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Geography Essay

  • Date Submitted: 05/14/2013 01:30 PM
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Does Geography Affect History?Zamin Akmal – Period 5
What did the the River Valley civilizations, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Aksum have in common? The river valley civilizations of Sumer, Egypt, China, and Indus began the idea of a permanent settlement. The Greek empire was one of the first successful empires in Europe. Aksum, in what is now Ethiopia, achieved success as a wealthy state that flourished for over 600 years. Yet, all these empires can trace their successes and setbacks to their geographical locations illustrating that geography is indeed the mother of history.   The river valley civilizations began the idea of a permanent settlement by settling near rivers which flooded and created fertile plains allowing them to survive from as early as 3200 BCE to as late as 200 BCE. The Greek Empire, a powerful nation that survived from 750 BCE to 338 BCE, lay on the edge of the Mediterranean, Ionian, Aegean, and Black seas which opened a world of trade and sailing. Aksum's location at the edge of the Red Sea allowed a vast trade market to flourish and bring great wealth to the empire, sustaining them from 100 CE to 750 CE. In each situation, the civilization's geography was a key factor in determining the achievements and failures that followed.
The geography of the river valley civilizations provided benefits and challenges and led to the civilizations developing in different ways to adapt to their environment. All river valley civilizations had to deal with three key geographical features – rivers, natural boundaries, and natural resources. The rivers proved both a benefit and a challenge. First and foremost, the rivers were the first places to develop permanent settlements. Egypt had the Nile. Sumer had the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Indus had the Ganges and Indus rivers. China had the Huang He and the Yangtze Rivers. All four societies relied on these rivers and their flooding. As the flood waters receded, they left behind a layer of silt which was fertile...

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