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How The Advancement Of Weaponry Changed The Trajectory Of Mankind

How The Advancement Of Weaponry Changed The Trajectory Of Mankind

“The final irony of progress: though it brings many wonderful things, it brings horrible things, too.”

One reply on “How The Advancement Of Weaponry Changed The Trajectory Of Mankind”

I was watching a BBC documetary a while (I think it was an old “Timewatch”) about armour which focussed on the Tudors. Henry VIII was very keen on armour and imported the best armourers and metalurgist throughout Europe. The aristocracy needed to maintain presige and so had to spend the equivalent of the price of a top of the range super-car on fancy armour that also had to be practical because it’s main purpose was keeping you alive in battle.

This made England the best place to be if you were skilled in these fields – lots of work and paid top money.You could get seriously rich if you were good enough. However there was an upper limit; your armour could not be better than the king’s. When Queen Elizabeth I took the throne she was also very keen on armour but as a woman could not wear it, so the upper limit was gone and the arms race went into overdrive as aristocrats bankrupted themselves in order to impress the queen.

Later armour became less important on the field but that was a gradual process and the skills remained highly valued. This, it is proposed, is one of the reasons England got such a huge head-start in the early industrial evolution; they had the most skilled metal-working sector in Europe.

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