Category Archives: History

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, historian Jared Diamond attempts to answer the question of why some societies succeed over others. More specifically, he sets out to discover why the European civilization apparently managed to spread out over most of the globe, conquering along its way, while the societies and civilizations on other continents — the civilizations of Africa or the New World or Australia, for example — did not. The perennial example that Diamond uses in his book is the fall of the Incan empire to the Spanish Conquistadores: the Conquistadores brought about the fall of the Incas in a decisive battle where thousands of Native American warriors died, but not a single Spanish soldier did, even though the Spanish were vastly outnumbered. Diamond suggests that the Spanish victory was due to their superior weaponry and their superior political organization.

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