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The Gunpowder Invention and Its Impacts on the World Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 30th, 2019


The world appeared in a different place before the invention of gunpowder. Living as an individual seemed beached before the discovery of gunpowder. The combat zones did not have any explosive projectiles, artillery, or cannons. The existence of these weapons after gunpowder discovery, however, came with several bottlenecks.

For instance, the changing factors such as altitude and wind, along with intense inaccuracy affected the use of these weapons. The black powder from gunpowder became enormous culpability on the decisive account of bullet progression.

The initial discovery of gunpowder changed many things that happened around the world. According to Arrault and Catherin, the invention mostly affected battlefield approaches all over the world (p.45).

The Chinese discovery that dates back to nearly one thousand years produced a very dangerous powder that contained a combination of Saltpeter, Sulfur, and Charcoal. This fueled massive and hefty explosions, which were apparent in pyrotechnic gadgets, firearms, rockets, and fireworks. In the present times, the production of gunpowder still goes on as a continuation of the works of the ancient alchemists from China.

The Invention of gunpowder

The major discovery of gunpowder appeared back in the 800 A.D. period. The Taoist alchemists from China who were seeking immortality (elixir) were the main propellers of this invention. Paradoxically, the invention of gunpowder was inadvertent. It resulted from the Chinese alchemists who were only investigating the uninterrupted life secrets.

The researchers were merely engaging in the recreation of Potassium Nitrate (an oxidizing chemical), Carbon, and Sulfur before they realized such a big invention.

Dating back to the middle of the ninth century, a scientist in the medical field came up with an idea to merge charcoal and sulfur with saltpeter. The product of this combination was extremely mysterious. For instance, the resultant powder produced dangerous flames and smokes. Besides, the powder scorched the experimental quarters and destroyed the faces and hands of the researchers (Needham 35).

The invention of firearms in the fiscal 1100 years, therefore, resulted from gunpowder development that occurred in the previous centuries. The Chinese researchers sourced funds from the empire of Han, specifically from Emperor Di Wu. The components of gunpowder included carbon, sulfur, and potassium nitrate. The chemical composition entailed fifteen percent of Carbon, ten percent of Sulfur, and seventy-five percent of Potassium Nitrate.

Studies suggest that both the Western and Eastern world nations considerably experienced divergent impacts from the inventions of gunpowder. The economic developments in many nations came due to the gunpowder revolution. The significance of gunpowder triggers to date owing to its relevance during the middle ages (Temple 41).

On the other hand, the production of gunpowder never came on a silver platter. The inventors could only access some of the ingredients for making gunpowder from imports. The acquisition of Saltpeter took place in India and Italy, whereas volcanoes apparent in Sicily and Italy produced Sulfur (Brimstone). Moreover, Carbon came in the form of charcoal obtained from power mills found within Chinese locality.

The production of one tone of gunpowder necessitated a quantity of two tones of charcoal. However, the process of producing gunpowder involved many steps. These included grounding, integration, incorporation, break down and pressing. Other processes encompassed corning, powdering, glazing, aeration, and testing (Arrault and Catherin 51). Considerably, the violation of any step under this process meant that the production would be a fault.

During the process of preparation, the alchemists sifted and grounded sulfur and charcoal to purify it. However, Saltpeter from the factory could be directly utilized given that it was free from foreign objects. The use of horse-driven refineries to produce gunpowder was evident until the nineteenth century. The researchers then used a rotating drum to mix the ingredients in the required proportion.

They added small quantities of water to the mixture. During the incorporation stage, they used water wheel or horsepower to merge the mixture, and this differed from the initial use of a motor and pestle. The British Incorporation Mills used during the eighteenth century came into existence in the seventeenth century. Nonetheless, the use of the system engine substituted the horse and water coerced mills in the nineteenth century (Needham 37).

The fourth stage entailed the breakdown of mill cake to form meal powder using severing machines and sledgehammers. Subsequently, the hard-press cake was made from compacting and pressing the meal powder. To produce a reliable invention, the researchers introduced corning in the 6th century. The breaking of press cakes passed through different cycles of smooth breakers that are fluted and jagged to produce corns of different sizes.

Dusting afterward took place as researchers removed any dust that remained in the process and returned it in the system. Graphite and black lead assisted in polishing and tumbling gunpowder pellets to amplify moisture resistance.

In the penultimate stage, the grains were dried up to one degree of water content by exposing them to ovens having the heat of forty-degree centigrade. Lastly, cannons and mortars used for firing were employed to test the consistency and quality of the produced gunpowder (Temple 42).

How gunpowder invention changed the world

The invention was important to all-inclusive existence and developments in the whole world. The invention of gunpowder changed the entire world in terms of civil unrest, uprisings, warfare, as well as science and technology. The invention of gunpowder was a confirmation of the first explosive substance that existed.

However, before this invention, the combination of such chemicals produced a smolder used during spiritual functions and sanitation for the Chinese. During the 7th century, fumigants were used in community structures and homesteads. Specifically, the fumigants helped in exonerating destructive insects and evil spirits. The fireworks in public celebrations came from a flammable mixture of chemicals.

