The history of the Grand Canal of China goes back thousands of years. Given its long history and far-reaching implications, the engineering marvel is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization. This book focuses on the original mission, historical evolution, and cultural and social implications of the Grand Canal. It also discusses the driving force of the Grand Canal’s development, ecological conservation and agricultural development along the canal, and its contribution to supply allocation trade, economic growth, finance, and politics (i.e. expansion and stabilization of the central power).