Similarities and Differences between First and Second-wave Empires

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The emergence of second-wave empires in 500 BCE coincides with the decline of earlier river societies, also known as first-wave civilizations, which were present from approximately 3500 BCE to 500 BCE. River valley societies were, as its name suggests, situated near rivers as a source of water for irrigation and everyday use. In comparison, second-wave empires adopted many traits from earlier civilizations and elaborated on them or completely changed them. Despite bearing some minor similarities, the differences in political organization, innovations, and social inequality between first and second wave civilizations are more noteworthy.
The political structures in first and second wave civilizations share some traits while differing in others. For instances, leaders in early river societies claimed that they were divinely ordained. Sumerian kings of individual city-states each claimed to be connected to a godly entity and as a result were deemed fit to rule. Additionally, Egypt, the Nile river valley society, was led by a series of Pharaohs who claimed to be Gods in human form. Likewise, leaders of second-wave empires also avowed that supernatural forces aid their regimes. Rome past emperors were regarded as gods. Similarly, in China, emperors were thought to rule with the divine force of the Mandate of Heaven. On the other hand, many leaders of second-wave civilizations also depended on personal merits and high positions in their social hierarchy to establish leadership. Moreover, Han’s dynasty established an imperial academy and developed a civil service system to identify potential government officials. Also worth mentioning, is Athens’s concept of a “citizen”, which was a ground-breaking political idea, although not yet perfected, that views each individual as a part of a larger state system.
Although there wasn’t any technological breakthrough as significant as the Agricultural Revolution, second-wave empires did have modest innovations that were not seen

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