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A Global Perspective Of The Ancient World: A Comparison Of The Indus Valley Civilization To Modern Western Civilization. International Baccalaureate

2741 words - 11 pages

Patrick Royle Friday, June 08, 2007
The Harappan Civilization: A Comparative EssayPatrick RoyleFriday, June 08, 2007A Global perspective of the Ancient WorldPatrick RoyleWhy do some civilizations flourish and achieve greatness only to fall? The Indus River civilization was one of the 4 ancient river civilizations that is believed to have been established in 3000 BCE. Often referred to as The Harappan Civilization, it was very complex and advanced. Achieving a high level of advancement, the civilization gradually declined and eventually disappeared in around 1700 BCE. An analysis of the causes of the decline can provide useful information to contemporary society. A comparison of the two ...view middle of the document...

The markets were further opened by gains in communication technology. The computer, which reaches a global market, is used by businesses to create a need for products through advertising. It creates homogeneity of needs and a desire for products that reflect the status and wealth of rich countries in Modern Western Civilization. Furthermore, computer technology increases access to information, widening the global market. Transportation and communication technology, allow for the dispersal of goods and services, such as tourism, between countries, which benefits them economically.Very little is known about the political structure of the Harappan Civilization since no written records exist. However, some inferences can be made from material evidence. Although the two main cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro were 400 miles apart they were similar in layout and construction. The cities were surrounded by walls and built in a square grid pattern with separate areas designated for housing, manufacturing and public buildings. Furthermore, they had an elaborate city-wide water and sewage system. Such a high level of city planning reflects a well organized civic authority. Historians who have studied other civilizations have suggested that an autocracy must have existed in order to execute public works on such a large scale. However, no public buildings, tombs or sculptures have been excavated to suggest that a king, priest or powerful leader existed. It has been speculated that a select group of men, possibly religious leaders, rich merchants or landowners ruled.Although the structure of government is unknown, evidence suggest that this civilization was peaceful and egalitarian. Few weapons have been found, skeletal remains don't show war injuries and there are no representations of war in their art. Therefore, the walls around the city were likely constructed to keep out floods rather than an enemy. The main role of government was to provide for the basic needs of all its citizens and an infrastructure for trade. The designation of manufacturing centers, docks and towns at major crossroads supported the development of an extensive trade network that economically integrated the region. Unlike the Harappan Civilization, Modern Western Civilization is a democracy. The role of government, as in the Harappan Civilization, is to protect the country from invasions and provide services that meet the needs of its citizens. Unlike the Harappan Civilization, Modern Western Civilization spends a large percentage of its gross national product on maintaining an army and developing sophisticated weapons to destroy not only people but the planet. To assert its supremacy, it supports puppet governments in developing countries for ideological and/or economic gain. Either money is invested in these countries or supplies and/or personnel are sent to help them fight wars.By granting its citizens rights the government ensures that all its citizens are granted equal access to...

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