Guns, Germs, and Steel

2849 words 12 pages
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond, attempts to explain why history progressed differently for people from various geographical regions. Diamond introduces his book by pointing out that history followed different courses for different people because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among people themselves. Through his convincing explanation for how civilizations were created and evolved throughout the course of history, he argues that environmental factors gave some societies advantages over others, allowing them to conquer the disadvantaged societies. While I agree with Diamond’s argument that the orientation of continental axis, availability of potential …show more content…

Food production also may have spread because societies that had it also developed technologies in other areas like warfare, or they could simply support a larger population, and overwhelm their neighbors by force. With fewer obstacles and a plethora of domesticable flora and fauna, societies were able to expand and increase their population size, whereas some regions with harsh climates and few domesticates could not. With the development of agriculture varying between societies, the population size ended up drastically changing around the world. Wild edible foods are only about 10 percent of the available biomass, and they tend to be scattered, so a given area of land can only support a limited number of people (Diamond 1999, 88). The selection and cultivation of edible plants and animals to constitute a higher percentage per area of land allowed people to feed a lot more herders and farmers than hunter-gatherers on the same amount of land. In addition, farming societies were able to yield more food than the hunter-gatherers as they had a sedentary lifestyle. People of many hunter-gatherer societies move frequently in search of wild foods, but farmers must remain near their fields and orchards. As a result, hunter-gatherers must space their children to about four years in order to be able to feed their families, whereas


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