"The Genius That Was China" This Essay Is About The Wonderful Technological Developments Of Ancient China And How They Influenced The Development Of The West

1773 words - 8 pages

In the present, when it comes to technology, science and culture, it seems that China is simply lapping up the scraps of the western world and doing with it what it can. This was not always the case. Throughout history, China has been quite the ingenious and creative civilization and has often been well ahead of it's time. In fact, today's advanced world is not just a product of inventions from the west, but of those from the east as well. The Chinese have invented many things which have heavily influenced the future of the west and the world as a whole.One field in which the Chinese created many innovative and revolutionary inventions was warfare. One such invention, the stirrup, ...view middle of the document...

Through the centuries of feudal Europe the crossbow became widespread and with it a peasant could kill a life dedicated and full armoured Knight with only a few days of training. While the Knight would remain a power on the battlefield for some time, his status was beginning to change. Gunpowder is undoubtable the most famous and influential of Chinese warfare inventions. It's discovery was somewhat of an accident, the result of Taoists looking for ways to create an elixir of immortality. At first, this new discovery was used in festival as firecrackers to scare away evil spirits but it would soon find it's way on the fields of war. Gunpowder grenades were first used after the fall of the T'ang dynasty in 906AD to offset the Chinese loss of horse breeding grounds to their enemies in the north. The Chinese used the grenades to scare the horses of their enemies so that they could gain the advantage in battle. Gunpowder was also used to fuel rockets that could be used in both sea and land warfare. The 'bee's nest' was one such weapon, which fired multiple arrows simultaneously with an explosive sting. The use of the gun would give the Chinese a helpful advantage over their enemies but gunpowder's greatest influence would be in Europe, where it would change warfare by bringing the downfall of the Knight, eliminating the usefulness of Castles and eventually allow the Europeans to conquer foreign worlds. Throughout a period of Chinese complacency the gun would develop in Europe as a mighty weapon that would later come back to haunt China.Throughout their history the Chinese have had a relatively high population. This has forced them to find new and efficient methods of agriculture, ones that are still used today. A simple, yet important technique that the Chinese used was row planting, invented around 600BC. The seeds were planted by hand in rows so that they would not interfere with each other. Europeans instead just threw the seeds on the ground which would cause interference and ultimately a lower crop yield. It was not until the 17th century that the Europeans borrowed this method. The technique is still in the present, although machines do most of the work now. To complement row planting, a device was developed called the seed drill. With this a farmer didn't need to plant seeds by hand, resulting in quicker work and greater acreage. The seed drill would emigrate to Europe as well. While plows were used in all parts of the world the ones in China were much superior. Made of iron the plow had a sturdy, square frame, strong heavy, well designed shares and new moldboards that were well in advance of any plows elsewhere. The greatest feature was an adjustable strut which precisely regulated the depth at which it would plow. In the 17th century the Europeans would abandon their own plows for this 2000 year old, but more advanced, piece of technology. It was only once these and other Chinese methods of agriculture reached Europe that the agricultu...


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