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  1. #1

    Geographical Distribution and Wealth

    if you notice, the vast majority of first world countries tend to come from regions further away from the equatorial regions and likewise the vast majority of third world and undeveloped countries tend to be located near the equator. before a generalisation that the northern hemisphere (excl n.korea) contains all the developed countries, south africa is considerably better off than the rest of that continent, and for those of us who have been to argentina and brazil, it is obvious which nation has the better quality of life (compare sao paulo and buenos aires and you will see what i mean). despite brazil continuously improving, it is still one of the most unequal countries on the earth, making america look mild by comparison. additionally, great empires have also tended to come from the aforementioned regions.

    now although this is nothing new, what i have always wanted to ask is why is it like this? such a question, let alone even a suggestion along these lines would conjur accusations of racism, evolution playing a part, and everything perjorative thing you can imagine if i asked this in real life. given that i can hide behind these forums, so why is this the case?

    i did come across a book by Jared Diamond that did try to explain something relating to this but i cant remember the title of it.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    additionally, great empires have also tended to come from the aforementioned regions.
    The mild climates of Eurasia were a fundamental factor in the development of the first agricultural societies, who became prosperous nations and powerful empires. Obviously, temperate climates are found relatively far from the Equator.

    The current state of the world is more or less derived from the Old World's historical head start, but I wouldn't read too much into the "distance to Equator" thing today. There are too much factors to consider nowadays; I think politics, to name one, have a far heavier impact on a country's development than climate. I guess Argentina can be nice... If you like double-digit inflation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealed View Post
    The mild climates of Eurasia were a fundamental factor in the development of the first agricultural societies, who became prosperous nations and powerful empires. Obviously, temperate climates are found relatively far from the Equator.

    The current state of the world is more or less derived from the Old World's historical head start, but I wouldn't read too much into the "distance to Equator" thing today. There are too much factors to consider nowadays; I think politics, to name one, have a far heavier impact on a country's development than climate. I guess Argentina can be nice... If you like double-digit inflation.
    It's actually the opposite way around to how you think.

    Temperate climates are harder to live in, as you need more shelter, more food, and more resources to survive there than the warmer, alot more resource abundant areas along the Equator.

    This need for more drove progress forward, developing better tools, better ways of thinking and uniting people together more.

    This is especially obvious in Africa, Where it is HUGELY resource rich and the Sahara a very plentiful source of food. This plenty and the climate mean that Man did not need to develop much more than they already had, and as such, stagnated.
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    The Northern Hemisphere has a lot of the most direct East-West trade routes on it, which probably helped a lot with their development back in the day. Also, tropical diseases probably had some impact. Malaria is a a hell of a bug.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    now although this is nothing new, what i have always wanted to ask is why is it like this?
    Because you happened to live today. Instead of, say, during any of the times when there are thriving tropical civilisations.

    Also, have you looked at a map? Pay attention to where the majority of human population lives.

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    Stability, it brings the goods, functional institutions, trade, industry. That brings education, wealth etc... and that brings more stability. So what you want to ask and answer is why certain regions have higher stability.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fiend View Post
    It's actually the opposite way around to how you think.
    Not sure how you inferred that when my statement was very broad, and you actually agree with the fact that it was a major factor. What's different is the period we were thinking about; after those communities were brought together, it is with thriving agriculture that came trade and writing, the building blocks for civilisations to come.

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    location is a factor but,

    Africa, had a few trade empires and more advanced civilization while Europe was in its dark ages. same with Asia where china was dominate as well as the Indian regimes, and a few other empire in that region. south and central america had empires whose cities were larger than may European cities even before the black plague. basically while europe was down, other parts in the world were up, and visa versa. by the time Europeans reached china, china's power had weakened through a natural political cycled of rising and falling dynasties. the african trade empires also fell due to similar patterns.

    what is causing these countries to not be as developed is more a remnant of colonialism.


