Categories for Civilization

Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley Essay

Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley Essay

Throughout the history of Earth, there have been many fascinating developments, the most prominent being the first civilizations, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. They had many similarities, such as characteristics of early civilizations and social structures, but they also had their differences. The most embossed differences included the divergent geography, prior belief, trade, relations with other civilizations, and politics. The earliest societies, such as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt exhibiting indicator traits of civilization developed along the floodplains of great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, and the Nile in Egypt.

People had settled in Mesopotamia by 7000 B. C. and the First Dynasty of Egyptian rulers was founded before 3000 B. C. , implying a much earlier period of occupation in the Nile River valley and delta. To protect themselves and channel the forces of nature, people living near the rivers created new technologies and forms of political and social organization. The geographical similarities were that both civilizations resided on banks of major rivers, Tigris & Euphrates, and Nile.

Another similarity is that both civilizations developed a writing system.

It first appeared in Mesopotamia before 3300 B. C. E. Cuneiform was the name of it, and wedge-shaped symbols represented words or syllables. Hieroglyphics were the Egyptians’ way of writing, and it had been developed by the beginning of the early Dynastic period. Pictorial symbols represented sounds, syllables, or concepts. Literacy was confined to a relatively small group of scribes and administrators in both of these civilizations due to long period of study required to master the systems. Also, both civilizations had social classes, with the king and the royal families at the top, next were the priests, local leaders and artisans, and lastly, slaves and peasants occupied the bottom.

Both Mesopotamians and Egyptians acquired substantial knowledge about mathematics, engineering, medicine, and transportation for various reasons such as, creating calendars, calculating the quantity of agricultural produce, building temples and pyramids, and practice astronomy. Egypt and Mesopotamia were in contrast to one another in many ways. Egypt emphasized strong central authority, while Mesopotamian politics shifted more frequently over a substructure of regional city-states. They were also culturally different; Egypt developed in relative isolation, all foreigners were considered enemies while Mesopotamia was a multicultural society.

Also, Egypt was well endowed with natural resources and far more self-sufficient than Mesopotamia. They used papyrus reeds growing in marshy areas to make sails, ropes, and a kind of paper. Hunters pursued the abundant wild animals and birds in the marshes. Egypt’s art and architecture are very different from Mesopotamia. From pyramids to temples, rigid pharaohs to flowing art of Amarna, Egypt’s style was totally different from Mesopotamia’s. Mesopotamian art focused on less monumental structures.

In Mesopotamia, women lost social standing and freedoms in societies where agriculture superseded hunting and gathering; whereas in Egypt, they are depicted with dignity and respect, could own properties, and inheritance from their parents was possible. Both civilizations traded differently but Mesopotamia was more productive due to technological advance. Egypt’s interests abroad focused on maintain access to valuable resources rather than acquiring territory. Both Mesopotamia and Egypt were ruled by kings, however, in Egypt, their kings were called pharaohs and they had significantly more power than the Mesopotamian kings of the city-states.

Also, relating the above comparisons to larger global context, The Indus Valley is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. One of the differences between these three civilizations is that there is a large quantity of metal in the Indus Valley than in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and most metals are utilitarian tools and everyday objects. However, more jewelry and other decorative objects have been unearthed in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Also, Indus Valley people were technologically skilled in irrigation and using the potter’s wheel. They also have a system of writing with more than 400 signs. Like the Mesopotamians, the people of Indus Valley had widespread trading contacts reaching as far as Mesopotamia. There is little known about the political, social, and economic institutions of Inds Valley, however, there is a statue called the “Priest-King” because some scholars believe it may represent someone with religious and secular authority, but the true identity of this person is unknown.

Conclusively, certain traits are indicators of civilization such as: political system based on control of a defined territory, long-distance trade, and major advances in science and the arts are among others, which the earliest societies, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley have exhibited. They were the first civilizations to develop high levels of political centralization and urbanization. Because little is known about the Indus Valley people, there is not a lot of information for their political and social status; however, they clearly possessed the technology which par with those found in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The Tensions of the Old and New During the 1920s Essay

The Tensions of the Old and New During the 1920s Essay

After witnessing the devastating, yet human-induced tragedies of World War I, the psyche of America was never the same. They abandoned their fundamental beliefs that the Western Civilization was not a model, but flawed society and turned their attention towards internal affairs, signaling the beginning of American isolationism. As William Allen White put it, Americans were “tired of issues, sick at heart of ideals, and weary of being noble. ” The Roaring Twenties reflected this rejection of tradition ideals as consumerism and sexual revolution swept the nation.

