Jared Diamond's fascinating account of our world's remarkable history provides its readers with a factual account of the development of different geographic groups, focusing on a time between 11,000 B.C to present day. Diamond's method, instead of focusing on a predominately European point of view towards history, explains how each region of our world has grown, from small indigenous tribe members scattered between island nations in the Caribbean, Oceania, the Americas and Africa using primarily stone tools and living in primitive huts to European and Asian conquistadors armed with steel weapons and other advanced technology. This uneven system of development leaves us to believe that some cultures are simply predestined to advance at a more rapid pace and others to be at a technological standstill. While this analyzation is commonly known among those who study history, Diamond poses the big question, why?
Indigenous Aborigines were introduced to pseudo-modern technology as early as the 1600s, yet never adopted the principles into their culture. Likewise, The first use of gunpowder was ninth century Asia, an explosive mixture of sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate formulated by Chinese alchemists attempting an elixir of immortality. The initial use of gunpowder in rocketry, primitive grenades and hand cannons was later adapted by Europeans musket-ball firearms in the early 1400s. Steel was first seen in East Africa, dating as far back as 1400 B.C., and later adapted by China and India in the production of wootz(Damascus) Steel. While these technologies surfaced in more primitive countries, their expansion into more advanced regions allowed for a more methodical approach in their crafting and production.
Disease was by far the heaviest contributor for Westward expansion and growth, it being the killer of far more indigenous peoples than steel and guns. The Smallpox epidemic wiped out ninety to ninety-five percent of all... [continues]
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