    Also you can look up dutch chronicles of their travels *early exploration* in Africa. Instead of just talking about wild life, they talked about how amazing it was.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 04:05 PM ----------

    Also dont forget that north america until the united states was founded never had an empire *the u.s is an empire, that never refers its self as one*

    north america is pretty much just in the northern hemi


    also countries like Germany, the u.k, Norway, Sweden, etc were once backwaters that had nothing while countries like Spain, and Italy were better off.
    Last edited by GennGreymane; 2013-02-24 at 04:24 PM.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GennGreymane View Post
    location is a factor but,

    Africa, had a few trade empires and more advanced civilization while Europe was in its dark ages. same with Asia where china was dominate as well as the Indian regimes, and a few other empire in that region. south and central america had empires whose cities were larger than may European cities even before the black plague. basically while europe was down, other parts in the world were up, and visa versa. by the time Europeans reached china, china's power had weakened through a natural political cycled of rising and falling dynasties. the african trade empires also fell due to similar patterns.

    what is causing these countries to not be as developed is more a remnant of colonialism.


    Also you can look up dutch chronicles of their travels *early exploration* in Africa. Instead of just talking about wild life, they talked about how amazing it was.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 04:05 PM ----------

    Also dont forget that north america until the united states was founded never had an empire *the u.s is an empire, that never refers its self as one*

    north america is pretty much just in the northern hemi
    This! Most of the bigger civilizations developed near the equator and had great wealth while the northern hemisphere did not. Combination of wealth and human greed caused a fractured society that the imperialistic countries took advantage of. As mentioned what we see now is the result of that.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GennGreymane View Post
    location is a factor but,

    Africa, had a few trade empires and more advanced civilization while Europe was in its dark ages. same with Asia where china was dominate as well as the Indian regimes, and a few other empire in that region. south and central america had empires whose cities were larger than may European cities even before the black plague. basically while europe was down, other parts in the world were up, and visa versa. by the time Europeans reached china, china's power had weakened through a natural political cycled of rising and falling dynasties. the african trade empires also fell due to similar patterns.

    what is causing these countries to not be as developed is more a remnant of colonialism.


    Also you can look up dutch chronicles of their travels *early exploration* in Africa. Instead of just talking about wild life, they talked about how amazing it was.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 04:05 PM ----------

    Also dont forget that north america until the united states was founded never had an empire *the u.s is an empire, that never refers its self as one*

    north america is pretty much just in the northern hemi
    but africa never produced a Rome. and as for China, their power base was and still remains in the north of the country. only in pre columbian america is it the other way round, but then that said the Aztecs did make their home in the mountainous regions of mexico, as did the Incas. besides, both those civilisations did not even discover how to forge metal, still using stone weapons when the Spanish came. oddly, the more barbaric indian tribes survived long after these two powers had become history. as for India itself, only at few intervals have they ever been a singular state in their history, and ironically these states were either created by foreign invaders (Mughals) or the threat of invasion (Alexander the Great and Maurya Empire).

  11. #11
    humans have always been pawns to their environment. if you believe in evolution, the changing environment of our ancestors is what drove them to evolve eventually into us. the environment away from the equator forced our species to live in a certain manner. that adaptation is what led to changing social behavior and adaptive innovation; which in turn led to a much different culture from the equatorial ones. the environment/climate near the equator has not changed in a very long time; hence, those people have not had to change socially or innovate as much and the results are what you see today.

  12. #12
    what im also trying to suggest is why these same countries arent able to catch up as well. many of the southeast asian countries used to be miles ahead of the likes of china, but now it seems as china is going to be leaving them behind in the dust. when china is used to juxtapose against these countries, maybe it really is their cultural mindset that is responsible for the sorry situation they are in.

