Civilization and Complex Society

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Civilization is difficult to define in one word or phrase because a complex society or “civilization” depends on many different aspects. How then, is civilization defined? There are characteristics of a civilization that are more essential than others, some of which may be more important to one group than to another. However, a definition for civilization can be narrowed down to a few fundamental aspects that are necessary for one to exist. For a complex society to exist, it must have means to provide for a growing population. Acquiring resources is vital for a civilization to flourish. The earliest civilizations all seemed to have a need for an organized administration system. In a society with a growing population and expanding territories, we can see the need for a hierarchical government to keep them operating.

Civilization is the way of life that began by those who live in cities. Civilization comes from the word civis, which comes from Latin, and means citizen of a city. Civilization is characterized by everything that makes up the way of life in a city. This includes form of government, arts, customs, and technology. Civilization is similar to a culture except that civilization is more advanced and complex. Culture is “any way of life”. Everyone has a culture but not everyone is in a civilization. The increase in agriculture and domestication of animals were major steps in civilization. This supported everyone in a small town. Trade was involved in which they exchanged grain, pottery, and various raw materials. Everything in the town was supported as much as possible to make life easier. This was what a civilization was.

Civilization can also describe the culture of a complex society, not just the society itself. Every society, civilization or not, has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of items and arts, that make it unique. For instance some of the first civilizations were in Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt had a...
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