Civilizations: 10,000 Years of History and Legacy - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1925 Words
Date:  2023-04-20


Civilizations have roamed around the earth for as long as 10,000 years ago. These civilizations include some of the well-known to these points, such as the Roman Civilization, the Mayan Civilization, the Egyptian civilization, and others (Adams, 2018, 229). Each civilization began and multiplied in all aspects of life, politically, economically, religion. It, however, reached a point that these civilizations ended. Historians and archeologists have been researching far and wide, trying to establish the growth and fall of these ancient societies.

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Around the world, they managed to leave mysterious landmarks that keep becoming a constant reminder of the current and future generations of its existence. A civilization of 3000-4000 years ago built features such as the great pyramids of Egypt. The Mayans, too, have their pyramids and monuments (Adams, 2018,230). Through the use of various archeological methods, it was possible to uncover the history of these civilizations. They have information on how it began through its peak and then how it fell. From researching these civilizations, it is possible to conclude that they had specific reasons for its fall. This essay will analyze the major causes of the fall of these civilizations. It was indicating the best lessons that we could learn from them to improve ours.

Environmental Changes

The environment is an essential factor for the development of any society. As Brevik et al. (2018) describes, several ancient civilizations have come to a standstill after an abrupt change in the environment. The environment is part of nature, and nature always has a way of coming back. Some civilizations destroyed their natural habitat. Destruction of the natural environment happens in various ways. The primary cause is the exhaustion of natural resources. The use of natural resources such as minerals, land, and forests can be a comfortable lead to the fall of a standing civilization.

Exhaustion of natural resources is reached when the civilization reaches a point that all the natural resources have been used. A point is reached where the generation starts to crumble due to inadequate supply (Brevik et al., 2018, 18). The Mayan Civilization went through this phase. It used all the resources, especially forest clearing. All the trees were used, and thus the place became a desert making it hard for civilization to process. Other cultures, such as the Egyptian civilization, went through the same process. It only took a long time for it to occur.

Environmental changes do not only occur as a result of overpopulation and exhaustion of resources. It also means that there could be other factors such as pollution. If pollution is caused to the point that the existence of a particular race civilization is threatened, it may finally lead to the end of that civilization.

Foreign Invasion

For several civilizations, people have met neighbors. Some were friendly, while others were hostile. The relation between civilization and its neighbors is a significant factor that describes the fate of civilization. Some historical wars have happened that led to the wiping of an entire civilization (Levitt, 2019, 40). The ancient civilization did not have an organized form of governance that could bring global unity as we have today. It was a time where supremacy was seen as the group would conquer its neighbors, eliminate them, and take over all their possession. This was the secret to the growth of the major empires that existed on the face of the earth long before.

Since natural resources were scarce and have always been limited, people would struggle to have them. It would lead to several wars and struggle for resources. Nature always dictates and survival for the fittest strategy, and therefore, without the use of the most advanced and weapons and war tactics, it is easy to eliminate a society. The Ottoman Empire cannot be considered a complete civilization, but it is a typical example of how cultures work. It happens that this empire grew bigger and bigger by taking over the neighboring societies. Through various wars staged by the realm, several cultures were wiped (Levitt, 2019 p. 30). The same case exactly happens to civilizations. They come to an end if they come into conflict with a more robust civilization that would take over their land and resource. Thus, the foreign invasion is a significant cause of civilizations to fall.

Epidemic Disease

Epidemic diseases are diseases that come and affect large populations of a civilization. It means that these civilizations come to an end or decrease in population to state that it will take years to get back on track. In history, numerous stories have been told of disease epidemics that occurred in the past. The occurrence of some plagues in history has been known to change the perspective of humanity.

A great example is the Plague of Justinian; it happened in the year 541-542 (Afshari, 2018, 30). It was so intense at that time that it cleared up to 25 million people. A population of 25 million is unusually large for such time. It is possible to clear a whole civilization since that time, and the populations were not that big.

The second primary plague happened in the year 1346-1353. The bubonic plague affected several continents, including Asia, Africa, and Europe. The bubonic plague killed up to 200 million people. It is a massive population that could be entire Europe at that time. A civilization may be affected by such contagious diseases that cannot get out of control, therefore, killing its whole generation or a significant percentage of the population (Afshari, 2018, 31). The remaining population may become overwhelmed to the point that it will not grow to bring back the lost civilization.

