7 Famous Border Walls

7 Famous Border Walls

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1. The Sumerians’ Amorite Wall

The world’s earliest known civilization was also one of the first to build a defensive wall. During the 21st century B.C., the ancient Sumerian rulers Shulgi and Shu-Sin constructed a massive fortified barrier to keep out the Amorites, a group of nomadic tribesmen who had been making incursions into Mesopotamia. This “Amorite Wall” is believed to have stretched for over a hundred miles between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now Iraq. It was likely the first extensive rampart not built around a city, but it only succeeded in fending off the Sumerians’ enemies for a few years. Hostile invaders either penetrated the wall or simply walked around it, and by the reign of Shu-Sin’s successor, Ibbi-Sin, Sumer found itself under attack from both the Amorites and the neighboring Elamites. After the destruction of the city of Ur around 2000 B.C., Sumerian culture began to vanish from history.

2. The Long Walls of Athens

Athens was one of the most powerful cities in ancient Greece, but it was plagued by one major military weakness: it was situated some four miles from the sea. Around 461 B.C., the Athenians sought to correct this vulnerability by constructing a series of barriers to connect the city center to the vital harbors of Piraeus and Phalerum. When completed, these “Long Walls” created a siege-proof triangle of land that allowed the city to easily resupply itself from the sea, which was itself guarded by the mighty Athenian navy. The fortifications made Athens all but impregnable during the Peloponnesian War with Sparta and its allies, but the city was later forced to surrender after its navy was defeated at sea. The victorious Spartans are then said to have dismantled the hated Long Walls to the sound of celebratory music from flute girls. The barriers were later rebuilt, however, and continued to stand until 86 B.C., when they were destroyed by the Roman general Sulla.

3. The Great Wall of Gorgan

Also known as the “Red Snake” for its distinctive red-colored bricks, the “Great Wall of Gorgon” was a 121-mile rampart that extended from the southern coast of the Caspian Sea to the Elburz Mountains in what is now Iran. It was once thought to have been the work of Alexander the Great—it was even known as “Alexander’s Barrier”—but more recent research suggests it was built by the Sasanian Persians sometime around the 5th century A.D. When completed, it was one of the longest walls of antiquity and boasted more than 30 forts, a garrison of 30,000 troops and a network of canals that acted as both a water supply system and a defensive moat. Surprisingly little is known about the wall’s history, but most scholars believe the Persians used it to guard against the Hephthalite Huns and other enemies to the north.

4. Hadrian’s Wall

Around 122 A.D., the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a stone barrier to protect Roman Britain from the Picts and the other “barbarian” tribes that inhabited northern England and Scotland. The result was “Hadrian’s Wall,” a 73-mile rampart that stretched from the Solway Firth on the western coast to the mouth of the River Tyne in the east. The wall was roughly 10 feet wide and 15 feet tall and was dotted with forts manned by frontier troops. Gates spaced one mile apart allowed the garrison to control movement in the region—the wall may have even been used to levy taxes—and defensive towers and ditches protected against raids from the north. Though briefly decommissioned in the 140s in favor of a more northerly barrier called the Antonine Wall, Hadrian’s Wall was later reoccupied and remained an imposing symbol of Roman power until their withdrawal from Britain in the early 5th century. 1,600 years of deterioration and looting for building materials have since reduced it to a fraction of its original size, but many portions still exist today and are among England’s most visited historical sites.

5. The Great Wall of China

Rather than a single unbroken barrier, China’s legendary Great Wall is actually a collection of stone, wood and earthen barricades that meander for thousands of miles from the Gobi Desert to the North Korean border. Construction on the fortifications began in the 3rd century B.C. under Emperor Qin Shi Huang, but the most famous sections were erected between the 14th and 17th centuries A.D. to defend the Ming Dynasty against the steppe nomads to the north. These portions stand up to 25 feet tall and were built using bricks and a mortar made from slaked lime and sticky rice. Gates were positioned along key strongpoints and trade routes, and watchtowers were used to send smoke and fire signals in the event of an attack. The completed wall was once the largest manmade object in the world, but despite its grandeur, it often proved ineffective as a defensive barrier. The Mongol leader Altan Khan famously bypassed the wall and raided Beijing in 1550, and the Manchus later broke through in 1644 and brought about the fall of the Ming Dynasty.

