This assignment is another final paper I did for ANP 363 Rise of Civilization course, in which I discuss the role of collapse in the circle of various ancient civilizations across time and space, and what are some factors that may contribute to the final collapses.
In the paper I states that one cannot separate the collapses when discussing the rise of the state as a whole, while the essence of collapse is actually the decrease of capacity of each state to adapt to different stresses. According to various case studies we had throughout the course, we found out that the stresses can be divided into two main categories – external, like environmental catastrophes and foreign invasions; and internal, like the overtly heavy exploitations rulers imposed upon common people, shift of social dynamics inside the state, and the lack of resources caused by exceeding agricultures. it is important to note that the collapse of each state was often a result of the collective influences of both external and internal stresses. To elaborate on my thesis I analyze various collapses of ancient states and the factors that lead to each collapse. For instance, how the central authority of Old Kingdom started to weaken as the rise of each regional nomarchs, the huge drought in the Nile valley at the end of 5th Dynasty, plus the foreign invasions from neighbor ancient civilizations, collectively lead to the downfall of Old Kingdom Egypt. Another example would be those ancient states in Mesoamerica and South America, namely the Aztecs and the Incas, that their collapse was caused by exceedingly militant religious practices inside, large scales of public works, frequent wars between neighbor states, and the destructive foreign invasions by Spanish conquerors.ANP363-Final Zhou#1