In the 1920s, the boom in technology, coupled with cultural and social developments led to tensions between the old and new. The manifestation of these conflicting ideals was a focal point of the Election of 1920 and Scopes Monkey Trial. The reform movements and Woodrow Wilson’s staunch moral legislation preceding the 1920s were a source of exhaustion for the American public. The American public was disillusioned with the failed League of Nations, and quickly embraced the Election of 1920 as what the victorious Warren G.

Harding put it, “the return to normalcy. ” “The return to normalcy” was essentially calling for the return to the older and simpler times in America, which also condoned American isolationism. Warren G. Harding and his successor, Calvin Coolidge’s presidencies embodied the return to a laissez faire economy with their pro-business stance. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 and Smoot-Hawley Tariff protected American companies to foreign companies. Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon was also successful in lowering income taxes for the wealthy.

Their disdain for liberalism was apparent with their lackluster reform legislations passed in office, but they left office with high approval ratings as a result of that staunch conservatism. The reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan nativism was another key topic of these administrations with the passing of the American Immigration Act of 1924 and the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 which placed severe quotas on the number of immigrants from these countries.

Appointing the Nativism and conservative judges like Webster Thayer to the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti demonstrated that their subsequent executions were not the result out of justice, but of the sour public opinion against immigration. The reemergence of Nativism, spearheaded by Ku Klux Klan (Document D) served to reestablish and enforce tradition and morality in society. They used tactics of violence to preserve Protestant principles and decency, as a method to “return of power into the ands of the everyday…. average citizen of the old stock. ” Their fight however was not just limited to Southern Hicks, but Northerners, and Midwesterners like Indianans who comprised of half the Klan membership during the decade. Their slogan, “100% Americanism” echoed through all the regions of the nation, where they targeted Jews, Catholics, and anyone that posed a threat to their middle-class protestant.

Their religious conservatism was prominently voiced during the Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, TN (Document C) where the clash between fundamentalism and evolution reached a culmination with the whirlwind trial of hot shot Chicago lawyer, Clarence Darrow versus 4 time presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan. Clarence Darrow‘s loss in the courtroom was viewed as a triumph for liberals. Women, one of the most deprecated groups in society countered against the confinements and expectations of society.

With the passage of the nineteenth amendment and the availability of jobs in the city, women were in some aspects, free from the constraints that plagued the previous generations of women. Flappers, embodied by the carefree, smoking, and sexually charged female outraged the previous generations with their overt rejection of the Victorian ideals of a lady. The new women had the highest divorce rates than their predecessors as well (Document H). Margaret Sanger’s invention of birth control and the open discussions of sexuality contributed to the change in women roles.

Although most women still clung to their gender norms, the sexual and gender revolution of this time period would serve as the foundation of the feminism movement of the 60s. The boom in consumer technology and inventions spurred mass consumerism and decadence within the American public. Mass production made goods cheap and readily available to the mass market, and almost every household owned a Ford Model T by the end of the decade. The desire to keep up with the Joneses became a measure of one’s social standing and identity. Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt satirized the conformist and shallow existence of the average American household.

Writers of the Lost Generation expressed their contempt for America’s growing consumerism by becoming expatriates and publishing literary masterpieces exposing the folly of conspicuous consumption. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby showcased the tragic ending of the title character due to his infatuation with material gains. The cartoon, “If Grandpap Could Only Return with some of his discipline,” illustrates the current, undisciplined generation being spanked by the frugal forefathers for their lack of appreciation and materialism for all the new technological advances.

It served as a plead for morality as the older generations warned the current generation that excess will get them in moral and economic trouble since the introduction of credit and installment plans. Instead of following Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise and waiting to assimilate and be accepted into White Society, the Garvey Movement completely rejected it and called for the establishment of a black nation, which wasn’t successful, but still had a lasting impact on the black community.

