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Economics and Civilizations (Ancient Egypt)

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The Egyptian civilization evolved from Valley of Nile River. Around 9000-6000 BC, unproductive lands caused North African tribes migration to settle down around Nile River. Both upper and lower Egypt inhabited by 7 cultures, mostly all agriculture producers and animal breeders. With the improved irrigation system they were able to produce surplus crop and domesticating live stock helped integrating society into growing economy and culture. During 4000-3000 BC the Naqada culture in Upper Egypt, a tribal community made history manufacturing high value contemporary decorative, community and personal use commodities, which made them become wealthy and affluent class. This was the transition of ancient Egypt to prosperous and economic power. Powerful strong economy dominated import export trade in own terms. Trade, Border disputes and colonization always challenged Egypt.

The Egyptian civilization periodically went under many evolutionary changes politically and economically. The cultural influence in ancient Egypt was based on the migrations and invasions from Africa, slaves from Canaan (now in Israel) and parts they invaded, Indo European (Hittites), Hyksos (multi ethnic), Nubian (northern Sudan), Assyrian (Northern Mesopotamia), Persian and Macedonia, formed multicultural society, however, as invaders did not dismantle Egyptian religious and cultural freedom, own rituals and customs placed ahead of all.  People were divided according to nature of jobs they held and majority were working class. Economically and culturally this civilization was most significant for all other civilizations.

The land and Assets belonged to Pharaohs and temple (The temple controlled 30% of land) was leased, under arrangements to farmers through channels. They leased lands to close connections, bureaucrats, soldiers, farmers and others against the fixed percentage of yield and services etc; Income generated was used to meet expenses and to feed workers & families, priests, serfs and other state workers. This was a kind of “Feudalism” under which, lands allotted to the channels (step by step authorities) and the channels paid back as tax and other levies fixed by authorities, and services required by kingdom.

“Feudalism” is an economic and political exchange system between regime and the property users or tenants, under which, land or property owned by the Dynasties or head of the state, are leased to immediate people close to kingdom, and then channelized through authorities in exchange of taxes, rent, profit sharing or conduct services to the King. This “property” may be considered as land, security men and tools for protecting tenants, ship and transport vehicles, Royal trade root and protection, prisoners of war (Slaves), storage houses etc;.

The priests and influential groups close to Pharaohs motivated growth pattern by involving people. This acknowledged social pattern was evolving from traditional dictatorial to private participation. The system revolutionized socio-economics, attracted private people into mining and transportation, which kicked off exploiting minerals, trade with surrounding regions, construction. Slavery in Egypt was not as harsh as in Babylonia or other civilizations yet was in widespread use especially in mines, constructions. agriculture and transportation.

The motivation of empowering its military for defence from invasion continued improving weapons and war tools, important invention was chariot with horses. This invention was an advantage to capture neighbouring countries. With the growing economy, dynasties realized to involve people to boost economy was a step towards democratizing commerce and culture. Increased per capita income grew consumption & demand also facilitated improving trade and generation of tax.

1.     In order to unite and discipline people for strong community, in ancient times role of temple was greater and pharaoh was considered as the representative of God. The Temple’s Influence on people was only possible by setting examples of the quality of disciplined priests so people appreciate, give value to words and follow them. Role of the Priests in Egyptian culture was important and influential to inhabitants and slaves, that, first time people began realizing life after death. “What you sow you reap” means God punishes for sins committed and good doing is always appreciated by God.  Like in Indus Valley, people faith in temples influenced to lead honourable and peaceful culture. This was the religious-political system of the temple and priests to involve all to follow religious and spiritual duties.

2.     Ancient Egypt developed a calendar with language hieroglyphics. In 2700 BC Egypt had developed easy method of surgery and invented pain killer medicine. Their achievements in the field of Astronomy could predict flood, so when receded could grow crops.

3.     By 1800 BC Egyptian banks began to function as grain deposits and loans. Besides, bank functioned with Gold and Precious metals as money. The Banking system was centralized functioned as trade creditor and transfer payment between accounts without physical transaction.

4.     1526-1490 BC Thutmose1 the 3rd Pharaoh came to power was aggressive expansionist extended his reign further. The raided territories became property of the Pharaoh, allowed local rulers to continue but took their sons in captivity. Were brought to Egypt and trained in Egyptian culture and religion. Intention behind occupying territories was to give momentum to Egyptian culture and trade. During his reign trade flourished and amassed surplus reserves through taxes and trade surplus accumulated. Wealth was used for high level infrastructure construction and Military build-up. For massive military build up to deploy in territories, he engaged hiring foreigners and incentivised by giving lands and property as long as they served.

