Powder Essay, Research Paper
The developments of gunpowder and the cannon were the most important advances during the Middle Ages. If it weren’t for these inventions, who knows how we would be fighting today, possibly still the wars of Ancient Rome. The development of gunpowder meant that soon the use of knights would be useless because of the projectile that could easily knock a knight off his horse, rendering him helpless. The gunpowder enabled this projectile. The development of the cannon goes hand-in-hand with the gunpowder. This invention enabled things to be projected by the use of gunpowder. This invention also stopped sieges, which ended the need of city-walls. The crude versions of these weapons were used during the Hundred Years War, between England and France. Eventually these inventions paved the way for the modern gun and other inventions like bombs. These developments were truly the most important things that came out of the Middle Ages.
Gunpowder and the invention of the cannon meant the end of primeval warfare. These inventions marked the end of the use of knights and the siege. Once the cannon was invented in the early fourteenth century, by the German monk Berthold Schwarz , knights and city walls didn’t stand a chance. If the enemy went into a siege, all the general had to do was bring in their cannons, and blast a hole in the wall allowing his men to get through. Then the victory went to the best trained army. The primative version, was rather large and heavy, but the tube projected rocks and other objects which could easily render a knight, or a city wall helpless, and at the mercy of the army. These developments truly marked the end of the primative warfare.
Even though cannons and gunpowder came into the Hundred Years War, it was not that helpful during the war, but it did improve greatly. During the war, cannons were developed and used, but they were very hard to use due to their size and weight. These crude cannons could only launch rocks, and semi-round objects. Eventually, this lead to the “hand-held cannon,” which was much smaller, and easily used. Also, these were not too helpful during the war because they were extremely unreliable, and inaccurate. The aim on the larger cannons was much better, but they were risky because after a shot was fired the cannon was “pushed” backward by the force of the blow, which could easily crush a man.
Gunpowder paved the way for the wars of today. If the Chinese hadn’t invented gunpowder to scare away “evil spirits,” then we would never be able to fight wars “the modern way.” This would mean that things like Atomic Physics might not be discovered because the development of gunpowder lead to bigger and better weapons, which eventually lead to bombs, and atom bombs, which require the knowledge of Atomic Physics. This would mean that we might not be as advanced in “the scientific ways” as we are today. Also, if not for gunpowder, then we might have still been fighting in the ways of the ancients. Also, no guns would be invented until the Chinese invented gunpowder, which in a sense is good, but look at what would happen to the scientific world.
The most important inventions of the Middle Ages, which can be seen by even the most ignorant reader, are the developments of the cannon and gunpowder. Think what the scientific world would be like without the ideas and theories that spawned out of the development of bigger and better weapons; the race spawned by gunpowder and the cannon. These developments were even furthered by the Hundred Years War which showed the need for these weapons to be developed better, and made more reliable. Eventually these inventions spelled the end for primative warfare, by eliminating the need for knights, and city walls to hide behind for a siege. Just think of the disaster this could have caused to the research and development of the sciences we depend on today.
“Cannon,” Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia 2000
http://encarta.msn.com ? 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.