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The Geographical and Environmental Factors That Contribute to Agricultural Development

1. Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel”

Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” is a book that tries to explain why some countries are more developed than others. Diamond argues that it is not because of technological knowledge or the availability of capital, but rather due to geographical and environmental factors.

The geographical and environmental factors

One of the most important factors is the geography of a country. Diamond argues that countries with a long east-west axis are more developed than those with a north-south axis. This is because countries with a long east-west axis have a greater variety of climate and therefore can grow a greater variety of crops. They also have a greater variety of animals, which makes it easier to domesticate them.

Another important factor is the availability of fresh water. Countries with abundant fresh water are more likely to develop irrigation systems, which allows them to grow more crops.

Soil quality is also important. Countries with rich soil are more likely to have higher crop yields.

The development of technology

Diamond argues that the development of technology is closely linked to the domestication of animals. The first animals to be domesticated were sheep and goats, which were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent around 9000 BC. These animals were easy to domesticate because they are social animals that live in close proximity to humans. They are also easy to keep penned up, and their meat, milk, and wool are all useful products for humans.

The next animal to be domesticated was the pig, which was domesticated in China around 8500 BC. Pigs are not as easy to domesticate as sheep and goats, but they are still useful for their meat and their ability to root up truffles.

The last major animal to be domesticated was the horse, which was domesticated in the steppes of Central Asia around 4000 BC. Horses are much more difficult to domesticate than pigs or sheep, but they are much more useful for transportation and warfare.

Planting crops

The first crops to be domesticated were wheat and barley, which were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent around 8000 BC. These crops were easy to domesticate because they have large seeds that can be easily harvested by humans. They are also tolerant of drought and able to grow in a wide range of climates.

The next major crop to be domesticated was rice, which was domesticated in China around 7000 BC. Rice is a difficult crop to grow, but it is very productive and can be grown in wetter conditions than wheat or barley.

Diseases

Diseases are an important factor in the development of societies. The most important disease for the development of agriculture is malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria is a major problem in tropical countries, where it can reduce crop yields by up to 50%.

Another important disease is smallpox, which was responsible for the death of many Native Americans after the arrival of Europeans. Smallpox is a highly contagious disease that is fatal in up to 30% of cases.

The rise and fall of empires and dynasties

Empires and dynasties are another important factor in the development of societies. The most important empire for the development of agriculture was the Roman Empire, which was responsible for the spread of irrigation throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The Roman Empire also introduced new crops, such as grapes and olives, to Europe.

The fall of the Roman Empire led to a decline in agriculture, as irrigation systems were no longer maintained and new crops were no longer introduced. This decline continued until the Renaissance, when there was a renewed interest in agriculture.

The most important dynasty for the development of agriculture was the Tang Dynasty in China, which encouraged the spread of rice cultivation throughout China. The Tang Dynasty also introduced new crops, such as sorghum and millet, to China.

The fall of the Tang Dynasty led to a decline in agriculture, as irrigation systems were no longer maintained and new crops were no longer introduced. This decline continued until the Communist Revolution, when there was a renewed interest in agriculture.
Conclusion

Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” is a book that tries to explain why some countries are more developed than others. Diamond argues that it is not because of technological knowledge or the availability of capital, but rather due to geographical and environmental factors.

FAQ

Jared Diamond's experience growing up on a farm influenced his thinking about the role of agriculture in human history because he was able to see firsthand how farming can contribute to the development of civilization.

Some of the specific ways that farming has contributed to the development of civilization, according to Diamond, include the domestication of plants and animals, the development of new technologies for crop production and animal husbandry, and the growth of settlements and cities.

Diamond believes that Eurasia was better suited than other continents for the development of agriculture and complex societies because it had a more diverse array of plant and animal species that could be domesticated, a more temperate climate that allowed for year-round farming, and easier access to waterways for transportation.

Early farmers in Eurasia gained an advantage over hunter-gatherers through their use of animals by domesticating them for labor, food, and transportation.

Some of the drawbacks to living in an agricultural society, as opposed to a hunting and gathering one, include environmental degradation from deforestation and soil erosion, dependency on irrigation systems which can fail during droughts, and increased vulnerability to pests and diseases.

Guns, germs, and steel contributed to Europe's domination of the world during colonial times by giving them superior military technology (guns), immunity to many diseases (germs), and a reliable source of metal for tools and weapons (steel).

There is something we can learn fromDiamond's analysis of history that would help us address contemporary problems related to food production and distribution: The way in which different continents developed agriculturally influenced their subsequent success or failure as global powers. For example, Europe's dominance is due in part to its early adoptionof intensive agriculture; if other regions had developed this practice earlier on , they might be in a positionof power today instead .

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