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Ancient Chinese Inventions and Contributions

By kbm002 Nov 18, 2012 1166 Words
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’s society. Ancient Chinese has contributed to helping jobs to exist, fight wars, and contribute to the overall public lives with their inventions and contributions. We as people living life and going about our business never really take the time to think about where and who has invented the joys we experience on a daily basis. One example is our very own boy scouts, go on a big jamboree every year. They normally go camping and hiking. A compass is used during this time frame. If you were to ask the average boy scout, who invented the compass? Many could not tell who or when was the compass invented.

Ancient Chinese four most useful contributions or inventions created were gun powder, the compass, paper making, and printing. These four inventions are very unique in their own way. I will explain why these four are the most useful inventions created by ancient Chinese. One of the few destructive inventions of ancient Chinese civilization was that of gunpowder. The discovery of gunpowder led to the invention of firearms and revolutionized battlefields in the Asian Continent. Chinese alchemists, whom were searching for an elixir of life, accidentally discovered the explosive property of gunpowder sometime around 9th century AD. By the end of the 10th century, Asian powers had introduced grenades, crude bombs and firearms onto battlefields. Use of cannons and bigger fire arms also became prevalent. (Yinke Deng, 2005) The compass was one of the most important technological developments in ancient China due to the fact that it promoted and aided exploration that was initiated by Chinese rulers. The development of the compass made China the first imperial power in the world. The Chinese empire was indeed termed as an imperial power until the end of monarchy in China and the royal place was also known as the Imperial Palace. The exact era or dynasty during which the Chinese invented the technology of paper manufacturing is uncertain. It is certain that the technology led to many more advancements as it facilitated scholars, philosophers and writers of Chinese civilization. Paper that was invented in ancient China was not only used as a medium of writing, but creative Chinese innovators also used it as a raw material for manufacturing bags as well as paper currency. Paper making can be traced down to the Han dynasty, which ruled from 202 BC to 220 AD, when court official Cai Lun set out to the task of making paper. He deployed mulberry, bast fibers, and waste material such as old rags and hemp waste. (Yinke Deng, 2005) Lun also made use of fishing nets to bind the materials together. Some archaeological findings however, suggest that paper in ancient China may have been invented during the 8th century BC. The invention of printing is regarded as one of the most important inventions, due to the fact that it made books cheaper. Cheaper books ensured an educated society. Many dynasties of courtiers and scholars from ancient China contributed to the development of the printing press. Printing technology started evolving sometime around 868 BC, with the printing of the first printed book titled The Diamond Sutra. The book was printed with the help of the wood block printing. It had become a very advanced technology by the end of the Song dynasty. Writer Shen Kuo, who was also a courtier of Songs, promoted the use of printing for the spread of knowledge. Bi Sheng, who was an artisan, invented the movable ceramic printing. Inventors like Hua Sui also attempted to invent the metal castings and rollers for movable printing. There are eight to ten useful inventions and contributions from the ancient Chinese that are still in use today. The ten ancient Chinese useful inventions or contributions are paper currency, row crops, deep drilling for gas, fireworks, gun powder, the flame thrower, the parachute, the wheel barrow, rudder, and the compass. Chinese inventions have contributed to mankind in many ways. Many of their discoveries start out in one form and can branch out to three or more end products. The four inventions or contributions from the ancient Chinese that have had the most impact on many countries and even changed the course of history to a certain extent were paper currency, gun powder, the parachute, and deep drilling for gas. I believe them to be the most ingenious and innovative of inventions. Paper currency changed the ways of handling money. The times of having to carry gold coins and precious metals to purchase goods and services were over. Before paper currency lugging gold and precious metals around was risky and hard to conceal. Paper currency is lightweight, discrete, and still exists in society today. As well as currency, the ways that gun powder has changed society are many. Gun powder has contributed to the gun, fireworks, and explosives of many types. The usage is wide ranged and without the use gun powder wars would have been a lot harder to win and a lot more primitive in style. It is hard to imagine the civil war without the use of musket guns and cannons. The invention of the parachute have also helped in many ways. Parachutes have saved many pilots’ lives. When an air plane fails in the sky or during a war when a plane is shot down, pilots can parachute to safety. Parachutes have facilitated the United States troops with fighting wars on enemy territories. Deep drilling for gas has helped many countries to better utilize their own resources. Deep drilling for gas has helped the United States in the fight to go green and help the environment. The deep drilling for gas technique has given many Americans jobs in the past and present, and it is responsible for a considerable amount of America’s income. The ancient Chinese have invented and contributed to the discovery of many things used in society today. The one invention I cannot live without is paper currency. Money is what makes the world go round. I use money every day for many different reasons. On a daily basis, I use money (paper currency) to purchase gas, lunch, and beverages. On a weekly basis I use paper currency to rent DVDs, go to the movies, take my wife out to dinner, and get my haircut. It has changed and facilitate the world drastically. Paper currency is in circulation from many different countries and all vary in value and designs. References

Yinke Deng. (October 2005). Ancient Chinese Inventions. China. China Intercontinental press Suzanne Morgan Williams. (January 1997). Made in China: Ideas and Inventions from Ancient China. Berkley, California. Pacific Press. (2008). Invention of Paper. Retrieved from http://www.culture-4-travel.com/invention-of-paper.html.

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