There are many historical, political and geographical reasons why regions of the world, when discovered by Eurasia, were still living as hunter-gatherers or Stone Age lifestyles.
For this article, I’ll focus on the Polynesian regions and why that area was still in the stone age when it was explored and discovered by European explorers from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Polynesia was only colonised by humanity in 900 CE, during the initial expansion of the People that migrated from the Eurasian continent to Polynesia, with only access to dogs, chickens and other small animals.
Polynesia didn’t have any animals of burden such as Ox, horses, sheep or other animals for farming or slaughter.
This meant that the Polynesians had to regress to hunter-gatherers and live in Stone Age conditions.
Access to resources and the availability of domesticated animals, unfortunately, dictates the ability of a civilisation and its societies to advance or regress.
Humanity discovered the ability to farm in 27,000 BC or before the common era and successfully took off and expanded to the rest of humanity in 13,000 BC.
This was due to trial and error and the lack of domesticated animals to assist farming.
Civilisations were built upon the ability to have adequate food production, which the Polynesians did not have, which kept their civilisation small. Without food production, there can be no cities and other population centres that can lead to more advancements in terms of technology.
Cases Studies of Political Choices
Political decisions also play a part in the development and success of any nation or people.
An excellent contemporary example of this is the success of South Korea, with a population of over 51 million Koreans and North Korea, which is a communist dictatorship/monarchy that has dire poverty and a population of just over 20 million North Koreans.
Another example that led to the retardation of development is the choice of the Japanese Tokugawa Shogun that ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868.
This regime prevented the use and development of unpowered weaponry after the Sengoku period of civil war and instability within Japan that lasted from 1467 AD to 1615 AD.
Due to the ruling Samurai being politically and culturally against using firearms, they prevented the development of that technology after the end of the long civil war in Japan.
Europeans attempted to do the same.
However, because Europeans were not united under one empire but were surrounded by international rivals, each nation pushed forward the development of new military technologies.
In contrast, Japan and China stopped advancing due to facing no major external competitors until the 19th century. Japan, after the visit of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1852, started to industrialise and develop modern weaponry.
In contrast, China failed to adapt and suffered a century of humiliation from 1837 to 1949.
However, I would argue that China suffered from 1837 until the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, who led China from 1978 to 1989 and led the nation on the path of modernisation and away from the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 and the madness of Mao Zedong Great Leap Forward 1958 to 1961 which killed at least 15 to 55 million people.
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