What key technologies have predetermined the fate of modern humanity? (For example, on the transition from the Middle Ages to the New Time)?

What key technologies have predetermined the fate of modern humanity? (For example, on the transition from the Middle Ages to the New Time)?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
August, 2021

New technologies for iron processing

At the end of the 13th century, first the St√ľkofenes appeared in Europe, in the 15th century - Blauofenes, and at the beginning of the 16th - the conversion process. Since then, European metallurgy has caught up and surpassed Asian metallurgy, while damask and Damascus steel have lost their positions, since they were, firstly, too expensive for mass production, and secondly, they were poorly suited for the manufacture of firearms.

The rise of metallurgy made three epoch-making changes possible. The first is increasing the efficiency of agriculture, which allowed to relatively painlessly survive climate change and catastrophic cold snaps of the 17th century. The second is the emergence of demand for the mechanization of production. When the volume of iron production changed from the Roman kilogram per person per year 10-15, and in the 17th century - already 30+ kilograms, there was a need for mechanized processing. This issue was solved by horses or mules, water wheels and other cunning devices, creating the need for a steam engine.

The third key is the beginning of the use of fossil fuels and the emergence of the chemical industry. By the end of the 16th century, forests were almost completely destroyed in Europe for the needs of shipbuilding and metallurgy, due to which Sweden, with its huge reserves of wood, became the leader in steel production. Because of this, the British, claiming world leadership and needing a huge amount of high-quality metal for guns, guns and swords, experienced, to put it mildly, discomfort until a cunning industrialist in 1735 proposed using coal coke. And then everything started spinning ...

Well, do not forget how the sharp increase in metal production influenced the war. Firstly, in the 16th century, it became possible to dress everyone present on the battlefield in armor. Secondly, at about the same time, it became necessary to pierce this armor with something, which led to the appearance of muskets of absolutely incredible size and power. Thirdly, at the end of the 16th century, experiments began with cast-iron cannons, and in the 17th century they have already become firmly established in the practice of war due to their low price and greater reliability compared to bronze ones. All this ultimately led to a redistribution of spheres of influence in the Thirty Years' War and the rise of powerful colonial powers such as Great Britain, which determined world politics in the following centuries.

Answer 2
August, 2021

The main technologies that influenced the development of mankind relate to the sphere of production (extraction), storage and transportation of food - the only source of human life and energy.

First, the means and skills of hunting and gathering; then a sedentary lifestyle with the cultivation of plants and animals; then the industrial revolution.

The growth of labor productivity in this area allowed to increase the population from several tens of thousands of individuals to 7 billion, along the way reducing the share of employees in this sector.

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