English Essays 1

791 words - 4 pages

Guns, Germs, and Steel Midterm Essay
In the book Guns, Germs, and Steel written by Jared Diamond, he explains how the environment and geographic location of certain civilizations led them to advance technologically faster and thus dominate others. Diamond mentions five ultimate factors that contributed to the disparity between Eurasian and the Americas. These factors were: the date of human arrival to the continents; the distribution of large-seeded wild grasses; the orientation of axis and geographical barriers; the percentage of large mammals suitable for domestication; and the size of the continents. From these five factors, the most important one leading to the disparity between Eurasia ...view middle of the document...

S. southwest. The reason for the difference in the rise and spread of food production between these two continents has much to do with the geographical barriers the orientation of the axes presented.
A way to analyze the ease of spread of food production is using an examination called “preemptive domestication”, the purpose of which is to figure out if a certain crop was domesticated in only one area of a continent or if it was domesticated independently in several areas of the same continent. Crops that have only one alternative to their wild ancestors suggest that once a wild plant had been domesticated in one area of a certain continent it spread quickly to other areas of the same continent preempting the need for other independent domestication of the same plant. However when there is evidence of two or more alternatives of the same wild plant this suggests that the crop was spread to slowly to preempt its domestication elsewhere, therefore being independently domesticated in different areas of a continent.
An so the evidence of mostly single domestications in Eurasia and multiple domestication in the Americas provides evidence that crops spread more easily in Eurasia. But what is in Eurasia that made the spread of food production much easier than in the Americas?
Eurasia’s east-west axis answers this question. Eurasia has the world’s widest band of land at the same latitude. Eurasian societies are...

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