Racial tensions were brought to the surface with the influx of arts and literature of the Harlem Renaissance, where writers proclaimed and expressed their frustrations at white society. Langston Hughes and other famous African American authors created a black culture that proudly declared in their own superiority. Langston wrote, “Why should I want to be white? I am Negro-and beautiful” (Document E). Although White Society did not accept them as they had hoped, the artistic and cultural impact of the movement would serve as the basis of the Civil Rights movement several decades later.

The 1920s were a time of great social, technological, and cultural changes. Set against the backdrop of staunch American conservatism, these changes were inevitably bound to clash. The manifestations of old and new tensions were highlighted in two defining legal battles, the Scopes Monkey trial and Sacco and Vanzetti. Although this period of upheaval did not impose significant changes on the minorities and outsiders of American society, it did provide the principle components of the equal rights movements for these largely ignored members of society,

Early River Civilizations Essay

Early River Civilizations Essay

Ancient river civilizations in the Mediterranean as well as Central and South America denote some of the world’s first civilizations. The Phoenician’s civilization was founded in what is now Lebanon, Syria, and parts of northern Africa, the Chavin society developed around modern day Peru where the Mosna and huachescsa rivers merge. The Phoenician civilization created their society around 1100 B. C. E and the Chavin civilization was established around from 900 B. C. E.

The Phoenician and the Chavin showed many similarities and differences in the aspects of technological advancements, economics, and social behavior.

The Chavin and the Phoenician displayed more differences than similarities because of their immensely different lands. The Phoenician and the Chavin both are famous for their innovations that left an impact on the world. However the way they impacted the world was different. The Chavin were very innovative people especially in architecture and metallurgy.

They created systems to carry water great distances, and were able to use the water to irrigate their crops.

They also used their architectural abilities to avoid certain underground temples from being flooded by creating canals to act as a drainage system. The Chavin also were some of the first to melt metals for soldering and gold work. The Phoenicians on the other hand left a much different legacy for the world. As opposed to the irrigation and metallurgy the Phoenicians were the first to use letters for writing records instead of images.

The Phoenician alphabet did not have any vowels but it eventually was incorporated into the Greek alphabet, and Roman alphabet which was adapted to multiple languages, such as English. Economically, the Phoenicians were in much better shape than the Chavin. The Chavin were by no means in bad shape, but the Phoenicians excelled at economics. The port city of Tyre, prospered greatly because the Phoenicians traveled by sea exporting- wood, wine, fish, and fabrics/color dyes, which led to the Phoenician society growing quite wealthy.

The Chavin on the other hand, did not export goods via the sea, they instead invested in transportation, creating paths and bridges over rivers in order for them to be able to trade their main export-llama meat. The social aspects of the two river civilizations were more dissimilar than most aspects of life. The chavin people domesticated llamas and used them in as many was as they could, mostly for travel and trade. They also created many great religious centers and were very artistic, creating thorough paintings and sculptures.

At Chavin, shamans were the ones who had divine connections and authority in the civilization while the Phoenicians had kings to rule them. Another major difference is that the Phoenicians, in their small region, used alliances with larger civilizations like Persia to maintain freedom while the Chavin had surrounding societies admired the Chavin and even tried to mimic their ways. The ancient river civilizations, Chavin and Phoenician display many similarties and differences in their technological advancements, economics, and social behaviors.

Because the Phoenicians traveled by the seas and had port cities they excelled more financially while the Chavin were more innovative. The Phoenicians created an alphabet while the Chavin domesticated animals, created irrigation, and worked metallurgy. Phoenicians exported many goods and became rich and the Chavin traveled on manmade paths to trade llama meat. Shamans influenced the Chavin and kings ruled the Phoenicians. . Due to their greatly different locations the two ancient river civilizations exhibited more differences than similarities.

DBQ Essay Essay

DBQ Essay Essay

Throughout history, trade has influenced civilizations by expanding religions, spreading new products or ideas, and through transmission of diseases. As civilizations began trading more with other civilizations, trade networks were setup. Traders needed a safe route to get to cities in order to trade. With trade networks such as the silk roads, traders had a way to get from Europe to China to trade goods. With more and more people trading because of trade networks, there were both intentional and unintentional effects of trade.

