The Social Changes of Song Dynasty in Ancient China
Invention of gunpowder led to the creation of explosive weapons such as grenades, bombs, canons and small rockets. Before the invention of paper, the Chinese made carved characters on bones and tortoise shells. Prior to the song dynasty, printing blocks only contained one page of texts hence every block could only produce a particular page of a book. During the song dynasty, single characters could be engraved on blocks of wood and a single character could be used over and over again. There were huge advances in arithmetic and algebra that led to many mathematical ideas.
The inventions served the society by helping in establishment of powerful, unified national organizations that extended over many regions. Printing, paper and the compass provided means of social communication and transportation. Gun powder began to be used as a weapon, gun powder weapons were used abolish the uprising of Li Sun and Wang Xiaobo in the first year of the Northern Song. The four inventions are very closely related to the unified organization of the Chinese feudal society indicating the degree of development of ancient Chinese science and technology.
Maritime trade with India and near East was boosted under the song dynasty. Cities with high populations flourished along the southeast coast and principal waterways, trade guilds were established to organize trade and banking and paper currency was developed to replace cumbersome copper currency. Ship building and navigation techniques improved with large vessels using sails and oars coming into use. The magnetic compass came into use in 1119. Under the song dynasty, China got to monopolize trade with Korea and Japan, products were in demand in the whole of Asia, East Africa and Persian Gulf. Prior to this era, Muslim Arabs and Persians had dominated oceanic trade.
Printing grew bringing literature and learning to the people. Movable type printing was invented