Ancient Egypt: Compare Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom

9 September 2016

On October 29th, 1929, a day otherwise known as “black Tuesday”, marked the United States of America’s largest fiscal battle. Black Tuesday was the beginning of The Great Depression. The stock market plummeted on this day and the nation trembled in fear. This fear propelled Americans to withdraw their money from banks, for they anticipated the banks to plummet as well. The insufficient funds within the banks forced them to close their doors. The credit system that was developed in the ‘20s failed due to the incapability to repay loans.

The following ten years are referred to as The Great Depression. The president at the time was Herbert Hoover. His approach to the economy was extremely nonchalant. Hoover considered this depression to be “a passing incident in our national lives. ” His attitude did very little to stabilize the country’s economy. In 1932, the economy was at its worst and unemployment was at 25 percent. This was around the same time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected. FDR attacked this depression aggressively with a series of programs and economic stimulus plans called The New Deal.

Ancient Egypt: Compare Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom Essay Example

After earning the trust of the citizens of America, the people felt comfortable again. This level of comfort liberated citizens to spend money again. At this time, the economy was as good as it ever was. President Barrack Obama took office in 2008 in the midst of a recession. While this recession was nowhere near as severe as the one that took place in the ‘30’s, he most definitely had a lot of work to do. By using techniques similar to those of FDR, he has been able to stimulate the economy and slowly, but surely, stabilize our economy.

Without the knowledge of history and the actions of FDR, today’s economy would have been impacted more severely. This all may seem irrelevant to Ancient Egyptian studies, but this goes to show how difficult it must have been for the first leaders of the world to succeed. The rulers of Ancient Egypt had very little history to regard, contrary to the leaders of today. Almost everything that the Ancient Egyptians did was based on trial and error. Often times, decisions resulted in success; even more often did those decisions result in failure.

The Old Kingdom in Ancient Egypt took place in 3100-2200 BC. The Middle Kingdom took place in 2050-1700. The 150 years separating the two kingdoms is called the First Intermediate Period. These three stages of Ancient Egypt are amongst civilization’s first documented historical events. Ancient Egypt took notes of the very few civilizations that preceded them. Mesopotamia was the very first civilization on earth and influenced Ancient Egypt in many ways. Much like Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt began with the accumulation of city-states within the region.

These city states were referred to as nomes and there were 42 of them within the expanse. These 42 city-states often battled each other for resources, land, and power. It wasn’t too long before the fittest nomes ruled all of Egypt. These nomes divided Egypt in half and were called Upper and Lower Egypt. After Upper Egypt defeated Lower Egypt, the two city-states merged. This unification marks the beginning of the Old Kingdom. This kingdom was actually a serene and affluent period of history. The first pyramid ever built was constructed for King Zoser at this time.

Pyramids were initially used to harbor the tombs of the deceased and shelter the corpses of the departed so that they may return for the afterlife. Common misconception alludes to the idea that slaves built these pyramids; however, it was peasants that did the constructing in hopes of being honored with an afterlife of their own. The Great Pyramid of Gizeh was unanimously the largest and most elegant of all pyramids. The Pyramid was comprised of 2. 3 million limestone blocks. This structure was expensive.

The Construction of this pyramid negatively impacted the economy but wasn’t the driving force behind the struggling monetary system of Egypt. The toll the pyramid took on the economy played a minimal role in the decline of The Old Kingdom. Severe drought struck Egypt at this time and the lack of water forced Egypt into famine. During the Old Kingdom, the king was looked upon as a god. This idea gave the Egyptian people the perspective that their king was divine and can control the climate and environmental factors. Once severe drought occurred, the people began to question their king’s power.

The Egyptians turned their faith toward the sun god, Re. This shift in religion becomes prevalent in Ancient Egyptian art and architecture. The political, religious, and economical shift drives The Old Kingdom into the ground. After the weakening of The Old Kingdom’s centralized monarchy, the unity between Upper and Lower Egypt dissolved as they separated from each other yet again. The First Intermediate Period, otherwise known as the First Disruption, was chaotic. Manetho, a Graeco-Egyptian priest, claims this period was “composed of seventy rulers for seventy days. Scholars assume this hyperbole describes the disorder of The First Intermediate Period. In 2055 BC, Mentuhotep II took Theban Throne. Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt, took advantage of Lower Egypt by attacking in the midst of a Lower Egypt revolt. The inability to prepare due to the revolt allowed Upper Egypt to dominate and take over Egypt as a whole once again. The fusion of the two lands initiates The Middle Kingdom. Mentuhotep II reestablished order in Egypt and laid the foundation for more prosperity to come. Trade, art, and literature thrived once again; people had faith in their culture.

The once flawed irrigation system was corrected as the Nile flowed regularly again. Egypt established a military to fend off foreign countries. At this time, pharaohs were thought of as good kings and wise leaders to their people. Pharaohs of this age seem to be more humble and no longer refer to themselves as gods. Instead of building massive pyramids for the deceased pharaohs, they were buried in tombs hidden in the hills. Not only did the land and people of Upper and Lower Egypt unify, but as did their cultures. Amun was the god of Upper Egypt as Ra was the god of Lower Egypt.

After the unification, the two gods become one: AmunRa. The unification of the two gods lessened the likelihood of civil war between cities based on belief. The Middle Kingdom took a more conservative route than that of The Old Kingdom. While it didn’t last forever, by acknowledging the past mistakes of Ancient Egypt, The middle Kingdom prevented history from repeating itself. The arrogance of the pharaohs in the Old Kingdom applied a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect. By being humble in The Middle Kingdom, the pharaohs retained the respect of the people even through times struggle.

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