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The Neonolithic Period and the Agricultural Revolution

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1245
  • Category: Life

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Before agriculture existed, humans were hunter gatherers. After we made the transition, the world was never the same. The changes were good and bad in different ways. The Paleolithic period was the time when humans were hunter gatherers. This period lasted the majority of Earth’s existence. During this period, people had to collect their own food and provide for their families on their own. Jobs were not a thing because everyone was doing the same, or similar things to keep their families alive.

The Neolithic period began when humans started to grow crops. This began in 10,000 B.C.  The Neolithic agricultural revolution was the biggest factor to starting the first successful civilizations. The agricultural revolution began in Mesopotamia in an area known as the fertile crescent. It was between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It spread worldwide. The oldest and largest of these were in Southwest Asia.

Agriculture and the domestication of animals helped to push humans forward. Instead of everyone fending for themselves, people were all doing different jobs. Because there were enough crops grown by a few people to feed lots of people, trade began to occur. This turned into an economic system. Also, in this time people were able to do the jobs that they were good at. People could be farmers, government leaders, and artisans. There were different resources in different places which lead to more trade. Having an economic system lead to having a class system because some people were richer than others. Because there was a class system, slavery began. The richest members of society were able to make others do their work for them.

The pieces that build up a society are geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics, and social structure. This can be called G.R.A.P.E.S. Geography was important because it could determine whether a civilization would have proper resources, friendly neighbors, or an easy way to trade. Religion was important to all ancient civilizations and it was very common to be part of the government as well.Almost all ancient civilizations had a polytheistic religion which means that they believed in multiple gods. Achievements were things like inventions that a civilization was responsible for. For example, the first wheel was invented in Mesopotamia around 3,500 B.C.  Most ancient civilizations were monarchies; they had a king or queen. This king or queen would be the ruler of all of the civilization and they could appoint people to run their government with them. Economics were mainly created with trade. The more a civilization trade the more successful they were. Social structure has to do with the class systems created by having rich and poor people. All civilizations need these things to be a civilization.

Ancient civilizations were all different for many reasons, but they also had some similar aspects. Mesopotamia was the land between two rivers, which was good for crops. But ancient China was surrounded by desert on two sides, an ocean on one, and mountains on the other. This kept China fairly isolated, but also safe from invasion. Similarly to Mesopotamia, ancient India was settled along the Indus River and similarly to China, the Himalayan Mountains protected India on the other side.

In ancient India, Hinduism was the most common religion. This religion was founded there as well as Buddhism which was less popular. However, Buddhism was the most popular religion in ancient China. The Mesopotamians practiced a polytheistic religion that was important in the government. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Polytheistic means that there is more than one God. Buddhism doesn’t have any specific gods, but is more about a way of life that you must follow in order to reach Nirvana, or enlightenment.

The Mesopotamians invented the wheel. The ancient Chinese were responsible for plenty inventions. One of them is gunpowder which was invented around 1000 B.C. They also started building the Great Wall of China. Ancient Indians invented the first flush toilet system in 2500 B.C.

In Mesopotamia there were kings that ruled single cities. In ancient China, there would be one Emperor who would rule over several other kings. In ancient India, there would be one king, and lots of other appointed government officials. Religion was a main part of the government for all three societies.

The ancient Chinese traded salt, iron, cattle, and silk. They also did a lot of fishing. The ancient Indians traded with far away civilizations, but most of their economy was built with agriculture. Villages were self sustaining. Mesopotamians were able to trade easily due to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Social structure was prominent in each of these three ancient civilizations. In China, below the emperor was 4 class groups: nobles and officials, peasants, artisans and merchants. In India there were Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. These classes were not based on power, but instead were based on purity. There were only three basic classes for Mesopotamia. The highest class were the government officials and wealthy people. The middle class were farmers and merchants. The lowest class were servants and slaves.

The downfall of a civilization may occur due to environmental, economical, social, or cultural issues. Scientists believe that Mesopotamia’s downfall is because all the soil became contaminated with mineral salt. This is an environmental factor. Ancient China’s downfall occured when there was a drought that brought famine to the civilization. This may have been caused by climate change. After the ruler, Ashoka, died, ancient India began to fall apart. They lost economic stability and essentially broke apart into different groups.

The U.S. is a civilization that has lasted 239 years so far. Based on the rise and fall of ancient civilizations, the U.S. seems to be in the fall. However, I do not think that the U.S. will collapse any time soon. We have a very powerful military, so being invaded is unlikely. Even if things are going wrong within the country, other countries will be too afraid to invade because of the size of our military. The U.S, is also very wealthy compared to other countries. The government still has power over its people. Also the leaders are voted in rather than picked by the gods which can help the people feel that they have power as well.

The U.S. is very different from ancient civilizations as well which means that it probably will not fall in the same way that ancient civilizations will. Right now, this country is still has enough resources, money, and power to sustain itself for a long time. Although the president doesn’t make the best decisions for our country, I don’t believe he will lead it completely to destruction.

Ancient civilizations were important because of their contributions to today’s society. The neolithic agricultural revolution was responsible for the advancements in society. This allowed civilizations to thrive and one day collapse. Although they all had similar attributes and they all ended eventually for some of the same list of reasons, they were all unique and advanced society in different ways. Today, civilizations are different than they were back then because there is no slavery, there are not very many monarchies, and there are way less farmers than there used to be. With this being said, it is hard to know it what other ways this will affect the civilizations. There is no way to know exactly how these countries will fall because they are all different from the civilizations before them. All we can do is try to not make the same mistakes that were made in the past in order to avoid the same outcomes.

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