When humans from different cultures interact, the result is often bloodshed, domination and disease. Also, without exception, the exchange of ideas gradually occurs. All of these factors have shaped the course of history. While much of the spread of disease has been reduced since the Black Death, much bloodshed still comes from the interaction of cultures, possibly from physical contact without intellectual or rational interaction and understanding. Interaction itself is necessary and does result in good as well, especially in terms of technological advancements.
The spread of disease is possibly one of the most dramatic results of interactions between cultures. The different ways of living in Europe and other parts of the world caused very different illnesses to develop in each. Europeans lived in close quarters in densely populated cities, which allowed crowd diseases, such as measles, to develop. These diseases quickly result in death, or recovery and immunity. Thus, they do not remain relevant in smaller communities; by the time victims have recovered fully, the disease is not around to be spread. In larger communities, the disease can shift from area to area, remaining in existence until there are babies to be infected in the original area. (Diamond) A leading theory maintains that these diseases developed from animal diseases that adapted to the environment of the human body when humans and animals were in close contact. In particular measles and smallpox came from cattle, and the flu came from pigs and ducks. (Diamond) Because this contact with animals, the close contact with thousands of other humans in cities, and the connection of populations by trade, a...
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Cipolla, Carlo M., Epilog from "Guns, Sails, and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400-1700" Sunflower Univ. Press, 1996, pp. 132-148.
Diamond, Jared, "Ch. 11: Lethal gift of livestock," in "Guns, Germs, and Steel" W.W. Norton & Co, 1997, ISBN 0-393-03891-2, pp. 195-214
Ponting, Clive. Ch.11 from "A Green History of the World," St. Martins Press, NYC, 1991, pp. 224-239.
Pursell, Carroll W. Jr., Ch. 1 and 2 in "Early Stationary Steam Engines in America: a study in the migration of a technology" Smithsonian Inst. Press, 1969, pp. 1-27.
Schneider, Jane. Rumpelstilskin's Bargain: Folklore and the Merchant Capitalist Intensification of Linen Manufacture in Early Modern Europe. In Cloth and Human Experience, edited by Annette B. Weiner and Jane Schneider. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.
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