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Guerrero, Brenda

Ms. Shechtel
9/28/10
DBQ Essay
DBQ Essay

The ancient River Valley civilizations of Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia all
made key contributions to future societies. Hieroglyphics (4) and cuneiform (1) were
both systems of language that helped keep records and track of history and events.
Hammurabi Code (2) and Confucianism (5) both set laws and ideas to regulate
society. Pyramids (3) and Chinese trade (6) both helped expand civilization and
allowed societies to grow and establish their own cultures.

Hammurabi Code and Confucianism (documents 2 and 5) are categorized as


social because they both discuss ways of living and set basis for future societies
and civilizations. Hieroglyphics and cuneiform (documents 1 and 4) are categorized
as writing systems since they both played a fundamental role in the development of
keeping record of trade and events. Pyramids and Chinese trade (documents 3 and
6) fall into the innovations category because they set new ideas for the expansion
of cultures and societies.

Writing systems made key contributions to future societies by establishing


language and creating a form of communication and writing. Cuneiform, invented
by the Sumerians, was a system of writing that was used to keep record of
business dealings and to keep track events, summarizing that cuneiform highly
influenced the way that Sumerians live. Hieroglyphics was an ancient writing
system created by the Egyptians to keep record of events. Hieroglyphics
represented ideas and objects but could also stand for sounds. Papyrus was used
to make it easier for the Egyptians to record. Both cuneiform and hieroglyphics
writings represent ideas and objects, whereas hieroglyphics also represented
sounds.

Hammurabi highly impacted his era in many ways , but his greatest
accomplishment was his set of laws that helped govern a society easily and it also
protected the people, no matter how much political status you had. Like
Hammurabi, Confucius made a political philosophy that stated that people should
live their lives to the fullest and accept their role and position in society. Many
people in ancient China studied Confucianism because they would receive benefits
such as civil services exams that would get them better and higher-paying jobs if
they scored well. Many who believed in and learned about Confucianism would
have better lifestyles than those who didn't practice it. Both Hammurabi's laws and
Confucianism helped contribute to future civilizations by establishing an elaborate
way of life.
Both the pyramids of Egypt and the creation of the Chinese Silk Road major
contributors to innovations that helped expand societies (innovation are new
inventions and discoveries). The pyramids were used as houses and as tombs for
dead pharaohs, and were built using the skills of mathematics, geometry,
engineering, and architecture. The invention of the Chinese Silk Road created
wealth and and much success in China's economy and society. The Chinese Silk
Road led to cultural diffusion amongst the people. Both the pyramids and the silk
road led to great progress within each of their countries, and both spread new ideas
and inventions which led to many key advances throughout the globe.

The author's point of view on document 3 (the Egyptian pyramids) was that they
were huge structures, as directly mentioned in the information. The author is
portraying the pyramids to be grand and magnificent, whereas the point of view of
another person may be different, thinking that the pyramids are small structures and
poorly constructed. The tone that the author presents is positive, stating how the
construction of the pyramids was a difficult job and how only advanced and
educated people could have made them.

Document 2 is written in the point of view of Hammurabi. He felt that there should
be said punishments following the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth tactic, depending
on your worth and position in society. The document also states that Hammurabi
was a brutal warrior and that his greatest achievement was his code of law.
However, other might disagree, concluding that they might see Hammurabi as a
weak and frail warrior and leader or that his code of laws was useless and worth
nothing to society.

An additional document that would help me further and better analyze and
explain would be a document on other form of writing systems, such as Chinese
writing and language. This document would greatly expand my analysis on
documents 1 and 4 and on the way that the writing systems work, compare, and
help contribute to future civilizations. A document on the ancient Chinese writing
system would provide me with more information to further continue my analysis.

In conclusion, the ancient River Valley civilizations, China, Egypt, and


Mesopotamia did have many key contributions that helped expand future societies.
All of the documents link together to help expand cultural diffusion and the
differences in societies. Each region contributed to the expansion of trade,
civilization, government, and political and social status withing civilizations.