This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Guns, Germs And Steel Essay

3916 words - 16 pages

Name: __________________________

World History

Unit Two: Global Inequality


An Overview of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel

Why do some nations have so much material wealth while so many others have so little?

This was the question Jared Diamond posed in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel. After identifying a point in time when all societies were roughly equal (over 13,000 years ago), Diamond identified the key variables that allowed some societies to develop highly complex, material-rich societies, while others developed at much slower rates.

Guns, Germs, and Steel uncovers how Europeans came to dominate every ...view middle of the document...

Their lives were tough, and it seemed a terrible paradox of history that these extraordinary people should be the conquered, and not the conquerors.

To examine the reasons for European success, Diamond realized he had to peel back the layers of history and begin his search at a time of equality -- a time when all the peoples of the world lived in exactly the same way.

Geography is Power:

An Interview with Jared Diamond

National Geographic News
July 6, 2005

Why did history unfold differently on different continents? Why has one culture—namely that of Western Europe—dominated the 3development of the modern world?

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that the answer is geography. The physical locations where different cultures have taken root, he claims, have directly affected the ability of those societies to develop key institutions, like agriculture and animal domestication, or to acquire important traits, like immunity to disease.

National Geographic News spoke with professor Diamond about his research.

Why over the past 10,000 years has the development of different societies proceeded at such different rates?

I say the answer is location, location, location. It's overwhelmingly due to the difference in the wild plant and animal species suitable to domestication that the continents made available. All the interesting stuff like technology, writing, and empires requires a productive economy that is producing enough food to feed technological experts, bureaucrats, kings, and scribes. Hunter-gatherer societies don't produce enough food surpluses to support those extra people.

Agriculture does.

Where did the first farming societies appear?

The first farming, as far as we know, appeared in [the Middle East region known as] the Fertile Crescent some 11,500 years ago, and shortly thereafter in China. These places had the greatest variety of wild plants and animals suitable for domestication. Only a tiny fraction of wild plants and animals were both useful and possible to domesticate. Those few species were concentrated in a few areas, of which the two with the greatest variety were the Fertile Crescent and China.

What were the benefits of the agricultural lifestyle compared to the hunter-gatherer existence?

Farming lets you feed far more people than hunting and gathering. In a one-acre wheat field there's more to eat than in a one-acre forest. In a one-acre sheep pasture, there are more animals to eat than in a one-acre forest. Farming lets you settle down in villages next to your wheat fields and pastures, whereas hunter-gatherers have to move around.

You point out that animals, plants, knowledge and new technology spread much easier east and west rather than north and south.

The reason is easy to understand if one understands...

Other Essays Like Guns, Germs and Steel

The Potemkin Uprising Essay

1495 words - 6 pages engines, powered by twenty-two boilers, and drove at a top speed of seventeen knots. She weighed 12,600 tons, there were twelve inches of Krupp steel protecting the turrets, nine inches of the same steel was on the belt line, she had two twin-armored turrets (one fore and one aft), there were four twelve-inch guns that could decimate enemies with 700-pound shells at a range of over six miles. Along her 371 foot side, there was a secondary

Knights Armor & Weapons Essay

1283 words - 6 pages velvet handles. Some swords were so fancy they were used in rituals or ceremonies. Usually swords were only two pounds. Some daggers were hidden in walking sticks. Daggers were usually made of steel or iron. Some daggers were thin but sharp. Longbows were carved from a single piece of wood and as big as the archer. Longbows were used mostly in castle walls. Longbows required excellent skill. Crossbows were stronger than guns until the 1800's

5 Short Essay

2153 words - 9 pages charge. WW1 saw the invention of the steel helmet, fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, light automatic weapons, tanks, and flamethrowers. Warfare went from trench warfare to a mechanized fight with tanks and aircraft, and even chemical warfare. Discuss the success or failure of Reconstruction after the Civil War. What were differing ideas proposed – and who were the eventual winners and losers? Reconstruction had its success and its

Coming to Terms

1186 words - 5 pages Coming to Terms It's not a light bulb that suddenly turns on. It's not a bolt of lightning that strikes you without pain. It's more like a boot; a steel toe boot that literally drops out of the sky and kicks you directly in the face, knocking out the majority of your teeth and smashing your nose into a bloody mess. That's more what it's like when you come to a realization. All that talk of a magical epiphany is left in the dust while