The spread of religion was heavily influenced by trade. Documents 2, and the both support this. The documents show that as people met in city markets, traders did not only trade inventions and products with another. Religious practices, cultures, and traditions were also spread. Document 2 shows that because of trade, religions such as Islam spread from Africa to as far as China in the east. Other religions such as Christianity and Buddhism were also spread. In Document 3, it shows that traders who came to the Swahili Coast to trade stayed there for a couple of months before returning home.

Because of this, the traders would share their cultures, languages and religions with the native people who lived there. Over time, trade had a lasting effect on the Swahili Coast. The Swahili language today has some Arabic and Indian words in the language. Most people who are Swahili today also practice Islam as their religion. This would all never have been possible if it weren’t for the trade networks of the Swahili Coast or the Silk Roads.

Aside from the spread of religion, trade also helped new ideas and products spread throughout the world. Documents 1,4,5 and 6 all show that throughout the world, many different products and ideas were spread because of trade. Document 1 shows Mediterranean trade being first controlled by Phoenicians and Greeks. The map in the document shows major products such as tin being traded between Greek and Phoenician colonies. Document 4 is a
quote, it is implied that this Is coming from someone living in Europe during the Commercial Revolution. The person states that as food supplies increased in Europe, trade also began to increase. More goods were being created and traded all over Europe including, cloth, food, and leather. Towns would hold fairs every year for the trading of these goods. As trade increased, methods of getting cash and loans were developed. Banks were established by Christians and this all became the Commercial Revolution. Documents 5 and 6 further show how trade brought products from different civilizations all around the world. The Columbian Exchange in Document 6 shows how products from the Old World were brought to the New World. Some examples of these products include horses, bananas, black eye peas and beef. Document 5 shows how Marco Polo brought new ideas from China back home to Europe such as how to use coal for heat.

While trade helped spread new ideas and products throughout the world, so did deadly diseases. Documents 6 and 7 both show how trade spread disease from one civilization to another. With the Columbian exchange in Document 6, deadly illnesses spread from the Old World to the New World. Disease killed off many indigenous people in the new world and would also enable conquerors from countries such as Spain to gain the upper hand in colonizing and conquering indigenous populations. Document 7 is a political cartoon. It is from the point of view of someone who is against globalization. The cartoon shows an army conquering an indigenous tribe. The members of the tribe all look very fearful and seem to have been forced out of their homes. The army who is conquering all has symbolism representing American culture and ideas. Although this document is biased towards the U.S, it does show the negative effects that trade can have on an indigenous population.

These documents all show that trade had many lasting intentional and unintentional consequences on the many civilizations of the world. These include the expansion of religion, the spread of new ideas and products, as well as the transmission of deadly diseases. A document that would have been helpful in further analyzing the unintentional effects of trade would be one from the perspective of the civilization conquering the indigenous people. Overall however, these documents still show that because of trade, new ideas, cultures and traditions have been spread throughout the world.

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Brief discussion of Western Civilization Essay

Brief discussion of Western Civilization Essay

A civilization is usually marked by a growth that can change the ways of the people in a specific time frame and the period after that. The said growth is perfectly exemplified in the western civilization. The Western culture is greatly affected by the highlights of the history. It is influenced by some ideas from the East. The Mesopotamians and Egyptians took part in the encounter of the Greeks and the Persian Empire. Hebrews formed the belief in a single god which is known as the Hebrew monotheism.

Still, during the Classical Age of Greece, the Greeks nurtured the social, political and religions aspects of the West. Philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and Herodotus were among the few who formed the cornerstones of Greek literacy. Athens followed a democratic civilization while the state of Sparta was a disciplined one. The period was predated by the Hellenistic period in which Greeks and Macedonians built kingdoms after conquering the Persian Empire. During this era, women played roles in politics.

The rise of science, culture and arts came into existence. By 8th Century B. C, Rome was brought about by Latin-speaking people. Octavian aided in transforming a government system of a republican institution. The Roman Empire grew became known as one of the largest in the world. Languages in Rome in the present time like French, Spanish, Latin and Portuguese were strongly based on Latin. The Roans concocted a rich culture in law, language and engineering as well. After 200 years, it came to a decline and paved way to the period of Early Middle Ages.

