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Also known as the ‘continental orientation hypothesis’, this refers to a hypothesis on why certain regions of the world throughout history experienced more economic development than others. It states that regions of the earth that are spread across a large latitudinal area, that is east-west, are more likely to witness greater development than regions that extend longitudinally, that is north-south. This is because temperatures are largely similar across latitudes, which helps technology and ideas to spread among a larger population. It was first proposed by American geographer Jared Diamond in his popular 1997 book Guns, Germs, and Steel.

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