The Four River Valleys

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Compare and Contrast the Four River Valleys

For reasons unknown four regions between 5000 and 2000 B.C.E rapidly expanded their land and changed at a quicker pace than other regions. They all had better agriculture, technology, development of state power and construction of cities. These rivers were the Nile in Egypt, the valley of the Indus River, which is now Pakistan, Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which is today known as Iraq and the Yellow River in China. These four regions although grew faster they also shared similarities and differences between ecology and their floodplains. As well as their society about settlement and labor and their involvement with politics. Lastly all their different cultures they brought to the area. However they all had one ambition to change nature and have it benefit mankind.

First the four rivers all had a gradually warming and drying climate. Also dry soils and the reliance on seasonally flooding rivers and irrigation. Egypt had an advantage, in the delta region it supply all the things a farmer would need in the irrigation land in the south. Egypt had an abundance of food for a large population due to the floods that provided as a food source to the fertile. Most people lived off wheat and barley. However, in the Indus Valley the river was much more powerful than the Nile. The Indus Valley flooded twice a year; this allowed farmers to grow two crops all year, wheat and barley. Just like Egypt the Indus Valley depended on those two food sources to survive. The floodplain was broader in the Indus Valley but no region was as rich as the Nile delta. Egypt wealth came from the fullness of its agriculture. The Indus Valley focus was on territorial expansion to feed their population. The Nile and Indus Valley spilled and receded to a predictable rhythm but the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers could flood anytime. They didn’t just have floods that took part in their environment they also had desert sandstorms that choked farmers and bury their crops. The Mesopotamia also depended on wheat and barley to live. However one thing different about the Mesopotamia area was by 5000 B.C.E farmers used plows tied to oxen, they didn’t use timber to build ships, made masterpieces in bronze, where no metal was found and built amazing cities without stone but used mud bricks. The Yellow river in China was in a different setting then the other three regions; it isolated itself with physical barriers and long distances. The Yellow river had unpredictable river floods and received more rainfall than the other three regions. Due to this the river needs taking care of and the making of canals allow it to control the flooding. Rice growing was attempted but couldn’t become stable. However China gradually grew in expansion and colonization. The ecology of all four great river valleys had plenty of fertile, easily worked soil and had all the basic resources to survive. However they didn’t plan to have all these things to supply a fast growing population.

In addition the four great river valleys all were faced with the same challenge, that their population was growing denser and society becoming more complex. In Egypt instead of great cities people were spread fairly uniformly through out the floodplain. However in Mesopotamia was the land of cities. As well the Indus Valley River was a place where a citizen could feel like home. Even in China it was growing as an urban culture, adapting to new frontier houses. In all these four regions population density made specialization possible. People would give themselves to crafts and trade. In all societies it seems as well that women had the disadvantage and men were the higher power. Men focused on agriculture and the women focused on the babies. As well all four-river valleys societies shared the environment of tyranny. To Egypt a king was a god and a Pharaoh sometimes function as a god. They also organized...
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