"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…
Name: The Great Wall of 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.
Name: 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.
Name: 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.
Names: 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.
Names: 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.
Name: U.S./Mexican Border Wall
Where: Southern U.S. Border
Length: 1,952 miles
Purpose: Border security?
Notable: See "At the Dividing Line," page 16 of this issue.