Daniel Halliday
Apr 9 · Last update 11 days ago.
How did the international spread of Gunpowder change the course of history?
Gunpowder is an invention that had a large role to play in the military history of the world. Originally developed as a medicine by Chinese Taoists it eventually came to be used as an explosive and used in warfare. What led to the widespread use of gunpowder and what effect did the spread of gunpowder have throughout the rest of the world?
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Aided cultural development in peacetime as well as war
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The spread of gunpowder technologies aided the spread of colonialism
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Aided cultural development in peacetime as well as war

What first was used to threaten and kill has also long been used to celebrate, innovate and save lives. However gunpowder is an unusual case as its initial invention was as a medicine, an experiment by alchemists to find an elixir of immortality, and is still know as ‘huo yao’ or flaming medicine in China. Even though gunpowder’s applications are often military it is arguably become more of a tool with various uses that has had effects well beyond warfare, used in industrial powder actuated tools, mining, rescue flares and even become an important part of celebrations worldwide in the form of fireworks.

coursehero.com/file/p201r5/Gunpowder-In-Chinese-gunpowder-is-called-huo-yao-meaning-flaming-medicine theclassroom.com/importance-gunpowder-invention-5880.html

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The spread of gunpowder technologies aided the spread of colonialism

Mongols spread gunpowder and early technologies widely throughout the Eurasian continent in the 12th century, leading to further innovation, and the spreading back of the first matchlock technologies to the rest of the world by Portuguese merchants throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. This changed the way in which warfare was carried out forever, however trade in such innovations, along with the massive wealth and military dominance that came with it, not only changed warfare but brought about the foundations for European imperialism and eventual colonialism. This combination of domination and advancing military mechanisation led to European colonial powers controlling much of the world by the early 20th century.

history.emory.edu/home/documents/endeavors/volume5/gunpowder-age-v-complete.pdf

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