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World History I - Essay Example

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Jared Diamond, Arthur of Guns, Germs, and Steel, identifies in Part One of his book several factors that he believes explains the reason why human societies develop so differently. Identify and discuss those factors that he feels are most important in determining why some…
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World History Jared Diamond, Arthur of Guns, Germs, and Steel, identifies in Part One of his book several factors that he believes explains the reason why human societies develop so differently. Identify and discuss those factors that he feels are most important in determining why some societies are more advanced than others.
The discussion of why some societies have come out on top in terms of historical development and civilization is often considered to be politically incorrect since the humane belief in the story of civilization is that all human beings and therefore all societies are equal. However as we very well know, that situation is not true and Diamond (1997) presents some very interesting insights into how and why the development of societies took place as it did. The explanations given by him are quite interesting since they are logical and appear to make perfect sense.
For instance, the argument about technology appeals considerably because today we live in a world which is very technology oriented and it is clear that countries which have taken modern technology to be an integral part of their economies have gained a lot from it. For example, in recent years both India and China have become economic giants mainly due to the investment in technology made by their respective governments and due to the technological contacts they have had with western powers like America and Europe.
Of course the development of America is simply a result of the development of the European powers and their ability to create a food surplus from agriculture and domestication of animals. Diamond (1997) is correct when he says that African armies on rhinos and hippos could have decimated European cavalry charges but horses were domesticated while rhinos and hippos still remain wild and dangerous animals. The food surplus created by effective management and agriculture caused populations to expand which often meant that the chances of a region producing a thinker, inventor or discoverer were also increased.
Additionally, the argument about human contact improving societies is very true since the contact between the Europeans, the Arabs, the Indians and the Chinese eventually took technologies like cartography, paper, numbers, and many other developments from one end of the globe to the other. The example of Australia in its relative isolation is quite correct since Australia did not know about these developments there was little chance of them developing these technologies on the same lines as the Eurasians.
So the two fundamental factors which are given the most importance in the development of societies are the invention and acceptance of certain technologies and cultural contact with other societies for a sharing of ideas. Wherever these two elements are present in a high quantity, the advancement of society is guaranteed. It seems as if this idea regarding social advancement is still true today since societies which are more open to outside influences appear to be progressive while those which close their doors to outsiders and refuse to change or evolve are often left behind in the race of civilization.
Word Count: 541

Works Cited
Diamond, J. “Why Did Human History Unfold Differently On Different Continents For The Last 13,000 Years?” The Third Culture. 1997. 26 Apr. 2006 Read More
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