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Everything important that has happened to humans since the Paleolithic is due to environmental influences. History as a whole reflects these environmental differences and forces. Culture is largely irrelevant: Diamond proceeds systematically through the main phases of history in all parts of the world and tries to show, with detailed arguments, how each phase, in each major region, is explainable largely by environmental forces.
The final outcome of these environmentally caused processes is the rise and dominance of Europe. The essential argument is very clear and simple.
Almost all of history after the Ice Ages happened in the temperate midlatitudes of Eurasia. The natural environment of this large region is better for human progress than are the tropical environments of the world, and the other temperate or midlatitude regions -- South Africa, Australia, and midlatitude North and South America -- could not be central for human progress because they are much smaller than Eurasia and are isolated from it and from each other.
Although many civilizations arose and flourished in temperate Eurasia, only two were ultimately crucial, because of their especially favorable environments: Therefore Europe in the end was triumphant.
Diamond distinguishes between the "ultimate factors" that explain "the broadest patterns of history" and the "proximate factors," which are effects of the "ultimate factors" and explain short-term and local historical processes.
The "ultimate" factors are environmental. The most important of these "ultimate" factors are the natural conditions that led to the rise of food production. Those world regions that became agricultural very early gained a permanent advantage in history.
The "ultimate" causes led, in much later times, to regional variations in technology, social organization, and health; these, then, were the "proximate" causes of modern history.
More than half of Guns, Germs, and Steel is devoted to elucidating the "ultimate" causes, explaining why differing environments led to differing rates in the acquisition of agriculture, and explaining how the resulting differences largely determined the "fate" his word of different peoples.
The "ultimate" causes are three primordial environmental facts: The first and most basic cause is the shape of the continents: Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas.
Eurasia has an east-west axis; the other two have north-south axes. This has had "enormous, sometimes tragic consequences" for human history p.
Africa and the Americas were unable to progress throughout most of history because their "axes" are north-south, not east-west. But Diamond is not really talking about axes; mostly he is making a rather subtle argument about the climatic advantages that in his view midlatitude regions have over tropical regions.
Rather persistently neglecting the fact that much of this zone is inhospitable desert and high mountains, Diamond describes this east-west-trending midlatitude zone of Eurasia as the world region that possessed the very best environment for the invention and development of agriculture and, consequently, for historical dynamism.
Why would one expect the origins and early development of agriculture to take place in the midlatitude belt of Eurasia? Diamond notes, correctly, that there are thought to have been several more or less independent centers of origin, and only two lie in the temperate belt of Eurasia: China and the Near East his "Fertile Crescent".
Diamond needs -- for his central argument about environmental causes in history -- to show that these two midlatitude Eurasian centers were earlier and more important than tropical centers New Guinea, Ethiopia, West Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Mesoamerica, the Andes Indeed, at various places in Guns, Germs, and Steel the traditional Eurocentric message is conveyed that the Fertile Crescent and Mediterranean Europe are a single historical region; that history naturally moved westward.
The priority of the Fertile Crescent, according to Diamond, resulted from its climate in relation to the distribution of cultivable grains a second "ultimate factor". First he eliminates tropical regions because tropical domesticates are mainly non-grain crops.
He uses an old and discredited theory to claim that root crops and the like yams, taro, etc. Whatever deficiencies some of these staples may have had were amply compensated for by eating more of them, along with supplementary foods.
He dismisses tropical grains. Maize, he says, is less nutritious than the main Fertile Crescent grain domesticates, wheat and barley apparently confusing moisture content and nutritiousnessand since early domesticated varieties of maize had small cobs and kernels, it would follow he thinks that maize took much longer than other grains did to become fully domesticated.
Rice is simply declared to have been domesticated in midlatitude China, not tropical Asia.This essay explores how Cleopatra came to power in Egypt and how her relationships with the Roman Empire ultimately determined the fate of her country Cleopatra is one of the most famous women in the world history and certainly the most influential female ruler of all times.
Humanity lives today in a “global village” where no people or nation can live in isolation from and indifference to what goes on elsewhere. Whatever food the restaurant did serve didn’t suggest the encyclopedic breadth of her cookbook. Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook, originally published by Signet Books before falling out of print for 45 years, was a tome of recipes sourced from the life she’d led for four vilakamelia.com was a mettled, plucky girl from the South Carolina town of Spartanburg who was orphaned at The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium).It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued .
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Sep 28, · The Essay My Life in Food Joanna Robertson has a deep connection with food that has shaped her life and relationships in several countries.
Now she lives in France, not because of the food .