The Role of Relative Isolation in the African Continent

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History 106
Writing Assignment 1

The concept of relative isolation when talking about the African continent is determined by the cultures and the way the people lived in this time. Relative isolation played a major role in the diversity of the cultures on the African continent. When certain things went wrong in these societies, they had to adapt and change what they were doing to make it work and not get killed off or wiped out as a whole. As said in our lecture, people create labor, which creates surplus. Then when there is surplus (food) in the society, then this creates specialists. All of these things occur when things are going well for the people. But this was not always the case. This relative isolation also caused many problems for these societies and civilizations. When these people were isolated as they were, it makes it very difficult for them to escape things that happened at these times like climate change and many diseases, such as Malaria and malnutrition. This occurred on both a macro and micro level.

On a micro level of relative isolation, such as smaller civilizations, problems such as disease and malnutrition were reoccurring issues. But relative isolation was not always a bad thing for these smaller civilizations and societies. It helped them become stationary with a certain group of people that they would eventually build cultures around consisting of customs and laws, as stated in the lecture. The more people and labor they had, the more food they had. This seems like a good plan in theory, but when a severe climate change occurs and they lose crops, or a disease comes through and kills half of their civilization, it is very difficult for them to escape these deadly problems and thrive as a whole. When they are all isolated in a small area, it is virtually impossible to prevent things like that from happening. It is also very difficult when these things occur, and the people left have to migrate as a whole. For example, as stated in...
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