Gunpowder Changed the World

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Before 850 A.D, the most advanced achievements in weaponry and technology included the sword and shield. Chinese alchemists however, would change the world forever through their invention. In an early strive to find an elixir that sustained life, Chinese alchemists mixed sulfur and charcoal creating what is known as salt-pepper. When burned it was said that "smoke and flames result, so that the scientists' hands and faces have been burnt, and even the whole house where they were working burned down" (Whipps). This invention was later known as gunpowder, a creation that would revolutionize and create a new world. The effects that the creation of gunpowder in 850 A.D had on the world can be shown through the advancements in weaponry, technology, and the impact on culture. Gunpowder’s effect on the world can be exemplified through the grand changes in weapons. This can be shown through the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 by the English navy. In this sea battle, the Spanish Armada outnumbered the English navy immensely turning the odds against the English. However, the Spanish Armada still used old boarding tactics while the English used advanced weaponry. In the end, “the English used their superior firepower to whittle away the Spanish forces” (Schlager). The English navy's victory over the Spanish Armada illustrates the effects of the invention of gunpowder. With the successful usage of advanced gunpowder based weapons, the English navy crushed the opposition even when the Spanish Armada clearly had the upper hand. The defeat of the Spanish Armada shows that weapons based on gunpowder allowed countries with smaller armies to have a higher chance in winning their fights. The gunpowder weapons proved to be a tactical advant... ... middle of paper ... ...ol. Supplement. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. World History In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Everbach, Carr. "Human Nature, Technology & the Environment." Human Nature, Technology & the Environment. Swarthmore College, 25 Jan. 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. Fisher, Max. "A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths." The Atlantic, 23 July 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. "NASA Quest Space Team Online." NASA Quest Space Team Online. Donald James, 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2013. Schlager, Neil. "The Chinese Invention of Gunpowder, Explosives, and Artillery and Their Impact on European Warfare." Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2001. World History In Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Whipps, Heather. "How Gunpowder Changed the World." LiveScience. Live Science, 6 Apr. 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
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