4000 B.C.: People in China develop agriculture, which results in their settling in villages, and their villages are surrounded by protective earthen walls.
The earliest cities are surrounded by walls.
475 B.C.-210 B.C. All the states were at war with each other, during which China is a collection of hostile separate kingdoms
221 B.C.-210 B.C Reign of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. The first Great Wall is built under General Meng Tien's command.
206 B.C. Beginning of the reign of Han Dynasty
121-101 B.C. Han Emperor Wu Di extends the Great Wall into western desert to protect trade along the Silk Road and to subdue the Xiongnu.
End of Han Dynasty
Mongol leader Genghis Khan breaks through neglected Great Wall; conquers China in 1215
Kublai Khan becomes Mongol emperor of China and nearby areas.
Rebellion led by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Ming emperor, ends Mongol occupation of China.
Rule of the Ming dynasty, when the Great Wall is rebuilt
Rule of Ming emperor Wanli, the period when the Great Wall took its present form
The Manchu conquer China.
The Manchu rule China, and the Great Wall ceases to serve as a defensive border.
Communists led by Mao Zedong come to power.
During the Cultural Revolution, artifacts are destroyed, including parts of the Great Wall.
President Nixon visits the Great Wall.
Deng Xiaoping orders restoration of the Great Wall.