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Gunpowder Empires

You might have heard of gun powder, but do you know who invented it and when it was created. It was first created by the Chinese during the tang dynasty. This particular dynasty was active in the 18th century.

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Gunpowder contains 3 important ingredients: sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal. Ironically today we use gunpowder to kill but before used in weapons the Chinese thought it could cure skin diseases. Soon after gunpowder’s total potential was discover. The Chinese then invented the cannon. Three major empires saw the power of these cannon and began to create and experiment with this new technology.

As known technology advanced so did cannon building and other small arms. This allowed the empires that invested in this technology to strengthen and spread out and conquer more lands. As these empires expanded they began to intrude on European cities. Naturally Europeans didn’t appreciate the intrusion. The Europeans began to fight back and start wars, most importantly at the battle of Vienna. Vienna was a very important city for the Ottoman Empire to conquer seeing how it is the easy passage through the mountains to Europe, a sort of doorway. The Ottoman Empire attacks the best they could fighting the Europeans.

The fighting was so close that only the long waited Calvary from Poland was able to save the Europeans from total disaster. Maybe if the ottomans gunpowder was more powerful and closer to today’s formula they would have won. If the Calvary had never showed up the entire history of Europe would be different. Another example is when the Ottoman Empire managed to conquer Istanbul. You may be wondering how anyone could get past the 50 by 40 foot walls of Istanbul. The Ottoman Empire developed huge cannon. These cannon were twenty six feet long and 18 inches thick. It shot carved stone balls that weighed in excess of six hundred pounds.

These alone weren’t enough to take down the wall; however the ottomans came up with a clever strategy. What the ottomans did was build twenty six of these bad boys and divide them into three groups each group fired at one desired point along the wall with days of constant battering at one point the wall came down. The gunpowder undoubtedly changed history, even though some people believe that if gunpowder was never discovered the world would be a safer place. They might be right but I don’t see how we could have reached this point in development without technology.