Economics

What did the Chinese invent/Gunpowder/Paper/printing press

China is not only a great political and economic power of the current era. It is enough to inquire into its history to discover the amount of things that the Chinese invented. In fact, thanks to trade and, in particular, due to the Silk Road, many of the great inventions of Ancient China could be brought around the world. What did the Chinese invent?

Therefore, below we expose the great contributions of China, the world’s factory and the world’s leading exporter .

 Gunpowder

Undoubtedly, gunpowder has been a fundamental element in modern warfare, without forgetting the showiness of more playful events such as fireworks sessions.

Gunpowder precisely has its origin in China, back in the 9th century, when a handful of alchemists combined sulfur, saltpeter and coal.

Its use transcended the military plane and ended up spreading throughout the world, being used in bombs and all kinds of ammunition. Beyond military purposes, gunpowder is also used in activities such as mining or in pyrotechnic shows. What did the Chinese invent?

 Paper

There has been no more important support for transmitting culture than paper, without neglecting that paper has been an essential element for trading ( paper money ). It is true that in the past papyri and parchment were used, however, paper gained an advantage over both supports. And the thing is that the paper was a much less heavy and cheaper support to get.

Around 100 BC, with a mixture of wood pulp and water, a reliable support was achieved that could replace much more expensive materials such as silk or bamboo.

 The printing press

The contribution of Chinese civilization to the world of writing has been decisive.

If we previously explained that they were considered the creators of paper, the Chinese are also responsible for the invention of the printing press . What did the Chinese invent?

Many will probably believe that Johannes Gutenberg should be thought of as the creator of the printing press in 1440. Well, before the German introduced his creation in Europe, the Chinese already had the printing press. Thus, some four hundred years earlier, in China there was already the so-called movable type printing press.

 The compass

Being able to orient oneself has been key in the success of the great sailors and expedition members of history. Once again, we must look to China to find the origin of the magnetic compass, which was created in the times of the Song dynasty, between the years 1040 and 1044.

Inseparably linked to the creation of the compass we find magnetism, which at first was considered magic. Now, thanks to a magnetized needle that was allowed to float in a container of water, it was possible to know where the north was.  What did the Chinese invent?

Obtaining silk

One of the most valued fabrics is silk, which began to be obtained in China from very ancient times, 6000 years ago. Thus, the Chinese would soon dominate sericulture or silk production, keeping secret for a long time the techniques for obtaining it.

Silk came to be considered a symbol of distinction, dressing with it emperors and the most powerful estates. However, with the passage of time, a greater part of the Chinese population would have access to it. 

In commercial exchanges, silk would become a highly valued raw material , so Europeans were willing to spend large sums of money for it. This textile would become the main export item and would give rise to a great trade route known as the Silk Road. What did the Chinese invent?

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