After alchemists discovered that a combination of dried organic matter, potassium nitrate, and sulfur produced highly combustible powder, they started testing them. The proto-gunpowder produced unintended ignitions in the ninth century to destroy property and render injuries to several people. The Huo Yao became prevalent in the 10th century as explosive gunpowder. The Chinese overwhelmingly applied the gunpowder during warfare.

Nonetheless, many nations misconceived that the Chinese used gunpowder for firecrackers at the outset. In the fiscal 919, the flamethrowers utilized gunpowder in the ignition. The Sung reigning dynasty afterward placed gunpowder into use while fighting their rivals like the Mongols. The combatants exploited the gunpowder by propelling and hand throwing the new fangled armaments such as grenades and bombs to their adversaries (Needham 39).

In fiscal 1044, the scientists initiated the formulae for producing gunpowder. Weak explosions resulted from these formulas. Nevertheless, the extent of the explosion became extremely high two centuries later when the amount of potassium nitrate was increased in that content. The gunpowder used in primeval rockets became an important element during the onset of the 11th century.

In essence, the blazing arrow was propelled to target the opponent by the blast-off gunpowder. The soldiers attached gunpowder filled-bamboo cylinders before shooting them to the opponents during the war. Similarly, for use as flamethrowers, bamboo pipes filled with gunpowder were attached to the lancers. The dangerous tactic changed the way of approaching a scuffle by combatants.

The changes saw different battle tactics between Jin Tears and Chinese Song. The militants amalgamated gunpowder with wrecked proclaims and metal scraps to generate more dangerous explosives. These dangerous projectiles provided an imperative function during the war that lasted between the 11th and 12th centuries.

According to various researchers, the invention of gun resulted from the devised bamboo tubes. Today, gun use is on high-rise and is believed to have risen from the development of Chinese gadgets like pyrotechnics. After the advent of atomic bombs, it is sarcastic that the discovery of dangerous gunpowder was as an expedition for immortality.

On the other hand, the discovery of gunpowder has changed the system of drawing boundaries as well as the modes of battling during warfare. The Chinese alchemist’s (800 A.D) life facilitated the experimentation that led to the invention of gunpowder. This has transformed the world into many expenses. Approximately, every weapon and tool brought into play in the contemporary world has a foundation in gunpowder invention.

These may include both the current and earlier exploited weapons like bombs, grenades, riffles, and fiery arrows. Therefore, many nations have benefited a lot in the battle, owing to the invention of gunpowder. For example, the Chinese successfully fought the Mongols due to the psychological niche they gained from the invention of explosive devices.

In anticipation of the thirteenth century, gunpowder was the only leading source of weapon used in battles by the Chinese. The invention developed into a factor to decide the encounters that transpired between nations since gunpowder widespread had reached several Islamic and European countries. During the Hundred Years War, the use of gunpowder technology was evident in many states.

The French and English forces, for instance, in the fiscal 1350 employed elementary cannons made using gunpowder. Such nations used these new technological changes in gunpowder against their opponents.

During the year 1453 triumphant cordon of the Constantinople, cannons of gunpowder were the major weapons used by the Turks of Ottoman. Thus, the entire European walled reinforcement became vulnerable, feeble, and impregnable due to the fundamental discovery of the powerful and new-fangled gunpowder.

The insertion of gunpowder into handgun containers marked another revolution. The significant revolution appeared in the middle of the fifteenth century. The insertion was vital since cannons were essentially reduced into smaller sizes that could be transported easily. The inventions of gunpowder led to infantry, which is a category of fresh armed forces. This denoted that soldiers could personally own guns and keep them in their custody.

In due course, calls for fresh commands gave rise to the birth of the contemporary defense force all over the world. Although gunpowder is not the main volatile device that soldiers can utilize, it is an important tool. A good part of the modern weaponry such as guns found their foundation staged in the discovery of gunpowder.

In a real sense, gunpowder has staged a good platform for any nation or states that wish to rejoice triumph in any skirmish. Were it not for the invention of gunpowder; the occasional July 4 merriment could have had no firecrackers hearts. In the present world, gunpowder is used for making diverse gadgets like fireworks that make the occasion more colorful.

The pyrotechnics of placing gunpowder into small tubes sparkles and create fireworks tend to shape through miniature pellets along with colorizing chemicals. Further, the invention facilitated the production of mid-air sprays of different colors such as sapphire, golden, and reds in ceremonies engaging fireworks. The other world nations have once come up with gunpowder assortments from different discoveries, innovations, and modifications.

The enormous developments akin to the use of black powder by the European countries resulted from the discovery of gunpowder. All the same, great divergences arose between different persons who assumed the compliments of inventing black powder from major gunpowder discovery. Several individuals asserted that Schwarz Berthold was the originator of black powder while others supposed it was a Franciscan cleric (Bacon Rodger).

