Geography on Political, Cultural, and Economic Development Term Paper

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Geography on Political, Cultural, and Economic Development of Early Civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley

The focus of this study is the effect of geography on the political, cultural, and economic development of early civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley. The characteristic that Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley all have in common is that they were all river valleys. Therefore, the geography of these locations was very much alike and likewise their culture, political landscape, and economic development were all very much the same.

Statement of Thesis

The civilization of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley were highly affected by the geography of these regions, which resulted in rapid expansion, and growth of these civilizations and which affected the cultural, political, and economic environment of these areas of the world.

Mesopotamia & Egypt

What is known as the Urban revolution occurred in Mesopotamia and Egypt around 3,500 BC. This time period is reported to form the "...symbolic boundary between pre-history and history and is a time in which "mankind invented civilization. The Urban Revolution is held to have resulted from:

(1) a favorable geographical and ecological setting (i.e. A setting such as the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, the Nile Valley, the Indus Valley, or the Yellow River Valley in China made the production of a substantial food surplus relatively easy) and (2) a cultural factor, i.e. A people with the knowledge and drive to respond to the challenge presented by these environmental settings.
What these peoples, the peoples of these valleys, had to learn to do was organize themselves to solve the basic problems of sustaining settled human existence, and in the process, they invented civilization.(The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2006)

Characteristics of civilization are reported to include:

(1) the creation of permanent urban and administrative centers;

(2) the invention of basic political (a political system based on territory instead of kinship), social, and economic institutions (which then attempt to solve man's basic needs: food, shelter, and security);

(3) a method of taxation;

(4) the division and specialization of labor;

(5) external trade;

(6) a hierarchical system of classes;

(7) the development of the arts and sciences;

(8) the creation of a complex religious life; and (9) the invention of a written language for communication, record keeping, and the transmission of culture. (The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2006)

It is reported as well that the first advent of civilization took place in the Fertile Crescent, which is located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and in the Nile River valley during the middle of the fourth millennium BC. The land is this area of flat with an alternating hot and dries to very wet climate producing floods and resulting in swamplands. (The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2006, paraphrased) The rivers behaved violently in Mesopotamia and in an unpredictable fashion. In Egypt, the Nile River is reported as having been.....

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