are there strong geographic reasons accounting for the distribution of wealth between countries or is it random

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are there strong geographic reasons accounting for the distribution of wealth between countries or is it random

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Absolutely there are, in fact many authors and academics writing on why the world came to be the way it is, put nearly ALL of the “outcome” on geography over just about everything else in existence.

Ian Morris’s highly regarded book “Why the West Rules–For Now” is massive about how and why geography built the world we see today and puts it as the most important single factor. He even blantantly (and probably rightly) dismisses huge portions of the world as being nonviable to compete due to their geography… and how different place’s geographies that were once “bad” became good as the world changed and moved. For example, England was once on the ass end of the world in Europe, but by the time Columbus found the New World, and the age of sail, this was a massive advantage of being able to cross the Atlantic and needing (and having) a large maritime tradition and capacity already, by necessity (this is just one example)

The current distribution of wealth is due to a large number of factors, one of the largest being historical (e.g. colonised/coloniser, communist/capitalist etc) as well as cultural factors, random factors, political factors, geographical factors and so on.

Pure geographical factors generally include natural resources (Norway owes a lot of its wealth to its huge natural resources, for example), as well as benifical positions for trade (e.g. Singapore) and defensible land (e.g. UK and the US).

Geography influences culture and history and so on, but arguments that state that they are purely determined by geography are very contentious, to say the least. Geography certainly has a significant impact, but cannot be treated as the sole cause.

Yes! Think about the distribution of resources.

The best example of this is what happened with California. Imagine if Mexico won the Mexican-American war. Gold was found the very next year after the US won, and California and Texas were handed over to the US.

Imagine if the gold went to Mexico, instead.