Does Geography Determine Destiny?
With the fall of the Akkadian Empire, Sumer once again was a collection of independent city-states. The next empire to come to power would be the Babylonians around 1750 BCE. King Hammurabi, famous for his written code of laws, would unite all of Mesopotamia under the Babylonian Empire.
Babylonia thrived under Hammurabi’s leadership. Trade and agriculture boomed unlike ever before. The empire set up a regular way to carefully maintain the irrigation systems so that land remained fertile and would grow plenty of food. Trading in grain and other products grown in the land, the empire took advantage of the two rivers for more than just the fertile farm land.
What stands out above the economic advancements is that Babylonian society was oddly fair for this time period. Laws treated the classes differently, but even the lowest level, slaves, had rights. They were able to work outside of their owners’ home and could keep their wages. They were able to own property and could even save money to eventually purchase their freedom.
Following Hammurabi’s death, mass revolts created unrest in the empire. Over time, portions of the vast empire began to break off, either gaining independence or being conquered. Around 1595 BCE, the empire finally fell to the Hittites when they sacked Babylon and removed the standing king.