Does Geography Determine Destiny?

Let’s break that down a little bit by looking at some smaller questions:

  • Did the geography of the areas that civilizations chose to live in make them either more or less successful? 
  • Did the environment of the areas have a huge impact on the way those people lived?

As you read on, try to think about these questions with the various civilizations you will study. One thing you will notice is that huge civilizations nearly always started near water. Think about all the good things water does for you: it can irrigate your crops, provide clean drinking water, and be used for trade.

Another thing to look for is whether the civilizations were located in areas that were accessible. For instance, Egypt and China were pretty isolated. This protected them from wars but also made trade more difficult. Groups in Mesopotamia were much more likely to trade, but they were also sometimes attacked.