Form(s) of Government
The government of the ancient Mesopotamians was an unusual form. There was a King and nobles who made the law, declared war and decided how to honor the gods. Then there was an assembly of the people who could overrule the king and say, “this is not a good law, get rid of it”.
Mesopotamia was made up of city-states. It was one nation as a whole, but each city-state had it’s own government and own set of laws. City-states could also conquer one another for power and more territory.
The city of Babylon became the most powerful city in Mesopotamia. Throughout history, the Babylonians would rise and fall. At times the Babylonians would create vast empires that ruled much of the Mesopotamia. The Babylonians were the first to write down and record their system of law. Their laws were the harshest. Their most known and powerful ruler, Hammurabi lived by, “An eye for an eye.”
The King passed a law, and everyone was expected to learn it and obey it. If you broke the law, you would be punished. The punishment was set for each violation. For example, if you stole something, you would be punished according to what you stole.
Hammurabi also established a set of laws that is today called the Code of Hammurabi. This was a system of harsh laws divided into groupings such as slavery, trade, and household laws. An example of his laws are: If a son should strike his father, his hands shall be cut off.
Management of Wealth/Resources
Production/Consumption of Goods
Mesopotamia did not have a lot of natural resources, so they traded. Docks were built along the sides of the rivers so that ships could easily dock and unload their trade goods. The merchants traded food, clothing, jewelry, wine and other goods.
If you lived back then, you would not need money to get the things you needed. Money wasn't used