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.
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)