Mesopotamia and Egypt Comparative Essay

891 words 4 pages
Matthew B
World History AP-3
21 September 2011
Mesopotamia and Egypt Comparative Essay
While both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations share similar political, social and economic qualities, the details of these broad spectrums branch off in opposite directions. For example, both Mesopotamia and Egypt were ruled by kings, but in Egypt, their kings were called pharaohs and they had significantly more power than the Mesopotamian kings of the city-states. Both civilizations also had social classes in which a person fit into, but in Mesopotamia, many more rules and restrictions were forced onto women, especially young girls, than Mesopotamian boys or Egyptian boys or girls. Both Mesopotamia and Egypt traded with each other,
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Mesopotamia and Egypt both had an agriculturally based economy which was also supported by trade. Both civilizations traded with each other and they both used slaves to work in the fields, but from here, their similarities cease and their differences set in. Unlike in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, there was no annual time that the rivers near their farms would overflow and deposit nutrient rich soil to their crops. Since they had no Nile River to provide their crops water, the Mesopotamians built irrigation canals to do the all important job. Also, Egypt was abundant with the resources required for making tools and buildings, but Mesopotamia was not, so the Mesopotamians traded their grains and cloths with other nearby settlements including the Egyptians for the stone, lumber, and metal they needed. Furthermore, the Egyptian government was very controlling of the Egyptian economy, but the Mesopotamian government was far less controlling of the Mesopotamian economy. Although the Egyptian government control may have been needed to help with the irrigation of the Nile, it might have hindered the economy overall by not giving the Egyptians the responsibility they needed.
While both civilizations start with similarities, the branches and extensions of these similarities quickly transform into the differences that make each civilization the distinctive civilization we know today. By comparing their political, social, and economic qualities like