Essay Example on the Evolution of World Civilizations: From Ancient to Modern Times

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1725 Words
Date:  2023-04-24


World Civilization is the development of sophisticated human societies. It examines the chronological advancement of contemporary societies from their earliest forms and beginnings to the present days. Civilizations are often characterized by gradual urban development, the establishment of systems of communication, social stratification, and political growth (Khan Academy). Despite the existence of different civilizations such as Egyptian, Chinese, and Greek civilization. The early civilization united people with shared characteristics from religion, beliefs, language, and socio-cultural artefacts within a specific parameter. With the development of significant social elements like agriculture, trade, empires, and migration, ancient civilization massively spread and developed into sophisticated contemporary societies today. Moreover, the emergence of agriculture has been a critical event that significantly propelled world civilization and prompted the steady development of socio-cultural, economic, and political structures (Reed 26). For instance, agriculture readily facilitates the establishment of centralized government, specialization, social hierarchy, construction of monuments, and religious dispensation (Reed 26). Regardless of the complex nature of modern society characterized by intricate technology, agriculture as modest as it is influenced the World Civilization. Therefore, critical and analytical assessment of the historical development and influence of agriculture provides a detailed comprehension of the growth, multimodal elements, and impacts of world civilization in contemporary society.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Characteristics of early civilizations

Different phenomena characterized Early civilizations, such as cities where people came to work and trade. Different people from various ethnicities interacted in the cities fostering unity in society. They shared languages, religions, and governments, among other institutions in their communities. The concentration of religious, social, and political institutions in the cities lead to the growth of states, in which the people shared a standard political structure (Khan Academy). While the people previously perceived the institutions throughout the communities, the accumulation of large populations in the cities led to their concentration in single places. The emergence of states contributed to the collection of labor and resources that further led to the growth of civilization. Additionally, common religious faith, beliefs, and practices united people (Khan Academy). As more people continued to live together, they shared beliefs and behavior, which led to the acquisition of a common faith. People from different places and cultures, who barely knew each other, build mutual respect among themselves.

The rise of political and religious organizations further led to the growth of social hierarchies that distinguished the status of specific individuals from the rest of the population (Khan Academy). Political and religious leaders gained status in society; they could make decisions that affected the entire communities. Social classes also arose, which denoted a substantial distinction between the rich and the poor. The merchants and artisans created the wealthy class while peasants, laborers, and slaves were the lower class. Also, writing contributed to the rise of complex societies. People adopted writing to keep records of economic exchanges such as the Cuneiform in Mesopotamia and enforce proper management of the complex institutions (Khan Academy). The densely populated complex societies also shared other features such as specialization, division of labor, and monumental architecture. Trading was also conventional in complex societies, which further led to more civilizations.

History and background of agriculture

Agriculture emerged in different parts of the world at different times. It appeared in the Fertile Crescent and independently surfaced in various places majorly in the Middle East, such as China, Europe, and India (Gupta 54). Initially, people were hunters and gatherers relying on natural vegetation, carrion, and fruits for their livelihoods. They did not establish permanent settlements since they migrated from place to place in search of food. The hunting groups were small and only needed a small region for their survival. Although the reason why the hominids left hunting and gathering is not apparent since it occurred 10,000 years ago, the most likely cause was the population pressure arising from the rapid population growth and changes in the climate (Gupta 54). As the population grew, so did the demand for food. Hunting and gathering could not sustain the large population, which prompted hominids to seek more sources of food (Gupta 54). Additionally, as the ice age came to an end, big animals such as mastodons retreated, forcing the hunters to depend on wild bears, deer, and other small animals in the forested areas, which meant inadequate food for the growing population.

The rapid climatic changes, however, put anthropogenic pressures on flora and fauna, forcing humans to domesticate plants and animals. Domestication is the process in which animals and plants depend on human beings for survival while, in turn, benefiting humans in several ways (Gupta 54). The method of domestication was gradual since some animals proved hard to tame and breed. The productive animals were tamed and allowed to reproduce while they slaughtered other animals that failed to reproduce. The first animal to be domesticated by the hominid was the dog that he bred to assist humans in hunting while it was food to some communities across the world (Gupta 55). The people in the Fertile Crescent also domesticated sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and cattle, which increased food production. The grazing animals also fertilized the lands with their natural waste used as manure. The result of the domestication was vital for civilization as it increased food productions, led to larger populations, and facilitated transportation as people could move into other regions.

