Free «Guns, Germs, and Steel» Essay Sample

Jared (1999; p. 39) refers to a major turn in human history (that initiated 50,000 years ago) as ‘Great Leap Forward’. Standardized stone tools of East African sites, ostrich-shell beads (preserved jewelry) and origin of modern language are some of the initial highlighted elements of the Great Leap Forward. It converses extension of humans beyond Africa. Big animals disappeared after the arrival of humans. They were either killed off or indirectly eliminated by increasing human populace. Human colonization became a source of animal extinction (p. 42, 43). These extinct animals included some species of rhino (diprotodonts), elephants, tigers, leopard, one-ton lizard, a giant python and land-dwelling crocodiles. Africa had great advantage over other parts of the globe. However, when humankind once arrived in the continent, they spread their wings and swiftly adapted the conditions. It indeed gave big advantages to later people; as without evolution of cave paintings, the foundation stone of modern society was not possible.

The Polynesians are an illustration of a small-scale test, which shows that environment sets the direction of a society. Polynesians scattered in large geographical sites (thousands of Pacific Islands) with a range of diversified area, isolation, evaluation, spread of crop (taro, yam, potato, breadfruit, banana, coconuts), technology and an east-west axis (similar climate across the region). The origin of culture, movements of people across huge geographical parts, increase in technological movement, spread of crop, diversification and climates are the factors behind the advancement of society (61-65).

According to Jared (p. 68) “Atahuallpa were essentially the same ones that determined the outcome of many similar collisions between colonizers and native peoples elsewhere in the modern world.” The event of November 16, 1532 was the most dramatic turn in the history of Atahuallpa and Spain. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro surrounded the largest and advanced state Atahuallpa with a military troop of 168 soldier groups and captured the most leading state of times (p.67). In my view, the event of November 16, 1532 is a remarkable moment of greatest collision in modern history and displays an extensive window onto world history. However, to me an astonishing fact is that no Spaniards died in the attack. Military power of Pizarro with steel swords, steel armors, guns and fast horses stood stern against Atahuallpa’s troops, who had only stone, bronze or wooden clubs. Besides, Spaniards had support from Native Americans. Pizarro seized the Inca chain of command and captured Atahuallpa. Another factor was the ‘existence of writing’. Fast, accurate and reliable communication played an integral role.


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