Growth and Development World Inequality Essay

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Then, in 1000 a.D., Polynesian farmers colonized New Zeeland -- the group would break into two tribes, the Maori and the Moriori, who would later on collide (Diamond).

In 1500 a.D., Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered Brazil and claimed it as a territory for his country. The period also represented an ascension in arts, as numerous works, such as sculptures and cathedrals, had been completed. Books were being printed; advancements were being made in literacy and more focus was being placed on the learning process, with the opening of learning institutions; diplomatic services and approaches were gaining momentum; more inventions were being made and the first forms of copy right and patents emerged (Timeline). All these developments were however occurring in the more developed states, such as Spain, France, the Netherlands or Portugal.

Given this situation, as well as Diamond's theory of world evolution, it could be argued that the inequality between populations felt in 1500 was due to the past understanding and abilities to manage environmental elements. As the developed peoples in Europe had managed to domesticate wild life, they were able to move up on the evolution latter and develop in terms of technologies, politics, economics and arts.

The explanation is simple -- the Europeans became farmers; they enjoyed good climatic conditions, favorable geographical positioning and an adequate density of the population. All environmental forces being on their side, the Europeans grew crops and animals, gained food sufficiency and even abundance. This status quo allowed them time and finances to invest in the development of technologies. The new continent however was isolated from these resources and environmental benefits, failing as such to develop at the same pace. World inequality was as such maintained.

Diamond argues that world inequality goes hand in hand with an increasing social complexity and a material culture. Looking at global evolution for the past 13,000 years, the author states that inequality aroused whenever one population revealed a growing desire for social superiority, when they sought evolution and when they began to acquire material goods. Without gaining sufficiency from the hunting of animals and the gathering of wild plants, the peoples began to domesticate. It can then be observed how the complexity of developing societies increased and as more and more focus was being placed on the acquisition of materials goods. Then, a need for political organization became obvious.

Populations which developed from a social, economic and political standpoint would now be able to gain advantages and consolidate their superiority. This superiority, and consequently the world inequality, derived from the ability of the more developed peoples to create guns, germs and steel, in the understanding of guns as military power, germs as lethal microbes and steel as advanced technologies (Yonsei University).

4. Conclusions

Jared Mason Diamond is a reputable American writer, expert in the fields of ecology, history, physiology and environmentalist evolution. He is the author of eight books, three of which are best sellers and have transformed Diamond into the recipient of several awards. Guns, Germs, and Steel… for instance brought him a Pulitzer Prize.

The main idea in the book is that world inequality has been present since the early day of mankind existence and will continue to exist in its future as well. The author explains the apparition of inequality in terms of the peoples' ability to comprehend and control the elements in nature. Otherwise put, he argues that the populations who were the first to domesticate animals and grow plants were also the first to read, write, create political formations and advance technologies -- in short, they evolved at superior levels than those who did not domesticate wild life, creating as such a gap that is maintained through today.


Diamond, J.M., 1997, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, W.W. Norton

2009, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Barnes & Noble Website, last accessed on September 25, 2009

Guns, Germs and Steel, About the Book, Jared Diamond, PBS, accessed on September 25, 2009

Jared Diamond: Why Is the World so Unequal? Yonsei University, Retrieved from on September 26, 2009

Timeline the Sixteenth Century: 1500-1524, Timeline, last accessed on September 25, 2009

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