6. The Walls of Constantinople

The Byzantine metropolis of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) flourished for over a millennium thanks in part to the strength of its defensive walls. More than 14 miles of barricades surrounded the city, but the most famous were the Theodosian Walls, which blocked armies from advancing from the mainland. They included a moat, a 27-foot outer wall and a massive inner wall that was 40 feet tall and 15 feet thick. Troops stood guard on the ramparts at all times, ready to rain arrows and a type of ancient napalm called “Greek fire” on any enemy that dared attack them. The walls succeeded in turning back a host of would-be conquerors from the Arabs to Attila the Hun, but they finally met their match in 1453, when the Ottoman Empire besieged the city with a frightening new weapon—the cannon. After using their artillery to blast holes in the walls, the Turks poured through the breach and captured Constantinople, effectively toppling the Byzantine Empire.

7. The Berlin Wall

Modern history’s most infamous wall was erected in 1961, when the Soviet-aligned East German government built a series of concrete partitions separating East and West Berlin. While Communist leaders claimed the barriers were designed to keep out fascists and other enemies of the state, their real function was to prevent East Germans from defecting to the West. More than 100 people were eventually killed while trying to escape through the maze of 12-foot walls, guard towers and electrified fences. Thousands more succeeded by scaling the wall, tunneling underneath it and even flying over it in ultra-light aircraft and homemade hot air balloons. Despite the Berlin Wall’s notorious reputation—Westerners dubbed it the “Wall of Shame”—it stood for more than 28 years before East German authorities finally opened it on November 9, 1989. The announcement sparked a wave of celebrations, and elated Berliners soon went to work demolishing the wall with jackhammers and chisels. East and West Germany were officially reunified less than a year later in October 1990.

Peace lines

The peace lines or peace walls are a series of separation barriers in Northern Ireland that separate predominantly republican and nationalist Catholic neighbourhoods from predominantly loyalist and unionist Protestant neighbourhoods. They have been built at urban interface areas in Belfast, Derry, Portadown and elsewhere.

The majority of peace walls are located in Belfast, but they also exist in Derry, Portadown and Lurgan, [1] with more than 20 miles of walls in Northern Ireland. [2]

Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands, East China Sea

On the surface, the Senkaku (Chinese: Diaoyu) islands seem to offer very little to fight over beyond rocks and water. The dispute over these islands, controlled by Japan and claimed by China, intensified after oil and gas fields were found underneath. In 2012 the sale of one of the islands by a wealthy Japanese family to the Japanese government enraged the Chinese population and led to massive anti-Japanese riots. Considering the growing power and assertiveness of China in Asia, many experts warn that the tension over the Senkaku islands could develop into a more serious conflict.

The Berlin Wall Was Torn Apart By Ordinary Citizens

Photo : Yann / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The 91-mile wall encircling West Berlin built by the USSR in 1961 was meant to keep East Germans out of the one enclave of democracy left within the Iron Curtain, and it worked like a charm - until it didn&rsquot work anymore. If permitted to cross into West Berlin, the people could escape Soviet rule, as many did before 1961. More than 100 people were killed by East German guards trying to escape over or under the wall.

West Berlin&rsquos thriving capitalistic system stood in contrast to the drab communist East Berlin and surrounding East Germany. Eventually, the Soviet Union-operated zone began to dismantle under the pressure of the oppressed people who were constantly within agonizing view of a Western democracy. So in 1989, East Germany announced people could pass through the wall to West Berlin. Overjoyed citizens, who had held mass demonstrations leading up to the decision, demolished the wall with anything they could get their hands on. East and West Germany officially reunified in 1990.

