"The Genius That was China" This essay is about the wonderful technological developments of Ancient China and how they influenced the development of the West.

Essay by PeareHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2003

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In the present, when it comes to technology, science and culture, it seems that China is simply lapping up the scraps of the western world and doing with it what it can. This was not always the case. Throughout history, China has been quite the ingenious and creative civilization and has often been well ahead of it's time. In fact, today's advanced world is not just a product of inventions from the west, but of those from the east as well. The Chinese have invented many things which have heavily influenced the future of the west and the world as a whole.

One field in which the Chinese created many innovative and revolutionary inventions was warfare. One such invention, the stirrup, was developed during the Han period to gain equal footing in battle with the confident horsemen to the west. While other similar, yet lackluster, devices were found earlier in India the precursor for the European version was created independently in China.

Originally it was used as simply an aide in mounting but as Chinese horsemen started using heavier weapons and armour the stirrup was developed so that they could effectively dominate a head on charge. The knights of the European feudal age who charged across the fields and dominated warfare were a product of the Chinese stirrup. While one Chinese invention would give power to the Knights, another earlier one would begin to take it away. During the period of civil war after the fall of the Zhou dynasty in the 7th century BC military innovation was a key to survival. One product of this period was the crossbow. Initially a cumbersome but effective weapon the crossbow required strongmen laying on the ground to arm it. Later a cocking piece was invented so that the crossbowman could arm the...