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Impact of Ancient Chinese Innovations Coursework

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Updated: Sep 23rd, 2022

China is the second largest country in the world. It is found in Eastern side of Asia and it is the most populated country in the world with over 1.3 billion people. As a single party state, the Communist Party of China rules the country (Sayre, 2012). The economy of China is performing very well, with a Gross Domestic Product of $5.88 trillion and a per capita income of $ 7,600, which is well above most countries (Broudy, 1979). The high GDP is attributed to the scientific developments and inventions that have taken place in the country since time immemorial. As a result, products from China dominate the world market and the demand for its goods is very high (Cohen, 2004).

As a civilization, China has existed for more than six millennia and is growing at an alarming rate. It is important to note that the growth experienced in China results from the technological advances it has made in the area of science and technology (Needham, 2004). Indeed, scientific inventions and technological developments are considered very vital for the achievement of both political and economic objectives of the country (Sayre, 2012). Since it is ahead of other countries in the area of science, the country is highly respected in the world. These technological and scientific advances in China can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, which invented a number of things that have shaped the economy of the country and the world in general. These inventions were made in different sectors of the economy and include compass, rudder, deep drilling for gas, gunpowder, parachute, paper, silk, the decimal system, paper money, and wheelbarrows (Cohen, 2004).

There are four of the inventions that are considered very ingenious. These four are the invention of gunpowder, compass, papermaking, and silk. Paper invention was innovative in that it enabled books to be made cheaply and hence cheaper cost (Pelt & Mathews, 2009). It should be noted that before the invention of paper, books were made of very expensive silk (Sayre, 2012) and were very scarce and expensive (Goswami, 2007). The discovery of paper thus promoted education in China and reduced the cost of keeping government records. The overall expenditure for the government was also reduced thereby reducing the tax burden on the citizens. The invention and use of paper have facilitated transfer of information from one generation to another. Cultures have also developed and advanced because of use of papers (Broudy, 1979).

The second invention that was very innovative is gunpowder. It was intended to provide solution to the immortality of human beings. It enabled the Chinese to use it as signal flares and for fireworks (Deng, 2011). However, it was later used by the military to defend the country against invasion. In the military, it was used in making fire arrows and rockets used when fighting war.

The compass is the third invention that is very innovative. It is known as a directional device that is widely used in the world today to indicate direction. It was originally intended to be used for forecasting (Broudy, 1979). This great invention has enhanced exploration of the world. It makes it easy to determine the directions, destinations and positions thus facilitating transport (Sayre, 2012). Before the invention of the compass, direction was determined using landmarks, which were not very effective during cloudy days. Therefore, the discovery of compass enhanced navigation far from the land. Sea transport and trade therefore improved greatly leading to more discoveries being made.

The forth-innovative invention in China was that of silk. It should be noted that silk is naturally created but is not naturally harvested and used (Pelt & Mathews, 2009). The Chinese thus discovered how it is harvested and used in making clothes and paper (Goswami, 2007). The invention of its method of extraction increased the production of silk. Because of surplus production, it became a major export commodity for China. This earned the country foreign exchange and connected it to many parts of the world. It was also used in making very beautiful clothes that were sold within and outside the country (Deng, 2011).

The many inventions of the ancient Chinese are very important to varied degrees to individuals and the country. However, the most important one that one cannot do without is paper. Paper is very important for further development of civilization (Needham, 2004). This explains why China was able to create and develop its civilization ahead of other countries in the world. Everyone in the world uses paper in one or the other way. All books we read are made of paper. The money used to acquire goods and services is (Sayre, 2012) made of paper. Share certificates, title deeds, tissue papers, boxes, polythene bags and other documents we use in our daily lives are all made of paper (Needham, 2004).

In conclusion, Chinese ancient inventions are very important for development of an economy. They have earned the country foreign exchange, which is invested in other sectors to facilitate economic development. In addition, the country is also self-sufficient enabling to build its foreign exchange reserves and concentrating in development. As a result, the country is bound to attain the position of the world’s superpower.


Broudy, E. (1979). The Book of Looms: A History of Handlooms from Ancient Times to the Present. Hanover: University Press of New England.

Cohen, S. R. (2004). Chinese Studies on the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. New York: Springer.

Deng, Y. (2011). Ancient China Inventions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goswami, R. (2007). Wondering Man, Money & Go (I)D. London: Best Global Publishing.

Needham, J. (2004). Science and Civilization in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pelt, V. T. & Mathews, R. (2009). Ancient Chinese Civilization. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

Sayre, H. M. (2012). The Humanities: Culture, continuity and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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