7. Hadrian's Wall


Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans to protect their colony Britannia from the tribes in Scotland. It stretches for 117 kilometers (73 miles) across the north of England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. Construction started in 122 AD following a visit by Roman Emperor Hadrian, and was largely completed within six years. The wall was garrisoned by around 9,000 soldiers, including infantry and cavalry. Although only stretches of this famous wall are still visible today it it is among the most popular tourist attractions in England. There is a national path that follows the whole length of the wall from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway.


18th century Edit

The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States. In the second article of the Treaty, the parties agreed on all boundaries of the United States, including, but not limited to, the boundary to the north along then-British North America. The agreed-upon boundary included the line from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, and proceeded down along the middle of the river to the 45th parallel of north latitude.

The parallel had been established in the 1760s as the boundary between the provinces of Quebec and New York (including what would later become the State of Vermont). It was surveyed and marked by John Collins and Thomas Valentine from 1771 to 1773. [1]

The St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes became the boundary further west, between the United States and what is now Ontario. Northwest of Lake Superior, the boundary followed rivers to the Lake of the Woods. From the northwesternmost point of the Lake of the Woods, the boundary was agreed to go straight west until it met the Mississippi River. In fact, that line never meets the river since the river's source is further south.

Jay Treaty (1794) Edit

The Jay Treaty of 1794 (effective 1796) created the International Boundary Commission, which was charged with surveying and mapping the boundary. It also provided for the removal of British military and administration from Detroit, as well as other frontier outposts on the U.S. side. The Jay Treaty was superseded by the Treaty of Ghent (effective 1815) concluding the War of 1812, which included pre-war boundaries.

19th century Edit

Signed in December 1814, the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, returning the boundaries of British North America and the United States to the state they were prior to the war. In the following decades, the United States and the United Kingdom concluded several treaties that settled the major boundary disputes between the two, enabling the border to be demilitarized. The Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817 provided a plan for demilitarizing the two combatant sides in the War of 1812 and also laid out preliminary principles for drawing a border between British North America and the United States.

London Convention (1818) Edit

The Treaty of 1818 saw expansion of both British North America and the US, where the boundary extended westward along the 49th parallel, from the Northwest Angle at Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. The treaty extinguished British claims to the south of that line up to the Red River Valley, which was part of Rupert's Land. The treaty also extinguished U.S. claims to land north of that line in the watershed of the Missouri River, which was part of the Louisiana Purchase. This amounted to three small areas, consisting of the northern part of the drainages of the Milk River (today in southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan), the Poplar River (Saskatchewan), and Big Muddy Creek (Saskatchewan). [ citation needed ] Along the 49th parallel, the border vista is theoretically straight, but in practice follows the 19th-century surveyed border markers and varies by several hundred feet in spots. [2]

Webster–Ashburton Treaty (1842) Edit

Disputes over the interpretation of the border treaties and mistakes in surveying required additional negotiations, which resulted in the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842. The treaty resolved the Aroostook War, a dispute over the boundary between Maine, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada. The treaty redefined the border between New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York on the one hand, and the Province of Canada on the other, resolving the Indian Stream dispute and the Fort Blunder dilemma at the outlet to Lake Champlain.

The part of the 45th parallel that separates Quebec from the U.S. states of Vermont and New York had first been surveyed from 1771 to 1773 after it had been declared the boundary between New York (including what later became Vermont) and Quebec. It was surveyed again after the War of 1812. The U.S. federal government began to construct fortifications just south of the border at Rouses Point, New York, on Lake Champlain. After a significant portion of the construction was completed, measurements revealed that at that point, the actual 45th parallel was three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) south of the surveyed line. The fort, which became known as "Fort Blunder", was in Canada, which created a dilemma for the U.S. that was not resolved until a provision of the treaty left the border on the meandering line as surveyed. The border along the Boundary Waters in present-day Ontario and Minnesota between Lake Superior and the Northwest Angle was also redefined. [3] [4]

