Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Other Titles: ||Cannon and Wars in China in 1600-1900: A Case Study on the Targeting Techniques Introduced from Europe|
|Authors: ||黃一農;Yi-Long Huang|
|Abstract: ||It is well-known that European cannons, introduced into China in the seventeenth century, play roles of crucial importance in wars during late Ming and early Qing dynasties, but reasons for their success remain unclear.|
In this article, the author attempts to explain that the Europeans were not only more advanced than the Chinese in making cannons but also able to transform the necessary mathematical and physical knowledge of ballistics into mechanical calculating devices (such as squadra, sector, sight, etc.) by which gunners could promptly estimate the appropriate amount of gunpowder and angle of elevation to be used in relation to balls made of divergent materials and targets at various ranges. This method of transforming mathematical knowledge into calculating devices features an essential part of the modern technical revolution taking place in the West. It also shows a strong contrast to the method used by the Chinese then, who, while operating cannons, could rely on nothing but experiences.
The author hopes that a clearer understanding can be achieved regarding the reason why European cannons could play important roles in wars during late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Besides, at the end, this article will expose to what stage knowledge with respect to the European targeting techniques has developed in the Qing dynasty. It is on the basis of this exposition that the author intends to explain why, after the Opium War, the Chinese failed to resist aggression from the Western countries.
Key Words: Cannon, History of Technology, History of Mathematics, History of Ming and Qing, Jesuits
|Appears in Collections:||[01 清華學報] 新26卷第1期|
Files in This Item: