Faculty Research Colloquium

"Gunpowder Warfare in Global History: The Military Pattern of the Chinese Past in Comparative Perspective" by Tonio Andrade, History, Emory University

Time: April 15, 2016 12:30pm -1:30pm

Location: Modern Languages 201, Emory University

Open and Free to the public

Gunpowder was invented around 800 C.E., and for more than five hundred years, the Chinese and their nearest neighbors led the word in gunpowder warfare. Yet historians have long argued that it was Europeans who eventually brought guns to their most lethal potential. To what extent was this true? And if it was true, what accounts for the military Great Divergence? Many explanations have been put forward, focusing on economics, agriculture, social structure, political philosophy, etc., and in recent years debate about the so-called Great Divergence has been vehement and voluminous. I believe that warfare—and the gun in particular—may help us untangle the controversy and come to a clearer understanding of when and why China and Europe diverged.

About the speaker

Tonio Andrade’s books include The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (2016), Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West (2011), and How Taiwan became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century (2008). His articles have appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, The Journal of World History, Late Imperial China, Itinerario, The Journal of Chinese Military History, The Journal of Medieval Military History, The Journal of Early Modern History, and other journals. He is a professor of history at Emory University.