Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Study Guide Chapter 14 "From Egalitarian to Kleptocracy" Summary & Analysis

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"The combination of government and religion has thus functioned, together with germs, writing, and technology, as one of the four main sets of proximate agents leading to history's broadest pattern" (pg. 267). Although there are many ways to characterize societies, one way is to use a simple classification based on four categories, band, tribe, chiefdom, and state. Bands are the smallest societies, from five to eighty people, and tend to be nomadic, relatively egalitarian, and lack institutions. Tribes are the next stage beyond bands and are characterized by hundreds of people rather than dozens, fixed villages, egalitarian systems of government, and a lack of bureaucracies and taxes. Chiefdoms, which disappeared in the early 20th century, are characterized by larger sizes than tribes, or several thousands of people, a redistributive economy, a monopoly of force, and a...

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This section contains 873 words
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Buy the Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Study Guide
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