Guns, Germs, and Steel
Episode Three: Into the Tropics
This episode was actually rather interesting. In general, it basically discussed how guns, germs, and steel have affected and influenced the shaping of African societies as it is today. Diamond’s main quest is to answer the question: why did the world become so unequal? In the mid-1600s the Europeans first arrive at the southernmost tip of South Africa. The southernmost tip of Africa and Europe are almost identical in latitude, with Europe in the northern hemisphere and South Africa in the southern hemisphere. At equal latitudes, both locations have relatively identical climates. This made it extremely easy for Europeans to settle and adapt comfortably. Their arrival forced many natives of the land to leave. Also, the arrival of Europeans was detrimental to the natives because the Europeans brought new diseases and infections with them, such as smallpox, which they have become immune to over the years. Through farming and germs, Europeans looked to spread out and conquer new land. In the 1830’s they saddled up horses and wagons and set out to find new land, and began by heading north. Along with the arrival of the Europeans, came their guns and steel; a huge technological advantage over the natives of Africa. As the Europeans travelled north they began encountering new tribes of Africa. Then one night, a native army surprised the Europeans, by attacking everyone without mercy, killing people of all ages. Approximately 300 Europeans (vor trekkers) lay dead in their tracks. The Europeans had crossed the border into 30,000 sq. miles of land inhabited by Zulu’s, a highly organized and sophisticated tribe with excellent military skills. Following the surprise attack, the Europeans prepared for war. On December 16, 1834, 10,000 Zulu’s charged the Europeans, who were prepared. The Europeans had a major advantage of the Zulu’s with the invention of the automatic machine gun, and rifles in...
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