Originally published 03/07/2013
What’s your big idea?The big idea is that geography explains why the West rules the world—and why its domination may not last much longer.There are two sides to the story.First, geography determines how societies develop. The world’s first complex societies appeared toward the Western end of the Old World (around 9000 BC), because, thanks to geography, more plants and animals that could be domesticated had evolved there than anywhere else on earth. Geography dictated that East Asia had fewer potentially domesticable plants and animals.
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