Guns Germs And Steel Summary

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In the book “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond, Part One talks about what happened on the continents before 11,000 B.C, geography on the Polynesian Islands, and more importantly what happened in Cajamarca to the Inca emperor Atahuallpa when he was captured by the Spaniards. Jared Diamond will explain what happened at Cajamarca and why it was important or more specifically a turning point between different societies. However, he didn’t go into detail about other battles because he feels as if the advancement in technology was clearly shown better in Cajamarca. Jared Diamond dedicates a whole chapter to the battle at Cajamarca in Part One because of the technological reasons shown in this particular battle. First of all the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who was also referred to as King Charles 1 of Spain, planned to capture the Incan emperor Atahuallpa. However there were some minor issues, “Pizarro, leading a ragtag group of 168 Spanish soldiers, was in unfamiliar terrain, ignorant of the local inhabitants, completely out of touch with the nearest Spaniards (1,000 miles to the north in Panama) and far beyond the reach of timely reinforcements” (66). Pizarro still managed to capture Atahuallpa though. Even with all these obstacles in his way, he managed to capture the emperor who had an army of 80,000 soldiers. They both had something in common, they ruled over a nation of people. However, Pizarro and his group of 168 soldiers were far better trained and were actually armed with guns. They had armor to protect them while the Indian soldiers had nothing to defend themselves thus creating this “turning point” that Jared Diamond is trying to show here. The Spaniards were from a whole different society than the Indian soldiers, “Although the Spaniards’ superior weapons would have assured an ultimate Spanish victory in any case, the capture made the conquest quicker and infinitely easier” (66). Again, Spaniards had far better weapons than the soldiers. The Indian soldiers had none! If the Indians were brought up in the same society as the Spaniards, then the event would have been different. The Indian soldiers would actually be armed at all times (like the Spaniards) and be alert in case anything

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