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Guns Germs and Steel Video Questions!

Guns, Germs, and Steel Video Questions

Episode 2: Conquest of the Americas

Adapted from PBS.org

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXcj0ZEyIY8


Please follow the above link to view the required class video, and watch the video at your own pace on your own Macbook.  Please answer the questions thoroughly.


Episode 2


  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:


They were armed with the latest guns at that time that today we think would be absolutely terrible with bad aim but then the Incas were still using bronze weapons and the Europeans had invented gunpowder. The noise and look of the gun also scared the Incas. ; They used a rapier (a type of sword which was state of the art and very elegant). They also used steel armor that the Incas didn’t have.



  1. 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 bronze is, because Europe is close to the fertile crescent (which is where swords first began) and is on the same line of latitude as it the Europeans inherited this metal technology. But they then took this technology onto a new level. European soilders started demanding, stronger, longer and sharper weapons (Diamond).


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


Their diversified society helped with this cause by: because the rapier becoming so fashionable so that people wanted to wear the sword with there everyday clothes (diamond). This meant that the black smiths got more of a chance to experiment with the sword and to develop the sword.


  1. What battle tactics were used by the conquistadors to help them defeat the large Inca army?


The battle tactics the conquistadors came up with was to use caution but Pissarro insisted that they create a surprise attack they thought that they would be a good idea because it had worked successfully in the past and should work again (Diamond).



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


They needed to all unite and to stay in formation not to run off into the hills as soon as they saw the conquistadors. If they had all stood firm and agreed to help and kill and fight off the Conquistadors then they would have won because they had the superior numbers. This allowed the horse men to get in-between the men when they broke ranks and they cut them down.


They also needed to have ideas of what different emperors did in the past to conquer different civilizations because this is what helped Pissarro and his men.


  1. According to Diamond, what made the Europeans “accidental conquerors”?


According to Diamond the Europeans were accidental conquerors because of their geographical location and also because they were the first people to acquire Guns Germs and Steel. The Europeans acquired the guns germs and steel because of their geographical location and therefore the Europeans were “accidental conquers” (diamond).


  1. 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.


(A) If the Europeans didn’t conquer the New World, the world today would be very different. It would be different because there would probably be more black men and women because thanks to the germs the Europeans carried over to the New World three quarters of the people living in the New World died.


(B) If the Europeans didn’t explore the new world, today there would probably not be as many Christians in the world because the explorers were all trying to spread Christianity and they converted many countrys to Christianity.


(C) if the Europeans didn’t explore the new world, Jazz Music wouldn’t be around because the slaves from Africa infusing their music with the European music created jazz and without the slaves brought to the new world and the Europeans being there Jazz Music wouldn’t be around.


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