top-rated free essay

Ancient Chinese Contributions

By spike572 Jul 20, 2013 766 Words
Ancient Chinese Contributions
Rich Laird
Strayer University
Humanities: Culture, Continuity and Change
Dr. Ronald Gavin
May 28, 2012

Ancient Chinese Contributions
The world owes a lot to the Chinese for all the major contributions and innovations they introduced. For example, during the Era of Disunity (approx. 220-581 AD) the ancient Chinese invented kites, matches, umbrellas and much more ("Inventions," “n.d.”). The Yuan dynasty brought us paper money, blue and white porcelain and several other contributions ("Inventions," “n.d.”). The discovery of making gunpowder came from the Tang dynasty (200AD) ("Inventions," “n.d.”); the list goes on. The most significant contributions came from the Han dynasty (approx. 202 BC-220 AD) introducing moveable rudder and sails, cast iron technology, wheel barrow, and the hot air balloon ("Chinese culture," 2007-2011). More importantly, the Han dynasty brought to the world the manufacturing of paper, the compass and the production of Chinese silk ("contributions," 2003-2012). The four most ingenious or innovative contributions are paper, the compass, printing and silk. Europeans thought of Chinese silk as elegant and traders would pay the same weight in gold for this high commodity. Silk was traded along the “silk road”, another ancient Chinese innovation, which stretched from the Yellow River valley to the Mediterranean, nearly five thousand miles long (Sayre, 2011, p. 224). The silk road was the doorway to the spread of ideas, religions and technologies to the rest of the world. The ancient Chinese taught the world how to harvest silk from silk worms along with paper making, glass making and printing. The first printing technique put to use was block printing, a very lengthy process, from the ancient Tang dynasty. Much time and labor went into block printing, but once the carved block is finished, the advantages of high efficiency and large printing amount made it very worthwhile ("Chinese culture," 2007-2011). The printing technique was enhanced with moveable type printing during the Song dynasty by the inventor Bi Sheng. Moveable type printing greatly boosted printing efficiency by reducing block making time. Other advantages were, moveable type was smaller and easier to store and can also be used repeatedly, saving materials ("Chinese culture," 2007-2011). We wouldn’t need printing techniques if we did not have the creative invention of paper, also brought to us by the ancient Chinese. Before the invention of paper, characters were written on animal bones, turtle backs or stones ("Chinese culture," 2007-2011). The Han dynasty produced paper from fibrous hemp, which later, improvements in technique and quality introduced by Cai Lun were made using silk rags, hemp and tree bark. His method, although now simplified, is still used today (Sayre, 2011, p. 226). It is hard to imagine the world without this ingenious invention. Everything we learn comes from some form of media printed on paper, whether it’s a book, magazine, newspaper, encyclopedia or journal. Can you imagine all of us walking around with our clay I Pads? The compass is another great contribution to the world by the ancient Chinese. It was used primarily for religious purposes to determine if a building being constructed was facing the right direction so it could be in perfect harmony with nature. The early compass resembled a wooden circle which had a number of marks on it along with a magnetic spoon on the top ("contributions," 2003-2012). Today’s compass is probably the most important navigation tool we have. A mariner wouldn’t dare set out to sea without a compass, nor would a pilot take a flight without a compass, for fear of getting lost. Of all the many contributions given us by the ancient Chinese, the one I could not live without would be the combination of printing and paper. How would I learn without being able to research a book or reference an encyclopedia? In my career, it takes a reference manual to complete a project or task safely and properly. I would miss being able to sit down and read a relaxing novel or magazine in my spare time. I just cannot imagine not having this wonderful contribution. I praise the ancient Chinese for all they have given us.

Chinese culture. (2007-2011). Retrieved from Contributions of ancient China to the world. (2003-2012). Retrieved from Inventions, innovations, and other contributions from ancient China. (“n.d.”). Retrieved from Sayre, H. M. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, continuity and change (custom ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Ancient Chinese Contributions

    ...developing one global culture. Countries share elements of their cultures with one another, and groups of people grow to understand one another better. The United States of America is a great example of a country whose culture is comprised of bits and pieces of many other cultures. One culture in particular that has had an effect on many America...

    Read More
  • Ancient Chinese Contributions - 1

    ...Assignment 2: Ancient Chinese Contributions Humanities February 5, 2007 Ancient Chinese Contributions As a young child growing up in Chicago Illinois, I remember my family excitedly preparing for the fourth of July fireworks show that took place annually at the Navy Pier. I remember staring up into the Chicago sky at night in an...

    Read More
  • Ancient Chinese Contributions (Bodde, n.d).

    ...Ancient Chinese Contributions Strayer University Ancient Chinese Contributions “China has given many ideas and ideals to the rest of the world; [China] has also given certain material goods or inventions or discoveries” (Bodde, n.d). Many of Ancient China’s inventions and contributions have shaped the way we live today. While gunpowd...

    Read More
  • Assignment 2: Ancient Chinese Contributions

    ... Ancient Chinese Contributions Kenneth Russell Strayer University Prof. Michael Briere Hum. 111 March 3rd, 2014 Ancient Chinese Contribution To win a trip to China, you enter to determine the four (4) most useful contributions or inventions created by the ancient Chinese. China Ancient Culture, a term often compared with ...

    Read More
  • Ancient Chinese Contributions

    ...Assignment 2: Ancient Chinese Contributions Ancient China was vastly innovated and superior with its innovations and contributions that are still being used throughout the world today. Ancient Chinese inventions such as silk, paper, gun powder, printing, tea, wheel barrow, porcelain, toilet paper and the compass have been vital to not only...

    Read More
  • Ancient Chinese Inventions and Contributions

    ...Ancient Chinese Inventions and Contributions Humanities 111 Professor Abstract The following paper will show the contributions from ancient Chinese culture is amazing. There are many inventions and contributions that trace back to ancient Chinese culture. The top ten inventions and contributions continue to keep giving in today...

    Read More
  • Ancient Greek vs Ancient Chinese

    ...Both Ancient Greek and Ancient Chinese are remarkably magnificent, a billion people believe the intellectual from Ancient Greece and Chinese traditional thoughts. The achievements of ancient Greek and Chinese from 2000 years or more before are remarkably different. Those civilizations were formed in different regions and climates with different ...

    Read More
  • Ancient Chinese Contributions - Paper

    ...The Ancient Chinese culture was a very successful culture that created many inventions and contributed to the advancement of not only the Chinese civilization but also to the civilization of the world. According to Henry Sayre, the Qin Dynasty, which was said to exist from 221BCE until 206 BCE, was the first empire in China to rise to dominance;...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.