5) Guns, Germs, and Steel Video Questions

1. Guns, Germs, and Steel Video


2. Guns, Germs, and Steel Video Questions and Answers

 1) At the time that the Spanish conquistador’s invaded the Inca Empire, they were armed with state of the art weaponry. Describe this weaponry.

harquebusAt the time that the Spanish conquistador’s invaded the Inca Empire, they were armed with state of the art weaponry called the Harquebus. The harquebus is a type of gun, which was made lighter and portable by the Europeans but was made outside of Europe. It was activated by gunpowder. The harquebus was first used by foot soldiers on the battlefield. To people in the modern times this gun looks like a gun for fools because its aim is terrible and it takes such a long time to reload and can be killed while reloading. However, the Inca’s haven’t even got that far in battle technology and with the sound, smell, and smoke it makes, it is likely that they were very terrified of a weapon that they have never seen before.

 2)     What is Jared Diamond’s explanation for why the Spanish had advanced to steel swords while Inca’s were still making tools and weapons from bronze? 

Jared Diamond’s explanation for why the Spanish had advanced to steel swords while Inca’s were still making tools and weapons from bonze is simple. There is nothing brilliant about the Europeans for making steel swords and in fact making steel swords was available outside of Europe in the Fertile Crescent nearly 7,000 years ago. As the knowledge in the Fertile Crescent spread, the Europeans had access to the knowledge while the Inca’s weren’t because of their geographical status.


b. How did their diversified society help with this cause?

rapier Because European men wanted to develop the steel sword they went through different trials and errors in their diversified society with many people and different ideas. Because they went to a lot of wars, they found out that if there is more carbon the weapon becomes more handy and stronger. However, they learned that the swords have to be a little flexible for it not to break. One famous sword is he rapier. While the Spanish had a lot of experience and the society for the weapons to develop likes wars with the moors, the Inca Empire had less experience


 3)     What battle tactics did the conquistadors to help them defeat the large Inca army use? 

CortesPizarro and his most trusted men thought of a plan to battle the Incas. The battle tactics that the conquistadors used to help them defeat the large Inca army was to launch a surprise attack. This was not the first time that this tactic was used though. 12 years before Hernan Cortez used this on the Aztecs. The reason why Pizarro knew this was because of the book that Cortez published of the skills that he used to take over the Aztecs. Another thing that helped Pizarro and his men was the Aztec leader and his soldiers were unarmed. Also they first tried to persuade the Incas to become Christians but once they refused the proceeded in their surprise attack.


b. What did the Inca need to do to be successful in war?

The Incas needed a lot of things to be successful in war. Even though they had a lot of people, they had a disadvantage because they were lacking some of the things that the Europeans had. For example one was reading and writing (being illiterate). While Pissarro’s men could read and write from texts all around, the Inca people only hand local knowledge which definitely pulled them back. Also they should have thought more about how the Europeans are going to plan to meet them. When the Europeans were attacking them, they should have stood firm but they saw creatures such as horses that they had never seen before which was shocking for them.


 4)     According to Diamond, what made the Europeans “accidental conquerors”? 

According to Diamond, the Europeans didn’t become conquerors because they were smart or more intelligent than the natives. This in a way makes them “accidental conquerors and this revolves around guns, germs, and steel. Like mentioned before, they had more access to guns and the technology because they were closer to the Fertile Crescent than the Incas. Also, it is not because the Europeans had the specific gun technology because the guns of the Europeans weren’t very good either, it was because the Incas didn’t have any other weapons. This is the first point, which makes the Europeans “accidental conquerors”.

Another reason why the Europeans are “accidental conquerors” is because of steel. While the Americas were isolated and had no knowledge about steel, the Europeans got the knowledge of steel because of the Fertile Crescent’s knowledge spreading through the lands. Because the Incas only had bronze weapons and they didn’t bring the weapons to fight, so the Europeans naturally had more chances of winning and it wasn’t because they were smarter or such.

The last and most important reason the Europeans are “accidental conquerors” are because of Germs. Because a lot of Europeans lived with their domesticated animals such as cows, pigs, and chicken they had a lot of germs with them while the Incas didn’t have much domesticated animals. The only animal was the lama but they did not live with the humans. When the Europeans traveled to the new world, they brought a lot of germs including small pox that the natives were not prone to. This caused a lot of deaths. It is said that about 90% about the Native Americans were killed due to germs.


5)     Considering the entire scope of European exploration of the new world, what was the greater impact on world history?  In other words, how did European exploration and conquest of the New World shape our world today?  Please give three specific examples.  You may use outside sources to answer this question, but please use citations.

Because the European exploration of the new world happened, there are a lot of impacts that they had on our world today, both good and bad.

One way in which explorations of the new world affected our world today is by spreading germs around the whole world. Because of the cattle and domestic animals that the Europeans kept they were full of germs, which spread to the Native Americans who weren’t immune to the diseases. “It killed one third of the people and producing permanent pock marks in another third of its victims” (3.3 EUROPEAN DISEASE IN THE NEW WORLD). This is the sad part but there is a good part to this as well. The world became known with this disease and people can fix this and make vaccines.

One big thing that happened and impacted our world today was something called the Columbian exchange. There were both things, good and bad, that traveled back and forth between the new world (North America) and the old world, which is Europe. Some of the good things that were exchanged to Europe and the Americas were food. To Europe were sent “maize, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and manioc” (Crosby). To the Americas were sent “wheat, barley, rice, and turnips” (Crosby). Also to the Americas, livestock were sent such as horses and cows. Even though goods were exchanged there were a lot of bad things that were exchanged as well. Diseases were also spread to the Americas. One of which is Small pox. This disease killed about 95% percent of the Native Americans that were living in North America.



Works Cited

“3.3 EUROPEAN DISEASE IN THE NEW WORLD.” UIC University of Illinois at Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <http://www.uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/3_3%20European%20Disease%20in%20the%20New%20World.htm>.

Crosby, Alfred. “The Columbian Exchange.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. <http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/american-indians/essays/columbian-exchange>.

“Guns, Germs, and Steel: Conquest of the Americas | National Geographics Documentary.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 June 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXcj0ZEyIY8>.

N.d. Photograph. Apworldhistory2012-2013. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://apworldhistory2012-2013.weebly.com/uploads/9/9/9/6/9996001/5885243_orig.jpg>.

N.d. Photograph. Clevelandcivilwarroundtable. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/images/things/harquebus.jpg>.

N.d. Photograph. Mundibusiness. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.mundibusiness.com/images/_products/tmkglobal/00-7X54.jpg>.

N.d. Photograph. Wikimedia. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.