Similarly, in the Fertile Crescent, wild foods were in plenty, forcing hunters and gatherers to settling there permanently. People realized that there was a way they could control and regulate the growth of the wild plants without having to move from place to place (Gupta 54). Therefore, they shift from gathering grains to selecting the seeds that they most desired and planted them. The first crops to be planted were barley and emmer wheat, which nutritious and easy to domesticate compared to other native plants. Sumerian farmers began yoking oxen to wagons, plough, and sledge to ease ploughing (Reed 469). The practice spread to other regions, including India, Europe, Egypt, and Asia, that has already ventured into farming. In 900 BC, the people of Fertile Crescent invented the iron metallurgy, adding iron blades and to the farming tools (Reed 470).

The iron-tipped ploughs yoked to oxen enabled the farmers to open unusable land to farming, which had initially proved hard to till due to frail and unsuitable farming implements. The hunters and gatherers in China and Fertile Crescent made tools from wood, woven grass, bones, and stone for many years (Gupta 54). When they ventured into farming, they improved their devices to facilitate efficient planting, harvesting, and storage of crops. Among their earliest tools were digging sticks that were used to scratch and dig furrows. The rise of agriculture led them to attach handles on the digging sticks to enable easy ploughing.

Impact of agriculture and how it led to civilization

Agriculture positively prompted the change in the socio-cultural lifestyle of man away from the primitive social structure through domestication and settlement. The Fertile Crescent is perceived to be the cradle of civilization. Agriculture made humans develop complex societies and sophisticated social life (Maisels 28). The man transformed his lifestyle from foraging, searching for food from morning to dusk, staying in caves, chasing and being chased by beasts, and always worried about where to find the next meal to a more settled and comfortable life. Agriculture provided plenty of food for the people, contributing to the significant increase in their population (Maisels 220). With no need to forage, agriculture allowed people to establish permanent houses, and as the population increased, more houses were constructed, which grew into villages. The increase in the populace can be attributed to the fact that, during hunting and gathering, families had very little time to spend together and bear children. However, with permanent settlements and plenty of food from agriculture, families settled down, giving women ample time to carry their pregnancies and reproduce more frequently. As the birthrate increased, so did the population. Women could take care of children and raise them with plenty of food from agricultural produce. Therefore, the population in the villages further increased as the years passed, and as more inventions emerged, the communities evolved into cities and towns.

Further, agriculture promoted the establishment of modern towns and cities, creating literature and complex religion, empowered by the ability to acknowledge the socio-economic changes. People specialized in other occupations that helped in advancing and growing agriculture across the world. (Maisels 10). They ventured into the production of paintings, sculptures, textiles, pottery, bakery, buildings, and tools, which facilitated the productivity of agriculture and fostered bigger villages (Khan Academy). The new occupations facilitated surplus food production that further led to population growth. The surplus food produced was distributed to other family members, creating a sense of unity in society. It enabled people to live together in more substantial and permanent villages, which were productive both agriculturally and creatively. With specialized roles, stone walls, roads, and monuments also emerged (Khan Academy). People could construct better roads, create borders with stone walls, and have for the family members. They also specialized in metalworking, producing tools from iron and aluminium among others. The knowledge and art of metals spread gradually to Africa, Asia, and Europeans. The invention of metal tools further brought change to both farmers and artisans that had better equipment replacing or improving stone, bone, and wood equipment.

Numerous parts such as Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Huang, and Nile rivers, which intensified agriculture, also experienced dense and larger settlements. The moderate settlements developed into small towns and cities such as Ur and Uruk (Maisels 319). The transformation from small villages to states exposed the society into significant challenges that called for the need for better systems of social organization to solve the issues effectively. Therefore, people created social infrastructures such as religious and economic institutions with social hierarchies to ensure active organizations and management of the large and densely populated communities (Maisels 10). For example, agriculture played a critical role in promoting religious doctrines, beliefs, and rituals, which significantly united people. As the people pay tribute to seasons and produce gods, they gradually grew to recognize the supernatural beings, which laid a fundamental platform for the modern religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam that has helped to manage or control the social distancing advanced by class stratification.

Further, the social hierarchies in the society included individuals with specialized roles like farmers, artisans, administrators, spiritual leaders, and merchants who played different positions to ensure efficient operation o...

Cite this page

Essay Example on the Evolution of World Civilizations: From Ancient to Modern Times. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism