someone showed me this book its titled germs guns and steel, or something like that but it talks about why European countries had empires and huge cities while in the continents of north and south America there were only tribes of indians and why the european countries sent ships west instead of the indians of America sending ships east i have not read the book yet but one of the things it talks about that caused the countries of europe to build enmpires is that they had wheat and cows and chickens most of the European countries have a mediterrian (sp?) climate and they had crops such as wheat and animals like cows and chickens while in the America's they had animals that had to be hunted like buffalo, deer, ect. Because Europe had crops like wheat and animals that were tamed and could live among people they were able to gather large ammounts of food to feed large cities while in the America's the only food they could get had to be hunted and because of that they could not feed large cities which is why they did not have large cities in the Americas like they did in Europe However, because Europe had the animals like cows and chickens with them in their large cities they also became infected with many diseases that come from animals such as small pox. And when the European countries sent ships over to the Americas they were able to kill entire Indian empires (which consisted of small tribes) with only a few men because of the diseases that they carried which they got from the animals. For example the Island where Haiti now is once consisted of around 2-3 million indians and around 60 years after European settlers came over to America the island was vacant. I dont know much more about what that book is about but i thought it was very interesting to look at it that way and that the Empires in Europe came into existance mainly because they had wheat cows and chicken while other continents didnt
A new sense of nuisance.
8th December 2003
hmm indeed it is interesting but i am a little confused with some of those insights...
Nusentinsainohmm indeed it is interesting but i am a little confused with some of those insights...
sorry about that i think i should have been more specific about that but like i said i havnt read the book and i posted only what i heard
It is a good book. I've also met the author when he came to give a speech at my university. He seems a nice guy. I don't remember all its assertions (I read it a long time ago), but I think many of his lines of reasoning are well supported by science. For example, looking at the disease and resistance argument, genetics data on human populations before and after the Middle Ages in Europe show an increase in certain genes known to give better protection against smallpox and bubonic plague (caused by Yersinia pestis). There has been a definite and measurable genetic shift in Europeans because of serious diseases. Similar events probably happened in other cultures exposed to the same diseases like Asian and African ones. But isolated ones, such as Polynesian people living on remote islands, Australian aborigines, and North and South American natives, people who were effectively insulated against these diseases, were not forced to become resistant, and when they met up with resistant populations living with those diseases, it was bloody slaughter. As many of you have probably read, millions and millions of deaths attributed to smallpox in the New World alone after the arrival of Europeans. Europeans explorers and conquerors could kill thousands of natives with guns, but germs could kill millions more silently with a cough, sneeze, or pustule.
I'm way cooler than n0e (who isn't though?)
14th April 2004
it makes sense, what is the name of the author?
"Hey you savages! Here! I have brought some blankets for you!"
yes, i to am curious...
No empires in the Americas? Three words: Aztecs, Incans and Myans. I know, technicaly that was South America, but the Aztecs extended as far north as Texas.
pr3|)/-\t0rNo empires in the Americas? Three words: Aztecs, Incans and Myans. I know, technicaly that was South America, but the Aztecs extended as far north as Texas.
yes they did have empires but they were very different than the empires in Europe for the most part the Aztec empire was made up of small tribes and they did have cities but they were nothing like the cities in Europe because they did not have the rescorces to feed a large city
Guns Germs and Steel yes, great book. The author, Jared Diamond just came out with a new book, Collapse I think, on why civilazations collapse.