majestic. It is regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world. An authoritative person once made statistics that if the bricks and stones used to build the great wall were used to build a long wall with a thickness of 1 meter and a height of 5 meters, this long wall would be enough to surround the earth for one week; If it is used to pave a road with a width of 5 meters and a thickness of 35 cm, it can orbit the earth for more than three weeks. However, while people today are lamenting its greatness, I don’t know how many people can appreciate the bitterness behind it. The construction of the Great Wall cost a lot of human, material and financial resources, and caused immeasurable losses to the common people. What is more ironic is that the reason for the construction of the great wall more than 2000 years ago sounds absurd.

“Hu ye, who died in the Qin Dynasty”, the Great Wall was built because of a lie

When it comes to the Great Wall, the first thing people think of is

First Emperor of Qin

? Although Qinshihuang was neither the first nor the last person to build the Great Wall in history, people have the impression that the Great Wall has a puzzling origin with Qinshihuang. When it comes to the Great Wall, you can’t help but say Qinshihuang.

Qinshihuang was a man with a strong sense of crisis and anxiety


? assume


After that, he was not intoxicated by the achievements of world domination, but on the contrary, he was always worried. The great Qin Empire was established on the basis of violence. Although the voice of opposition was very small, the large-scale outbreak never stopped. How to seek the long-term stability of the great Qin Empire is his wish and his heart disease, which haunts him all the time.

In the process of pushing the new deal to the whole country, the Qin Empire encountered unexpected difficulties. In order to obtain public recognition of the Qin Empire and stabilize the hearts and minds of the people around the world, the second year after the completion of the great cause of reunification, that is, the 27th year of the first emperor of Qin (220 BC), began to constantly patrol the world. The place of his cruise was first selected in the territory of the state of Qin. After a year of trial, it was gradually extended to territories outside the state of Qin. In the 28th year of the first emperor, he set out from Xianyang, arrived at the seaside through Qidi, which is today’s Shandong, and then returned to Xianyang through Jiangsu, Hunan, Zhejiang and Hubei. His journey almost covered the whole of China. Even in today’s highly developed transportation, his journey is still daunting.

Patrolling the world made Qin Shihuang’s ideology and mode of thinking greatly affected. Qin is located in the western border among the seven heroes of the Warring States period. In terms of force, it can dominate the world, but in terms of the degree of development, whether it is culture or economy, there is a big gap compared with Qi and other Central Plains core areas. Although the tour was hard, it also opened the eyes of the first emperor of Qin Dynasty. A popular local magic attracted him, which made him interested in seeking immortality and immortality.

The alchemy has a strong mystical color, which may help to relieve the great pressure on his body and mind. It was at this time that a alchemist named Lu Sheng gradually became the favorite Minister of the first emperor of Qin. He was the protagonist who made up a lie and led the first emperor of Qin to build the Great Wall. Lu Sheng was originally a Yan man. Although he was only a alchemist, he had a very important impact on the governance of Qinshihuang. When it comes to the brutal rule of Emperor Qin Shihuang, historians can’t avoid two things, one is to build the Great Wall, the other is to entrap Confucianism. Lu Sheng was the originator of these two things.

It is reasonable to say that Qin Shihuang, who was in his prime at that time, should not have such an urgent sense of crisis about the issue of life and death, but immortality seems to have a natural relationship with long-term stability. In order to seek immortality, the first emperor of Qin spent a lot of energy, financial and material resources. There was no need to seek immortality and Zen. The most typical was to send Xu Fu with 3000 boys and girls to the East China Sea to seek immortality. The scale was unprecedented, but there was no news of him.

Qin Shihuang’s high hopes for the way of alchemy did not receive any effect, and the real threat he faced was growing. In the 29th year of the first emperor (218 BC), he was assassinated during his Eastern tour. Although he survived, he was hit hard. But two years later, he was attacked again when he was patrolling in Xianyang. This time, the attack was even worse than the previous one. The assassination was still outside qindi. This time, the danger occurred in the capital Xianyang. Even the safety of the capital has become a problem, and his inner helplessness and panic can be imagined.

