Wars and the Industrial Revolution
    Events during the 1800's, a time of tremendous change, affected Alfred Nobel and influenced his experimentation. While living in Russia, Nobel's father experimented with explosives and invented underwater mines, made from gunpowder, which was used effectively by Russia during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Nobel believed in the potential of better explosives using nitroglycerin. As the Industrial Revolution was taking place and people began working in factories and mines, the demand for dynamite rose, increasing Nobel's wealth. The turn from constructive to destructive came when dynamite was first used by the Prussians during the Franco Prussian War (1870-1871) to blow up French forts and bridges. Countries that had banned the manufacturing of dynamite due to safety, quickly moved to allow Nobel to build factories.

 Pacifist Influence
    Alfred Nobel considered himself to be a pacifist; however, Bertha von Suttner, his long time close friend and vocal world-peace activist,  disapproved of dynamite and was critical of the arms race. Additionally, Nobel was devastated when a French obituary writer mistook Ludwig's death for Nobel's and called Nobel the "merchant of death", and said he "became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster then ever before" (Stone 288).  It is believed that these events prompted him to rewrite his will as he did on November 27, 1895.