Such competition forced the European nations to encourage innovation and avoid technological stagnation. Large domestic animals such as horses and camels offered the considerable military and economic advantages of mobile transport. An important example is the use of larger animals such as cattle and horses in plowing land, allowing for much greater crop productivity and the ability to farm a much wider variety of land and soil types than would be possible solely by human muscle power.
Similarly, Africa was fragmented by its extreme variations in climate from north to south: One of the most popular answers to the question of why certain regions became more powerful than others is that the powerful, successful regions were located near rivers.
Diamond will show how humans learned to replace their hunter-gatherer practices with agricultural and industrial practices.
Diamond identifies six criteria including the animal being sufficiently docile, gregarious, willing to breed in captivity and having a social dominance hierarchy. Why did the Europeans conquer the Native Americans, Diamond asks, and not the other way around? In Western society, survival was largely a product of being healthy and lucky—i.
Why, exactly, did Europe overtake China and the Middle East as a world leader, given that all three regions had comparable advantages in the four geographic factors Diamond lists above? And yet individual people across societies are very much alike in terms of nature and intelligence.
Diamond argues geographic, climatic and environmental characteristics which favored early development of stable agricultural societies ultimately led to immunity to diseases endemic in agricultural animals and the development of powerful, organized states capable of dominating others.
Sub-Saharan biological relatives of the horse including zebras and onagers proved untameable; and although African elephants can be tamed, it is very difficult to breed them in captivity;   Diamond describes the small number of domesticated species 14 out of "candidates" as an instance of the Anna Karenina principle: Active Themes Diamond relates another popular explanation for human inequalities across culture: Several conditions are necessary for this transition to occur: Certain societies have, by almost any material measure, been more successful than other societies: Active Themes In Europe, there was much less political unification than in China.
Of the remaining nine, only two the llama and alpaca both of South America are indigenous to a land outside the temperate region of Eurasia. That is, civilization is not created out of superior intelligence, but is the result of a chain of developments, each made possible by certain preconditions.
Many of the most famous European philosophers of the early modern era, such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, believed that humans responded to their environment in a limited sense: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeedfocuses on environmental and other factors that have caused some populations to fail.
Diamond has taken some criticism from academics who feel that his knowledge of his subject matter is sometimes superficial.
Aboriginal Australians and the Khoikhoi population were decimated by smallpox, measles, influenza and other diseases. Europeans who lived in cold climates received many of their most important ideas and technologies writing, the wheel, etc. At a time when other popular nonfiction topics centered on personal relationships and diets, Diamond caught the attention of the reading public with a fascinating account of more than 13, years of human evolution and societal development.
Diamond has spent most of his book trying to isolate the various causes of differences between civilizations. Diamond believes, however, that geographic causes explain many of these cultural differences—differences which, he admits, have been important to history.
Competition inspired Western European nation-states to invest large sums in exploring the New World—the states were worried that their rivals would overtake them. When Europeans made contact with the Americas, European diseases to which Americans had no immunity ravaged the indigenous American population, rather than the other way around the "trade" in diseases was a little more balanced in Africa and southern Asia: His thought is that history should be examined more scientifically.
Yet there are undeniable differences between different cultures, which may be the product of environmental factors. Jared Diamond espouses the idea of geological determinism which theorizes that Europeans became dominant because they had better raw materials and more favorable environmental conditions that those in the Fertile Crescent and China.
The rise of nonfarming specialists such as craftsmen and scribes accelerated economic growth and technological progress. Active Themes One could also misinterpret Diamond to be arguing that hunter-gatherer culture for example, Native Americans and aborigines is inferior to agricultural or industrial civilization the civilizations that conquered the Native Americans and the aborigines.
Retrieved September 13, Although geography had been nearly eliminated as an academic discipline in the United States after the s, several geography-based historical theories were published in the s.
Then he demonstrates, in his opinion, why the differences among various cultures occurred.In Guns, Germs, and Steel, anthropologist Jared Diamond explains why some societies are more materially successful than others.
He attributes societal success to geography, immunity to germs, food. But, to state the obvious, Guns, Germs, and Steel isn’t long enough to address all the (potentially infinite) data. While Diamond focused on a few notable cases of geographic determinism in Part Four, there are many others he has no time to address.
ity, than Jared Diamond as illustrated by Guns, Germs, and Steel. In this Diamond, Jared M. Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies / Jared Diamond. p. cm. EPILOGUE THE FUTURE OF HUMAN HISTORY AS A SCIENCE Acknowledgments 4 2 7 Further Readings Summary and Analysis of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies: Based on the Book by Jared Diamond (Smart Summaries) Worth Books out of 5 stars /5(K).
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Guns, Germs, and Steel, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Geographic Determinism Racism, Violence, and Colonization. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (also titled Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13, years) is a transdisciplinary non-fiction book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).Download