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China's Impact on the World

Essay by review  •  February 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  547 Words (3 Pages)  •  632 Views

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China's Impact on the World

Throughout history there have been many groups of people and civilizations that have had an impact on the world. Many can argue the ancient Mayans or the civilization of Mesopotamia and others within the fertile-crescent have had the greatest impact on the world. All of these cultures have had an effect on the way we live today. Many agree China has by far been the greatest civilization and had the most impact on the world and society. I believe China has had the greatest impact on the world through its inventions.

One invention that has had an impact on the world is gunpowder. Gunpowder was invented in China in the third century and used to develop weapons like the cannon, before it was heard of in Europe. Chinese chemists discovered gunpowder by concocting a mixture of sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal and exposing that to heat. During the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960) military manuals were made to discuss it for military purposes. Soldiers used gunpowder to make fire arrows and make catapults dangerous to enemies. Later, the Chinese had made a gun barrel of bamboo. Shortly after, the first metal gun barrel in history was used in China. Europeans and Arabs copied the Chinese model of the gun. The gun has been the chief device of defense and protection for a soldier on the battlefield for centuries, which has helped nations defend themselves and win wars.

Another invention that has had an impact on the world is paper money. The Chinese invented paper money in the ninth century. Before, they used copper and iron as currency, but metal money was too heavy. When copper became in short supply, printing on paper became more common. In 1024, the Song government took over the printing of paper money and issued official notes, which became currency. Paper representing metal money led Islamic money changers to develop a checking system. Slowly but surely, paper money and checking systems spread to rest of the world. Almost every developed nation and country today in the world uses paper money as a form of currency. Paper money and the checking system form the basis of our world's financial institutions.

Another invention that has had an impact on the world is the abacus. During the Song dynasty the Chinese developed a counting device called the abacus. This instrument consisted of a rectangular wooden frame with parallel rods each with seven counter beads with a crossbar

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