Guns Germs and Steel The Term Paper

  • Length: 16 pages
  • Subject: Agriculture
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #83449439

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Till the period up to 11,000 BC every individuals remained Stone Age hunters/gatherers. Nearly that time, the roads of growth of human societies on various continents started to move away in a large scale. (Guns, Germs, and Steel- the Fates of Human Societies: (www.2think.org) During that period, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers comprised the total human population, a big segregation happened in the proportion that the human societies progressed. In Eurasia, several regions of Americas, and Africa, agriculture started to be the existing pattern of livelihood when domestication of aboriginal wild plants and animals were done by the prehistoric planters and herders. Diamond fairly examines the human history on each continent starting from the Ice Age at a proportion that stresses just the widest traversals of people and concepts. However, his assessment is symmetrical: one eye has rather long-term view of the evolutionary biologist, whereas the other eye and his spirit resides in the inhabitants of New Guinea, where he was engaged in field work for more than 30 years. (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize National Bestseller)

With the culmination of the last Ice Age, there remained a region of the universe better gifted with the plants and animals which would result in the progression towards civilization: that valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which is popularly known as the Fertile Crescent. In that area was available natural stocks which came to be domesticated crops of wheat and barley. For the development of fabrics there was Flax. Also available were an overwhelming number of large mammals which could be domesticated: sheep, goats, cattle. While agriculture took birth and animals were domesticated, a type of encouraging feedback propels the growth in the direction of civilization. Humans started living; excess supply of food can be stocked hence population grows. This results in the division of labor, the surfacing of a privileged category of people, the systemization of rules, and languages. (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize National Bestseller) as is showed intensely by Jared Diamond, the same people who were made initiation in food production will clash with preliterate cultures, forming the present universe by way of invasion, dislocation, and mass killings. Societies which were the initiators in the production of food progressed beyond the hunter-gatherer phase, and thereafter made inroads in religion - as also malicious microbes and powerful arsenal of battle and made adventure on the sea and land to overcome and devastate preliterate cultures. (Editorial Reviews: Amazon.com)

Initial domestication of wild plants and animals in the Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica and the southeastern U.S., and other regions, gave individuals of those areas a first mover advantage. The reason why wheat and corn, cattle and pigs, and the present universe's other 'hit' crops and livestock grew in those specific areas and not in other places was till this time, however barely comprehended. Societies which progressed beyond the hunter-gatherer phase had increased chances to develop writing, technology, government, established religions as also vicious microbes and powerful arsenals of war. (Guns, Germs, and Steel- the Fates of Human Societies: (www.2think.org)

But in the opinion of Diamond initial domestication of wild plants and animals in China and other regions, rendered people of these areas a first mover advantage. China of the 15th Century BC was barred from developing its military and technological strength by the reality that there were no land blockade to thwart the supremacy of the singe-power group. Therefore, while the prevailing Imperial group moved against expansion of the naval forces and technological progression, there was not any scope for protesters to locate some sheltered mini-state and go on as earlier. More commonly, European states had the liberty to be engaged in competition against one another; means of social organization that resulted in military, economic or technological flaw were liable to be shoved out by better customs, however there was a lot of flexibility for diverse manner of performing things. (Bradford, Review of Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel)

Diamond even familiarized Polynesia as a "natural experiment," an example on a lesser extent of his total hypothesis. In the discovery of Polynesia and habitation of the Pacific, colonizers belonging to one cultural and racial background settled in greatly diverse settings, starting from continental New Zealand, through volcanic islands of different sizes, to desolate islands and distant Easter Islands. Hunter-gatherer communities eventuated on some islands and better states and proto-nations on others. As a paradigm between various communities, Diamond prefers the summit of the Spanish conquistador Pizarroo and the Inca Atahuallpa at Cajamarca in 1532. The outcome was the winning of Pizarro, despite that his armies were lesser in number and the imprisonment of Atahuallpa. The immediate reasons of this were germs, technology, domesticated animals, and writing. (Yee, a book review)

Moreover, Diamond contends that the widest facet of present world - viz. North America's control by whites were mainly caused by disparate natural resources of the continent's domesticatable flora and fauna. The areas which had an overwhelming quantity of these could sustain the changeover from hunter-gatherer to farmer-lender, permitting increased concentration of population. Further those societies that were able to vacate the majority of the manpower from agriculture to concentrate in technology and war were able to defeat their neighbors. A few regions like the Middle East were the abode of a lot of domesticated foods: wild grains like wheat as well as bigger mammals such as cows and sheep. Other regions of Eurasia like Europe were sufficiently proximal to the Fertile Crescent for quick dispersal of these crops and livestock. As against this, greater regions of the Planet, as well as supposedly affable landscapes such as California, have a dearth of originally native plants which would be more beneficial to grow compared to gather. (Editorial Reviews: Amazon.com)

The valuable plants of New World, the corn of Mexico to illustrate, was migrated rather slowly to the north and south to America since the crop growth are very dependent upon the latitude. Moreover the New World was quite deficient in large domestic mammals. Presently only 14 species of mammals are being domesticated those are over 100 pounds except for commercial purposes. Out of these only the llama/alpaca is originally considered local to the Americas. However, prior to 13000 years the New World tamed the prospective beasts like horses and camels considered useful. According to Diamond, the American Indians after their arrival began to devour them. Such selfishness resulted in military impotency of the descendants of Aztec and Inca and found to be prone to the dangerous Conquistador's diseases.

Contrary to this the Spaniards were found to be immune to the germs being successors of the foods and technologies of Eurasia as well as to the Chinese inventions of paper, gunpowder, and the, compass. As the worst endemics are consequence of the diseases of farm animals, to illustrate, small-pox from cows, no diseases appeared to have inherent to the local Americans to fight back. The geo-historical strategies of Diamond definitely made clear the continental scale history. The Eurasian history comprises much of the World history and Diamond could not make it clear as to the reasons for eventual overcoming of the East and South Eurasians by the West Eurasians. (the Clash of Continents) While much of these arguments have been heard before Diamond has represented them combined more realistically. (Editorial Reviews: Amazon.com) Since its insights are observed to be brighter and its facts are very new and fascinating it is the testimony of the ways the well-educated citizens of the Western world visualize the most significant forces of human history. (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize National Bestseller)

Diamond thus took apart the destructive racial theorems detecting societal disparities as the biological disparities. He combined the persuasive evidences connecting germs to taming of animals, germs that the Eurasians propagated in large scales in their work of discovery. Agriculture had been revolutionized six times all over the world: in New Guinea, in China, in the Middle East, in North America, in Mexico, in the Andes along with the other places. The humans residing in the Middle East were found to be fortunate. The plants those were readily available to them were found to be tamable; their growth was quick and they had the largest seeds. The agriculture practiced in the Middle Eastern region was based on wheat and its cousins and had the prospects of safeguarding higher population densities. The founders of agriculture in the Middle East were found to be fortunate in another field. Eurasia possessed many large of animals like aurochs, boar, ancestral sheep and goats, horses those can be domesticated. Effective taming of large animals infuses a further impetus to the Middle Eastern productivity and made it possible still higher population densities. (Bradford, Review of Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel)

Besides residing with closeness of animals fetched the Eurasians both the epidemic diseases those were to ravage the populations of the Americas, Oceana and Australia when contact took place and also immune to such diseases. The technologies found out in the Middle East…

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