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Throughout our world history, we have seen many civilizations rise and fall, many where successful and many where not because of the way there leaders adopt their civilizations to the environment and the other power related problems. From the rise and fall of different civilizations you will also see different technology and inventions been develop and past on through generations, as well as different political organizations and cultures. The environment and the way the civilization spread out and expanded as a great deal in the rise/fall of their civilization. Did civilizations depend on agriculture to much that it caused the civilization to collapse?
The environment in different parts of the world made agriculture a lot easier or harder. From agriculture you will develop specializations that will help your civilization succeed and gain power over others. Many civilizations spread out West / East instead of North / South. In spreading from East/West you will see that there is going to be the same amount of day length, same seasonal variations, share similar diseases, same temperature and share the same habits or biomes. All of these factors played a big role in the way plants germinated and this lead to the domestication of different types of plants. Diamonds says, Thats part of the reason why fertile Crescent domesticated spread west to east so rapidly, they were already well adapted to the climates of the regions to which they where spreading(Diamond 185). This helped out civilizations to grow more crops for different kinds of purposes (Olives for oil) and to gain food surplus over other civilizations, which leads to greater specializations and advancements. Many different forms of technology and inventions where spread east to west because of the same climates( Man rather spread from fertile Crescent to China instead of northern Europe because of the same climate temperature and environments). Along with the sharing of inventions and technology among a civilization also came blue print / idea diffusion from other civilizations. Many civilizations picked up writing, religion, inventions, culture, politics, and other advancements by copying/ or modify any ideas ( Blueprint) to suit their own needs or they would just get a idea then make the rest up on their own( idea diffusion) to advance their civilizations. Specializations help to develop large monumental architecture to show much power there civilization had, like the pyramids, Ziggurats, Masaba, etc. These different types could have been copied from different civilizations and modified to there own religion and culture. Diamond explains, Thats is one reasons why there were so few independent origins of writings, is great difficulty of inventing it(224 Diamond). For a civilizations to develop their own type of writing would take decades and even centuries to develop and this is why many blueprints and idea diffusion where used in writing and other special advances that helped out civilizations over others.
Writing helps many civilizations to rise above others. You could communicate among each other, keep track of your livestock, make contracts and most of all for trade. Writing developed politics and power organizations and aloud leaders to develop a cohesion system, which developed taxation and rules to obey in society. Many peasants would have to pay taxes so that the priest, military and other forms of higher social power people could develop specializations for the leader and civilization. If a civilization was isolated it could keep order, trade and communication to a basic level but with the population rising and with a hungry power driving leader it forces the civilization to extend and then you start to see fragmentation all over the place. With the rise in population you are going to see a much higher demand on resources, such as good agriculture areas to grow food (Also defense starts to become a problem because people are scattered all over the area and no longer is isolated and is available for invasions). This forces civilizations to invade one another and try to take over their area for more resources and spaces. Rome, which was one of the most powerful empires, was expanding at an incredible rate, meanwhile Carthage another civilization was also expanding to. Carthage invaded Rome but lost so now all the land that Carthage had know was Romes territory to rule. This shows how one-civilization expansions can whip out another civilization because of the lack of room and resources.
With the invasions from other civilizations also brought diseases, the one civilization would be immune to the disease because their bodies fought it off before and has vaccines in there body to fight it but other would not and would almost whip out a whole civilization. With Agriculture societies they where more pron to get a disease then a hunting and gathering society because they have a sedentary life and the microbes could travel through the soil and water usually it was they own waste that did this to them. Also with the trade between civilizations brought infections and deadly diseases. Microbes had a hay day with this because it was one big breeding ground for them, which caused humans to come to their deaths by thousands. The most deadly carriers of disease where animals which civilization domesticate them for their use. Diamond reply, The major killers of humanity throughout our recent history small poxes, flu, tuberculosis, malaria, plague, measles and the cholera are infectious diseases that evolved from animals, ( 198-97 Diamond). A lot of the times it wasnt how large of an army you had it was what kind of germs that you had brought that could whip out a whole civilization. This was one of the biggest factors in the rise and falls of civilization. If it didnt whip you all out, you were left with very few people left and easy to be invaded.
The large and most important factor was the heavy depends on the environment and the land that these civilizations had. With the large expansion of civilizations new forms of technology where developed. The granary regions, which contained most of the good growing crops, formed irrigation ditches. Most large developed cities where
riverreins and depend on the river for all their agriculture purposes. Every year the cities would wait for the river to flood so it would fertile the land with silt from the river. Civilizations depended on these large annually floods to occur. Ponting explains, Agriculture involves clearing the natural ecosystem in order to create an artificial habitat where humans can grow the plants and stock the animals they want. The natural balance and inherent stability of the original ecosystem are thereby destroyed( 68 Ponting).
Due to deforestation (wood for fires, clearing land for agriculture, houses) and erosion (from clearing the trees) change the climate over hundreds of years and stopped the floods from happening and brought a huge drought or a very wet year which cause crops to decline in yield an food production. This cause falling nutritional standards and increased diseases and other infections. With the cause of poor crops comes starvation and a decline in domesticated animals. Ponting says, clearing forests, therefore ran the risk of bringing about soil deterioration and declining crops yields and this would be exacerbated by lack of domesticated animals to provide manure to maintain soil structure and fertility (Ponting 82). Due to these occurrences, many of the most powerful civilizations where weak and were easily invaded by other civilization and easlily to form a rebellion against them.
Many civilizations expanded and couldnt control their expansion, this could have been because of poor leadership. Leaders that had power but wanted more by invading others and to have the big populations where usually destroyed because there carrying capacity was to much and food surplus to low. The environment was a big role in the way civilizations where developed. If you where a small weak civilization you probably would be taken over by a larger civilization like Rome. Rome grew and grew and nature played it parts and took the over. If you live in the right climate (what to grow, how to live), if you developed the area right(no overpopulation, no deforestation etc), use only what you need and when you need it(Resources), and stayed in a isolated area you would have no over extension, Invasions, overpopulation, Poor leadership, Diseases which causes almost every civilization to come to a fall.