Against this background, he relied more strongly on mysticism, and he was eager to find out the exact reasons that threatened the Qin Empire and the exact answers about his own safety. In the 32nd year of the first emperor, that is, 215 BC, he sent Lu Sheng to ask immortal to point out the future development direction. Lu Sheng went here without any gains. After coming back, he sang praises to Qin Shihuang wantonly, boasting that there was nothing substantial in his words. Qinshihuang has listened to people’s flattery for many years. What he needs is not these. What he strongly desires is what is really beneficial to consolidating the regime. So he sent Lu Sheng into the sea to seek immortal advice. The alchemist, who always failed to return, brought back a Book of records this time, which recorded a shocking secret: “Hu ye, the dead Qin”.

Qin Shihuang, who had been longing for his opponent, finally found a target to attack, and his anxiety and anxiety would be released quickly. Lu Sheng’s prevaricating words triggered an unprecedented strategic shock in China. Qin Shihuang immediately sent General Meng Tian to lead 300000 troops to the northern expedition of the Xiongnu, driving the Xiongnu out of Hetao to the north of Yinshan. Qin Shihuang was still not at ease. In order to prevent the disaster, he did not hesitate to spend money and requisitioned 700000 workers. It took many years to build the Great Wall from Lintao (now Minxian County, Gansu Province) to the east of Liaoning Province on a large scale for thousands of miles, so as to prevent the death of the Hu people.

What kind of threat did the Hu people have that made Qin Shihuang so popular?

Who is the “Hu” in Lu Sheng’s “Hu ye who died in Qin”? What is their threat to the Qin Empire? Why did Qin Shihuang gamble on tomorrow?

The Hu people referred to in Qin Dynasty were the later Huns. In retrospect, the Huns were originally a member of the Chinese nation. As far as the state of Qin is concerned, its early founding history can be called a history of struggle with the Hu people, in which there are both lessons of failure and successful experience. During the reign of King Zhaoxiang of Qin Dynasty, the Hu people threatened the northern border of Qin. Considering the eastward advance, Qin adopted the strategy of building a city to defend the Hu people.

In the middle and late Warring States period, the strength of the Hu people was further enhanced, and their erratic way of fighting made the Central Plains a headache. King Wuling of Zhao reformed the armed forces with Hufu, riding and shooting, and won a complete victory in the struggle with the Hu people.

When Qin Shihuang unified the whole country, the Huns gradually merged from a plate of loose sand into a relatively unified country, and their strength was enhanced. The leaders of the Huns called them “supporting the plow alone and painting alone”, “supporting the plow alone and painting alone” means the son of heaven, “Shan Yu” means broad, and the people of the Central Plains used to call them Shan Yu for short.

At that time, the border between the two sides was relatively stable, and there was no large-scale conflict between the Qin army and the Huns. On the one hand, because the Qin army was good at fighting, the Huns did not dare to provoke easily. On the other hand, it was also because the Xiongnu was in a dangerous situation. They faced the big Moon Clan in the west, Donghu in the East, qiangqin in the south, and there were strong enemies on all three sides. The Xiongnu did not dare to act rashly.

Judging from the situation at that time, if the Qin Empire did not take the initiative to stir up trouble, the Xiongnu would never dare to go south easily. Qinshihuang was a powerful emperor, who had the heart to invade the Huns. In the 26th year of the first emperor (221 BC), that is, just after the unification of the state of Qin, the first emperor of Qin intended to strike while the iron was hot and subdue the Huns at one stroke.

He summoned all the ministers to discuss the matter on the temple, which was strongly opposed by the prime minister Lisi. Lisi believed that fighting with the Huns had disadvantages but no advantages. After analyzing the situation of both sides, he gave several reasons not to attack the Huns:

First of all, the Huns had no fixed place, so it was difficult to subdue them. This is largely because they have no cities to live in, no wealth to protect, and are not afraid of attack at all.

