Essay about Ancient Chinese Contributions

Submitted By BrightApple2345
Words: 894
Pages: 4

Ancient Chinese Contributions Humanities 111 Professor : Sue Lafferty

It is well known that China is the source of many wonderful and useful inventions. There are many Chinese inventions and developments that were not known to or adopted by the European world for many decades and sometimes centuries after they were common place in China. We take a lot of things for granted in the modern world. As time progresses, it becomes easier to overlook the contributions of those who came before us. Ancient inventions from the Chinese have so greatly accelerated human progress that everything following them seems to be built on the foundation that was provided by these early inventions. I think it is safe to say that no other ancient cultures have contributed more to the advancements of human progress than the Chinese. Ten of the most useful contributions or inventions created by the Chinese porcelain, which is a very specific kind of ceramic produced by the extreme temperatures of a kiln, the seed drill, which is used to plant seeds into the soil and cover it, the mechanical clock, and gun powder. Other significant contributions from the ancient Chinese include the compass, paper, the harness for horses, iron plows, and row planting. The Chinese invented paper money at the end of the eighth or beginning of the ninth century AD. Its original name was ‘flying money’ because it was so light and could blow out of one’s hand. The first paper money was more of a draft rather than real money. A merchant could deposit his cash in the capital, receiving a paper certificate which he could then exchange for cash in the provinces. This private merchant enterprise was quickly taken over by the government in 812. The technique was then used for the forwarding of local taxes and revenues to the capital. Paper exchange certificates were also able to be used due to the invention of paper money. These were issued by government officials in the capital and were redeemable elsewhere in commodities such as salt and tea. Paper money was a great invention. Papermaking, gunpowder, printing, and the compass are four ancient inventions by Chinese people that are the most innovative and that have had a huge impact on the entire world. The think the invention of paper was one of the most useful and greatly contributed to the spread and development of civilization. Before its invention, bones, tortoise shells, and bamboo slips were all used as writing surfaces, but as Chinese civilization developed they proved themselves unsuitable because of their bulk and weight. Hemp fiber and silk were used to make paper but the quality was far from satisfactory. The first paper factory in Europe was set up in Spain. In the latter half of the 16th century, this skill was brought to America. By the 19th century, when paper factories were set up in Australia, paper making had spread to the whole world (www.cultural_china.com). This paper making process made it possible to create everything from paper money to reading books. I thought it was pretty neat to learn that the recipe for paper still exists! Unlike paper and printing, the birth of gunpowder was quite accidental. It was first invented by alchemists while attempting to make an elixir of immorality. Gunpowder is an important invention because it is used in military affairs. If gunpowder had never been invented I could only imagine what modern day war…