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Human Expansion Through Environmental Interaction Essay

734 words - 3 pages

History is a dynamic topic due to the innumerable factors that define its outcome. To understand how history is shaped, it is important to look at both the advantageous and disadvantageous aspects of the theme relating to the interaction between humans and the environment relating to demography and disease, and technology. The theme relating to the formation of political entities is important in history because a political entity shows ideological and technological innovation. Political entities form various political structures and forms of governance that led to conflicts that illustrated the human capacity for violence. Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel details the human interaction with the environment through the extensive detail that was provided about the development and expansion of agricultural systems leading to population growth and the spread of disease. Guns, Germs, and Steel also provides detailed descriptions on how technological inventions come about and how those inventions have the capability to influence the world. In addition to the study of how humans interact with their environment, Guns, Germs, and Steel also provides an account on the hierarchy of political entities. Jared Diamond’s writing effectively teaches about the aforementioned themes through the use of historical examples that supplement his unequivocal style. However, Diamond’s writing is repetitive and details on the effect of technology on warfare is scarce.
Guns, Germs, and Steel details the hierarchy of political entities ranging from the small bands of less than eighty people to the states that dominate the planet. “From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy” begins detailing political hierarchies by stating that egalitarian and non-institutionalized nomadic bands and tribes are at the bottom of the political hierarchy. Bands and tribes are succeeded by chiefdoms that contain thousands of people kept in order by a chief who acquires his position through hereditary right, and usually serves as the sole centralized authority. Chiefdoms are followed by states that have far-reaching centralized control, taxation, and the ability to deal with internal conflict through the use of formalized law, judges, and police (Diamond 265-291). Guns, Germs, and Steel also explores conflict around the world, though only delineating Pizarro’s conquest of the Incan Empire. “Collision at Cajamarca” details the...

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