Second, to attack the Huns, Daqin would be in a dilemma. If we send light cavalry to make a quick decision, it will be difficult to solve the problem of grain and grass supply; However, if the troops are sent to press the border, the flexibility of the troops will be damaged, and it is likely that they will not be able to pursue the Huns.

Third, even if we win the Huns, the result will be unprofitable. The Huns were located in the wilderness, and their economy and culture were very backward, which had little benefit to the development and expansion of Qin. On the other hand, the captured Hun people are not easy to control, and it is still a security risk. But if you kill them, it is not what the world and your majesty want to see.

Lisi came to the conclusion that the labor expedition to the Huns would only consume the power of the court without actual benefits, which was not conducive to the long-term development of the state of Qin.

It should be said that LISS’ analysis is quite insightful, and the development of the situation in the future also coincides with his analysis. Lisi is the most trusted Minister of the first emperor of Qin, and his views have considerable weight in the first emperor of Qin. In addition, the Central Plains had just been unified, and there were many things waiting to be done. It was obviously more appropriate to stabilize the situation in the Central Plains than to rashly attack the north. Emperor Qinshihuang had to put aside his plan to attack the Huns in the north.

Six years later, the stability of the Central Plains did not make as much progress as expected, and the threat felt by the first emperor of Qin was growing. This threat is often inexplicable, because I don’t know the future of Qin, because there is no place to vent his inner panic, Qin Shihuang is very restless.

In the 32nd year of the first emperor (215 BC), when Lu Sheng, a Yan man, offered him the prophecy of “Hu ye, the dead Qin”, the mood of the first emperor of Qin was lifted. He felt that the time had come to show his skills and eliminate the hidden dangers of the Qin Empire. In his view, if the Huns are not attacked immediately, the Qin Empire is likely to die at the hands of the growing Hu people. He appointed Meng Tian, a general who was able to recruit and fight well, to lead 300000 elite generals to launch a strong attack on the Huns, recovering Henan and Yuzhong regions at one stroke, and the next year recovering gaoque, reaching Yinshan and Hetao regions. The Huns were hit hard. They not only couldn’t resist Meng Tian’s attack, but also worried that the East and West wings would be attacked. Finally, they simply fled to the north of the desert.

On the surface, the Qin army should have won the battle against the Huns, but as Lisi pointed out at that time, the Hu people had no fixed place, and there was no territory they could not give up. They could move at any time. The victory of the Qin army did not have much substantive content, but added a lot of trouble to themselves.

The battle of the Huns changing places with one shot made the Qin army very headache. In order to prevent their invasion, the first emperor of Qin decided to build the Great Wall. A flat place is suitable for the Huns to ride and shoot. Building cities to limit their specialties is an effective way.

Building a city to defend the enemy was not the first creation of Emperor Qin Shihuang. As early as around the 7th century BC, in order to resist the attack of the other side, the princes began to build tall walls on their own territory, which were called the Great Wall. Around the 4th century BC, Yan, Zhao, Qin and other countries also built the Great Wall one after another in order to defend against the harassment of the nomads in the north.

Building the Great Wall to resist the enemy is an ancient method, which is not an innovation, but it was brought into full play by Emperor Qinshihuang and has a far-reaching impact on later generations. After the Qin Dynasty, few dynasties had not built the Great Wall.

Qin Shihuang not only connected the old Great Wall of Zhao, Qin, Yan, Korea and other countries into a line, but also built and expanded many parts, forming a 12000 Li long Great Wall. Qin Shihuang not only built the Great Wall, but also built straight roads. His idea was that the great wall could resist the invasion of the northern Hu people and ensure that Qin would not be destroyed by Hu. With the completion of Zhidao, the cavalry of the state of Qin can reach Yinshan in three days and nights, giving the “Hu people” a fatal blow.

In today’s view, the Great Wall is a great miracle, but in the Qin Dynasty, when the productivity was not yet developed, the construction of the Great Wall was an out and out disaster and disaster for the common people. The construction of the Great Wall by the first emperor of Qin laid the root of disaster for the final destruction of the Qin Empire.

The Great Wall’s merits and demerits have been commented for thousands of years. Why did Qin die?

