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China The World's Greatest Civilization

563 words - 2 pages

After the rise of agriculture in the Neolithic era, four major civilizations developed in different parts of the world. They existed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley and China. The ones that endured the longest to a lesser degree was Egypt, but to a much larger degree, China, which kept its civilization in existence straight into the modern era. This was due to their agriculture, united government, military defense, writing system and ability to embrace outside influences.The Egyptians had a centralized government, fertile lands and isolated culture whereas the people of Mesopotamia had regional city-states, aggressive culture, rough climate, few natural barriers and suffered constant attacks from nomads .1 However, both eventually declined. Also, the Indus Valley civilization was destroyed and failed to leave behind its fundamental patterns of civilized life. One factor to its decline was an inability to adapt to nomadic cultures. However, on a vastly larger scale, China has proven it has the world’s longest lasting civilization, enduring into the present day. 2Various major factors played a vital role in the longevity of China. Stearns identifies in his book, “World Civilizations” how China’s access to rivers along with agriculture contributed to advanced technology and states, “Shang irrigation and dike systems and millet and wheat cultivation provided the basis for the innovations and expansion of subsequent dynasties.” 3He also explains how the Chinese sense of unity and beliefs contributed to their strong political system, “The concept of the Mandate of Heaven has been pivotal in Chinese political thinking and organization.” 4 Their strong government enabled them to endure even during periods of crises over the course of centuries. Additionally, the Loess regions of northern China began to create military technology to protect...

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