Dynastic China and Egypt: A Comparison

There are many ancient civilizations that contributed to our world today. Two of these civilizations and dynastic Egypt and China, both of which were stable, long-lasting societies with complex governments. A dynasty is a succession of rulers from the same family or line. Both civilizations depended on dynasties for leadership. The Egyptian dynasties lasted from about 3100 to 332 B.C., located in Africa along the Nile River. Dynastic China, which lasted from 1000 B.C. to 500 A.D., lay between the Yangtze and Huanghe rivers in Asia. The longevity of dynastic China and Egypt can be explained by their geography, society and political structure.
One thing to consider about ancient China and Egypt is their geography. Both civilizations developed along river valleys-the Chinese between the Huanghe and Yangtze River, Egyptian along the Nile. These river valleys helped their civilizations prosper through agriculture. They were both fairly isolated, partially protected from invasion by natural barriers: deserts, mountains and seas. The Chinese, however, were more isolated from other societies and did not conduct trade outside of China, while Egyptians traded with other peoples. China also had a wide range of climates and landscapes throughout; Egypt, though it had some different landforms, was mainly desert with harsh climate.
The societies of Dynastic Egypt and China also had some similarities. Both had a clearly defined social system, with leaders and nobles having the highest respect. However, while the Egyptians depended largely on slaves, slavery was not common in China. Marriage was very important in both societies and men were the ones who made most of the important decisions. However, Egyptian women had much more equal rights than Chinese women-while the women of China depended on their husbands, were taught to be humble, and did not have many opportunities; Egyptian women were more independent and had the same basic rights as men…


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