Human Development Proceeding at Different Rates Essay

Submitted By HannaCase1
Words: 1041
Pages: 5

It is a historian's job to provide explanations and theories as to how history played out the way it did. All throughout history, one single event has been capable of causing complex chain reactions that can be classified as major revolutions. One event that did so, was the domestication of plants and animals, which spurred the agrarian (or neolithic) revolution. Early phases of human history tend to focus on human’s ability to adapt to their environment and find a steady food supply (Stearns,4). Both David Christian and Jared Diamond explain the growth and progression of human civilization in their own publications. Oceania and the Eastern Asia both had similar aspects of their growth, along with some differences. Human development proceeded at such different rates for numerous reasons that can all be tied together under one key concept, geographic luck. Oceania is a collection of islands in the pacific ocean that are generally within the same area. Some of these islands are Australia, New Guinea, Hawaii and New Zealand (Oceania). Eastern Asia is normally referring to China, and all lands north and south of it. There are some similarities in the growth of Oceania and Eastern Asia. In China, agriculture was independently discovered, without the assistance of neighbors. The Earliest evidence of farming in Eastern Asia were grains and rice, cultivated circa 7000 BCE. In the same time frame, agriculture was also discovered in Papua New Guinea. Yams and Taro, a tropical asian plant, were cultivated on the island also around 7000 BCE (Christian 26). This means that both civilizations simultaneously stumbled into agriculture independently, without being contacted by any other major world regions. Another similarity between the two regions can also help provide explanation as to why they both independently discovered agriculture. Both of the regions were considerably isolated from other major world regions. China was often isolated due to its geographical reasons, such as the Himalaya mountains, Gobi Desert and South China Sea. Geographical features made interacting with other regions hard, but not impossible. They had a concept known as the “middle kingdom”, and they thought they were superior to surrounding nations so they had no need to interact with them (Stearns, 42-45). Most of native Oceania was isolated also for geographic reasons. The fact that the people were on islands without the means of technology to develop boats made it hard for them to communicate with any outsiders. Oceania and Eastern Asia also had many differences with their individual growth. China grew to become a modern day power civilization, whereas most of oceania is colonized or considered minorities. Even though parts of Oceania developed agriculture, not all of it did. Whereas, all of china had agriculture. While most of Afro Eurasia had already developed farming and became agriculturally based, the people of Australia remained hunter and gatherer (Diamond, 16). Because of that key difference, many more differences can be branched off of that. Because Australia did not develop farming, they didn’t really turn into a complex civilization with cities and states. China had the means to develop large states and cities because they had a adequate food supply. The stored food allowed for job specialization to occur, which in return created a type of hierarchy .and political division of power (Christian, 38). Another difference between the growth of each region comes from a similarity. Some land in China and most of Central Australia wasn’t suitable for farming, but china found ways to make the land work for them. With only ten percent of raw land in China Suitable for farming, they had to use numerous farming techniques to support their growing population. They invented row crop farming, used irrigation control and several metal tools to increase the efficiency of their land (Labbe,1). Because Central Australia is mostly desert, there was no water