Natural Therapies Institute

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The Great Wall of China vs. The Southern Border in the United States

The Great Wall of China was built beginning in 221 BC. The then ruler, Emperor Qin gained control of the seven states that had existed and turned them into the first unified Chinese Kingdom. To the North, the Hun Army was getting strong and to protect the new kingdom, the emperor began building a wall. The wall’s construction would reach its peak during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644) and peaked at a length of around 4,000 miles (6,400 km). It is the world’s longest man made structure. The Great Wall however failed to stop invasions most notably when the Mongols led by Genghis Khan and later Kublai Khan went through the wall to conquer China.

America’s border with Mexico runs for 1,916 miles (3,169 km) stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. To prevent people from crossing illegally into the United States, a barrier was built out of barbed wire, chain link and metal plates (National Geographic 2014). The wall peaks at 3 meters (10 feet) tall and a secondary fence behind the first peaks at 4.5 meters (15 feet). Many people have died while trying to cross the border due to exposure in the Sonoran desert and an organization called the Border Angels whose slogan, "Ni Una Muerte Mas! Reforma Ya!" ("Not one more death! Reform now!) is painted on the wall has been trying to get the American authorities to reform immigration policies (National Geographic Education 2014). Many people however do succeed in crossing and some have even built tunnels to smuggle people and drugs across the border.

Both The Great Wall of China and The Southern Border in the United States were built to try and prevent unwanted people from entering the Kingdom of China and the United States respectively. However, as with any other wall, they were both did not have a 100% success rate. The Mongols were able to numerously breach the Great Wall and raid Beijing while some people are still able to successfully cross from Mexico into the United States. Sometimes, the enemy that The Great Wall tried to keep out would come from within as was the case when a rebellion overthrew the Ming Dynasty. The American border fence has also been ineffective sometimes as drugs which are usually trafficked across the border come from smugglers within America and not from Mexico.

Both The Great wall and The Southern Border in The United States were built out of necessity and to solve an existing problem but did prove that building a wall only makes people develop other means of crossing it in order to achieve their goals. Walls alone therefore cannot solve problems but laws, diplomacy and treaties must also be used for a most effective solution.