ArmenT wrote:Like I said earlier, it wasn't just India, but also most of Asia that stopped doing significant tech development in weapons. Well, Europe was also not doing much in the Dark Ages either, but they they had the Renaissance in the 1300s and they took off. Something like the Renaissance never happened in Asia.
I would say renaissance and commercial returns on investment drove R&D. Renaissance led to Henry the Navigator's developments. However, there was a lot of money at stake as well.
Hernan Cortez conquers Mexico in 1521 and the first battle of Panipat took place in 1526, wherein artillery was used in a major battle in India (VDG had used it in Kerala earlier). Silver deposits in Mexico and Bolivia were mined shortly thereafter followed by English, Dutch and French looting of Spanish ships. The Spanish started the convoy system in 1560. The second battle of Panipat was fought 1556 and the battle of Talikota 1565.
The need to simultaneously guard own trade route and rob opponent trade route had fantastic stakes involved. The need to build ships to traverse the Atlantic and Indian oceans and defeat well armed opponents lead to an arms race that no Asian could keep up with. Asians managed to win their battles with less technical equipment, and didn’t have the urge to further develop them. Europeans needed cannons to disable enemy ships from a distance to slow them and capture.
The Anglo Spanish war 1585–1604 under Elizabeth’s patronage increased shipbuilding and resulted in the English Navy in 1595 having 38 warships with 1059 guns (628 of them 9-pounders and above). Most important was the maintenance of a permanent cadre of officers and men.