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Malthus in Africa: Rwanda's Genocide Summary

In: Historical Events

Submitted By nhpatel25
Words 459
Pages 2
Nehal Patel
U69017940
ENC 3310
Summary Project
02/04/2010

Malthus in Africa: Rwanda’s Genocide Summary Malthus in Africa: Rwanda’s Genocide is an educative chapter written by Jared Diamond educating the reader that in the case of Rwanda’s collapse, the critical circumstances like lack of farming land, hunger, poverty, war, lack of natural resources etc. were caused by population pressure. Overpopulation being the major causes, it brings plenty of problems with it. Diamond starts off the chapter by talking about his family’s visit to East Africa where they saw overpopulated streets of poor people especially poor children at the side of the road begging for a pencil. Diamond talks about how “population problems such as those of East Africa are often referred to as Malthusian theory” which is population grows exponentially compare to food production increases arithmetically. (Diamond 312) Then, Diamond discusses about Rwanda’s people that was dominated by Hutus, principally farmers, and Tutsis who were minority. Both did not like each other and therefore; Hutus army with weapons started the killing of Tutsis and “within six weeks, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis, representing about three quarters of Tutsi population in Rwanda”. (Diamond 317) Later, Diamond presents many surveys, samples, statistics and examples such as, overpopulation in Kanama causing population consuming less than average daily required calories, to inform readers about different regions becoming the victims of population pressure. At the end of the chapter, Diamond thinks that overpopulation had immense influence on the Rwandan genocide, but he considers his argument as controversial. In order to prove his point, Diamond uses three counterarguments that critics might argue. First, he admits that some people might make an objection that his theory is naive; however he counter...

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