[There is a lot of tea on this subject.]
guns-germs-and-steelattempts to explain the current global European dominance in terms of biological, geological factors that have operated over longer time-scales than that of humans (while ignoring that different cultures e.g. Islamic & Chinese have been considered "most advanced" at different, protracted periods in human history)
State formation in valleys (more conducive for concentrated agriculture vs mountainous regions) art-not-gov. Size of Chinese state vs size of European states.
The Black Belt: how offshore plankton died, eventually formed fertile continental land in the US South, which drew in plantations and slavery, of which slaves were eventually emancipated and won the right to vote, differently from the South, so much so they show up as a blue streak in a sea of red on electoral maps.
guns-germs-and-steel Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. ↩︎ 1
art-not-gov Scott, James C. 2009. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press. ↩︎ 1