Egypt Comparative Essay The first civilizations to exist developed along river valleys. There were four major river valleys, each unique in their own way. Two of the more powerful ones were Mesopotamia and Egypt. Although these two had many similarities, Egypt had a more peaceful and smooth existence while Mesopotamia’s was more chaotic. Ancient Egypt suffered from fewer invasions and had little internal conflict due to its isolated location and centralized government. One reason Egypt had a relatively peaceful survival was because of its geography. The Nile River was used for trade, travel, irrigation, and fertile soil.
The mountains and deserts hindered trade and travel and kept Egypt relatively isolated. Egypt had an immediate border of mountains and deserts along the Nile. Due to this, it was difficult to get into Egypt with troops which also made it difficult to invade. Surrounding Egypt was the Sahara Desert, China and India Mountains, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. These geographic features forced everyone to be concentrated in the 10 miles of fertile land along the river. Whereas in Mesopotamia, they had 100 miles of fertile soil, then mountains and deserts which made it easy to invade.
In Egypt, because of its 10 miles of fertile soil, the government was forced to be centralized. Since they’re government was centralized, they were united. In order for the pharaoh to control agriculture, the government could not afford to mess up or the empire would have no food. But in Mesopotamia, since there was a lot of fertile soil, civilizations were spread out into different city-states. This led to competition and conflict between city-states. Each competed for wealth and power. So even though both civilizations had similar geographic features, the layout of these features effected the development of their governments.
Ancient Egypt’s Government In the beginning Egypt had a monarchy based government. The pharaoh was the head of state and the representative of the gods on earth. The government brought order to society through the construction of temples, the creation of laws, taxation, the organization of trade with neighbors, and the defense of the country’s interests. The pharaoh was assisted by a ...
In addition, Egypt had a centralized government which made their civilization more peaceful than Mesopotamia’s. Egypt’s government was a monarchy and it was ruled by a single ruler, the Pharaoh. The people believed that he was not just the ruler of their civilization, but that he was a god. This gave him all the control of the Empire and his people. The centralized government caused a feeling of loyalty to the empire causing people to see themselves as citizens of Egypt and that they belonged to the pharaoh. Since Egypt was centralized, it was unified which meant there was no internal conflict.
As Mesopotamia’s government was decentralized, this allowed for a fragmented civilization. This also meant they were not unified which tells us that there was a lot of internal conflict amongst city-states and invasions by foreigners. Each area was controlled by its own political and economic center. Each area was a separate political unit. This made Mesopotamia unstable compared to Egypt. Egypt was considered a more stable civilization because it was centralized and it had one army fighting for all of Egypt. Whereas Mesopotamia, had a more unstable civilization because it was decentralized and they were divided.
Once you’re divided, it’s very easy to get break you down. This division caused city-states to fight one another which made it easy for foreigners to invade and conquer. This in fact was the demise of Mesopotamia. Therefore, geography and governmental organization allowed for Egypt to have a more stable existence than Mesopotamia. Ancient Egyptians considered themselves as one and did not suffer too many invasions or internal conflicts while Mesopotamia considered themselves as individual city-states constantly battled one another and faced many foreign invasions.