The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History

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Princeton University Press, 12 thg 1, 2016 - 448 trang

A first look at gunpowder's revolutionary impact on China's role in global history

The Chinese invented gunpowder and began exploring its military uses as early as the 900s, four centuries before the technology passed to the West. But by the early 1800s, China had fallen so far behind the West in gunpowder warfare that it was easily defeated by Britain in the Opium War of 1839–42. What happened? In The Gunpowder Age, Tonio Andrade offers a compelling new answer, opening a fresh perspective on a key question of world history: why did the countries of western Europe surge to global importance starting in the 1500s while China slipped behind?

Historians have long argued that gunpowder weapons helped Europeans establish global hegemony. Yet the inhabitants of what is today China not only invented guns and bombs but also, as Andrade shows, continued to innovate in gunpowder technology through the early 1700s—much longer than previously thought. Why, then, did China become so vulnerable? Andrade argues that one significant reason is that it was out of practice fighting wars, having enjoyed nearly a century of relative peace, since 1760. Indeed, he demonstrates that China—like Europe—was a powerful military innovator, particularly during times of great warfare, such as the violent century starting after the Opium War, when the Chinese once again quickly modernized their forces. Today, China is simply returning to its old position as one of the world's great military powers.

By showing that China’s military dynamism was deeper, longer lasting, and more quickly recovered than previously understood, The Gunpowder Age challenges long-standing explanations of the so-called Great Divergence between the West and Asia.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Đánh giá của Người dùng  - barlow304 - LibraryThing

Tonio Andrade has written a very important and lively book that on the surface is about the role of gunpowder in world history. But it’s also about “The Great Divergence”, the moment or moments when ... Đọc toàn bộ bài đánh giá

LibraryThing Review

Đánh giá của Người dùng  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

In this wide-ranging effort to write about the world gun-powder revolution in a way that meaningfully includes the Chinese experience, what the author does best is to illustrate how for most of the ... Đọc toàn bộ bài đánh giá

Nội dung

INTRODUCTION The Military Pattern of the Chinese Past
1
CHINESE BEGINNINGS
13
EUROPE GETS THE GUN
73
AN AGE OF PARITY
133
THE GREAT MILITARY DIVERGENCE
235
Acknowledgments
307
Timeline
311
Datasets
312
Abbreviations
317
Notes
319
Bibliography
379
Index
421
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Giới thiệu về tác giả (2016)

Tonio Andrade is professor of history at Emory University and the author of Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China's First Great Victory over the West (Princeton) and How Taiwan Became Chinese.

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