Qinshihuang was the first emperor in China to transform from slave society to feudal society. He was a controversial figure, and the great wall he worked hard to build was also controversial. There have always been different views on the merits and demerits of the Great Wall.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen spoke highly of the Great Wall. In his general plan for the founding of the people’s Republic, he pointed out that although Qin Shihuang was not very good, the contribution to the construction of the Great Wall was comparable to that of Dayu. Without the Great Wall to defend the Central Plains, China might not have waited for the song and Ming Dynasties, and had died in Beidi in the Chu and Han Dynasties, let alone the prosperity of the Han and Tang Dynasties. He then attributed the contributions of the Han nationality to the assimilation of Mongolia and the Manchu nationality to the name of the Great Wall, because the existence of the great wall strengthened and consolidated the assimilation power of the Chinese nation, so that “although it died in Mongolia, Mongolia was assimilated by me; then it died in Manchuria, and Manchuria was assimilated by me”.

Although Dr. Sun Yat Sen favored the Great Wall, some insightful historians did not agree. They keenly pointed out that the Qin Empire seemed to have solved the northern invasion, but the victory on the battlefield was only temporary. Throughout his life, the first emperor of Qin did not fundamentally solve the Hun problem. Although the nomads were temporarily intimidated, they absolutely did not give in. “Destroying the Hu of Qin” was a pain he couldn’t get rid of in his heart. The defense function of the Great Wall is also very limited. The prosperity of the Han and Tang Dynasties is not because of the Great Wall, but because of its open culture and strong national strength. Daming was the dynasty that made the most effort to build the Great Wall, but it was inevitably destroyed by foreigners.

The Great Wall has never been able to block the iron cavalry of the northern nomads. Liu Tao, the Minister of the Ministry of war of the Ming Dynasty, felt very deeply about this. He said that building the Great Wall has been an impossible way since ancient times. Building the Great Wall to resist foreign aggression is a strange circle, almost reaching the level of a vicious circle. The more time it takes to build the Great Wall, the more people are worried about the invasion of foreign enemies, the more money the country spends, and the weaker the combat effectiveness of the troops. Every year, the country spends a lot of money on building the Great Wall, but the efficacy and value of the great wall cannot be reflected. The Great Wall has become a synonym for passive defense. The Great Wall, which was built with huge human, material and financial resources, is too long. Because the defense line is too long, the rigid and passive wall is difficult to withstand the sudden attack of the enemy, and its weakness is obvious.

After the Qing Dynasty entered the customs, it decided not to build the Great Wall. During the Kangxi period, Cai Yuan, the chief frontier guard, reported to the court that many parts of the Great Wall had collapsed and asked for repairs. Kangxi was very dissatisfied. He said that since Qin built the Great Wall, the Han, Tang and Song dynasties have often repaired it, but it has never been exempted from border diseases. At the end of the Ming Dynasty, the emperor Taizu of the Qing Dynasty marched in, and all roads collapsed. It can be seen that the way to defend the country is not to build cities but to build people. He pointed out, “if the people are happy, the country will have its own money, and the border will be self consolidating. The so-called unity of purpose is also true.”

After the death of Emperor Qinshihuang, his son Hu Hai designed to kill his eldest son Fusu and won the throne, which was called emperor II. Hu Hai, the second king, succeeded to the throne, and finally triggered a peasant uprising. The great Qin Empire was finally killed by the second Hu Hai, which reminded people of the prediction of “Hu ye who died in Qin”. Zheng Xuan, a great Confucian in the Han Dynasty, once commented on the “Hu who died in the Qin Dynasty”, saying that the “Hu” here refers not to the “Hu people” but to “Hu Hai”. We have the right to laugh and listen to this hindsight explanation. But after laughing, I can’t help wondering why the Qin Empire died? Who destroyed the Qin Empire?

In fact, Du Mu’s “a Fang Gong Fu”, which has been handed down for thousands of years, is very clear: “those who destroy the six countries, the six countries, are not Qin; those who belong to Qin, Qin, are not the world.” The death of Qin was not Hu people, nor the world, but Qin himself.

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