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Article Summary – write a short summary of Jared Diamond’s speech including the main idea or central theme of his argument. Jared Diamond’s speech focuses on the fact that Europeans conquered the New World, Africa, and Australia before they could get to Europe thanks to the domestication of plants and animals, which sped up the rate of the development of civilization.
Short Answer Questions
1. Why does Diamond argue that wealth and power are distributed unevenly across the globe? Diamond argues that wealth and power are distributed unevenly across the globe because peoples of different continents differed greatly in technology and political organization.
2. What advantages did European conquerors and explorers have over the native (indigenous) populations of the Americas?
The advantages that the European conquerors and explorers had over the natives where their advanced weapons. Europeans had steel swords, guns, and horses, while the Native Americans only had stone and wooden weapons but no animals to ride on. Europeans also brought over smallpox and measles, which killed close to 95% of the New Worlds Indian population but didn’t affect the Europeans because they had time to develop genetic and immune resistance to them.
3. How is climate used as an explanation for the uneven distribution of wealth and power? Eursasia’s main axis is east/west and domesticated species in this area spread quickly across thousands of miles encountering the same day-length and climate to which they were already adapted. In contrast, the main axis of the Americas is north/south and species domesticated in one area couldn’t spread far without encountering day- lengths and climates to which they were not adapted. 4. Why does Diamond object to many of the traditional views on the uneven distribution of wealth and power? Because he feels scientists may be inclined to dismiss his interpretations as unprovable speculation because they’re not...
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