More than 400 years ago, the first permanent English settlement was built at Jamestown. The first action these explorers took was to build a triangular wooden wall to fortify their settlement. The practice of building defensive walls has existed since history can recall-mainly because if you didn't build a wall, you wouldn't survive long enough to have anything to contribute to history. A review of the most famous walls indicates this.
5,000 years ago, Sumer walled their cities, including Uruk-the home of the legendary King Gilgamesh. Sumer is sometimes called the "Cradle of Civilization" for accomplishments including cuneiform, the oldest example of writing on earth. Also around this time, the Indus Valley Civilization, were the first people to develop a system of weights for measurement. They protected themselves by building walls out of stone and bricks. In Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II not only built the Hanging Gardens-one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"-but he protected them with walls including the Mede wall between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The ancient Greeks protected their sea trading by employing long walls that stretched from their ports to their cities. Of course, this review wouldn't be complete without mentioning China's Great Wall, which was built over an extended period of dynasties.
As more and more cities of Europe were founded during the Middle Ages, the practice of building walls became second nature. Most of these also added ditches or moats. The walls of European castles and villages were mainly composed of straight lines. In Slavic countries, including Russia, their Kremlins were surrounded by wooden or stone circular structures. Today this can still be observed in the circular design of cities like Moscow.
When the English in America continued settling further inland, they continued to build forts like the first one at Jamestown. The forts were for protection not only from the American Indians but from other European settlers, including the French.
Eventually, brave frontiersman crossed the mountains and created settlements in what is today West Virginia. Just as humans always have, they were wise enough to first build defensive walls. Archaeologists know that there were at least seven fortified settlements in Randolph County. They included Fort Currence, Fort Friend, Fort Hadden, Fort Roney, Fort Warwick, Fort Westfall and Fort Wilson.
However, somewhere along the line of American history, our country has developed some sort of collective amnesia. We've forgotten humanity's survival instinct to always prioritize defensive structures over other projects. America shares a border of hundreds of miles with Mexico. Yet there is neither a continuous wall, nor watchtowers in a dense enough series.
None of the famous civilizations above would have flourished had they not built walls. It's important to note that nearly all of these civilizations that contributed to the advancement of humanity lasted thousands of years. America, a meager 238-year-old nation, seems to believe it can defy the universal rules of human nature. Perhaps, we should also consider what happened to the people who didn't build a wall: the American Indians. They had no way to protect themselves from the genocide and relocation of their peoples. Perhaps, we will fall victim to genocide as well if terrorists walk across the border with nuclear weapons.