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Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder

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  • 256 Seiten
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The story of the science, the technology, the politics and the military applications of saltpeter - the vital but mysterious subst... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

The story of the science, the technology, the politics and the military applications of saltpeter - the vital but mysterious substance that governments from the Tudors to the Victorians regarded as an 'inestimable treasure'.

Zusammenfassung
This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an 'inestimable treasure.' National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dung and urine, it provided the heart or 'mother' of gunpowder, without which no musket or cannon could be fired. Its acquisition involved alchemical knowledge, exotic technology, intrusions into people's lives, and eventual dominance of the world's oceans. The quest for saltpeter caused widespread 'vexation' in Tudor and Stuart England, as crown agents dug in homes and barns and even churches. Governments hungry for it purchased supplies from overseas merchants, transferred skills from foreign experts, and extended patronage to ingenious schemers, while the hated 'saltpetermen' intruded on private ground. Eventually, huge saltpeter imports from India relieved this social pressure, and by the eighteenth century positioned Britain as a global imperial power; the governments of revolutionary America and ancien r

Produktinformationen

Titel: Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder
Untertitel: The Mother of Gunpowder
Autor:
EAN: 9780191611865
ISBN: 978-0-19-161186-5
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (epub)
Herausgeber: Oup Oxford
Genre: Geschichte
Anzahl Seiten: 256
Veröffentlichung: 13.12.2012
Jahr: 2013
Untertitel: Englisch