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Based off of initial review, I believe that the most crucial attribute of a civilization is an effective agricultural system.  In Egypt the Nile river provided one of the best environments for farming.  As discussed in the documentary Ancient Egypt, in the months of July through October, the floods would bring and leave minerals in the soil perfect for growing crops.In all of the great civilizations we have studied, each had a river to grow crops near.  The Chinese and the Yangtze river.  Egypt had their Nile.  Mesopotamia had the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  The ability for these societies to have a consistent food source led to population growth and enabled larger groups of the population to focus on other professionals, as food production increased in efficiency.Within these cultures, religions and philosophies began to blossom. Some of these ideas had positive and negative effects on growing societies.  For instance, in China Confucianism became quite popular.  One of the attributes of this philosophy was compassion for others (William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel, The Essential World History, Volume 1: To 1800’s).  In addition this philosophy was very accepting to new or different ideas.  The somewhat opposite side to this philosophy was legalism.  At a glance, the idea states that humans are naturally evil, and stiff punishments have to be in place to deter people from breaking rules, or regulations. This system was put in place my Qin Shi Huangdi whose dynasty was around for the brief period of time between 221-206 B.C.E.  As stated in The Essential World History, Volume 1: To 1800’s, “The legalist system put in place by the Qin was designed to achieve maximum efficiency as well as total security for the state.  It did neither.” Qin Shi Huangdi censored the people’s ideas and thoughts and this rebounded with another brief time of discordLater, Han Gaozu combined legalism and confucianism to lead the civilization to a brief period of success, and an estimated growth of 20 million people to 60 million. (William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel, The Essential World History, Volume 1: To 1800’s)

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