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The Fates of Human Societies

In Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond offers a theoretical framework for why the world is currently divided into rich and poor and strong and weak societies. His main thesis for explaining these divisions is that differences in environment have shaped the different fates of human societies. The environment in Eurasia nations helped societies develop dense populations and food surpluses, as well as disease resistance and greater domestication of animals. Not only were these societies able to achieve these features of complex societies, but they also developed systems of religion and politics. Because of their geographical conditions, Eurasian nations were more readily able to transfer knowledge and technologies as opposed to those with different geographies where each society had to develop their own features in isolation. Diamond covers development in the east-west continents of Eurasia against those in the north-south continents of the Americas, Australia and Africa to demonstrate the validity of his thesis that explains why even to today there are inequities between these continents in political and economic power. Typically, anthropologists and others have speculated on racial differences or differences in innate intelligence or other factors to explain such inequities. These are inadequate explanations for Diamond (25) who maintains, ôHistory followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoplesÆ environments.ö In other words, it has been the environment that determined the times, locations, rates and patterns of human development responsible for current inequities among societies. This is DiamondÆs main thesis.

Diamond provides support from different disciplines from evolution to climatology to demonstrate that the worldÆs continents differ in three distinct ways; their axes, their climates; and their geography. Because of these three factors, D...

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The Fates of Human Societies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:24, August 14, 2020, from