In the book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" Jared Diamond pointed out that three of things: "guns, germs, and steel" vitally influenced the history of the Old and New World.
One of the main reasons that Hernan Cortes could conquer the Aztec Empire and Francisco Pizarro could conquer the Inca Empire with few soldiers was obviously their possession of guns.
But Western people with guns didn't always conquer the peoples without them.
It took over two hundred years for Western colonists to predominate over all of the indigenous tribes in North America. Western people finally occupied the west coast of North America in the late nineteenth century.
What is different between Central America, South America, and North America, when it comes to the roles that guns played?
In Central America and South America the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire conquered the peoples around them and built centralized empires, so Spanish conquistadors could conquer them by seizing their emperors with small soldiers and controlled them using the government's institutions.
On the contrary in North America native tribes were quite decentralized, so it was difficult for Western colonists, who were smaller in numbers than the indigenous tribes, to conquer them. In the beginning of the colonization, Western colonists received support from the indigenous tribes and engaged in trade with them. As a result of the trade, the natives got guns from Western merchants. Some native tribes formed alliances with either France or Britain and fought against American colonies.
In the middle of the sixteenth century, Portuguese brought guns to Japan just in the age of provincial wars. Portuguese didn't have enough soldiers to conquer Japan, so they sold guns to the feudal lords, who could. Japanese craftspeople began to make guns by themselves and the feudal lords competed with others buying guns. From that point on, guns revolutionized the way war was waged and Japan began to move toward unification.
James Cook "discovered" the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, and the indigenous people were introduced to guns. In the early nineteenth century, King Kamehameha I unified Hawaiian Islands and founded the Hawaiian Kingdom. He used guns, which were imported from Western countries and had Western military advisers.
In Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, the introduction of guns from the West unified the countries. After that, Japan has maintained independence, but the Kingdom of Hawaii was annexed by the United States of America.
The spread of guns had a great impact on the world history in a variety of ways. I will study the patterns of the influences of the diffusion of guns in regions around the world.