The Impact the Magnetic Compass, Paper, Gunpowder and the Nuclear Arms Race Played in World History

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Throughout the course, we have seen how technological advances played a significant factor in a global world that is constantly changing and growing. In this essay, I will examine some specific advancements and the impact they had on global encounters in two different eras which include: 1500-1777 and 1778-1980. In the early seventeenth century, I’ll be focusing on three technologies, the magnetic compass, paper, and gunpowder. In the mid-twentieth century, my concentration will be centered on the nuclear arms race between superpowers, United States and Russia during the Cold War. I’ll be discussing the role each technological advance played in globalization in their different eras, and the influences they had on world history. “The European capacity to mount and sustain commercial operations on a global scale depended in no small part on new technologies accompanying maritime time. The English polymath Francis Bacon in 1620 selected for special notice three mechanical discoveries that, in his view, have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world. The three discoveries included, the magnetic compass, paper, and gunpowder.” (Brook, pg 18) It was a crucial instrument for European nations, heart set on controlling trade routes. Although the compass had been around for centuries, the technological advances it made during this time proved to be infinitely limitless. We see the benefits of compasses today, through GPS navigation systems that aid us in a number of ways. Paper, another one of the most essential inventions, was also a major player in technology during the seventeenth century. For reasons that are self-explanatory, which included communication, documenting important events, art, making books ... ... middle of paper ... ...rangelove, in class. It was an entertaining play-on a very serious situation, done successfully. The United States and Soviet Union nuclear capabilities, drove other countries to possess such defensive/offensive “power”. Shortly after the United Kingdom, France, and China followed suit, which represented the impact this technological advance had on globalization during this era. To recap, I discussed specific technological advancements, during two separate timeframes, and the impacts they had on global encounters. Over the seventeenth century, I highlighted the compass, paper, and gunpowder where trade was a primary focus for these three technologies. During the 1950’s, I focused on the nuclear arms race between superpowers, where domination and supremacy were its driving forces, and their effects on global encounters and influences they had on world history.

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