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Rebecca H.
Educator, tutor, and writer passionate about learning and sharing knowledge
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Political Science
TutorMe
Question:

I am studying foreign aid in my government class. I know that the United States sometimes provides aid on its own and sometimes provides aid through the UN. Why does the government sometimes provide aid by itself and sometimes with other countries? What are the positives and negatives?

Rebecca H.
Answer:

Hi, happy to help you understand these two types of foreign aid. When the United States provides aid to other countries this is called Bilateral Aid - Bilateral aid is when one government provides aid directly to another government. Example: Government A provides $50 million to Government Z to improve education. - When groups like the United Nations or the World Bank provide aid with the assistance of many countries it is called Multilateral Aid. Example: Governments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 provide $200 million to Government 10 for education, hospitals and infrastructure improvements. There are positives and negatives to both types of aid, and lots of debates in the political science community. - Bilateral aid can be problematic because Government A might try and extract agreements from Government Z in exchange for aid, or Government A might be self-interested in providing aid to Government Z over Government X because Government Z's beliefs are more in line with Government A's. - When many governments are involved there is less of a likelihood that they will act out of self interest. However, getting many different governments to agree is not easy. Governments 1, 2, 3, and 4 might support providing aid to Government 10, but Government 5 disagrees and prevents the aid from being delivered. - In Bilateral aid governments are free to decide what to do with their own money, so Government A wants to focus on education, and is able to provide the aid to do so. However, what if Government A wants to provide weapons to Government Z to put down a rebel group that Government A disagrees with? This makes it more complicated. - In multilateral aid agreements countries might disagree about the terms of the aid. Governments 1 and 2 might want to focus on education, Government 3 on hospitals, and Governments 4 and 5 on infrastructure. This leads the money being unevenly distributed. - In bilateral aid situations the aid might be able to get delivered more quickly. Government A agrees among its leaders to provide aid, and does so. In multilateral situations multiple groups have to agree, which might lead to aid taking longer to reach Government 10. - Multilateral groups have more resources, such as money, communication, and experts to assist in managing the aid package, which could put them at an advantage over governments providing bilateral aid. Government A is providing aid to Government Z, but the person who is the expert on this type of aid in this area of the world lives in Government C.

World History
TutorMe
Question:

We are studying South America and I I understand that Brazil speaks Portuguese and the rest of the continent speaks Spanish, but I don't understand why? Can you help me?

Rebecca H.
Answer:

Hello, this is a complicated subject, but I am happy to explain it to you. Let's start with the history of colonialism in South America - Christoper Columbus sailed to the New World for Spain, leading the Spanish monarchs to claim much of the New World. Other countries, including Portugal, began planning expeditions and objected to Spain claiming so much land. - Spain (being a Catholic country) decided to let the Spanish born Pope decide what lands would be claimed by Spain and which by Portugal. First the Pope drew a line running north and south that was so far east almost all the land would have belonged to Spain. The Portuguese objected and eventually in the Treaty of Tordesillas a line slightly farther west was agreed on. Check out this website for a good map https://www.britannica.com/event/Treaty-of-Tordesillas - All of this shows the power of the Pope in parts of Europe at this time and also highlights the idea that European powers felt able to claim lands that other people were already living on. - Over time this treaty led to Portugal claiming what is now Brazil, with Spain claiming most of the rest of the continent. South America Today - Because of colonialism Spanish is spoken throughout most of South America, but Portuguese is spoken in Brazil. - Keep in mind that these European powers colonized areas and communities that existed for thousands of years. These communities were well established with their own cultures and languages. Many of these cultures still exist today, so many other languages are also spoken throughout South America.

Anthropology
TutorMe
Question:

I am studying human evolution. Could you help me understand how Neanderthals fit in and why they went extinct? We went over archaeology sites in class, but I am having trouble understanding all of it.

Rebecca H.
Answer:

Hi, I am happy to help you understand how Neanderthals went extinct, and gain a greater understanding of the relationship between early humans (Homo sapiens) and Neanderthals. Let's start with some basics about Neanderthals - They lived throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Western Asia - They were one of the last hominids to go extinct, disappearing about 40,000 years ago (Although they may have survived longer) - They lived alongside modern humans - Scientists have been able to sequence Neanderthal DNA to learn more about the species - Neanderthals are important because they are one of our closest ancestors and understanding the similarities and differences between them and early humans can help explain how we survived. Why did they go extinct? - Early humans and Neanderthals were living in the space locations in Europe and looking at archaeological sites of the two species reveal some examples of ways that early humans may have adapted to survive while Neanderthals were unable to adapt in the same way. - Their may have been violence between Neanderthals and modern humans. The tool making skills between the two were different, so evidence of weapons like spears on Neanderthal and early human bones suggests that the two groups did not always get along. - Neanderthals were in Europe prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens. They might have brought diseases with them that they had built up some resistance to, but which Neanderthals were had never been exposed to before. This is similar to what happened when smallpox and other diseases were introduced to Native American populations. - Neanderthals might not have been as cognitively and social adaptable as modern humans. Although Neanderthals had stone tools, archaeology sites show that the tools did not change as much over time as the tools as modern humans. This means that they weren't as able to adapt to changes in their environments and develop new technology. - Neanderthals also lived in smaller, more isolated social groups compared to modern humans. This means that they might not have been as able to take advantage of learning from one another Want to learn more, check out these articles: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/05/the-astonishing-age-of-a-neanderthal-cave-construction-site/484070/ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131216-la-chapelle-neanderthal-burials-graves/ https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029432-800-worlds-oldest-string-found-at-french-neanderthal-site/ http://www.nature.com/news/neanderthal-tooth-plaque-hints-at-meals-and-kisses-1.21593 https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7650/full/nature21674.html https://www.nature.com/news/oldest-ancient-human-dna-details-dawn-of-neanderthals-1.19557

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