If you’ve read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, you know how influential geography can be on the success or failure of a civilization. Honestly, I haven’t read the book myself, but I did read an article by Diamond summing up the whole book in three pages and, summing up three pages into three words, geography is destiny. He may not put it that strongly, but for example, looking at Europe, the similar climates stretching over the east-west axes facilitated human development whereas Africa and Latin America’s North-West axes hindered them. Other factors included proximity to coasts, domestication of animals, and the geographic susceptibility to disease. There were many other arguments, better explained and stated more clearly, but this is not a book review (but do go read it if you have the time and tell me about it).