1. Explain the main idea/write a summary of Diamond's main points in Chapter 10 of Guns, Germs, and Steel.
2.Cite two pieces of evidence from Chapter 10 that support the main ideas that you claim. (include page numbers)
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In Chapter 10 of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond tries to understand why it was easy for agriculture to spread from place to place in some areas and not in others. We have seen in previous chapters that farming societies are more powerful and wealthier than non-farming societies. We have also seen that farming only arose independently in a few parts of the world. So why did farming spread from some places to others very easily even though it failed to spread in other parts of the world? Diamond’s main idea in this chapter is that farming can spread most easily along a long east-west axis like the one in Eurasia and not along north-south axes like those of Africa and the Americas. In addition, farming can spread when there are no major geographical obstacles in the way.
One piece of evidence for this is found on p. 181. There, Diamond shows us a map that demonstrates that crops from the Fertile Crescent spread across western Eurasia rather quickly. This is in Figure 10.2. Much of western Eurasia is at more or less the same latitude as the Fertile Crescent so crops from the Fertile Crescent can typically grow in western Eurasia (because climates are similar at similar latitudes).
A second piece of evidence can be found on p. 187. There, Diamond shows us that crops and animals spread relatively quickly from the Fertile Crescent to the Balkans but that they did not spread from the Andes to Mexico. Diamond shows that this is because there are no real physical barriers between the two places in Eurasia while there hot lowland areas in Central America that prevent crops and animals from spreading from the cool highlands of the Andes to the cool highlands of Mexico.
The main point of this chapter, then, is that Eurasia was more conducive to the spread of agriculture than the Americas or Africa. This was because of the geography of the various land masses, not because of the characteristics of the people who lived there.
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