Sumer And Egypt: A Comparative Analysis

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Sumer and Egypt developed divergent forms of political organization because their surrounding environments imposed different structural forces on their societies. Within Sumer and Egypt, two unique forms of political organization developed. The development of these forms can be largely credited to influences on the initial creation and preservation of the two systems. Sumer and Egypt began with fundamentally different governmental structures, which, in part, impacted the unity of their nations as they developed. The river resources of each kingdom influenced the preservation of the political unity of each nation. Lastly, the boundaries of each of these nations played a large role in either supporting or undermining the unity of their governments.…show more content…
Fundamental differences in the structure of the Sumerian and Egyptian political systems impacted the political unity of these two kingdoms. The political rule of Sumerian city-states started with religious households gaining power.1 As time progressed however, the the institution of a kingship developed, necessitating a shared power relationship or religio-political structure.2 The king controlled the military authority and inter-city relationships.3 Whereas, the religious officials (high priests) had authority over the economic and social interests of the citizens. This led to overlapping power which resulted in the king and religious officials competing with each other’s authority.4 In short, there was a constant struggle for power. By contrast, Egypt had an inherently unified system characterized by the divine monarchy of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was the sole ruler of Egypt and had absolute power of all of the citizens within. The minimal power of the Pharaoh’s other political administrators allowed the absolute control of the Pharaoh to be successful.5 Additionally, even though the power of the Pharaoh was supreme, he would still attempt to preserve personal relations with prominent nobles of the nation.6 Also, the heir to the throne ( the prince), would be educated with a group of children from the important nobles of the realm.7 In…show more content…
This can be applied to other developing nations as well, which shows the overall importance of geographical feature in general. Overall, the example of Sumer and Egypt demonstrates that geography is the most important influence on the development of any civilization. Lastly, even though their versions were divergent, Sumer and Egypt’s different political organization contributed to the overall progression of human
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