Compare and Contrast Egypt and Mesopotamia

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient history Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Egypt developed around the Nile River, while Mesopotamia developed between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Egypt and Mesopotamia grew into complex civilizations. Politically, both Egypt and Mesopotamia had a government with one main ruler, but Egypt had a centralized government with a pharaoh, while Mesopotamia had a decentralized government with a king. Socially, both civilizations were patriarchal, but Egypt was more lenient towards women while Mesopotamia was stricter. The political and social structures of Egypt and Mesopotamia both similarities and differences.

Politically, although both Egypt and Mesopotamia had one main ruler, Egypt was centralized and whereas Mesopotamia was decentralized. Egypt centralized government led to a sense of unity that allowed them to develop as a whole, and grow together. The almighty pharaoh could authorize community projects, like the building of monumental pyramids. Within these pyramids, the pharaoh was buried alongside all his possessions that he would need in the afterlife, including his servants. This represents the power that the pharaoh had over Egypt. Due to its decentralized government, Mesopotamia did not have the unity that Egypt enjoyed. Kings, with the help of a local council, ruled the numerous city-states that made up Mesopotamia. Since these kings did not have access to an entire empire, they did not hold as much power as the pharaoh of Europe was able to acquire. A lack of natural barriers and a constant competition for power led to continuous warfare also contributed to Mesopotamia’s lack of unity. On account of Egypt’s centralized government and Mesopotamia’s decentralized government, the two societies differentiated on their political structures.

Socially, even though both civilizations were patriarchal, the Egyptians were less strict than the Mesopotamians towards their female population. In Egypt, women had the ability to divorce their husbands, receive alimony, own land, educate...
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