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Atenea (Concepción)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0462


BELLISARIO, Antonio. Las "semillas" de la discordia del desarrollo geográfico desigual: O por qué los incas no conquistaron Europa. Atenea (Concepc.) [online]. 2006, n.494, pp.111-126. ISSN 0718-0462.

What are the factors for the differing development rates of the world's societies since the Neolithic revolution? Many argue for biological, "racial" differences while others stress cultural differences or historical contingency as leading causes for the uneven development of human history. In this article we engage with the argument presented by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, where he convincingly argues for ecological and geographical differences between the continents as the fundamental causes. The central key to understanding human history is food production, or the domestication of plants and animals. Those societies that secured food production were able to produce reliable food surpluses, which allowed urban and stratified societies to come into existence. And then, they developed culture, technology, government, as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war _and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. The rise of cities and civilization happened in Eurasia (the Fertile Crescent) long before it happened elsewhere in great part because of the presence of so many domesticable plants and animals. This, rather than any innate superiority of its inhabitants, led to its becoming the "cradle of civilization". Other peoples of the world never had a chance. Either they had no suitable plants at all, or had too few, and began farming too late, and so they were overwhelmed by the descendants of the Eurasians who had begun to urbanize 9,000 years ago

Palabras clave : Unequal development; Eurasia; agriculture; animal domestication; germs and illness.

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