  13. #13
    The Insane GennGreymane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    what im also trying to suggest is why these same countries arent able to catch up as well. many of the southeast asian countries used to be miles ahead of the likes of china, but now it seems as china is going to be leaving them behind in the dust. when china is used to juxtapose against these countries, maybe it really is their cultural mindset that is responsible for the sorry situation they are in.
    China has always been dominate in that region. China benefits greatly from political stability *because the opposition is scared shitless*

    Cambodia will take time to recover from the genocide that occurred. Vietnam is a fast growing economy, Singapore is a leading economic model for the world, etc.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 04:36 PM ----------

    I think geography helps, but

    its not a key factor. I don't think there is a causation by environment and location.

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by GennGreymane View Post
    China has always been dominate in that region. China benefits greatly from political stability *because the opposition is scared shitless*

    Cambodia will take time to recover from the genocide that occurred. Vietnam is a fast growing economy, Singapore is a leading economic model for the world, etc.
    but 50 years ago China was a byword for backwardness and near civil war. in fact it wasnt too long ago that the vast majority of people in Beijing rode bicycles. oddly Cambodia used to dominate the Indochina region until Angkor Wat just mysteriously declined.

    A good (or not so good) example to use is the Phillipines. at the end of the second world war, phillipines was largely untouched by the destruction elsewhere in the region; china, korea, japan and the like either lay in ruins or were about to be in ruins. they had the best standard of living then. but now they are almost the laughing stock of the region, to the extent that their police incompetence in that bus hostage fiasco was almost comical (i.e. an attempt to sneak up on the gunman at the back of the bus backfired).

    if japan could recover from the brink of the abyss, then philippines should have no excuse.

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    The Insane GennGreymane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    but africa never produced a Rome. and as for China, their power base was and still remains in the north of the country. only in pre columbian america is it the other way round, but then that said the Aztecs did make their home in the mountainous regions of mexico, as did the Incas. besides, both those civilisations did not even discover how to forge metal, still using stone weapons when the Spanish came. oddly, the more barbaric indian tribes survived long after these two powers had become history. as for India itself, only at few intervals have they ever been a singular state in their history, and ironically these states were either created by foreign invaders (Mughals) or the threat of invasion (Alexander the Great and Maurya Empire).
    actually many south american societies could forge metals. they have metal tools, weapons, etc. Alexander never set much of a foot in India, he died before he could. Africa may not have had a Rome, but they had the trade empires that's economies were far beyond what Europe had since the Romans. I wouldn't call them barbaric by any measure for those native tribes. They survived because they lived in a way closer to how humans are meant to survive naturally.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 05:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    but 50 years ago China was a byword for backwardness and near civil war. in fact it wasnt too long ago that the vast majority of people in Beijing rode bicycles. oddly Cambodia used to dominate the Indochina region until Angkor Wat just mysteriously declined.

    A good (or not so good) example to use is the Phillipines. at the end of the second world war, phillipines was largely untouched by the destruction elsewhere in the region; china, korea, japan and the like either lay in ruins or were about to be in ruins. they had the best standard of living then. but now they are almost the laughing stock of the region, to the extent that their police incompetence in that bus hostage fiasco was almost comical (i.e. an attempt to sneak up on the gunman at the back of the bus backfired).

    if japan could recover from the brink of the abyss, then philippines should have no excuse.
    China had a huge history of dominance in that region. Due to many factors the last few dynasties could not come close to competing with Europe. Also Japan which never had a history of dominance quickly rose to Empire. Korea also never had much of an influence in the region and was dominated by Chinese influence, yet today South Korea you could argue is in better shape.

    The Philippines have political issues, this is why they have yet to reach their potential as a country. Japan *until recently* had the real political stability associated with growth.

    a better example is Singapore. It was a port city through out its existence until it because a British port/naval base. Now its a leading economy. Its all politics and luck of the draw.

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    but 50 years ago China was a byword for backwardness and near civil war. in fact it wasnt too long ago that the vast majority of people in Beijing rode bicycles. oddly Cambodia used to dominate the Indochina region until Angkor Wat just mysteriously declined.