Oregon Treaty (1846) Edit

An 1844 boundary dispute during the Presidency of James K. Polk led to a call for the northern boundary of the U.S. west of the Rockies to be 54°40′N related to the southern boundary of Russia's Alaska Territory. However, Great Britain wanted a border that followed the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. The dispute was resolved in the Oregon Treaty of 1846, which established the 49th parallel as the boundary through the Rockies. [5] [6]

Boundary surveys (mid–19th century) Edit

The Northwest Boundary Survey (1857–1861) laid out the land boundary. However, the water boundary was not settled for some time. After the Pig War in 1859, arbitration in 1872 established the border between the Gulf Islands and the San Juan Islands.

The International Boundary Survey (or, the "Northern Boundary Survey" in the US) began in 1872. [7] Its mandate was to establish the border as agreed to in the Treaty of 1818. Archibald Campbell led the way for the United States, while Donald Cameron, supported by chief astronomer Samuel Anderson, headed the British team. This survey focused on the border from the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. [8]

20th century Edit

In 1903, following a dispute, a joint United Kingdom–Canada–U.S. tribunal established the boundary of southeast Alaska. [9]

On April 11, 1908, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed, under Article IV of the Treaty of 1908 "concerning the boundary between the United States and the Dominion of Canada from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean", to survey and delimit the boundary between Canada and the U.S. through the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, in accordance with modern surveying techniques, and thus accomplished several changes to the border. [10] [11] In 1925, the International Boundary Commission's temporary mission became permanent for maintaining the survey and mapping of the border maintaining boundary monuments and buoys and keeping the border clear of brush and vegetation for 6 meters (20 ft). This "border vista" extends for 3 meters (9.8 ft) on each side of the line. [12]

In 1909, under the Boundary Waters Treaty, the International Joint Commission was established for Canada and the U.S. to investigate and approve projects that affect the waters and waterways along the border.

21st century Edit

As a result of the 2001 September 11 attacks, the Canada–U.S. border was shut without any warning, and no goods or people were allowed to cross. In the wake of the impromptu border closure, procedures were jointly developed to ensure that commercial traffic could cross the border even if people were restricted from crossing. These procedures were later used for a border closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. [13]

2020–2021 closure Edit

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and the United States, the governments of Canada and the United States agreed to close the border to "non-essential" travel on March 21, 2020, for an initial period of 30 days. [14] The closure has been extended several times since then, and is currently set to expire on June 21, 2021. [15] [16] [17] [18] The United States closed its border with Mexico contemporaneously with the Canada–U.S. closure. [19] The 2020 closure was reportedly the first blanket, long-term closure of the border since the War of 1812. [20]

Essential travel, as defined by Canadian and US regulations, includes travel for employment or education purposes. [21] "Non-essential" travel to Canada, includes travel "for an optional or discretionary purpose, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment." [22] The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued defined non-essential travel to include "tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events)" and gave an extensive, non-exhaustive definition of what sorts of travel qualify as essential. [23]

Business advocacy groups, noting the substantial economic impact of the closure on both sides of the border, have called for more nuanced restrictions in place of the current blanket ban on non-essential travel. [24] The Northern Border Caucus, a group in the US Congress composed of members from border communities, made similar suggestions to the governments of both countries. [25] Beyond the closure itself, President Donald Trump had also initially suggested the idea of deploying United States military personnel near the border with Canada in connection with the pandemic. He later abandoned the idea following vocal opposition from Canadian officials. [26] [27]

Law enforcement approach Edit

The International Boundary is commonly referred to as the world's "longest undefended border", though this is true only in the military sense, as civilian law enforcement is present. It is illegal to cross the border outside border controls, as anyone crossing the border must be checked per immigration [28] [29] and customs laws. [30] [31] The relatively low level of security measures stands in contrast to that of the United States–Mexico border (one-third length of Canada–U.S. border), which is actively patrolled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to prevent illegal migration and drug trafficking.

