Tevan Luong AP World History: Summer Assignment Chapter 1 1. Geography and climate play a major role in the development of early human societies, for instance, Middle Eastern grains did not grow at all in the humidity of equatorial West Africa. Rather than cultivating grains, the geography and climate limitations made it more suitable to grow rice, pearl millet, and sorghum in West Africa. The barriers that the environment set led to the diversity of human culture and diets based on the condition of the weather correlating with their geological position.
With the climate favoring agriculture, scientists believe that early humans abandoned foraging due to global warming, and began to farm instead. The benefits of cultivating crops helped shaped early human society with the increase is economy and food production with great efficiency. 2. Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley civilizations all had their own components in order to keep their society prosperous. Mesopotamians were unified under the priest, the religious figure of society, but then was passed on to the king, who took all the responsibilities of the kingdom.
The Mesopotamian civilization also developed a social structure based on a person’s wealth and their contribution to society. In addition, they developed a complex set of laws that had multiple levels of punishments based on a person’s status in society; this was the Law Code of Hammurabi. With all these components, Mesopotamia summed up to be a well organized and powerful civilization. The Egyptian civilization was also unified under one powerful and religious figure, the pharaoh.
Egyptian society was far less complex when compared to the Mesopotamians; Egyptians did not have a class division or a system of laws. Egyptian women also had freedom in society then Mesopotamian women. With these lenient components, people in the society most likely are more loyal to their superior. While the Indus Valley civilization weren’t unified under one leader, the society did prosper in their technology and their construction. Buildings were constructed with mud bricks along with organized street systems that resemble modern day streets.
The Indus Valley civilization also developed a complex writing system, still un-deciphered today. With their great advances in technology, the Indus Valley civilization was truly a prosperous one out of the three others, but they did not have the uniformity like the other two. Chapter 2 3. China during the time also rose to the occasion, but with different political systems and philosophies compared to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Unlike Egypt and Mesopotamia, China was unified under one dynasty, or a royal family.
The king and his court ruled the heart of the state, while others who swore allegiance to the king, ruled the more distant parts of China. With power comes more burden, therefore the king could easily manage China more efficiently with the assistance of his court and the native rulers. With different political ideologies, China focused on the concern for proper and ethical behavior where as Egypt and Mesopotamia had a system that involved the worship of gods and deities. Ideology develops in response to a political and social crisis because a strong civilization would require strong political components.
When experiencing a crisis, a ruler might consider changing his political standing in order to suit his people, therefore obtaining unity throughout the empire; hence the development of ideology. 4. An example of cultural development through peaceful interaction and trade would be the Egyptian noblemen who were stationed in Aswan; they were sent south in search of gold and other riches, but needed the cooperation of the Nubian chiefs to ensure protection. If the mission is successful, the acquired riches would assimilate into Egyptian culture and economy.
Another example would be the growing and spread of populations in the Americas throughout the western hemisphere. “Limited development of trade led to greater social stratification and the beginnings of urbanization in both regions. ” 5. An example of how war and imperial expansions impacted the development of civilizations would be when the Egyptians were further expanding their empire through the destruction of Kush and its capital; this lead to the influence of Egyptian culture on the native population and the development of a stronger Egyptian kingdom.
Another example would be during the “Warring States Period”, from 480 to the unification of China in 221 B. C. E; ultimately, the wars caused the development of a strict law system with harsh punishments in order to unify and maintain order throughout the kingdom once again. 6. Elites in Nubia, Mesoamerica, and China gained access to essential raw materials by taking diplomatic, innovative, or aggressive approaches. For example, the Egyptians negotiated with the Nubians in order to safely acquire gold and other materials.
There are many other approaches for acquiring the essential materials, but it all depends on the state of the kingdom. For example, if a civilization were to be under “the fog of war” for a certain time, its military and economical advances would be far superior compared to neighboring kingdoms who have been weakened by wars; in that case, they may take aggressive measure to obtain the essentials. If they aren’t suited for war, they can take more peaceful measures such as negotiating with natives or producing innovative tools to make the extraction of essentials more efficiently.
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