How does Diamond explain China's unity and Europe's disunity?After this I am finished with my questions.  This is the only one I just can't get.  PLEASE post an answer.  Doesn't have to be...

How does Diamond explain China's unity and Europe's disunity?

After this I am finished with my questions.  This is the only one I just can't get.  PLEASE post an answer.  Doesn't have to be perfect just reasonable.  Thanks.

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Believe it or not, this is one of Diamond's easier concepts to understand.  Diamond's theory is that Europe was not unified, in part, due to the geography of Europe.  On page 414 we read that Europe's large and greatly indented coast line led to isolation of islands and communities.  These various isolated communities formed their own governments, cultures, and value systems.  China, on the other hand, had a long, but smooth coast.  Diamond continues to talk about the Korean Peninsula being isolated enough from China to develop a separate importance.  Europe had five isolated peninsulas that approached islands.  All of these individual countries, Greece, Italy, Iberia, Denmark, and Norway/Sweden, developed separate languages, ethnic groups and Governments.

China also had the geographic element of two major rivers which connected the whole country. 

"China very early became dominated by two huge geographic core areas of high productivity, themselves only weakly separated from each other and eventually fused into a single core.  Europe's two biggest rivers , the Rhine and Danube, are smaller and connect much less of Europe.  Unlike China Europe has many scattered small core areas, none big enough to dominate the others for long and each the center of chronically independent states." (pg 414-415)

 

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Guns, Germs, and Steel

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