What is Civilization?

Essay by f3beautyHigh School, 10th grade June 2004

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Civilization indicates a situation when a human intelligence advances and makes human life more comfortable to live. Sometimes accommodated by "culture" which is more related with human's internal mind, it emphasizes on the outer and material look of life - such as, start of agriculture and development of technology. It includes the pattern of life, social, political and economic systems, architecture, inventions and more.

In some sense, the touchstone of civilization can be relative. Those who thought they were "civilized" people, easily thought others who also were going through their own kind of civilization as "uncivilized barbarians". As we can see, the Ancient Chinese has put weight on their strong political system, whereas the people of India concentrated on religion. Those differences between the regions had been ignored and rather seen through biased eyes during the past days. Yet, this point of view should be changed. Also, it is not wise to disregard nomadic groups, as they have also shown wide variety of creativity.

We should learn to have broader view when judging how civilization has taken place.

There are some essential factors to achieve civilization; irrigation, some scale of political and economic organization, and writings. There is no doubt that early civilization has taken place along large rivers with irrigation projects. This enabled to integrate tens and hundreds of square miles along the rivers. Mesopotamia and Egypt's civilization can be presented as a good example. Moreover, the scale of political and economic organization increased as the water supply was to be efficiently distributed. This had to be done through regulation. Writing, which was mostly used only by privileged people because of its difficulty, was necessary for communication and recording. With the adoption of writing, the society became more organized.

Early civilization has laid the foundation of which we right...