Friday, August 26, 2011

He is guilty

Human history has been dominated by the Europeans, and many we ask ourselves how did they get to control the whole world. How did Europe become so powerful? Jared Diamond explains in Germs Guns and Steel how geography determines human history. Jared believes that everything happened because of locations, and where certain civilizations were located. In his book he states that if he was to summarize his book he would say " history followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people's environments, not because of biological differences among people themselves." (pg 25).In here Jared openly states that the reason history happen the way it happen was because of environments. Environments defined what kind of plants were to develop in certain places. Environments led to the development of guns germs and steel.
Jared believes that once people actually had the knowledge and the senses to make rational decisions, they still did not have as much influence as nature itself. "That demographic shift of the last 500 years- the most massive shift on any continent except Australia- has its ultimate roots in developments between about 11,000 B.C and A.D 1." (375) Jared believes that the different changes that have happened in the last 500 years actually were created by the major developments at the beginning of society. The developments at the beginning of society were created due to geographical location. For example irrigation systems were developed in the Fertile Crescent. Then from there it was able to spread to other places of the world. Animal and plant domestication were also developed mainly in Eurasia since they had a huge variety of plants, and had the most amount of domesticated animals. Germs were then developed also in Eurasia and from there spread to other parts of the world. Now a days we have diseases, plant and animal domestication, and guns in bigger numbers, but its origin came from when civilizations developed.

There is another piece of evidence that indicates that Jared did believe that geography influenced history."In short, Europe's colonization of Africa had nothing to do with differences between European and African peoples themselves, as white racists assume. Rather, it was due to accidents of geography and bio geography -- in particular, to the continents' different areas, axes, and suites of wild plant and animal species. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate."(401) Here again Jared states how colonization had nothing to do with who was the most powerful. Many Europeans that they were the strongest because of their race and because of the were smart, yet in reality it is as Jared says that "axes" were one of the biggest factors in defining what civilizations were to become powerful. Jared states that the west east axes were the reason that diseases and animal domestication were able to occur. Unlike in the Americas were ideas were not able to spread between civilizations.

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