Parts of the International Boundary cross through mountainous terrain or heavily forested areas, but significant portions also cross remote prairie farmland and the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River, in addition to the maritime components of the boundary at the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. The border also runs through the middle of the Akwesasne Nation and even divides some buildings found in communities in Vermont and Quebec.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) identifies the chief issues along the border as domestic and international terrorism drug smuggling and smuggling of products (such as tobacco) to evade customs duties and illegal immigration. [32] A June 2019 U.S. Government Accountability Office report identified specific staffing and resource shortfalls faced by the CBP on the Northern border that adversely affect enforcement actions the U.S. Border Patrol "identified an insufficient number of agents that limited patrol missions along the northern border" while CBP Air and Marine Operations "identified an insufficient number of agents along the northern border, which limited the number and frequency of air and maritime missions." [32]

There are eight U.S. Border Patrol sectors based on the Canada–U.S. border, each covering a designated "area of responsibility" the sectors are (from west to east) based in Blaine, Washington Spokane, Washington Havre, Montana Grand Forks, North Dakota Detroit, Michigan Buffalo, New York Swanton, Vermont and Houlton, Maine. [32]

Following the September 11 attacks in the United States, security along the border was dramatically tightened by the two countries in both populated and rural areas. Both nations are also actively involved in detailed and extensive tactical and strategic intelligence sharing.

In December 2010, Canada and the United States were negotiating an agreement titled "Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Competitiveness" which would give the U.S. more influence over Canada's border security and immigration controls, and more information would be shared by Canada with the U.S. [33] [ needs update ]

Security measures Edit

Residents of both nations who own property adjacent to the border are forbidden to build within the 6-metre-wide (20 ft) boundary vista without permission from the International Boundary Commission. They are required to report such construction to their respective governments.

All persons crossing the border are required to report to the customs agency of the country they have entered. Where necessary, fences or vehicle blockades are used. In remote areas, where staffed border crossings are not available, there are hidden sensors on roads, trails, railways, and wooded areas, which are located near crossing points. [34] There is no border zone [35] the U.S. Customs and Border Protection routinely sets up checkpoints as far as 100 miles (160 km) into U.S. territory. [36] [37]

In August 2020, the United States constructed 3.8 km (2.4 mi) of short cable fencing along the border between Abbotsford, British Columbia, and Whatcom County, Washington. [38]

Identification Edit

Prior to 2007, American and Canadian citizens were only required to produce a birth certificate and driver's license/government-issued identification card when crossing the Canada–United States border. [39]

However, in late 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the final rule of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which pertained to new identification requirements for travelers entering the United States. This rule, which marked the first phase of the initiative, was implemented on January 23, 2007, specifying six forms of identification acceptable for crossing the U.S. border (depending on mode): [40] [41]

  • a valid passport—required in order to enter by air
  • a United States Passport Card
  • a state enhanced driver's license—available in the States of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington, as well as in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec [42]
  • a trusted traveler program card (i.e., NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI)
  • a valid Merchant Mariner Credential—to be used when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business and
  • a valid U.S. military identification card—to be used when traveling on official orders.

The requirement of a passport or an enhanced form of identification to enter the United States by air went into effect in January 2007 and went into effect for those entering the U.S. by land and sea in January 2008. [39] Although the new requirements for land and sea entry went into legal effect in January 2008, its enforcement did not begin until June 2009. [39] Since June 2009, every traveller arriving via a land or sea port-of-entry (including ferries) has been required to present one of the above forms of identification in order to enter the United States.

