In historian Jared Diamond’s book and film Guns, Germs and Steel, he attempts to explain why some parts of the world are more economically sound than others. The facts Diamond delves into extend back thousands of years. Some civilizations had what Diamond referred to as “geographic luck”, meaning that some lands were situated in an environment better suited for agriculture and other resource gathering. Other civilizations were also unable to domesticate animals that would have made farming and living on the land easier. Domesticated animals provided milk, fur, meat, as well as the ability to feed off leftover crop beds and create dung to fertilize future crops. Jared Diamond’s main argument is that indigenous peoples did not lack ingenuity, but did lack the geographic luck of other territories. Journalist Fareed Zakaria did not wholly agree with the concept of “geographic luck”. Zakaria makes his own claims about how the West was able to advance more quickly than Afro-Eurasian nations, starting by explaining the problem’s origins. In the 1430s, the latest rulers …show more content…
Chinese leaders could not collectively agree on an approach, and Beijing’s new rulers saw very little value in naval affairs. Seafaring expeditions proved to be costly, forcing higher taxes on an already depraved population. They believed that the financial risk was not worth the little return. Trade did flourish when the Chinese made connections with Western explorers, however the exploits of trade did not benefit the country as a whole. Mongolians and other raiders posed a serious threat to China’s frontier. Dealing with these invaders consumed resources that could have otherwise been used to solve the issues with trade. While China turned away from the outside world, Europe was constantly making expeditions to foreign lands. Their naval ventures allowed them to spread their influence and power throughout the
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During the period between 1450 and 1750, European traders started to get more involved in Chinas and Japan's politics. One similarity between China and Japan in their relations with European traders is that in both countries european traders were welcomed at first, however the relationship soon turned sour. In China, the Qing dynasty sold limited trading privileges to European powers but confined them only to Guangzhou. The British was not satisfied with this arrangement, so they asked for more trading rights. As a result, In a letter to King George III Emperor Qianlong states that the chinese had no need for British products.
Africa is known as the origin of the human race. Since that is the case, Africa has had the most opportunities to impress the modern world. Africa has done just that. Africa had three major kingdoms, each of which were major successes. Throughout history, Africa’s kingdoms have utilized their natural resources to become some of the most prosperous kingdoms the world has ever seen.
Jared Diamond, the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, was asked a question by New Guinean politician named Yali. Yali asks, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” Jared then thinks about this question. He realizes it is a rather difficult question.
Disparities in development, power, and technology highlight the role of success and dominance that shape the course of history. The theme of the book seeks to understand the significant disparities and prompts exploration of factors, geographical, environmental, and historical circumstances that led to the unequal distribution of power. Lack of resources, inborn differences, social distinction, and the limited opportunities many indigenous people had were among the many challenges they faced. Diamond's narration is factual while both explaining the context and events that shape the course of history. The tone is neutral while still emphasizing each aspect of causation and effect when explaining native societies and European motives.
Struggling to maintain social order and strength, the Qing Dynasty placed restrictions on opium trade; however, this backfired, provoking retaliation from British traders and leading to a war that would create the Unequal Treaties. The detrimental socio economic effects opium had on China were beginning to surface during the late 1830’s, causing an influx of smokers and a decline in bullion. Although China’s economy suffered, this was the most viable foreign trade option for the British. There was low demand for the cotton the British offered to China, but the increased profits from opium would do more than compensate. Thus, British merchants took various measures to circumvent China’s policies to stop the illicit trade and managed to find
This treaty compelled China to sign a series of unequal agreements that gave Britain access to Chinese ports and territory, including the takeover of Hong Kong for a century. The influx of foreign goods and the loss of control over trading markets caused significant economic losses for China, which were compounded by the widespread use of opium among the Chinese population. As a result, the Chinese economy suffered a catastrophic blow, leaving many civilians struggling to make ends meet. Zhang Kaiyuan, a distinguished professor of international law at Peking University, argues that the treaty was a result of unequal negotiations that did not respect China's territorial integrity. The Opium Wars also had a profound impact on China's political stability, with many questioning the effectiveness of their government in dealing with foreign challenges.
Growing up, I have always had an interest in geography and thinking about different countries and what makes them the way that they are. I have not been in a geography class since middle school and Human Geography was a class that made me think about things I have never thought of before. The readings of both Kropotkin and Mackinder brought up very interesting points, some that conflict and others that agree. Each author writes in a way that stimulates and makes you think about geography and certain topics in different ways which I find to be very rare in writings from this time period. Discussing Kropotkin’s and Mackinder’s general ideas, points they disagree or agree on, and my own views on the topic will all be discussed in this final paper.
Agriculture was a major part of most Chinese people’s daily life and they were satisfied with their lives. Many people did not want to be influenced by industrialization and the western ways of Europeans. This did not matter to the Europeans however, as they wanted the silk, tea and porcelain that was only coming from China. According to Tao He’s article, British Imperialism in China,
These invaders had wished to invade China but the wall made a
Acquisition and discovery are two extremely separated concepts, as one is fueled by the unknown, while the other is driven on by the known. Since the popular discovery of the Western Hemisphere, European expenditures and ventures to unchartered lands have constantly taken place, evermore mapping the Earth. However, once the geography of the World was understood, those same Europeans began movements to seize and occupy the lands they were once mystified and intrigued by. Although the Age of Discovery and the time of New Imperialism share similarities, regarding where each took place, in lands outside of Europe, the differences between the two are obviously more pronounced. To begin with, the Age of Discovery, which occurred in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, can
Unfortunately, this thinking prevented the Chinese from learning from western technology and science. As a result the West was able to easily defeat the Qing in key battles such as the Opium War in 1839 to 1841. In contrast to the Ottomans, the Qing was unable to compromise with the West and Europe forced its way into China. However, both societies were influenced by Western methods, despite attempts to restore traditional ideology and campaigns by both Chinese
In 1895, Japan took over a large part of China and so did the Europeans in the late 1890s due to China’s leaders’ lack of power to control their nation by opening up its doors for them to trade and them taking an advantage of it. Many of the US business and government leaders worried they were not give equal opportunity to trade with them so they proposed the Open Door Policy with China. The policy stated all nations will be allowed to trade freely in and with China. Europeans this to be the benefit of the US and would take away their power in China so they did not accept. Later European accepted the Open Door Policy after more than 200 foreigners were killed in the Boxer Rebellion.
Every civilization throughout history has their ups and downs. What if these ups and downs could all be connected back to one main factor, to one influence? Throughout history, it can be noticed that the location of a civilization affects the shape of its culture, economy, trade, and security of its borders. It defines which societies rise to power and which lose power. Geography influences history in many ways, as can be seen in the Indus Valley, Greece, and Aksum civilizations.
In modern society, guns are seen as a form of control. Those who have guns are able to overpower those who do not. This trend was set when guns were first invented and has stayed the same throughout history. The one place where guns are not a symbol of power and control is in literature, specifically “The Old Gun” and Hamilton. In Mo Yan’s short story “The Old Gun”, the protagonist is a hungry boy who does not even know how to use the titular firearm.