History: Ancient Civilizations Essays

Submitted By sidneybrgn
Words: 711
Pages: 3

Think about the two types of civilizations we have studied this semester - river valley and Mediterranean. Explain how their natural environments influenced their formation and focus. Also discuss how their geography impacted political structure, cultural development, achievements and technology, and religious beliefs.

River Valley Civilizations:
Mesopotamia: Tigris and Euphrates (Sidney)
Egypt: The Nile (June)
India: Indus (Sidney)
China: Chang and Huang He (June)

Mediterranean Civilizations: (Ania)
Greece: Mediterranean
Rome: Mediterranean

Throughout all of the civilizations of the ancient world, geography played a significant role in determining the formation of those cultures. It impacted most aspects of life including the civilation’s economy, politics, technology and religion to form a set of diverse cultures.

1) Natural environments influence their formation and focus:
The annual flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates created a stable water supply which allowed a surplus of crops.

The Nile River helped the empires develop both an agrarian and trade economy which benefitted both northern and southern Egypt.
Having easy access to Mediterranean as well as having limited land led to an increase in trading. The mountainous terrain led to formation of diverse city-states.

The unpredictable flooding of the Indus River was dangerous to human settlement, however it created very fertile soil for the river banks.
Trading was important due to the nearby Mediterranean and size of empire.

The two rivers Yellow and Chang helped the Chinese civilizations flourish with farming. The mountainous terrains aided during invasions and kept invaders from crossing the boundary.

2) Geography and Political Structures
Due to Greece’s mountain ranges, that served as barriers, a system of diverse city-states was formed.
Rome developed imperialistic views as it ventured to gain as much land as possible ultimately leading the formation of an empire.

1. The infertile empire gained from trading with the fertile empire while the fertile empire gained from the infertile “desert” empire by being protected from both sides and from precious metals. `

India beared some of the most extreme weather conditions, however there were natural boundaries such as the Himalaya Mountains and the Indus River.

China Due to the fertility of the coast and the river areas, many provinces formed along those areas. The rivers, sea, and mountain ranges aided in weakening invaders or even stop them.

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were bordered by hills which served as natural boundaries for the civilization.

3) Geography’s impact on Cultural Development
Along the rivers developed so many provinces that clans formed. These clans impacted the political structure as well forming aristocrats within each provinces.
The dependence on nature caused the Egyptians to confide in polytheism where their gods were based on nature. They lived in fear of the deity because the…