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Pierre Desrochers

Spanish success not attributable to:  Native allies  Psychological novelty  Weapons/horses  Being mistaken for gods But to a few proximate factors…  Weapons/horses (Spanish steel vs stone weapons. Horses could move messengers faster)  Smallpox (already decimated Inca Empire, led to civil war between Atahuallpa and Huascar (half-brother))  Naval Power  Political organization  Writing Military Critique:  Invasion ultimately succeeded not through fighting but when the influx of settlers was large enough to overwhelm native populations in target areas. Hegemony is not the same as conquest. Except for Mexico (1521), no real major invasion... wars, battles, reinforcements etc. More internal revolution against Aztecs rather than European Invasion… Role of Disease: disease wiped out the natives in later years rather than at first when the Spanish showed up Hunter Gatherers:  Ate better  Worked less  Were taller  (perhaps) healthier Why agriculture bad for health?  Diet (cheap calories, but poor nutrition) / H-G: varied diet. / Early Farmers: 1 or few starchy crops  Greater risk of starvation if crop failure  Crowding: a spread of parasites and infectious diseases Backlash:  Very low birthrate  High death ratio (40% of children under 15 died)  Infanticide and senilicide  Very high homicide rate  Life expectancy (201 new victim, still winning evolutionary strategy How do humans cope with germs?  Fever (attempt to bake germs to death)  Immune System  White blood cells and other cells  Some immune effects are temporary/permanent (vaccination efficient)  Natural Selection  Some people more resistant than others, evolutionary effect on people repedeately exposed to a particular pathogen Characteristics of epidemic disease:  spread quickly and efficient  acute” illnesses (either die or recover quickly)  people who recover are often immune for life  tend to be restricted to humans Results of Epidemic Diseases: Everybody affected, either:  Dead  Recovered and immune No one left alive who could still be infected Diseases die out until:  New crops of babies reaches susceptible age  Infectious person arrives Why did fewer diseases evolve in the Americas? Few domesticated animals. Only suitable candidates: llamas, but  Total number <<< European cattle  Never spread beyond Andes  Kept in smaller erds  People didn’t drink their milk  Did not keep llamas indoors  Did not live close to cites, more rural areas Cocolitzli: 1545 & 1576 Local hemorrhagic fever: rather than old world disease  Dormant in (most likely) rodents  Drought concentrated rodents, spreading the infection  Rain comes back, rodents repopulate and spread virus to humans  Humans transmitted virus to other humans Why Indians and not Spaniards? 1. Nutrition:  better/worst nourished  diet (meat,wine, bread? 2. Field work DON’T KNOW THE QESTION. One version… De soto’s pigs probably escaped:  Spread diseases to wildlife  Ultimately reached natives On the other hand:  Not enough archaeological evidence of large populations  DeSoto’s men might have exaggerated… But if true:  Humans = Keystone species  Their removal drastically alters ecosystems. Discussion of writing: 1. Blueprint copying (copy/modify available detailed print) 2. Idea diffusion (basic idea; reinvent details) Diamonds two main points on invention:  Cumulative development, not isolated heroic acts  Most uses found after invented 4 factors influencing acceptance of new technologies: 1. Advantages over alternatives 2. Social value and prestige 3. Compatibility with vested interests 4. Ease of seeing advantages 14 factors (pros and cons) affecting receptivity among societies Long Life Expectancy: 1. Life experience 2. Time to embark on venture Ideological Reasons:  Risk-taking behavior  Scientific outlook  Tolerance of diverse views  Religion Economics/Organization Society:  Cheap slave labor  Patents and property laws  Opportunities technical training  Financial rewards to invention  Individualism (i.e financial returns not divided among all relatives) Other Factors:  War  Centralized government  Climate (good or bad)  Resource abundance (or not) Geography & Invention Where do new inventions come from? - Most borrowed rather than ‘invented’ Some socities  See or learn of an invention  Are receptive to it  And adopt it Societies lacking invention overwhelmed and replaced if disadvantage >>> great Diffusion, maintenance and development of technology  Continental axis  Time of onset of food production  Barriers to diffusion  Human population size Can also facilitate: diversity/competing and government stru
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