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Comparison Of Jared Diamonds Guns Germs And Steal And The Rise Of Christianity By Rodney Stark

874 words - 4 pages

Both Guns, Germs, and Steel written by Jared Diamond and The Rise of Christianity written by Rodney Stark stress the importance of epidemic diseases to explain social change. Stark and Diamond explain the importance of epidemics and diseases in their own way. Stark concentrates on the expansion of Christianity and the social structures it creates mainly within the Roman Empire. While Diamond is more concerned with the epidemics that gave an advantage to Europeans during the process of colonization, which allowed Europeans to become dominant over the societies found in the new world.Christianity according to Stark seemed to rely heavily on the idea that bad things are going to happen to human ...view middle of the document...

At a time when the Roman Empire lacked a strong social and political structure due to the despair and chaos that was felt throughout the empire. Christianity created a miniature social welfare state within the Roman Empire.Diamond in comparison stresses the importance of epidemic diseases through the colonization and conquering of the new world. The epidemics that the Europeans thrusted upon the local civilizations of the new world allowed them to gain a huge advantage making the colonization of this new world quick and easy. The loss of population in such large proportion was devastating to the natives; although the local civilizations tried to advance their technology quickly they were still unable to fight back. The epidemics ran their course throughout the continent, minimizing the apparent advantage that the Europeans held with their superior technology. This is especially apparent among the Native America's whose greatest and only advantage over the Europeans were superior numbers, this however was taken away with the diseases the European's brought over with them wiping out over 50 percent of the Native American population. The depopulation of the original peoples to the North American continent is estimated over a century's time to be as large as 95 percent.Stark and Diamond both use the historical record about diseases and epidemics to strengthen arguments about different ideas. Stark uses the historical records in order to prove the advantage that Christianity had not...

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