William Harvey

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by eddiecarcone
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
Historical biographies

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William Harvey

The scientific revolution was a period of time from around the 1500s to the 1700s. The Scientific Revolution took place in Western Europe in the countries like France, Spain, and England. The Scientific Revolution was where many brilliant philosophers, physicians, and inventors began to question basic knowledge that the church had taught. For thousands of years in the past people did not question the teachings of the church, but with the start of the revolution this changed. Scientists began to perform experiments and make accurate analyses. The Scientific Revolution helped pave the way of modern science and knowledge.

Main Discovery

William Harvey’s main discovery was the fact that blood is circulated around the body by pumps. This pump is called the heart. For centuries before this discovery there had been many theories and myths about how this happened but until then it was unknown. One of the biggest theories for the way blood was moved around the body was by the lungs, however, this was wrong. Harvey experimented and observed on animals. He examined how the heart acted like a pump by using muscle contractions.


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William Harvey

The Scientific Revolution

Harvey also worked on embryology; this is the study of development, structure, and formation of embryos. He came up with the theory that animals reproduce using sperm cells. He stated that animals were fertilized by these cells. This theory was correct due to experiments and observations. However it took about two more centuries before people were able to see these cells. Harvey was still given the credit for these discoveries though. Harvey’s studies in embryology were published in the Essays on the Generation of Animals.


William Harvey studied the heart and its functions for most of his life. He compiled all this ground breaking data into a book called “Anatomical Account of the Motion of the Heart and Blood.” He published this book in 1628. The book was primarily about the acts the heart must do to propel blood around the body. It describes the pumps, valves, and other parts of the heart.


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