Ch.3 Compare and Contrast essay
Many centuries ago numerous civilizations existed. Several of the different civilizations were from complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Were they that different from each other? Or were they simply just trying to make a rise? While some differences between the second wave empires and the earlier river valley civilizations are evident, the similarities are pronounced.
The second wave empires stimulated the exchange of ideas and cultures. Many of the second wave civilizations perished, for example The Roman Empire, Han dynasty, China, and the Mayan cities. Due to the fact that they got too big, over expanded, and got too expensive, they collapsed. The people who owned large property and were wealthy avoided paying taxes. The poor people had no choice but to live on the huge estates of large landowning families with political clout, they basically turned free peasants into slaves. The peasants didn’t want to produce anything because they knew their social superiors would seize their gains.
In the river valley civilizations woman were subordinate to men, generating the idea that gender inequality was normal because the gods ordain it. They regarded men as being superior to woman. Men were described as rulers, warriors, scholars, and heads of households. Woman on the other hand always had to be out in public, working in the fields, tending livestock, or serving in the homes of their social superiors.
The early river valley societies and second wave empires do not differ much at all from each other. Monarchs continued to rule most of the new civilizations; Woman remained subordinate to men in all civilizations; Sharp divide between elite and everyone else occurred almost everywhere, as did slavery. No technological or economic breakthrough happened to create new kinds of human societies. Elites had no intention to innovate; their plan was to take whatever the peasant farmers produced.