Week2Summary - Week 2 Summary Fogel Robert The Escape from...

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Week 2 Summary Fogel, Robert. The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100, Europe, America and the Third World . Points to note: Life expectancy—how much did it improve in Europe, and when? Declines in mortality due to a broad set of reasons: e.g. better health, better nutrition, better public health, better medicines. Decline in the variation of mortality rates from period-to-period. Why did this happen? Caloric intake and heights. Compare extent of improvements for lower classes before 1890 with gains over the 20 th century. Improvements in heights and life expectancy were not monotonic over time. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel. Motivating question: Why did human development proceed at such different rates on different continents? What enables some peoples to conquer other peoples? Some of the reasons behind the fates of different societies might have simply to do with geography. The key question for chapter 10 is what effect did the orientation of the axis of continents have on the subsequent development of world societies? The ability to produce food enabled hunter-gatherers to become by stages, farmers and herders, and it was the latter group that had a head start on economic development. Farming supports a denser population than hunting. Farmers also tended to live under centralized governments with a sliver of the literate population waging wars on other populations, and producing more advanced technologies. Thus Europe, although not an originator of domestication, received early the advantages of early farming and domestication because of its proximity to the Fertile Crescent. Major points: 1) There were only several regions of the world where domestication of the major food crops and animals occurred for certain: Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, and eastern U.S. 2) Wide latitudes rather than longitudes determines the fate of people through agriculture
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2008 for the course ECON 4514 taught by Professor Shuie during the Fall '08 term at Colorado.

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Week2Summary - Week 2 Summary Fogel Robert The Escape from...

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