Did you know that North American history may not have been the same if it weren't for gunpowder?
Gunpowder is an explosive material that burns rapidly to form high pressure gas. It is made of sulfur, salpetre, and charcoal. It is commonly used in guns and cannons but can be used in other explosive devices. Gunpowder was first discovered in China in the tenth century when it was used for fireworks and signals. The Chinese then developed the first protype of a gun. In the 1200's, most likely through contact with the Arabs, gunpowder spread west to Europe.
The Components of Gunpowder
When gunpowder reached Europe, it revolutionized the world of weapons and contributed to a major upgrade in the technology of warfare. Europeans were finding more and more ways to make weapons using gunpowder and new weapons were invented because of gunpowder. The quality of weapons improved and the quantity of weapons increased.
A 15th century soldier firing a gun
If it hadn't been for gunpowder, North American history would be very different. Gunpowder effected the relationship between the Europeans and the Native Americans in a positive and negative way. Gunpowder contributed to trade between the Native Americans and the Europeans but it also contributed to violence between the two and in the end, was what enabled the Europeans to take the Native Americans' land.
Gunpowder sparked trade and a relationship between the Europeans and the Native Americans. The Indians tought the whites how to do things like make tobaggons and snowshoes, or to use a canoe. When the whites had tought the Native Americans about gunpowder and guns, the Indians were mesmorized by this new technology and wanted to use it. Guns from the Europeans would often be traded for the furs of the Native Americans. Gunpowder sparked trade which sparked a positive relationship between the two groups, at least for a while...
Fur from the Native Americans was often traded for the Europeans' guns.
Gunpowder also affected the relationship between the Europeans and the Native Americans negatively. The Native Americans and the Europeans had very different ways of life. Some Europeans made an effort to understand the Native Americans and to treat them fairly while others cheated and took advantage of them. These bad Europeans took their land and when the Native Americans tried to fight back, millions were killed because the Europeans had better weapons. The Native Americans had guns but didn't know how to make them. The Europeans had guns and would continue to make more of them. Since the Europeans had greater access to guns than the Native Americans, they siezed their land. The Europeans had offically colonized North America and the Native Americans were forced onto reservations. As you can see, if it hadn't been for gunpowder, North American history would be very different.
The Europeans fought many battles against the Native American before eventually conquering their land.
The effects of gunpowder's role in American history are still felt today. Why do you think we are the only country in the world that doesn't have gun control? Guns are the reason we have a country, that's why. If you go out west, people are walking a long the street carrying a gun. Guns have always remained an important part of American culture and will for a long time.