History of Science and Technology in China

Throughout the article “History of the Science and Technology in China” written by New World Encyclopedia, there is a recurring theme. The Chinese created countless amazing inventions and revolutions while segregated from the western world. They did eventually broaden their horizons and start trading with outsiders, but for a long period of time, all of the new technologies were rather secluded to the Chinese culture.

From astronomical observation, feats in architecture, revolutionary medial practices, to a water wheel powered puppet show, China had it all. Four technological however stand out as the most important to ever come out of the east. These include the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing. All of these had a major impact on the rest of the world as they opened doors for war, travel, trade, knowledge, and other new possibilities to come.

In the middle ages of China, more advancements in science and tech were prevalent. First came the Tang Dynasty, called to be a “time of great innovation,” by the writers of the article. During this dynasty, several inventions that we still use today such as parachutes, natural gas, plows, and propellers were thought of. Later came the Song dynasty, although they had militaristic inventions such as Greek Fire, they fostered a time of great peace. During this time political institutions were set up to encourage free thought and led to innovations and creativity. They established mints due to the immense amount of trade and scientists wrote books on their discoveries of the time. Chinese astronomers were very big in this point in history. They recorded several things including the Crab Nebula.

To this day, thousands of innovations and technology have come from the western world. This article was basically about the ones that got the ball rolling and led to the future events in the world.

Image result for ancient chinese technology inventions

Related Readings: www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/song-dynasty.html   https://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/miltech/firearms.htm

The article titled “China’s age of Invention” by NOVA is all about years of the Song dynasty. This article goes into deeper detail concerning why and how the culture changed during this era to give birth to all of the amazing intellectual ideas. It breaks down effects of the certain technologies on China’s culture and economy. The article also uses specific examples such as gunpowder and printing to show their relationship to the world and China. In simple terms, this article takes examples and shows how and why they affected certain aspects of both ancient and modern life.

Nicholas Burnette (WC 408)

8 Replies to “History of Science and Technology in China”

  1. Nicholas,

    Good job summing up the key points of this reading! What do you think is the most important invention that developed in China? Why did China eventually open up and start interacting with other cultures? The silk road is one way the Chinese started to interact with other cultures.

  2. Nicholas,

    Good job summing up the key points of this reading! What do you think is the most important technology that developed in China? I really liked your point about how the technologies opened the door for war, travel, trade, and knowledge.

    Why did China eventually open up and start interacting with other cultures? The silk road is one way the Chinese started to interact with other cultures, but I am wondering what sparked international relations.

    Keep up the good work!
    Emily

  3. Nicholas,

    I really enjoyed reading your summary of “History of Science and Technology in China.” How did the seclusion of Chinese technology affect its growth and change? Also, How were the inventions of China merge with technology? I found the additional article to “China’s age of innovation” very interesting.

    Nice work!
    -Brandon Walter

  4. I like how you highlight that we use similar technology today as they did back then. I really enjoyed the article you attached about Gunpowder and Firearms. I thought the mini quizzes were awesome and very informational.

    Ryan McNeill

  5. Hi Nicholas,

    Nice Job with summarizing the article. I have a few questions, what do you think is the reason behind Chinese people segregated them self from the western world so long? What was the reason behind them opening up to the rest of the world?

  6. Hi Nicholas,

    Your summary of the article was fantastic. I personally found the additional article you attached to be interesting and relevant to your writing. I am curious about the political institutions you mentioned. I am particularly curious as to how the Chinese political institutions compared to other civilizations during that time period.

  7. Nicholas,

    I enjoyed your article and thought it was well written. One question I have is why did paper make such an impact in China versus the vellum and parchment that were being used in other parts of the world?

  8. I really like the point you mentioned in the article that “During this time political institutions were set up to encourage free thought and led to innovations and creativity”. I would like to discuss something about it.
    As we know there were more then 10 dynasties in ancient China. One thing interesting enough is that at the beginning of each dynasty, or to say under the rule of the first emperor, the politics is somewhat “democrat”. This is because the first emperor who took control of the country knew very clearly how the last dynasty came to the end. So what he would do is encouraging agriculture, restoring the impaired regions due to the war , and reduce tax greatly. So during this time people have stable life, or to say there was enough food, and than they would have to do something about the technology.

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