Episode Three: Revolutions tells the stories of the objects and events generated by the Silk Road that helped to inspire revolutions. Paper-making spread from China throughout Asia and beyond. After the invention of the first printing press in 1440, millions of Europeans were reading printed content in multiple languages. Paper and the printing press democratised knowledge. Another world-changing implication of east-west trade was triggered by the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, which blocked European access to the Silk Road. Christopher Columbus searched for another route to Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic and instead landed in the Americas. Jesuit missionaries in China forged close bonds with Chinese intellectuals and introduced Chinese civilization to Europe. Gunpowder transformed mining and helped to make New York a great city.
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