Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What influenced life in the island societies of Polynesia?

2. The Maori and Moriori had what in common?

3. The ability of societies to have non-food producing specialists, like soldiers, was due to what?

4. The Giant Leap Forward was which of the following?

5. Why did it take people longer to cultivate fruit tress?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was a north-south axis a disadvantage in the domestication of plants?

2. What is one new piece of information that has come to light since Diamond's work was first published?

3. Why did societies in New Guinea and Australia develop differently?

4. Why does Diamond believe that a shift in climate is not the best explanation for the mass extinctions of animals?

5. What are the four linguistic families found in China?

6. What does Diamond argue determined when a group would adopt food production?

7. How is the production of food related to the advantages of guns, germs, and steel?

8. How did the domestication of animals give some societies an advantage?

9. Infectious diseases that become epidemics tend to share what characteristics?

10. What are the three basic strategies for writing systems?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What influences a hunter-gatherer society to become food producers? What is surprising about this transition?

Essay Topic 2

Why were Europeans able to conquer many of the groups in the Americas? Give specific examples of the advantages that the Europeans had and address why they had these advantages.

Essay Topic 3

What advantages did writing give a society? What was early writing typically used for? Using an example, show how writing gave one society an advantage over another.

(see the answer keys)

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