ECO 321 Lecture 3: Rise and Fall of World Empires 3

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6 Feb 2017
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RAFOWE 3 1/31/17
Guns, Germs and Steelits message in summary
o Areas that can yield more productive crop yield more productive societies
o Produtie rops like heat a e fared to ield a lot of food, plus it’s ore
nutritious and easy to store.
More nutritious food means a healthier population, which leads to better
and faster population growth, and an increase in productivity.
o A surplus of food means people can spend more time developing their societies
and introducing politics and science and stuff.
Civilisations vs. Empires
o Civilisations: dependent on climate to produce productive crop (which needs to
be plentiful AND nutritious), help foster a healthy, growing populations, and
develop technology and security.
o Empires: inherently violent, need to come into existence using guns (military),
germs (disease/health, or lack thereof), and steel (technology).
Eiroetal deteriis: ou a’t get out of here ou started
Categories of Resources
o Natural
o Physical capital
o Human capital/Labour
o Entrepreneurship
o Technology
American exceptionalism: a concept in which Americans believe they are the most
intelligent and competent people on Earth.
o As a result, they lose incentive to make themselves better, which makes them
vulnerable to being surpassed.
Slavery and Advanced Society
o Superficially, slavery does help a civilization advance because it offers the
opportunity of large amounts of free labour.
o As time goes on, however, slavery can be a deterrent. When labour gets more
expensive, people try to invent technology to reduce the labour force, and ends
up advancing society that way. That invention of new technology would not
happen if slavery were still in place to make labour free or very cheap.
Egypt
Began around 3100 BCE in the Nile Delta, and ended around 760 BCE.
What is it about Egypt that makes them able to dominate?
o Surrounded by the Assyrians and the Hittites.
Productive crops and animals were spread out from the Fertile Crescent and caused an
eplosio of populatio i Egpt
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