    A good (or not so good) example to use is the Phillipines. at the end of the second world war, phillipines was largely untouched by the destruction elsewhere in the region; china, korea, japan and the like either lay in ruins or were about to be in ruins. they had the best standard of living then. but now they are almost the laughing stock of the region, to the extent that their police incompetence in that bus hostage fiasco was almost comical (i.e. an attempt to sneak up on the gunman at the back of the bus backfired).

    if japan could recover from the brink of the abyss, then philippines should have no excuse.
    you're putting way too much stock into what invariably amounts to eugenics. the so called developed and leading countries of europe today would not be what they are without roman influence. contrary to your views, their anthropological makeup did not thrust them to the top of the world. in fact, without roman influence, they were no different than most tribes in africa. and yes, in ancient times there was a clear separation of mediterranean peoples (romans included) from the barbaric tribes of northern europe who are today the so-called most developed peoples.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    what im also trying to suggest is why these same countries arent able to catch up as well. many of the southeast asian countries used to be miles ahead of the likes of china, but now it seems as china is going to be leaving them behind in the dust.
    No it isn't. You can't look at the GDP of the most populous nation on Earth and conclude that it's doing better than countries with barely 1/50 its population.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 06:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    if japan could recover from the brink of the abyss, then philippines should have no excuse.
    Japan was also the only non-European nation to westernise prior to the 21st century (or perhaps 1990s). Philippines was a colony. This is an all around terrible comparison.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-24 at 06:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    but africa never produced a Rome.
    Neither did most places.

    besides, both those civilisations did not even discover how to forge metal
    Most civilisations did not. Most were just lucky enough to be taught how to forge metal because they happened to part of the Old World instead of isolated in the Americas. You're ignoring reality in your senseless comparisons.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Judgedredd View Post
    if you notice, the vast majority of first world countries tend to come from regions further away from the equatorial regions and likewise the vast majority of third world and undeveloped countries tend to be located near the equator. before a generalisation that the northern hemisphere (excl n.korea) contains all the developed countries, south africa is considerably better off than the rest of that continent, and for those of us who have been to argentina and brazil, it is obvious which nation has the better quality of life (compare sao paulo and buenos aires and you will see what i mean). despite brazil continuously improving, it is still one of the most unequal countries on the earth, making america look mild by comparison. additionally, great empires have also tended to come from the aforementioned regions.

    now although this is nothing new, what i have always wanted to ask is why is it like this? such a question, let alone even a suggestion along these lines would conjur accusations of racism, evolution playing a part, and everything perjorative thing you can imagine if i asked this in real life. given that i can hide behind these forums, so why is this the case?

    i did come across a book by Jared Diamond that did try to explain something relating to this but i cant remember the title of it.
    Currently 2/3 of the WORLDS middle class are in America and the other third is scattered across the rest of the world, mostly Europe.
    By 2050 2/3 of the WORLDS middle class population will be from India and China with the other 1/3 scattered across the world, America and Europe mostly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GennGreymane View Post
    Also dont forget that north america until the united states was founded never had an empire *the u.s is an empire, that never refers its self as one*
    The US is more of a hegemony than an Empire. Our only "imperial" holdings are maybe Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and maybe a couple other island nations, all of whom we grant the right of self-determination. We do exert a hell of a lot of influence in the world, but again, that's really hegemony, not Empire. The minute we start telling the Saudis that they have to allow women to drive cars or we'll remove their leaders, you might consider us an empire. The minute we refuse to leave Iraq and Afghanistan and set up long term governorships there, you can call us an empire. We're hegemons.
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  20. #20
    oversimplification...too many countries too many factors. And remember that there was a time were the North was inhabited by savages organised in tribes and ruled by chieftains,while in the areas closer to equator great civilisations rose,like Carthage,Rome,Greece,Egypt...things change.
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