Ap History Compare and Contrast Essay: Egypt and Mesopotamia

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Pages: 6

Ethan Sua 10/16/10 Mr. McGrath AP World History
A Compare and Contrast Essay of Egypt and Mesopotamia Egypt and Mesopotamia developed different and similar political and religious civilizations. Mesopotamian civilizations such as the Sumerians, the Akkadian kingdom, the Assyrian empire and the Babylonian city-state, were all too dependent on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Egypt’s natural isolation and material self-sufficiency fostered a unique culture that for long periods had relatively little to do with other civilizations. Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of eastern North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt.
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How elite individuals acquired large private holdings is not known, since land was rarely put up for sale. In some cases debtors lost their land to creditors, or soldiers and priests received land in return for their service. The lowest class, the slaves and peasants, of Mesopotamian society worked on the fields and used their strength, when harvest season ended, to build large public works like ziggurats- a multistory, mud-brick, pyramid-shaped tower with ramps or stairs. Women were subordination to men and had no property rights. In Mesopotamia by the second millennium B. C. E. merchants had gained in status and in power through gilds. In the Old Babylonian period, the class of people who were not dependent on the temple or palace grew, the amount of land and other property in private hands increased, and free laborers became more common. Hammurabi’s Code written in the eighteenth century B.C.E. identifies three classes:
1. Free landowning class- royalty, high-ranking officials, warriors, priests, merchants, and some artisans and shopkeepers; 2. The class of dependent farmers and artisans, whose legal attachment to royal or temple, or private estates made them the primary rural work force; and 3. The class of slaves; primarily used in domestic service. Penalties prescribed in the Law Code depended on the class of the offender. The lower orders