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History of Explosives

            What if explosives had not been invented? This simple question, if true, would change the course of history, as we know it, as well as our lives and many others. It causes us to wonder why such things are to occur and for what purpose. The statements that follow will explain this better and hopefully raise more questions about our past.
             First, I would like to talk about the events that would not have happened if not for the invention of explosives. It all started when some alchemists in ancient Asia, most likely China, stumbled onto a combination of materials that produced an explosive compound. It was made of saltpeter and sulfur and would be called gunpowder or black-powder as it is commonly known. They used their compound at first only for pleasure in firecrackers, but later developed weapons in what would start gunpowder's mark on history and the future of so many people. .
             Now, without the invention of gunpowder our history would greatly change. There would be no rifles, pistols, or artillery pieces for warfare. There would also be no fireworks for us to enjoy on our Fourth of July celebrations, but would we have a Fourth of July celebration without the invention of gunpowder? We fought the Revolutionary War when gunpowder was the only explosive known to man, yet there may not have been any of us on this continent either. The Native Americans could have easily defeated us without our rifles and we would not even be here.
             On a broader scope, would Napoleon have been such a great general without gunpowder; could he have defeated so many? Would all of the countries that split off from stronger, more powerful nations, like us here in the United States, be that way or would we have an empire of Great Britain spread across the globe? These questions are just a few that would come up without the invention of gunpowder.
             Another explosive that has greatly changed history, and also caused a declined use of gunpowder in blasting for mining and in warfare, is nitroglycerin.

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