Founational Ancient River Civilizations Background Information.docx

Founational Ancient River Civilizations Background Information.docx

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AP World History Dr. Cazier Key Concept 1.3 The Development and Interaction of Early Agricultural, Pastoral and Urban Societies The city of Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus River Valley As agricultural surpluses allowed societies to develop into large urban centers, the foundations for the first civilizations were set. Civilization is not easy to define precisely and can be controversial. Indeed, declaring a group of people "uncivilized" has often been the pretext for conquering them in order to bring them to an alleged higher level of sophistication. Thus the definition of what it means to be "civilized" could be strategically crafted by opportunists and conquerors. Nevertheless, some basic characteristics of civilization can be generalized. First and foremost, civilization implies cities; the word itself is based on the Latin word for civil or city . In addition to cities, civilizations have highly stratified and hierarchical social structures; social and gender equality is not natural to early civilizations. Civilizations also develop states, or governments, organized by bureaucracies and legitimized often by religious belief. Rituals and ceremonies presided over by priests are protected by the state, which in turn gains supernatural support for its laws and decrees. All of these complex institutions, of course, are supported by large agricultural surpluses. Civilizations grew so large and their influence felt so far beyond their borders that it was inevitable that they would have contact with other civilizations and nomadic people. Trade between these people spread ideas, technologies and even diseases. And as the needs of urban centers grew, the struggle for limited resources often led them to military conflict.
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I. Core and foundational civilizations developed in a variety of geographical and environmental settings where agriculture flourished. The following are known as Core and Foundational civilizations. The first four were located in the valleys of important rivers: Mesopotamia Egypt Indus River Civilizations Shang Olmecs Chavin You can find an interactive activity to help you learn these locations HERE .
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II. The first states emerged within core civilizations. A. The states that emerged in core civilizations welded great power over people's lives and came to reinforce the inequalities that first developed with the advent of agriculture. A state is single political system or government presiding over a group of people or societies. It can be a single city under one leader, or a cluster of cities and communities under a king. It can be a modern democratic nation or a totalitarian regime. States sometimes included people who did not willingly chose to live under their government, as in conquered people living in an empire. What the best form of a state should be and its role in the lives of its people has been debated throughout the history of civilization. Only in recent history have The pyramids of Egypt are themselves representative of hierarchical and stratified societies.
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  • Fall '17
  • Mr. Cazier

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