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. The arrival of founder crops enabled local populations to become what?

2. Eurasia's axis runs in what type of line?

3. The idea that there is a sharp divide between nomadic hunter-gatherers and sedentary food producers is what?

4. What crop was domesticated in Ethiopia before spreading around the globe?

5. How did the Moriori avoid conflict?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Diamond's objective in studying the societies of Polynesia?

4. What are several stages in the development of plant domestication? Which plants were domesticated in each stage?

5. Why is the axis of a continent important?

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

7. How are seeds dispersed?

8. Where did writing develop and what was it like?

9. What is one other explanation (different than Diamond's) to explain the uneven distribution of wealth and power.

10. What advantages did the Bantu have over other African groups?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How would you answer Yali's question: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea but we black people had little cargo of our own?" Do you think that Diamond missed any aspects in his answer to Yali's question?

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

(see the answer keys)

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