• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8

Was the Silk Road instrumental in bringing the compass and gunpowder to Europe prior to the 13th century?

Extracts from this document...


Was the Silk Road instrumental in bringing the compass and gunpowder to Europe prior to the 13th century? May 20, 2009 Word Count: 1852 Was the Silk Road instrumental in bringing the compass and gunpowder to Europe prior to the 13th century? Part A: Plan of the Investigation Was the Silk Road instrumental in bringing the compass and gunpowder to Europe prior to the 13th century? Historians throughout the ages have argued about how these essential technologies came to be in Europe. The Silk Road stretched from Northeast Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean region, providing land and sea trade routes from the first century CE. It is one of the mostly likely routes for the process. The purpose of this internal assessment is to explore different theories regarding how the compass and gunpowder reached Europe, and determine if the Silk Road was significant in the transportation of the technologies. Diverse sources were examined including books, articles, and videos related to the topic. Part B will provide the general facts of the compass and gunpowder accepted by the sources examined. Part C will evaluate two of the sources presented, and examine their strengths and weaknesses. ...read more.


However, the author's argument is sometimes one-sided, and can be somewhat biased. The book does not seem to fully examine and explore the arguments of the opposite position. Part D: Analysis During the 12th century, the lands north and east of India were unknown to European voyagers. The Silk Road was the only route that made the transporting of goods and technology possible between Europe and China. Historians have differing opinions and theories regarding how the compass and gunpowder may or may not have been transported along the Silk Road. Some historians believe that it was impossible for the compass to get to Europe before the 12th century. They argue that the Muslim's closure of all the land and sea routes of the Silk Road to China from the West prevented the transportation of any technologies, products, and ideas to happen (The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World by Amir D. Aczel, page 112). Subsequently, during the series of Crusades, Christians invaded the Muslim Nations, separating the East and the West even more (The Crusades by Paul Halsall). During this chaotic period, it was nearly impossible for long distance trading from China to Europe to continue. ...read more.


Aczel, page 112). The series of Crusades between the two nations could have introduced the Europeans to gunpowder. When the Mongolians were invading the West in the 1200s, they used gunpowder and other eastern weapons unknown in the West. After the Mongolians conquered the land, merchants, missionaries and adventurers were drawn to the Mongolian territory. Gunpowder must have been brought to Europe by these travelers. The evidence shows that it is most likely that gunpowder was transported along the Silk Road to the Arabs or Mongolians, and the Europeans acquired the technology from one of these two nations. Part E: Conclusion Many theories have been suggested regarding how the Europeans gained knowledge of the compass and gunpowder. Some have more conclusive evidence than others. Upon investigation, little evidence supports the theory of Europeans inventing the compass and gunpowder independently. Other theories all involve the Silk Road as a major and indispensable route for the two world changing inventions to reach Europe. Despite the controversy, the Silk Road was pivotal to the transportation of these two technologies. Without its routes, transportation of ideas, products and technologies could not have happened between the East and the West during the 12th and 13th centuries. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. The Depictions of the Holocaust in Night and Schindlers List

    He finally becomes bankrupt after the bribing of the officers in order to obtain so many Jews. Just as the war ends he loses all his money and sets all of his workers free. However he has become the one who is hunted by the Allied forces because of his involvement in the n**i party.

  2. Mao and China Revision Guide

    Fox Butterfield attributes to a well-informed Chinese the estimate that 400000 people died during the Cultural Revolution. Extrapolations based on deaths in particular provinces, such as Fujian and Guangdong, are somewhat higher, ranging between 700,000 and 850,000. However, these numbers are based on provinces that that experienced higher than the average level of violence and disorder.

  1. 20th Century History Revision Notes

    raised money for victory bonds National Selective Service Conscription crisis: King promised he would have conscription like in world war one there was. But then when casualties increased more soldiers were needed. Ordered new minister to find the overseas volunteers from the National resource mobilization act troops.

  2. The role of the aristocracy varied throughout Europe and changed over the course of ...

    They also faced economic problems. Wars and the plague* kept Europe?s population low between 1348 and 1500, making labour more costly and lowering the value of crops. Aristocratic income, which depended heavily on land, shrank. At the same time, Europe?s lower classes grew more dis-satisfied with aristocratic power and privilege.

  1. Notes on the history of Communist China

    Overall the lot of the peasant improved 7. Agricultural surplus was to pay for industrialization 8. However agr neglected in the first 5 yr plan 9. Before a new kulak class emerged, Mao appealed to people to collectivize ? hundreds of thousands of villages complied 10. Industry 11.

  2. Socialism in Nineteenth Century Europe

    Communism calls for complete unification of state and economy, with a nationalisation of all secters. But socialism doesn´t imply the rejection of a capitalist or democratic system. Socialism may retain the capitalist market but regulates and operates it in accordance with the will of an egalitarian democracy which represents the voice of the majority rather than that of the priviledged.

  1. The Westeinde is one of the higher parts of The Hague, and the story ...

    seen, Brinkman, not knowing about my experience, said "a shadowy figure with a grey and smoky skirt". And now, to round off the Embassy story I will mention some Royal occasions. There may well be others, but I have not traced them.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    and wanted above all, to forge Arab unity and dreamed of a pan-Arab nationalist grouping with himself at its head - In July 1958, pro-Nasser army officers overthrew the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq and set up a republic under General Abdel Karim Kassem - Syria and Egypt allied in 1958,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work