Conversely in order to cross into Canada, a traveler must also carry identification, as well as a valid visa (if necessary) when crossing the border. [43] Forms of identification include a valid passport, a Canadian Emergency Travel Document, an enhanced driver's license issued by a Canadian province or territory, or an enhanced identification/photo card issued by a Canadian province or territory. [43] Several other documents may be used by Canadians to identify their citizenship at the border, although use of such documents requires it to be supported with additional photo identification. [43]

American and Canadian citizens who are members of a trusted traveler program such as FAST or NEXUS, may present their FAST or NEXUS card as an alternate form of identification when crossing the international boundary by land or sea, or when arriving by air from only Canada or the United States. [43] Although permanent residents of Canada and the United States are eligible for FAST or NEXUS, they are required to travel with a passport and proof of permanent residency upon arrival at the Canadian border. [43] American permanent residents who are NEXUS members also require Electronic Travel Authorization when crossing the Canadian border. [43]

Security issues Edit

Smuggling Edit

Smuggling of alcoholic beverages ("rum running") was widespread during the 1920s, when Prohibition was in effect nationally in the United States and parts of Canada.

In more recent years, Canadian officials have brought attention to drug, cigarette, and firearms smuggling from the United States, while U.S. officials have made complaints of drug smuggling via Canada. In July 2005, law enforcement personnel arrested three men who had built a 360-foot (110 m) tunnel under the border between British Columbia and Washington, intended for the use of smuggling marijuana, the first such tunnel known on this border. [44] From 2007 to 2010, 147 people were arrested for smuggling marijuana on the property of a bed-and-breakfast in Blaine, Washington, but agents estimate that they caught only about 5% of smugglers. [45]

Because of its location, Cornwall, Ontario, experiences ongoing smuggling—mostly of tobacco and firearms from the United States. The neighboring Mohawk territory of Akwesasne straddles the Ontario–Quebec–New York borders, where its First Nations sovereignty prevents Ontario Provincial Police, Sûreté du Québec, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Coast Guard, United States Border Patrol, United States Coast Guard, and New York State Police from exercising jurisdiction over exchanges taking place within the territory. [46] [47]

2009 border occupation Edit

In May 2009, the Mohawk people of Akwesasne occupied the area around the Canada Border Services Agency port of entry building to protest the Canadian government's decision to arm its border agents while operating on Mohawk territory. The north span of the Seaway International Bridge and the CBSA inspection facilities were closed. During this occupation, the Canadian flag was replaced with the flag of the Mohawk people. Although U.S. Customs remained opened to southbound traffic, northbound traffic was blocked on the U.S. side by both American and Canadian officials. The Canadian border at this crossing remained closed for six weeks. On July 13, 2009, the CBSA opened a temporary inspection station at the north end of the north span of the bridge in the city of Cornwall, allowing traffic to once again flow in both directions. [48]

The Mohawk people of Akwesasne have staged ongoing protests at this border. In 2014 they objected to a process that made their crossing more tedious believing it violated their treaty rights of free passage. When traveling from the U.S. to Cornwall Island, they must first cross a second bridge into Canada, for inspection at the new Canadian border station. Discussions between inter-governmental agencies were being pursued on the feasibility of relocating the Canadian border inspection facilities on the U.S. side of the border. [49]

2017 border crossing crisis Edit

In August 2017, the border between Quebec and New York saw an influx of up to 500 irregular crossings each day, by individuals seeking asylum in Canada. [50] As result, Canada increased border security and immigration staffing in the area, reiterating the fact that crossing the border irregularly had no effect on one's asylum status. [51] [52]

From the beginning of January 2017 up until the end of March 2018, the RCMP intercepted 25,645 people crossing the border into Canada from an unauthorized point of entry. Public Safety Canada estimates another 2,500 came across in April 2018 for a total of just over 28,000. [53]

The length of the terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometers (5,525 mi) long, including bodies of water and the border between Alaska and Canada that spans 2,475 kilometers (1,538 mi). [54] [55] Eight out of thirteen provinces and territories of Canada and thirteen out of fifty U.S. states are located along this international boundary.

