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Something to do with having the right climate in Northern Europe that allowed for agricultural production to produce a surplus, meaning that not everyone had to be a farmer/working all day to produce food just to survive, thereby allowing the development of other industries, as well as other, cultural, advancements.
BTW, I'm not saying this is fact or the full story.
I would imagine buying and selling things from there would be tricky, especially invoicing.
other logic would be totally nature nurture.
It also includes the countries where Prince Philip is worshipped as a god.
is as developed or undeveloped as I allow it to be. And frankly I just don't care for Africa much. Too much sun.
sandels or shoes and they go into your brain and lay there eggs
And innovation I guess. In Britain we had the Industrial Revolution which helped us to create lots of goods in a short space of time, jobs to facilitate these goods, and consumerism to buy said goods.
Influx of bullion into Europe from the New World.
that someone in my house recorded recently and is sitting on the Sky+ box. Over 2 hours long so need to find a time to sit down and watch. Looks complicated and the author seems like he could be really annoying to listen to for that long.
The arguments in this book & their rebuttals are very interesting to muse on. Development geography is a fascinating subject.
I also think it's worth exploring other hypotheses alongside this.. there are a few good books on the philosophical differences between cultures and how these can help shape (in a memetic sense) the evolution of society. As someone hints at above, the nurture side of the argument comes into play here.
Alongside the external conflicts & internal reinforcing factors outlined in Guns, Germs & Steel, there are also interesting cases of external interdependency & internal dysfunction which are fun to explore. Mancur Olson's 'The Rise & Decline of Nations' & Joseph Tainter's 'The collapse of complex societies' are quite good books on this front.
I'm also enjoying looking forward with this stuff, there's a book I have on my list to pick up: 'Technological empowerment: The internet, state & society in China' which I think will be quite good in this front. Derrida's 'A new philosophy of society' is tough going (and probably needs some background in deleuze & others) but can be quite enlightening, as can some of Alexander Galloway's stuff, though this is very much internet-based.
Lots of cool arguments to digest & think on, not that I'd specifically advocate any of them, but the concepts are fun to explore, although you may end up being as dull as me.
Have you read this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/030014332X/ ?
It's a cracking good book.
banking, east india tea company, empire, greed, subjugation of countries, cultures and their resources....and racism.
Part 1) [following on from Verbal's answer] - Industrial Revolution.
Part 2) [following on from countzero's answer] - Imperialism/Colonialiism.
it was useful to have a leader that was;
c) persuasive (by whatever means)
c) had no qualms about kicking seven bells of shite out of other folk in the name of religion.
But pre-industrial revolution, the vast majority of any countries' populations outside of the gentry were largely penniless (and thus powerless). So the disparity between various countries was much less marked than today.
The disparity was more a case of plebs on the one hand. And royalty on the other (who were to busy fcuking and fighting with each other to care about things like equality).
it was trade...
the consequences of flooding Europe with Gold wasn't intentional..and it sowed the seeds of the destruction of large empires with lots of horizontal modes of production....it favoured small economies like Britain that could then go out and carve up dying giants like the Ottoman Empire
but it was essentially a case of:
"Hi. We're new here. You have two options. a) We kill you and nick what we want, or b) You become our bitch and trade with us at favourable rates and you get to live. Kthxbye."
Sometimes there wasn't even an option b).
They acted like your average high street bank on a global scale..
1) British...like Natwest: Oh Glorious Shadow of God on Earth..I am your humble servant hoping to open trade with your powerful kingdom...also I hear you have some trouble with your heathen neighbours..Can I lend you some money and arms and shit? Got no cash mate? I'll secure it against your kingdom....no worries....
2) Dutch - HSBC: Greetings, we hear you have some trouble with the Brits...we've got a brillant cut price deal today only.
3) France - Nationwide : hello, would you like to join our cooperative/democracy? We won't kill you
4) portuguese- your local Kray twin- Alright geez, we want to spread the word of christ and shit, and sell you some fakin' guns, and give us some of your ladies- stick with me son..you'll be minted soon enough
europe on the whole, unlike other uniform continents, is divided by several natural frontiers which encourages division and competition
i.e. the reason the eastern mediterranean and eventually most of europe developed faster was circumstantial
that's one theory
it's not DiS' fault!