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Guns, Sails, and Empires

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So thoroughly do we assume the military and political superiority of the Western world that we forget that throughout the Middle Ages Europe was weak, vulnerable, besieged, and almost always on the defensive. This original work explains how Europe managed to become the dominant player on the world stage for four glorious centuries, effecting one of the most enormous turnarounds in history.,Professor Cipolla argues that the force that effected this enormous change was the simultaneous development of guns and sailing ships, and the fusion of the two into a weapon that swept all before it–the gun-carrying ocean-going sailing ship. Ranging in subject from bell-casting to Jesuit missions, and in area from the uncultivated woods of Sussex to the imperial court of China, this book shows how the resources of capital and labor were used to make the most of technological advances that would shape history and the world we know today.

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Guns, Sails, and Empires

Recommended By

Published By

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So thoroughly do we assume the military and political superiority of the Western world that we forget that throughout the Middle Ages Europe was weak, vulnerable, besieged, and almost always on the defensive. This original work explains how Europe managed to become the dominant player on the world stage for four glorious centuries, effecting one of the most enormous turnarounds in history.,Professor Cipolla argues that the force that effected this enormous change was the simultaneous development of guns and sailing ships, and the fusion of the two into a weapon that swept all before it–the gun-carrying ocean-going sailing ship. Ranging in subject from bell-casting to Jesuit missions, and in area from the uncultivated woods of Sussex to the imperial court of China, this book shows how the resources of capital and labor were used to make the most of technological advances that would shape history and the world we know today.

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