Two Wheeled Machine

1671 words - 7 pages frame is then painted by static contact using spray guns and then placed in a natural gas baking oven for fifteen minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. The frame is allowed to cool where the decals are applied and then entire assembly of the bicycle begins. The handle bars are assembled with the brakes and gears in one department of the facility while the wheel rims are being put together. The stainless steel spokes are first applied to the aluminum

Othello Essay- Conflict (and Related Texts)

1242 words - 5 pages displayed results positively. Mac (a lawyer)’s car breaks down in the ghetto and he is thrown into a world of insecurity. When a gangster with guns threatens him, he is vulnerable and scared. The film cut between shot of what is happening to Mac and shots being filmed from his perspective. Confusing continuity editing amplifies the tension and fear as Mac enters a situation of conflict and danger in which he has no power or control. The moment of

Race and Your Community Eth125 Week9 Final Paper

1793 words - 8 pages , there are mainly two groups, White and Black. I do have to say there is many more White than Black here in Somerset and Cambria County. Johnstown itself is a depressed area. We used to have one of the strongest steel industries at one time. After the big flood of 1977, which is well known, and the reason Johnstown, referred to as “Flood City,” businesses were lost and it took almost everything to rebuild. The steel industry remained strong for a

American Indian

2233 words - 9 pages Americans, they started to adopt American culture and lost interest in their own culture. 2For example, they started to eat pig meat and started wearing wool from sheep. Men could not hunt without loud guns. Women did not want to make fire without steel, or they taught their daughters to make leather. 2 The Native Americans also started to become addicted to alcohol and caught destructive diseases that American settlers had brought from Europe. Native

Early 20th-Century Developments in Human Flight

1270 words - 6 pages . aeronautical industry had fewer than 170 employees.) As World War I progressed, manufacturers began designing aircraft to carry guns, bombs, and torpedoes. Glenn H. Curtiss, the pioneer of the seaplane, established his own airplane company in 1916 and was a major supplier of aircraft equipment to the U.S. and Allied navies during World War I. The Fokker Eindecker was a German fighter plane in World War I. On the other side of the Atlantic, Dutch-born

Unit 3 Pyschology

2167 words - 9 pages nursery. One ways in which this hazard can be prevented or controlled is for nursery nurse or staff to always monitor the kids in order to prevent them from drinking the water from the table which might have been poisonous because the water would be filled with germs due to the kids putting their hands and all sort of this which are dirty inside the water. A second way in which this hazard night be controlled is if the water in the water table is

The Impact Of War With Iraq On The US Economy, Based On An Article From BusinessWeek

1513 words - 7 pages trip to boost economic ties and discuss the impact of a dispute between the European Union and the United States over U.S. steel import tariffs. Poland is a NATO member and candidate to join the EU.Article Available at: Other references on page 6)War with Iraq and the Effects on the Economy.IntroductionSince the debate about a possible attack on Iraq started, shortly after the

Related Papers

Scarcity: A Form Of Equality Essay

1550 words - 7 pages thing that happened is “...some peoples developed guns, germs, steel, and other factors conferring political and economic power before others did…” (Diamond, 24) which allowed for countries to industrialize at a more accelerated level than others. If this did not occur then all countries around the world would be stagnated in terms of socio-economic position. This would greatly worsen scarcity as everyone would be striving for the same thing, as

Aztec And Inca Empire Essay

1596 words - 7 pages structure that was made * The child was left in the structure to die of exposure to the extreme cold * Small statues were then made of the child * It was believed that the child became a god * Francisco Pizarro: Spanish conquistador responsible for the defeat of the Inca capital, Cuzco, and consequently the Inca empire, in 1532 * Came in search of gold Reasons for Inca Defeat * Guns: firearms * Germs: smallpox

The Most Successful Weapon Of Wwii The T 34 Tank

604 words - 3 pages made it far less prone to burning at the first strike that the M4 Medium, Ronson, and provide a fantastic power to weight ratio (some 16 HP per tone in the early models). Wide tracks, coupled with large, rubber rimmed steel wheels and a fine (not spectacular) suspension, gave it formidable on road and cross-country mobility. The sloped armor was well thought through; it provided adequate protection without increasing the weight dramatically. The

9/11 Was An Inside Job Essay

2395 words - 10 pages he events of 9/11 were huge. The body of evidence that the administration, or other agencies within the US government, were involved is also huge. The problem with summarizing the information is that the scale of the operation and its cover-up are so vast. Finding smoking guns is like picking up litter on a field. It's hard to move in a straight line. That makes it hard to create a simple narrative. My personal questioning of the events of 9