- Sablcious Faux
- Down Under
Given the Chinese putatively invented gun powder, why did they not become the 'superpower' of today?
I understand that China became an isolationist country after Zhang He died. But, given how feudally disposed China was internally, how is it they never managed to refine their inventions to me more militarily effective?
After centuries of fighting with themselves, the Mongols and the like, one would have thought the Chinese would surely have been the first to utilise gun powder the way Anglo-Saxons did. How is it we 'barbarians' took their (?) invention and, through innovation, became the more technologically advanced race? Where on this path of technological evolution did China grind to a seeming halt and why?
It just seems incongruous to me that, having already dabbled with gun powder based, projectile weapons themselves, that they wouldn't have gone the next few steps.
Closing Statement from Sablcious Faux
So, after the responses and some research, I've come to the conclusion that it was RELIGION that was probably the single, most influencing factor in China not capitalising on all its inventions, colonising the world and this conversation not being typed in Mandarin characters. I should have know- if something undefined hamstrings human development, Occam's Razor dictates it will likely be, or have something to do with. religion!
See here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBCosTVR-qA#t=21m37s - for a précis of why this is. Incidentally, it took a documentary produced nigh on 40 years ago for me to find an answer as definitive as this.