The geography of Egypt and Mesopotamia was a powerful influence in the development of each region. Egypt was the more stable of the two, it incorporated government and religion into a single form of rule. Mesopotamia was more fragmented, this lead to various beliefs, traditions, and more of an emphasis on economic strength.

The fertile crescent of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Photo courtesy of www.inmagine.com.

Both of these regions survived and gave birth to their own cultures based indirectly on the geography of their lands.

Egypt was known throughout history as a people and a land that can be described as powerful, religious, and intelligent. The strength of the kingdom was supported by the eternal flow of the Nile River.

The Nile River provided life and stability to the lands of Egypt. It also provided faith through predictability for the people. The annual flooding of the Nile River was gradual and not life threatening. This allowed prosperity through agriculture. This type of prosperity quickly caused a chain reaction of population growth. The stability of the fertile soils and food allowed the people to focus on the development of their kingdom and its culture. The ruler of Egypt was known as the Pharaoh, a figure of divinity. The stability of the Nile River and the geography of the entire kingdom of Egypt allowed generations of rule by the pharaoh and his family. This is known as a dynasty. That alone creates a clear contrast with Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia was a broken and abundant land. It resided between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. It was a land with very little wood and almost no stones. The soil was fertile and agriculture was the way of life. The unpredictability of the rivers flooding made life unstable and dangerous. The floods alone caused the people to gather into smaller communities and cities, instead of uniting into one nation. Those that gathered did this for survival.

This caused many smaller cultures and traditions to emerge from these new regions. The emphasis of those in Mesopotamia was originally on religion, but quickly diverted to man, through kingship, government, and trade. Trade was the foundation and catalyst for the focus of the development in the economy. The different cultures, traditions, and belief, easily justified the need in government.

Photo courtesy of www.utexas.edu.

The lands of Egypt and Mesopotamia provided an abundance of resources for their people. The rains, floods, and rivers that shaped the land molded the inhabitants into a form that allowed them to survive in those regions. This is where their cultures were born. This is also why their cultures developed differently. Neither culture is better, it is only that the geography forced them to grow differently.