5.      “Joseph” a slave from Israel, was son of Jacob, became second in command of whole Egypt. (Genesis 41:33-45) He advised to keep 7 years stock of grains in Government storage and use them when draught hits for seven years. The Pharaoh was impressed by his economic policy as Government intervention to save economic situation, gave him a name “Zaphenath-Paneah” offered Asenath the daughter of Potiphera.  Joseph placed 20% grain tax although people complained, later, when draught hit farmers were freed from tax and grains were on easy accessible. He taught Egypt to save for future calamity, also an example to fiscal planning.

6.     In one way it is a form of creating “economic surplus” (in today’s time called “Fiscal surplus”). In good times farmers and traders were exorbitantly grain taxed. And in bad times when draught hit in Nile Peninsula, easy access of grains for 7 years and freeing tax became stimulation to the economy is “Economic stimulus” or presently known “Fiscal Stimulus” is economy booster. “Fiscal Stimulus” is a package from the Governments to stimulate slowing economy to move on during draught, other calamities and recession, industry and commerce failures. The Government pumps funds into economy from Government reserves or borrowed funds to increase public expenditure and fractured production and commerce centres.

7.     The successors of Thutmose 1 and 2 kept expansion of Tombs and Military power without realising the consequence of expenditure on maintenance and expansions. The expenses rose over the income generated through tax, trade, agriculture. The surplus economy began to slide and ran into a form of “fiscal deficit”, impelling regime to inflict heavy taxes on all sectors and occupied territories resulting discontentment and uprising. Perhaps as a result of imposing taxes, economy deteriorated further as cost of production escalated inflation pressure. Loosing demand forced trade and commerce winding up, consequently heavy unemployment, economic or fiscal crisis. In order to trim down inflationary pressure, authorities’ resorted to an option to import; foreign goods were competitive resulting trade deficit. Deficit trade balance of had to be paid back in Gold or precious metals or equal value goods.

8.     There is possibility (perhaps) that Egypt invited foreign investment during the peak time to seek know how in sectors like ship building, transportation, construction, mining, irrigation techniques, dams, and war heads. As there was good  relationship with foreign nations, representing example was Royal Egyptians married foreign wives,  and foreign trades were strong, thus the chances were there of investment exchange, this way both countries sought advantages as surplus wealth country invested for profit and seeking country got foreign money and technology know how to modernize structure. Foreign investors watched on country’s economic activity and social behaviour to protect from loss, resulting foreign intervention in Egypt’s political structure. This could be the initial spark to conflicting opinions among Governors and Central rule, which, later fuelled to fire during long reign of Pepi II for 64 years. During his long reign Egypt began to decline by foreign and domestic conflicts as well as unrest triggering civil war.

9.     Egyptian dominance could not last long as famine erupted. Nile River was dried up for decades on account of climate change (BBC).  Weakened the Pharaohs kingdom and lost the command over Priests, state Governors and population. Weak country was prone to aggression and fell to Persian then Greek, Romans, all retained Egyptian identity intact with tradition, culture and region untouched.  During 639-645AD Egypt’s Roman Empire was invaded by Arab Muslims and shaped to Islamic Egypt.

Previous pages – Economics and Management, Economics and Indus Valley Civilization

In all civilizations, human migration, intrusion, Foreign trade and skill exchange were the reasons of cultural and economic evolution. In antiquity much of lands were unused or unexplored as necessity of land utilization was limited, which, privileged new migrants to colonize and only collision of interest provoked conflict.

Be Cautious: Above information about economics are only basics based on my assumptions, may not be correct so use only if your teachers are satisfied. For history I referred Wikipedia and other sources whose links are cited.

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Best education is to gain positive knowledge to survive and perform. When in the education, seeking highest marks becomes priority the objective is only how to get best percentage by hook or crook. Is this not the guidelines for children to become selfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadashivan’s quotes

"Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go."— Katharine Weber

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child labour photos, rural poverty photos, urban poverty photos, Ignoring rural development, Economics AND Management, Why women are poor and oppressed? TRADE & POVERTY relation, What is "BEHAVIOR", What is environment? Emotion is a reaction to the influence, What is culture? Africa to Indus-Valley (Dravidian,) Africa to Indus-Valley (Vedic Age), What is religion and how did it exist, What is civilization?, "ART" is reflection of identity!!! "Stress", "LOVE" is SUBMISSION to the ATTRACTION!!! THE COMMON LANGUAGES, Learning the skill to survive is "EDUCATION" !!! Evolution is a process for suitability !!!! Sex & Attraction, enjoy tribal dance click photos, Urbanization and the Future World, movies - videos, Handmade rugs/ carpets process photographs, social study books, SOCIAL STUDY TRAVEL LINKS.