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Americas and cheapest wow goldAfrica both have a north south axis while Eurasia has a west east axis. This could be the cause of faster advancement in Eurasia. Trade spread farther west east than it did north south. This is also true of food production, specifically the spread of crops in the Fertile Crescent. Why are these facts so? It is because west east regions share the same length of day, same types of seasons, same diseases, and same aspects of climate such as rainfall and habitat. Plants moved from north to south or vice versa were not built to endure the different climates, times of day, and etc. Domestic animals could not fight off the new types of disease and climate as well. He discusses all the ways that diseases and germs can infect a person and be passed on. Genetically some people have developed immunity to certain diseases or illnesses through generations of repeated exposure. Small populations can't fight outside epidemics and can't evolve their own because they are nearly wiped out every time, therefore the epidemic disappears. There are other infections though that act very slowly, therefore small populations can spread them. Crowd diseases can only be spread by large populations. So what was agriculture's role in disease? Firstly it allows for large sedentary populations that live among their trash and filth. This causes disease to be born. Trade routes among the populations of Europe, Asia, and Africa created a giant breeding ground for disease. Animals that are domesticated also cause disease to develop for the same reasons. There are three strategies to writing systems that "differ in the size of speech unit denoted by one written sign: a single basic sound, a whole syllable, or a whole word. First is our alphabet which uses one sign per sound. Second is a logogram uses one sign for a whole word. Third is termed syllabaries which have signs for syllables of one consonant paired with a vowel. The Sumerian independently originated writing system actually consisted of 3 types of signs. These were logograms, phonetic signs, and determinatives. Another independently originated writing system came from the Native Americans of Mesoamerica. With some possible exceptions, all of the systems of writing seemed to derive or imitate the Sumerian or Mesoamerican forms. Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian, created a writing system for the language by creating signs to represent different syllables. Many of the signs he took from our alphabet. This is a very good example of idea diffusion. Many inventions were made not for need but for mere curiosity and hobby. Diamond makes two main conclusions about technology is that it develops cumulatively and that most technology seems to have been invented for curiosity, therefore its uses are developed after it is made. To determine if an invention will be accepted there are four influential factors. The first is to ask whether it is economically advantageous over other inventions. The second is whether it has social significance or esteem. The third is whether it is compatible with the interests of the people. The government plans the conquest and religion justifies the conquest. Therefore, those who developed these two were able to dominate others. This completes the pattern of history, the other three being germs, writing, and technology. Bands are the smallest societies lack many types of institutions that other societies have. They are so small because the region they live in lacks the resources for larger societies. Next is the tribe, being a little larger. Tribes are large enough where they can have separate clans, but also lack many institutions. Next is Chiefdoms which contain different lineages and have many jobs that were often filled by captured slaves. Chiefdoms had a redistributive economy in which the chief received all the goods and then spread it back out among all the people. Kleptocracy is when the leader keeps much more tribute than he gives. He justifies this with religion. Cities have more people besides the food producers, taxes, and etc. States have many more slaves and are supported by a political and territorial basis, not one of kinship and heredity. So how did states originate? The first theory is that it is the natural condition of human society. The second is that people decided it would help their self interests. The third is that people needed a state to create and maintain larger irrigation systems. Food production contributes to complex societies by involving "seasonally pulsed inputs of labor", creates food surplus which in turn enables specialization and stratification, and it permits people to live a sedentary lifestyle thus enabling them to make and acquire more goods. There are four reasons why large societies must have complex centralized government. Firstly, is the conflict that arises with unrelated strangers. Secondly is the "growing possibility of communal decision making with increasing population size." Thirdly involves economic reasons of differentiating talents and transfer of goods. The final consideration is that larger societies have denser populations. Although Australia and New Guinea were both founded by Asian societies but lived in isolation from them. These two differ in almost every aspect. New Guinea is one of the places of independent origin of plant domestication. They had a great rise in population after they developed agriculture. They are very advanced in art, technology, society, and politics. So why didn't they progress as much as the Europeans then? This is because of geographical and biological differences. First their crops did not provide enough protein, they did not have labor animals, and they did not evolve epidemic diseases to keep away invaders. Second, New Guinea did not provide a very large habitable area or area for large food production. They are also geographically isolated. We see why Europe conquered New Guinea. Europe's guns, germs, and steel were also able to take over Australian Aborigines who had none of this. In reality the Chinese are quite genetically diverse from each other. Diamond talks about three ways we can try to map East Asia linguistically several thousand years ago. First he says we can "reverse the historically known linguistic expansions of recent millennia. Second, we can assume that large areas with a single language have not been occupied long enough for that language to split off into many different languages. Third, we can assume that large areas with many different languages "lie closer to the early center of distribution of that language family." Language replacements were caused by technological and political advantages of invading people. Geographic factors helped unify China politically. This is why Europe has not unified yet.
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Photo courtesy of Elruu. Photo linked. The Austronesian expansion was one of the biggest population movements as of the last 6000 years. Many Austronesian invaders and New Guineans intermingled a lot so that the language was transferred but they still were genetically distinguishable from each other. The invasion was not able to wipe out all the New Guineans but only the ones who were not competitively equal. One reason is because of early extinction of large wild fauna in the Americas, while in Eurasia there were a variety of wild animals for domestication. Agriculture is another reason. Eurasia also had much more variety of domesticable plants. Those parts of the Americas that did have agriculture were lacking in protein. It was also much less successful because they did not have the labor animals that Eurasia did. Germs, metal, military technology, and power to operate machinery were all more reasons that Eurasia had such an advantage over the Native Americans.
Photo courtesy of Thubakabra. These were blacks, whites, African Pygmies, Khoisan, and Asians. Blacks occupied the largest area. The Pygmy homeland was invaded by black farmers and adopted there language. The original pygmy language can only be heard in certain words. This also happened with the Khoisan's though we are not sure how. Europe was able to take over Africa because they had an advantage over them with technology, widespread literacy, and political organization. A couple factors explain why Africa was not able to become as advanced as Europe. These are: Africa did not obtain domestic animals until much later, less varieties of domesticable plants, smaller area, and orientation of the main axes.
EpilogueThe Future of Human History as a ScienceDiamond pretty much sums up the book with his thesis. He says he would tell Yali "the striking differences between the long term histories of peoples of different continents have been due not to innate differences in the peoples themselves but to differences in their environments." He restates four major differences due to the environments that he believes made a difference. First were the differences in wild plant and animal species. The second was rate of immigration and diffusion. Third was rate of "inter continental diffusion". Fourth were differences in area and population size. China rose above at first because of its unity but later this was the same thing that caused a disadvantage.
anonymous 2 years ago
Hi im going to be a sophomore so I have to read this over the summer for AP world history and this is going to help me soooooo much! I was beginning to doubt I could read this because I am NOT a reader seriously the biggest book I've read was probably a little over 100 pages! But I thought maybe if I looked for a chapter summery online and read it before each chapter I would have a little more understanding of it and be more absorbent. Its been so much easier to follow when you know what your looking for! So I would just like to thank you so much for sharing your work. Keep up the
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