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❶Robinson have achieved notoriety for demonstrating that diseases and terrain have helped shape tendencies towards democracy versus dictatorship, and through these economic growth and development. Economic historians Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff argue that factor endowments greatly affected "institutional" development in the Americas, by which they mean the tendency to more free democratic, free market or unfree dictatorial, economically restrictive regimes.

Guns, Germs, and Steel

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geographical determinism

Early writing was restricted to elites supported by food-producing peasants, and it served purposes of economically and socially complex food-producing societies such as royal propaganda, goods inventories, and bureaucratic record keeping. In general, societies that engaged in intense exchanges of crops, livestock, and technologies related to food production were more likely to become involved in other exchanges as well.

The New Guineans whom I know include potential Edisons. But they directed their ingenuity toward technological problems appropriate to their situations: This cultural barrier at Torres Strait is astonishing only because we may mislead ourselves into picturing a full-fledged New Guinea society with intensive agriculture and pigs 10 miles off the Australian coast. Instead, there was trade between New Guinea and the islands nearest New Guinea, then between those islands and Mabuiag Island halfway down the strait, then between Mabuiag Island and Badu Island farther down the strait, then between Badu Island and Muralug Island, and finally between Muralug and Cape York.

Europeans have never learned to survive in Australia or New Guinea without their inherited Eurasian technology. Robert Burke and William Wills were smart enough to write, but not smart enough to survive in Australian desert regions where Aborigines were living. The Americas' population now consists of a mixture of peoples originating from all continents except Australia.

That demographic shift of the last years—the most massive shift on any continent except Australia—has its ultimate roots in developments between about 11, B. I would say to Yali: It remains an open question how wide and lasting the effects of idiosyncratic individuals on history really are. Sign In Sign Up. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts.

The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Download this Lit Guide! LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Guns, Germs, and Steel , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Related Themes from Other Texts.

Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme…. How often theme appears: Easterly and Levine further observe that studies of how the environment directly influences land and labor were tarred by racist theories of underdevelopment, but that does not mean that such theories can be automatically discredited.

They argue that Diamond correctly stresses the importance of germs and crops in the very long-run of societal technological development. However, Easterly and Levine's findings most support the view that long-lasting institutions most shape economic development outcomes.

Relevant institutions include private property rights and the rule of law. Nugent and James A. Robinson similarly challenge scholars like Barrington Moore who hold that certain factor endowments and agricultural preconditions necessarily lead to particular political and economic organizations.

They favored smallholders, held elections, maintained small militaries, and fought fewer wars. Other states like El Salvador and Guatemala produced coffee on plantations, where individuals were more disenfranchised. Whether a state became a smallholder or plantation state depended not on factor endowments but on norms established under colonialism —namely, legal statues determining access to land, the background of the governing elites, and the degree of permitted political competition.

Historians have also noted population densities seem to concentrate on coastlines and that states with large coasts benefit from higher average incomes compared to those in landlocked countries. Coastal living has proven advantageous for centuries as civilizations relied on the coastline and waterways for trade, irrigation, and as a food source.

They also have to rely on costly and time consuming over-land trade, which usually results in lack of access to regional and international markets, further hindering growth. Additionally, interior locations tend to have both lower population densities and labor-productivity levels. However, factors including fertile soil, nearby rivers, and ecological systems suited for rice or wheat cultivation can give way to dense inland populations. Nathan Nunn and Diego Puga note that though rugged terrain usually makes farming difficult, prevents travel, and limits societal growth, early African states used harsh terrain to their advantage.

The results suggest that historically, ruggedness is strongly correlated with decreased income levels across the globe and has negatively impacted state growth over time.

They note that harsh terrain limited the flow of trade goods and decreased crop availability, while isolating communities from developing knowledge capital. However, the study also demonstrated that the terrain had positive effects on some African communities by protecting them from the slave trade.

Communities that were located in areas with rugged features could successfully hide from slave traders and protect their homes from being destroyed. The study found that in these areas rugged topography produced long-term economic benefits and aided post-colonial state formation.

The impact that climate and water navigability have on economic growth and GDP per capita was studied by notable scholars including Paul Krugman , Jared Diamond , and Jeffrey Sachs. To do so, they measure economic growth with GDP per capita adjusted to purchasing power parity PPP , while also taking into consideration population density and labor productivity.