Ancient Egypt used to get infected by the diseases that cause havoc at that time. Malaria was the worst infection that destroyed some of the civilizations at that time. Archeologists confirmed that King Tutankhamun of Egypt was killed at a young age of 20 by malaria. It shows the intensity of certain infections that have affected the past civilizations. Diseases like leprosy-affected some civilizations causing harm and havoc, the fall of a culture can be in terms of losing a significant portion of the population (Afshari, 2018, 32). The Roman Empire is an excellent example of a civilization that might have come to an end due to the breakout of an infectious epidemic disease. The disease reduced the population tremendously to a point the culture had to come to an end.

Civil Conflict

Civil war or civil conflict is a struggle between groups in the same civilization. Groups in a society may have different ideological beliefs that could bring differences and disharmony. These ideological beliefs could be political, t gender-based, religious and racial. They can cause disagreements and hence bring about revolts and civil wars (Middleton, 2017, 360). The extent of harm in which the civil war can create civilization differs. At the time, it may become extreme to appoint the whole community crumbles and dies. As a matter of fact, for any society, if it starts getting unhealthy division amongst their members, the downfall of the society soon follows. It means that unity is a significant factor that enables civilizations to last longer.

The great civil war that took place in the United States that brought justice to the African Americans over racial segregation took place over a long time. However, it cannot be compared to these other forms of civil conflicts. It means the result of this civil war was the creation of an influential better civilization with unity (Middleton, 2017, 360). It is through the civil war that we have a strong and unified the United States of America.

Several civilizations that ended as a result of trying to overthrow the leadership due to civil conflicts, family conflict for leadership crumbled and were taken over by other competitive civilizations around it. If a society fails to acknowledge the importance of unity and hence result in the civil war that affects the economic and social prosperity of the civilization, its end is imminent.

Competition for Trade

The success of a community or society is where it acquires what it lacks and sells what it has in surplus. The whole process results in trade. Communities would compete for trade partners, markets, and sources of raw materials and supremacy. The Ottoman Empire grew as a result of trading with the European and the Asians (Kapelle, Bernhard, and Dennis 2017, 322). In the process, there was the elimination of smaller societies that we're unable to fight back for their trade rights.

The past has been trough dark ages where survival was for the fittest. The current civilization enjoys freedom and equality. All the nations, from the powerful and to the small countries, are at enjoyed a free market with adjusted competition to favor all. The past, however, made things harder for the little societies that could not compete favorably. The growth of famous empires and civilizations forced other smaller civilizations to try to grow beside them to the edge (Kapelle, Bernhard, and Dennis 2017, 325). It means that the smaller civilizations faced immense challenges in trying to compete. By nature, it would be hard for them to achieve this, and thus they would naturally become eliminated.

All the causes of civilizations falling are possible to occur at the moment except this. It could only occur if the military powers are involved in the trade, which could cause the beginning of World War III. However, since there are governing bodies that protect such from happening, such as the World Trade Organization agreements, and the United Notations, there is a low likelihood of such occurring. The Ottoman Empire finally got defeated due to the same competition. The stronger European Nations developed and began industrialization. They would use modern methods of trade and war. The competition they gave to the empire took it down. It was not built to embrace the future. The example of the Ottoman empire might not necessarily be a civilization but is the most example that resembles the Roman civilization (Kapelle, Bernhard, and Dennis 2017, 324). A balance in all aspects of life has to be achieved for a civilization to last longer. It should be stable economically, socially, politically, trade wise, and spiritually. If one fails to a point, it is out of control, and it could lead to a collapse of a civilization.

Lessons Contemporary Civilization Should Learn from the Past

The contemporary civilization is the current civilization we live in. According to the study of man's existence on earth, this is the most advanced civilization that has ever occurred. It is the only time that the whole world has become a global village. With the help of all the technology that is advancing day in day out, the current civilization has managed to reach the peak that no other has reached (Jackson, Andrew, and Felix 2018, 59). The civilization of the past was terrific in their way. They led life and built immense structures such as the pyramids that still exist today. However, in one way or another, they fell.

Man has done a lot, and a lot is still in the store, meaning all that has taken place within the current civilization. One fear man faces at the moment is the uncertainty of the future. After discovering that their cultures have been on earth before and fell due to one or two reasons, it is a cause of alarm (Kapeller, Bernhard, and Dennis 2016, 325). The uncertainty is the main driver for the current urge to get better in all aspects. Knowing the history can be a leeway to help us prevent the end of our civilization by not repeating the same mistakes.

The first lesson we can learn from ancient civilization includes the fact that natu...

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