Jared Diamond’s view on the spread of farming in the novel Guns, Germs and Steel

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Agriculture is believed to have taken hold about 12,000 years ago, resulting in a significant shift in civilization and the way people live. The novel Weapons, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond give insight into how agriculture expanded from a few places to different parts of the world. According to the scientist, the agricultural revolution has spread and is now virtually universal. A few tribes who were hunter-gatherers, on the other hand, survived. I agree with Jared Diamond’s view on the ways in which agriculture spread to the rest of the world.

Firstly, I concur with Jared Diamond’s view that 12,000 years all individuals on earth were hunters-gatherers. Individuals at that point in time lived at modest population densities due to the fact that the hunters-gatherers lifestyle is known to have yielded only food quantities that were modest, and very little or no food surpluses that could be stored (Gavashelishvili & Tarkhnishvili, 563). However, after the spread of agriculture, it fueled the increase of sedentary population societies with adequate storable food surpluses. This means that farmers were able to outbreed the hunters in a bid to produce more food that could cater for their sedentary lifestyles.

I concur with the author that technology played a crucial and vital part in the spread of agriculture from a few parts of the world to the rest of the world. Agricultural revolution is believed to have taken place after the European agriculture decided to shift from the various techniques of the past. This is because; new patterns of livestock utilization and crop rotation paved way for the production of better agricultural yields, ability of human beings to support more livestock as well as a greater diversity of vegetables and wheat. These particular changes are known to have impacted the society as human beings became healthier and better nourished. Due to advancement in technology, the earliest farmers began cultivating by use of forest gardening. The individuals farmed along river banks by eliminating undesirable species and protecting useful species such as vine and tree species.

The author is also right by claiming that agriculture spread after the killing of hunters or by driving them off all lands that were suitable for agriculture (Diamond, n.p). Research shows that those hunters-gatherers that did not change into farmers were displaced and in most cases conquered by farmers. This is because; as the size as well as number of the agricultural societies augmented, they then expanded into various lands that were traditionally being occupied and used by the hunters-gathers. However, this resulted in the development of various forms of government particularly in agricultural centers. This therefore continued over the years until land was owned by the fittest in the society displacing those individuals that were presumed weak. For instance, the Agricultural Revolution started in Great Britain and spread to other parts of the world. Therefore, the Enclosure Acts that had been passed in Great Britain permitted the wealthy lords to purchase different public fields and pushing out small-scale farmers. This in turn caused a migration of men who looked for wage labors in the various cities.

In conclusion, it is evident that agriculture started approximately 12000 years ago by spreading from a few parts of the world. The spread of agriculture was facilitated by development of technology, farmers outbreeding the hunters-gatherers as well as killing or driving them away from all lands that were depicted suitable for agriculture.

Work Cited

Gavashelishvili A & Tarkhnishvili D (2016). Biomes and human distribution during the last ice age. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25(5): 563

Diamond, Jared M. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2017. Internet resource.

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