The era gave birth to the widespread Religion of Christianity through the works of Paul of Tarsus. Germanic kingdoms also became apparent in the part of Western Europe. The Carolingian Empire was ruled by Charlemagne, a brood of a Germanic tribe who accepted Christianity. Traditions from the classical age, the Germanic tribes and Christianity merged to give identity to the new civilization of Europe. This was threatened by Vikings and Muslims. Fortunately, the civilization was kept intact. By the dawn of the 9th and 10th century, agricultural production was heightened.

Trade was also established along with changes in the technology during the High Middle Ages. Cities and banks were also present. When the 14th Century came, the West was plagued by the Black Death. It caused the fall of trade and instigated the difference of the upper and lower classes. A war which ran for a hundred years between the English and the French rattled the political status of Europe. Papacy was also affected in Rome when conflicts between popes occurred. All these are reflected in the arts during the period.

Soon after, the Renaissance period which is dubbed as the time for reconstruction created new ways for the West. It was made evident that the Catholic Church is a very important institution. The Western civilization faced rises and falls caused by wars, invaders and other factors. All the events contributed on what the West has in the present civilization today.

References: A Review of Western Civilization. Retrieved August 14, 2010 from http://www. wadsworth. com/history_d/templates/student_resources/0534600085_spielvogel/VolumeIIto1550. html

The Western Civilization Essay

The Western Civilization Essay

Ideas are not only products of the people who formulate them. They are also consequences of history, class, and culture. At the same time, ideas formulated by a certain group of people can in good time go on to shape and influence history, class and culture. The ideas of Enlightenment implied an attitude, a method of thought. They encouraged an orientation of mind that seeks to reexamine and question all received ideas and values, to explore new ideas in many different directions, discovering the truth through the observation of nature.

These ideas of the Age of Enlightenment went on to mould the fundamental cultural orientation of the Western world. The Enlightenment left a lasting heritage for the 19th and 20th centuries. It marked a key stage in the decline of the church and the growth of modern secularism. It served as the model for political and economic liberalism and for humanitarian reform throughout the 19th-century Western world.

It was the watershed for the pervasive belief in the possibility and the necessity of progress that survived, if only in attenuated form, into the 20th century.

The cause of science and scientific thinking had been prospering since the time Copernican Revolution, however, a scientific attitude did not sink in to the masses. It was only in the eighteenth century that the views of thinkers and philosophers began to percolate into the mindsets of common people.

Already, by the later decades of the eighteenth century the movement started Enlightenment was ringing triumphant in Europe and America. It would gather momentum in the times that are to follow, becoming a sweeping tide of opinion, assuming a broad front, and determining the course of the Western civilization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was this passion of a group of thinkers for reason and science that laid the groundwork for modern social and cultural ethos of the Western Civilization.

Samoa Islands Essay

Samoa Islands Essay

Samoa is a group of islands located in the south pacific, approximately halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. It consists of two main islands, Upolu and Savaii. Samoa is well-known for its natural beauty and landscape. Samoa is very much a tourist destination. Tourists are attracted to the strong commitment to sport, Samoan cuisine, Samoan lifestyle, natural attractions, and traditional aspects such as tattooing and ceremonial occasions. Although, on the contrary, Samoa has big disadvantages for being located in the pacific region as natural disasters are a reoccurrence in its history.

The most recent being the 2009 Tsunami, killing approximately 200 people. The Samoan reputation has also recently become corrupted because of unsettling between Samoans and Tongans. Although this is news to Australians, this conflict between Samoa and Tonga has a long history behind it.


Samoa is mostly a Christian country. The law is very much based on Christian ethics and churches are located in every village. The most common denominations are EFKS, Mormonism, Catholicism and Assembly of God.

Only recently are modern churches such as Pentecostal Christian churches and even Muslim. Religion is very much apart of Samoan culture, and practiced within the family unit.


Samoans enjoy lots of sports, for example popular sports include volley ball, touch footy, cricket and rugby union. Samoans have had teams compete in the Commonwealth Games; they have won gold medals for weightlifting and bronze medal in athletics. Samoans also have a successful national rugby team, Manu Samoa, who won the Rugby Sevens last year.


The traditional Samoan tattooing is called the pe’a, the body tattoo. Originally, the pe’a was only tattooed on those Samoans with a ‘matai’ title, which is a chief role where they are named representatives of their families or villages. So the ‘matai’ title was traditionally extremely respected within the Samoan culture….