Economic historians have found that societies in the Northern Hemisphere experience higher standards of living, and that as latitude increases north or south from the equator, levels of real GDP per capita also increases. Climate is closely correlated with agricultural production since without ideal weather conditions, agriculture alone will not produce the surplus supply needed to build and maintain economies.

Locations with hot tropical climates often suffer underdevelopment due to low fertility of soils, excessive plant transpiration, ecological conditions favoring infectious diseases, and unreliable water supply. They are also an economic drain on society due to high medical costs, and the unwillingness of foreign capital to invest in a sickly state. Because infectious diseases like malaria often need a warm ecology for growth, states in the mid to high latitudes are naturally protected from the devastating effects of disease.

Climatic determinism, otherwise referred to as the equatorial paradox, is an aspect of economic geography. The theory is the central argument of Philip M. The Basis for Long-Run Economic Growth , in which he argues that since humans originated as tropical mammals, those who relocated to colder climates attempt to restore their physiological homeostasis through wealth-creation.

This act includes producing more food, better housing, heating, warm clothes, etc. Conversely, humans that remained in warmer climates are more physiologically comfortable simply due to temperature, and so have less incentive to work to increase their comfort levels.

Therefore, according to Parker GDP is a direct product of the natural compensation of humans to their climate. Political geographers have used climatic determinism ideology to attempt to predict and rationalize the history of civilization, as well as to explain existing or perceived social and cultural divides between peoples.

Some argue that one of the first attempts geographers made to define the development of human geography across the globe was to relate a country's climate to human development.

Using this ideology, many geographers believed they were able "to explain and predict the progress of human societies". Ellsworth Huntington also travelled continental Europe in hopes of better understanding the connection between climate and state success, publishing his findings in The Pulse of Asia , and further elaborating in Civilization and Climate.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Geographic determinism. Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisation. Guns, Germs, and Steel.

States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control. Key concepts in political geography pp. Allyn Rickett , in Guanzi: A Study and Translation. Princeton University Press, p. Conceptions of Plague and Pestilence in Early Islam". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.

Key Debates in African American Studies. Retrieved 27 November Key concepts in political geography pg A History of the Paradigmatic Colonial Science. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. International Regional Science Review Journal of Archaeological Science. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Geographic factors mean physical and biological factors tied to geographic location, including climate, the distributions of wild plant and animal species, soils, and topography.

Non-geographic factors include those factors subsumed under the term culture, other factors subsumed under the term history, and decisions by individual people.

Some human phenomena and characteristics are overwhelmingly influenced by geographic factors; others are significantly influenced by both geographic and non-geographic factors; and still others are subject to scarcely any significant geographic influence at all. Among the latter is the failure of the attempt by German conspirators to kill Hitler on July 20, , an event that had big consequences for the course of the last year of World War Two, the lives of millions of people, and the resulting map of Europe today.

No geographic or environmental feature of Rastenburg ordained that the bomb would only wound Hitler. Similarly, the differences between the current economies of North and South Korea, or between those of the former East and West Germany, cannot be attributed to the modest environmental differences between North and South Korea, or between East and West Germany. Still other examples are the many differences between the attitudes of French and German people, e.

These differences are viewed as products of French and German culture and history for which no plausible geographic explanations have been advanced.


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The term “geographic determinism” is used by many scholars as a pejorative, to justify the quick dismissal of a proposed geographic interpretation of a human phenomenon. For example, the charge of geographic determinism is occasionally leveled at my book Guns, Germs, and Steel.

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Geographical determinism definition at cliffdockery6ovpcj6.ga, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Look it up now!

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Environmental determinism is the belief that the physical environment affects social and cultural development. This school of thought can be traced back to ancient Greek times but did not become. One that received much prominence in geographic history but has declined in recent decades of academic study is environmental determinism. What Is Environmental Determinism? Environmental determinism is the belief that the environment (most notably its physical factors such as landforms and/or climate) determines the patterns of .

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Frank Davey defines geographical determinism as "a belief that the landscape has or should have--effects on the personalities and perspectives of its inhabitants, [and] leads to the assumption that these effects should have greater importance to the individual than do other possible grounds of identity" (5). Here again geography played favourites. Eurasia had a lot of largish animals that people could try to domesticate, whereas in the Americas and Australasia almost all large animals that might have been domesticated became extinct at the end of the ice age.