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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Chapter 2 "A Natural Experiment of History" Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 2 "A Natural Experiment of History" Summary and Analysis

In 1935, a group of 900 Maori on the Chatham Islands east of New Zealand were outnumbered two to one. Despite the odds, the Maori killed and enslaved the Moriori. Diamond argues that this example is illustrative of many other conflicts and conquests globally and he uses it as a small scale "experiment" to test how environments influence societies.

From 1200 B.C. to around A.D. 1000, the diverse islands of Polynesia were settled. The new inhabitants of all these islands shared the same culture, language, technology, and sets of domesticated plants and animals. This allows us to see how different environments shaped and influenced the societies that colonized the islands. The Maori and the Moriori developed very differently, despite having common ancestors. The Moriori lived on sparsely populated islands as hunter-gatherers, as the domesticated plants...

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This section contains 525 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Study Guide
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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