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Gunpowder Changed The World Essay

1588 words - 6 pages

Before 850 A.D, the most advanced achievements in weaponry and technology included the sword and shield. Chinese alchemists however, would change the world forever through their invention. In an early strive to find an elixir that sustained life, Chinese alchemists mixed sulfur and charcoal creating what is known as salt-pepper. When burned it was said that "smoke and flames result, so that the scientists' hands and faces have been burnt, and even the whole house where they were working burned down" (Whipps). This invention was later known as gunpowder, a creation that would revolutionize and create a new world. The effects that the creation of gunpowder in 850 A.D had on the world can be shown through the advancements in weaponry, technology, and the impact on culture.
Gunpowder’s effect on the world can be exemplified through the grand changes in weapons. This can be shown through the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 by the English navy. In this sea battle, the Spanish Armada outnumbered the English navy immensely turning the odds against the English. However, the Spanish Armada still used old boarding tactics while the English used advanced weaponry. In the end, “the English used their superior firepower to whittle away the Spanish forces” (Schlager). The English navy's victory over the Spanish Armada illustrates the effects of the invention of gunpowder. With the successful usage of advanced gunpowder based weapons, the English navy crushed the opposition even when the Spanish Armada clearly had the upper hand. The defeat of the Spanish Armada shows that weapons based on gunpowder allowed countries with smaller armies to have a higher chance in winning their fights. The gunpowder weapons proved to be a tactical advantage in this battle. Since the Spanish Armada still used old boarding tactics, this required the ships to be in contact with one another. However the English navy used long range gunpowder weapons that kept the Spanish Armada away from their ships, thus preventing the Spanish Armada from boarding. Another example of the success gunpowder based weapons had is shown through the Seven Years' War in 1759 at the Battle of Quebec. This battle occurred in the North American territories of France and Britain. During this battle the British set out to take control of the Citadelle of Quebec, a fort in the French areas of Canada. When the French and British forces met, it took one massive wave of gunfire from the British to clear out over five hundred French soldiers. With this incredible attack, “the militia panicked at such a show of force and retreated to the Citadelle. The British were then able to take the fort” (Chase). Through this battle, the effects of gunpowder weapons are shown through the casualty rates. In one volley, five hundred Frenchmen were killed where in comparison, the British lost “relatively” nothing. Gunpowder weapons prove to be advantageous on the battlefield and continuously prove to be the reason for the...

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