Technology is a gameplay mechanic in Empire: Total War.
Technology can be researched by factions to improve their economy, National Prestige, and military capabilities. Technologies may be researched at School, and can be sped up by having gentlemen at schools and building down the right path for cultural buildings in major cities.
Technology is separated into three areas: Military Technologies, Industrial Technologies, and Enlightenment Technologies. Military technologies improve the military aspects of a nation's army by upgrading equipment, unlocking more advanced troops, increasing their movement range, and reducing their training and upkeep costs. Industrial Technologies increase the profitability of industrial buildings, the population impact of farms, and unlocks new industrial buildings. Enlightenment Technologies increase the town wealth of regions and increase the profitability of trade while unlocking better buildings related to trade, but also increase public unrest in regions with schools as people become better-educated.
As schools have no purpose after all desired technology is researched, it is best to destroy them and replace them with cultural or economic buildings. Not only does this help with population happiness or the production of wealth, it helps reduce clamour for reform which schools foster.
Every technology in Empire: Total War requires a certain amount of turns to be fully researched. This, in turn, is decided by the amount of research points the technology requires relative to the amount of research points provided by the school and the gentlemen conducting the research. For example, an unupgraded School offers 9 points of research per turn. If a technology requires 50 points, then the school would need six turns to complete the research. If a Gentleman is placed inside the school and gives 6 points of research, then the research would instead be completed in four turns.
In addition to providing their listed benefits, research certain technologies is a requirement for moving down the technology tree.