Rank State Length of border with Canada Rank Province/territory Length of border with the U.S.
1 Alaska 2,475 km (1,538 mi) 1 Ontario 2,727 km (1,682 mi)
2 Michigan 1,160 km (721 mi) 2 British Columbia 2,168 km (1,347 mi)
3 Maine 983 km (611 mi) 3 Yukon 1,244 km (786 mi)
4 Minnesota 880 km (547 mi) 4 Quebec 813 km (505 mi)
5 Montana 877 km (545 mi) 5 Saskatchewan 632 km (393 mi)
6 New York 716 km (445 mi) 6 New Brunswick 513 km (318 mi)
7 Washington 687 km (427 mi) 7 Manitoba 497 km (309 mi)
8 North Dakota 499 km (310 mi) 8 Alberta 298 km (185 mi)
9 Ohio 235 km (146 mi)
10 Vermont 145 km (90 mi)
11 New Hampshire 93 km (58 mi)
12 Idaho 72 km (45 mi)
13 Pennsylvania 68 km (42 mi)

Yukon Edit

The Canadian territory of Yukon shares its entire border with the U.S. state of Alaska, beginning at the Beaufort Sea at 69°39′N 141°00′W  /  69.650°N 141.000°W  / 69.650 -141.000 and proceeds southwards along the 141st meridian west. At 60°18′N, the border proceeds away from the 141st meridian west in a southeastward direction, following the St. Elias Mountains. South of the 60th parallel north, the border continues into British Columbia. [57]

British Columbia Edit

British Columbia has two international borders with the United States: with the state of Alaska along BC's northwest, and with the contiguous United States along the southern edge of the province, including (west to east) Washington, Idaho, and Montana. [58]

7. Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Pyramid of Cheops or the Pyramid of Khufu. It is the largest and the oldest of the Giza pyramid complex, which is comprised of three different pyramids. The Pyramid of Giza is the oldest among the Ancient World’s Seven Wonders and has remained largely intact to this day. According to Egyptologists, the pyramid was built within a period of 10 to 20 years in about 2560 BC. It was standing at the height of 481 feet high holding the record as the tallest human-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years until 1311 AD when Lincoln Cathedral was constructed in England.

Border Walls: Spain and Morocco

David Ramos/Getty Images A Moroccan woman carries a package on her back as she crosses the “Barrio Chino” border crossing point between Melilla and Morocco on January 20, 2015. Hundreds of women, known as Porteadoras or Mule women of Melilla, carry heavy bales of goods across the border every day. According to the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco, more than €1.4 billion worth of goods are carried across the border each year.

Contrary to popular belief, Spain doesn’t fit neatly into the Iberian Peninsula alone. Two of its southernmost cities, Ceuta and Melilla, spill into the neighboring north African country of Morocco. In both cities, walls keep African refugees and potential immigrants out of Spain, and therefore out of the European Union.

Spain’s control of these two cities dates back hundreds of years. But it wasn’t until 1995 that Spain built the first modern fence — with funding from the EU –with the specific goal of keeping immigrants out. Support for the wall, as well as its expansion, increased in recent years out of ISIS-related fears.

To an extent, the wall has worked. Fewer migrants make it into Spain and the EU from Africa, but a fair amount still make it in by swimming around the border. Unfortunately, many are also simply killed right there in the water.

Kearny County

In the spring of 1816 Auguste P. Chouteau's hunting party traveling east with a winter's catch of furs was attacked near the Arkansas river by 200 Pawnees. Retreating to what was once an island five miles southwest of this marker the hunters beat them off with the loss of only one man. In 1825 increased travel on the Santa Fe trail brought a government survey and Chouteau's island was listed as a turning off place for the dangerous "Jornada" to the Cimarron. For a time the river here was the Mexican boundary. When Maj. Bennett Riley and four companies of infantry, serving as the first military escort on the trail, arrived in 1829 with a west-bound wagon train the troops went into camp near the island. They spent the summer fighting off Indians, losing several men and part of their oxen. The return from Santa Fe of the caravan with a Mexican escort was celebrated in a colorful exchange of military inspections.

