What was the significance of the wheel on history?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Wheels have been historically important because they have allowed transportation and trade to happen more easily than they otherwise would.  They have also made warfare more mobile.  These two factors have contributed to the constant expansion of civilizations to the point where we now have a very interconnected world system.

The wheel gave people greater mobility.  It allowed people to engage in peaceful trade more easily than they once did.  It allowed goods to be pulled in carts.  Eventually, it allowed the invention of railroad cars and automobiles.  These inventions gave trade a tremendous boost.

The wheel also made war more mobile.  This started with the invention of the chariot.  Later, it allowed military supplies to be carried by trains and trucks and it allowed for such things as tanks. 

These factors increased the amount of contact between areas and regions.  They helped to create a situation in which both war and trade tended to help do away with small countries and create bigger countries.  This helped bring about the situation we now have with large countries that are in close contact due to trade.

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