Why is important to understand when and why people became farmers?Please give me the page # if possible, and where you can locate the answer if you are responding to this question.

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Look in Chapter 4, which begins on page 85 for more details, but here is my explanation and answer to your question.

The theory that Jared Diamond poses regarding the importance of farming is relevant to all societies.  When a group learns how to farm the land and then as a result of being able to grow their food, a shift occurs.  The shift that occurs is from the group being hunter/gatherers, who as a rule, have to follow the food, or the herd, having no stable homes or established villages, where farmers put down roots both in the soil and by creating a home, village a stable, permanent community.

Stable farming communities provide more shelter and food for its people which helps the community to grow in population numbers.  So farming communities can sustain families and children grow to adulthood in the community where there is continuity of food and shelter.

Stable, permanent communities that do not have to worry about food supplies, begin to use their energy for other purposes such as exploring and conquering their neighbors. So societies that are able to establish farm communities and succeed in sustaining their people through farming, are those societies who advance quicker than the societies that remain or lag as hunter/gatherers.

On page 92, Diamond ends Chapter 4 this way,

"In short, plant and animal domestication meant much more good and hence much denser populations.  The resulting food surpluses, and in some areas, the animal-based means of transporting those surpluses were a prerequisite for the development of settled, politically centralized, socially stratified, economically complex, technologically innovative societies." (Diamond)

Read the study guide:
Guns, Germs, and Steel

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