US-50, Kearny County
Roadside turnout, 1 mile west of Lakin

72. SANTA FE TRAIL RUTS, 1821-1872

Looking east, up and over the bank of the ditch, one can see the wagon ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. You will notice a difference in the color and texture of the grass in the ruts. This is characteristic of the ruts along the trail. Between Pawnee Rock and Santa Fe, New Mexico, it was customary for the wagons to travel four abreast. This allowed for quicker circling in case of attack. In the distance to the south can be seen trees lining the banks of the Arkansas River. During the early years of the trail, this was the boundary between Mexico and the United States.

US-50, Kearny County
Roadside turnout, 4 miles east of Lakin

Great Wall of China

While it’s a familiar image around the globe, there’s no matching the experience of actually stepping on the Great Wall of China, an ancient 4,000-mile barrier. (Photo: Wendy Wu Tours)

At more than 13,000 miles long, the Great Wall of China is often called the longest feat of human engineering. It is more than 2,000 years old and took more than 1 million workers to build. The original purpose was to prevent incursions from barbarian nomads in the Third Century B.C. Now, it attracts millions of tourists each year as a symbol of Chinese civilization's enduring legacy. Yet the wall never really worked as intended. "China decided to build its wall as a security measure, but it was built in pieces, and it was never long enough," said Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, a professor of politics and globalization at Canada's University of Victoria.

FLASHBACK: 7 Democrats Who Once Endorsed Border Fence, Tougher Border Security


Prominent leaders of the Democratic Party once fiercely endorsed border security, and had even voted to secure a border fence along the nation’s southern border.

These stringent calls for tougher border policy appear to have ceased since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States.

In 2006, Senate Democrats — including then-senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Joe Biden — voted to secure a fence along the United States southern border. Check out the instances in which prominent leaders of the Democratic Party championed the border fence and stronger border security overall.

“The bill before us will certainly do some good,” said then-Senator Obama in 2006, adding that the Secure Fence Act would provide “better fences and better security” and that it would make headway against “the tide of illegal immigration in this country.”

“Real reform means stronger border security,” said Obama several years later as president, during his 2013 State Of The Union.

“Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost one trillion dollars in the next two decades,” said Obama during his 2014 State Of The Union, bringing up his alleged concern about stopping illegal immigration once again.

2. Hillary Clinton

“Look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in, and I do think you have to control your borders,” said Clinton, referring to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, “We need to secure our borders, I’m for it, I voted for it, I believe in it.”

A decade earlier, Hillary Clinton’s husband and then-president Bill Clinton affirmed his own beliefs that illegal immigration should be stopped in his 1995 State Of The Union, stating that “all Americans” were right to be “disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering [the United States],” adding that illegal aliens “impose burdens on [U.S.] taxpayers.”

Schumer, who also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act, elaborated on his pro-border security stance a few years later in a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center, in which the senator told his audience that referring to illegal aliens as “undocumented” is unacceptable.

“Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple,” said Schumer, “When we use phrases like ‘undocumented workers,’ we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combatting illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose.”

“If you don’t think it’s illegal, you’re not going to say it. I think it is illegal, and wrong, and we have to change it,” added the senator.

5. Dianne Feinstein

“Democrats are solidly behind controlling the border, and we support the border fence,” said Feinstein of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

In 2013, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to border security as a “basic principle,” and urged congress to support legislation that she claimed would secure the U.S. border.

7. Vice President Joe Biden

“We [President Obama and I] felt so strongly, from the day we took office, for the need for immigration reform,” said Vice President Biden in 2014, who had also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act when he was a senator.

Biden continued, by criticizing those who choose to enter a foreign country illegally:

“Imagine — you say, ‘I got a good idea, let’s gather up everything we have, sell it, give it to some coyotes to take us to a country that doesn’t want us, drop us off in God knows where, we don’t [know] anybody, we leave everything that’s familiar to us. Let’s go, isn’t that going to be a great idea?’ These are horrible decisions these people are making.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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