Sumer & Egypt Comparison Essay

During the time of the river valley civilizations, Sumer and Egypt each had revolutionary political structures. Although both of them had a monarchy and were ruled by a king, they differed in the amount of power the king held. Although the king of Sumer held immense power, the king of Egypt was in control of every aspect of the Egyptian government. Sumer and Egypt both created the standard for governments in the Neolithic Era with their comparable political structure. Although Sumer and Egypt were very similar civilizations, their governments were not the same in every aspect.

While Sumer was a region of city-states ruled by one, Egypt was a unified country under a unitary government composed of one Pharaoh. The kings of Sumer and Egypt shared many duties and powers, but unlike the political structure of Sumer, the king of Egypt was in control of an absolute monarchy and created every law. The kings of Sumer often rose to power by claiming divine authority- the right to rule destined by the gods. The kings of Egypt, however, were viewed as one of the many gods in their religion once they rose to power.

Egypt and Sumer, although very similar, held differences between their political structures. Although Egypt and Sumer differed somewhat in their political structure, they shared similarities. Not only did both regions have a monarchy, but they also had a patriarchy and theocracy. Both political structures were ruled by religious men who held more power than anyone within their region. Each king held immense power within their societies. The kings of Sumer and Egypt were in control of the court system, the religious aspect of society, and the military.

Both regions’ king was the head priest of their society, creating a theocracy. The political structures of Sumer and Egypt shared similarities in many aspects of their government. Although both regions were river valley civilizations and shared common ideas, their structures differed because of how they were affected by their environment. Many of the aspects of their governments were similar because they had similar environments and had to create organization in order to be successful.

Although their environments were similar in the aspect that they needed irrigation organization because of the floods, the way their environment flooded differed. In Sumer, the floods were random and more frequent, causing the people of Sumer to fear the gods and anyone who had divine authority. In Egypt, however, the floods came predictably, causing the Egyptians to cherish their gods and trust their godly leaders with such great power. The similarities and differences between the two regions were caused by the way the people were affected by their surroundings.