"Something there is that doesn't love a wall..."

Policy in a Page: For those who think the answer to America's immigration question should assume the form of a fence, PT presents a survey of history's great walls…

ImageName: The Great Wall of China

Where: China

Built: 500 BC - 1600 AD

Annual visitors: More than 10 million

Purpose: Defense against Mongolian invaders

Notable: Wall failed to prevent corrupt border general from opening the gates for invading Manchu armies. 

ImageName: The Maginot Line

Where: Eastern France

Built: 1930 - 1939

Cost in 2007 dollars: $2 billion

Purpose: Prevent another German invasion

Notable: "Invincible" fortification thwarted by novel military strategy that involved walking around it. 

ImageName: Hadrian's Wall

Where: Northern England

Built: 122 AD - 130 AD

Composition: Stone and turf.

Purpose: To thwart raids by Pictish tribes from modern day Scotland.

Notable: The most heavily fortified border of the Roman Empire, it was nonetheless abandoned when Hadrian's successor lost interest and set to work building a new wall 100 miles north.

ImageNames: The Berlin Wall, the "Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart"

Where: Berlin, Germany

Built: August 13, 1961

Escape attempts: More than 5,000 successful, 192 killed trying to cross

Purpose: Slow the flight of East Germans to West Germany. Blockade West Berlin.

Notable: Wall became an enduring symbol of Communist oppression and a rallying point against the Soviet Union, culminating in the wall's destruction in 1989. 

ImageNames: Israeli Security Barrier, Anti-Terrorist Fence, Racial Segregation Wall.

Where: West Bank, Gaza

Built: 1994 - present

Size: Up to eight meters tall and 100 meters wide

Purpose: Anti-terrorism measure, border demarcation.

Notable: Fence has impacted everything from Israeli national security to Palestinian human rights, Jerusalem real estate prices and children's health care. 

ImageName: U.S./Mexican Border Wall

Where: Southern U.S. Border

Built: Work-in-Progress

Length: 1,952 miles

Purpose: Border security?

Notable: See "At the Dividing Line," page 16 of this issue.