Chinese Gunpowder 火药 (huo yao)

Karina, Isela, Helen

Background Information

Gunpowder was discovered during the Tang Dynasty c. 850 CE by an enterprising alchemist, although unknown exactly who.

The reason it was discovered was because a group of alchemists were trying to find an elixir of life that would render the user immortal (*cough cough* philosopher's stone *cough cough*

Gunpowder is made out of a mixture of fine grains of charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter (potassium nitrate). The way it works is by the saltpeter supplying oxygen while the charcoal and sulfur as fuel. When it is placed in a container, like the barrel of a gun or hand grenade, and is molested by a flame or spark, the gunpowder explodes.

The discovery of it also led to the inspiration of primitive hand grenades, poisonous gas shells, flamethrowers, land mines, and fireworks. SPARKY SPARKY BOOM MAN!

ALSO, much further down the line in history: guns, nuclear weapons, mass death, WWI and WWII.


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Europe and Reflection

It might have gotten to Europe by the Silk Road, travelers from the West, peoples of the Russians land, and, wait for it, the Mongols.

It got to Europe in the 13th century and was first used in firearms there in the 14th century. It may have taken so long because the transportation infrastructure was not the greatest. (No HSR, Inland Waterways, Mass Transit, Metro buses, Futurama tubes, etc.)

BASICALLY, people were slow #tbh.

Some history of gunpowder includes: the French building the Languedoc Canal to blast rock in the 17th century, the invention of the safety fuse in 1831 to make handling gunpowder less dangerous, and in the 19th century gunpowder was replaced in firearms by smokeless powder and by dynamite in mining. With all this history, people might not give credit to the Chinese because the Europeans used it in a more widespread manner (AND IMPERIALISM!). Plus, people are ignorant to the ways of the Chinese. Plus, when America was a little, itty, bitty, naive, child they had more connections with the tyrannical Europeans than the sweet, beautiful Chinese. And that's the ugly truth (homeskillet).

We learned that if you wait for the Mongols there will be a war. Trying to become immortal leads to different results than what is originally thought. Though it was more widespread in Europe, it originated from China.

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Wait For It .. The Mongols!!!

Birthgivers of awesome presentation

Karina Barbosa - future Dr.President Barbosa

Isela Anaya - future FBI agent

Helen Casillas - future superhero or sad judge