Many claims that the first gun was an invention from Berthold Black, who was an alchemist. The history relaying the whereabouts of these alchemists such as the period of invention, death, or birth, however, remains uncertain. In essence, the developments at combat zones were not only the involvement of gunpowder invention in the evolution of China and the rest of the world (Paradowski 59).

The entire world has benefited from this discovery. Certainly, gunpowder has helped the human race to perk up besides creating and innovating fresh uses of gunpowder. The invention has dictated the course of action for diverse incidents in both peace and struggle. Several countries around the world have been able to turn their places to be more secure than it was in the earlier days.

This discovery has also rendered a comfortable civilization with many nations building canals that in turn transform the arid region into flourishing green meadows. The creative and innovate uses of gunpowder has fostered the ease of tunneling and mining in many nations. Seemingly, this has made the world a better place to live, given that it is a safer and secure place all over (Dawson 75).

The discovery of gunpowder mainly changed the world as evidently seen in warfare and its consequences. As early as the fourteenth century, gunpowder was a solitary invention out of the four key discoveries in China.

The ancient world warfare embraced the knowledge of using gunpowder for based on its rapid widespread. In history, gunpowder has an influence that has never been quantified. The archers were the primal striking force that was used by the earlier combatants (Ling 160).

Consequently, the war in the previous world was an affair of every person before the invention of gunpowder. The archers could strike at an average of one hundred yards in the distance with the highest affectivity and accuracy. Some archers could shoot even further than one hundred yards. In several countries, the castles, cities, and towns erected barriers to bombard the weighty automatic machines, projectiles, and trebuchets.

Conversely, the erection of physical barrier changed with the invention of gunpowder. The reach of firefighters and musketeers became superior as compared to the archers. Likewise, the Musketeers and riflemen had excellent and superior time to train with a lot of ease. All over the world, the piercing of armor for the best plate became palpable through rapid step up of gun smoldering.

Additionally, in the battlegrounds, it was easier to safeguard and enchant the lance since soldiers had embraced gunpowder as a vital tool.

Countries brought to an end the over-reliance on undersized Territorial Army that was complemented by taxes. Instead, many nations adopted the pursuit of equipping and fielding numerous men owing to the improvement in the Information Technology sector that resulted from the invention of gunpowder (Paradowski 62).

The enrichment of weaponry rendered the fortified city walls outdated. The main idea was to look at how to fit a country was in terms of how its armaments and cannons could transmit firepower. Equally, gunpowder facilitated the fortification of many constructions in diverse cities around the world.

To justify the expenditure, weaponry prevailed in the contest given that enough could not be placed in the construction of city walls. It was noteworthy since it encouraged the spread out in most urban areas (Dawson 72).

The European territories, which are some of the worlds most sprawling realms rose due to the invention of gunpowder. The firearm technology enabled the European nations to curl up other world continents to be their spheres of authority through different penetrations enhanced by gunpowder know-how.

The independence of several nations got a blow from the fact that they had an underprivileged technology regarding the use of guns. This rendered them less advantageous in comparison with European nations that colonized them after embracing the technology of using firearms. Interestingly, countries such as Japan and China were the only nations that never experienced such harsh wraths.

The colonization of nations such as South America was much unproblematic since they were unsettled (Ling 160). Any person could use a gun to meet his/her day-to-day life expectancies, including hunting for furs and food.

The settlers in the community could easily defend themselves from very small groups that raided them over and above the marauders. The world settlers struck out using guns to claim their land rights. This brought about the springs of American independence along with spearheading speedy colonialism.


In anticipation of the discovery of gunpowder, the prevalent browbeat typically won the struggle. Indeed, before the invention of western six-shooter handguns, gunpowder played a very important role in the entire world. The discovery of gunpowder brought the medieval era to an end. The complete communal structure of various world nations that shifted to cities and towns turned out to be extremely influential.

In this regard, Knight never ruled the theatre of wars anymore. The developments of artillery enabled the defiance of tyrant emperors and lords with the appearance of mass rookie defense forces.

In the main, the invention of gunpowder changed the world a great deal as evident in the field of engineering, mathematics, research, and all aspects of life. Surely, the great improvements came with the discovery of gunpowder. The advent of gunpowder came when the entire world had craved for such a valuable innovation.

Works Cited

Arrault, Alain and Catherin Jami. Science and Technology in East Asia: The Legacy of Joseph Needham. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepoplis, 2001. Print.

Dawson, Raymond. The Legacy of China. Boston: Cheng and Tsui Press, 1990. Print.

Ling, Wang. “The Invention and Use of Gunpowder and Firearms in China.” Isis, 37.5 (1947): 160. Print.

Needham, Joseph. Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic Part 7 in Chemistry and Chemical Technology. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Print.

Paradowski, Robert. Great Events from History: The middle Ages and the Invention of Gunpowder and Guns. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, Inc, 2004. Print.

Temple, Robert. The Genius of China: Three Thousand Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention 1986 Reprint. New York: Prion Books, 1999. Print.

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