Economics 4130 AU17 Midterm 1 Review The exam will have 7, 10-point questions on it from the questions below. 1. (4 points) According to Jared Diamond, why were the indigenous crops of Mesopotamia so beneficial (in contrast to those of New Guinea? (6 points, 2 each) Provide 3 reasons why, according to Guns, Germs, and Steel Episode 1, the indigenous animals of the Fertile Crescent, where so beneficial. Cereal Crops: Wheat and Barley • Easily stored, durable • Sustain harsh growing conditions • Nutritious, high calorie content • Tasty • Easy to plant and harvest Animals could be used for their milk, providing an ongoing source of protein. Animals’ harry and skins could be used to make clothes for extra warmth. Using the animals as beasts of burden/plowing, and using the animals for transportation or warfare. In addition, animals were important to farming because they could eat the stubble from the fields and provide the fields with fertilizer at the same time. 2.(7 points) The evolution of economic organization from hunter-gatherer to settled agriculture to more complex civilizations proceeded at vastly different paces in different parts of the world. Explain why the pace of development on the Eurasian landmass was so much more rapid than in Africa and the Americas. (3points) Describe and explain Australian development before European settlement. a. The people of the Eurasian landmass were blessed with more efficient natural plant and wildlife. b. Plentiful wheat and barley, which had high calories and protein, could be stored for long periods of time. c. Food surplus allowed people to develop new skills and focus less on simply hunting and gathering.
d. They also had animals that fit the necessary qualifications to be domesticated. Unlike the Americas and Africa, the major axis of Eurasia is east/west, facilitating rapid diffusion of crops and livestock and migration of people over long distances without encountering different latitudes, day lengths, climates or diseases. Australia has a longer history of hunter-gatherer societies. In native Australia, agriculture, government, metal tools, and writing had not been discovered by the time Europeans settled there. New Guinea had bows and arrows, agriculture, domestic animals, and pottery from Indonesia. Tasmania had no fire starting technology, bone/stone tools, sewing, nets, traps, ropes, no fishing. Even smaller societies on even smaller island died out. 3. (4 points, 1 each) What can researchers infer about the standards of living based on the following historical data sources: censuses, tax records, church records, and femur bones (to infer heights)? (6 points, 2 each) What can economic historians infer about a society based on the following indicators: Adult Literacy Rates, the Rate of Inflation, and the Percentage of the Labor Force Engaged in Agriculture?
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