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ECON 3R03 Lecture Notes - Fertile Crescent, Iva Annua, Fish Hooks

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Jack Leach

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Why was the New World So Underdeveloped when Europeans arrived? Zahra Haidari March 4th 2013
Eurasia has an east-west orientation
Climate is broadly similar across much of the landmass
crops domesticated in the Fertile Crescent spread rapidly
to other areas
Would later spread to the “neo-Europes”: New Zealand,
Australia, Canada, United States, South Africa, Chile
Eurasia 19/20 were engaged in producing food
China had faster development occurring
Fortunate endowments- we see early developments of agriculture and civilization.
Farming in the New World
● Corn was the leading crop of North America
● The ancestors of modern corn were much less
productive in the wild
Less seed, and the seeds were enclosed in hard
Had to be selectively cultivated for hundreds or
thousands of years to attain high productivity
Development of corn took place in central America
It has a north south orientation therefore the climate would not allow the crop to be grown everywhere
It took a long time to adopt crops because of geographical location, technology spread a lot slower
● North America has north-south orientation, with
many natural barriers (mountains or deserts) that
separate it into isolated regions
The transfer of crops was slow and difficult ● “Foundation” crops of eastern North America
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