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How Civilizations Spread their Influence? – Essay Sample

How Civilizations Spread their Influence? – Essay Sample

Title: Are There Significant Differences in How Civilizations Spread their Influence?

All civilizations are different, and naturally, how they affect other civilizations around them vary as well. The age, location and culture of a civilization heavily influence how they spread their ideas, inventions and traditions to others. How civilizations influence the nations and cultures around them vary significantly. Of the ways civilizations can influence each other, these are some of the most common and effective means.

  • Conquest. One dramatic way that civilizations spread their influence is through conquest. This method can be seen whenever a nation occupies another. The Roman Empire demonstrated this method of influence extremely effectively. Roman ideals, history and traditions saturated most of Europe and parts of Northern Africa. Traditional ancient Egypt, for example, was altered forever when Romans conquered the nation; Roman literacy and learning was introduced, along with their religions and economical practices. Fortunately this did lead Egypt to some degree of success, at least for a certain number of years, but it did not last and the original Egyptian civilization was changed forever. Civilizations that spread their influence by means of conquest include: Roman Empire, Mongol Empire, some Chinese dynasties and colonial empires (such as the British Empire).
  • Trade. Civilizations that affect other civilizations through trade do not produce as immediate an influence as those that do it through conquest. Usually, influence spread through trade is more gradual. Civilizations that trade materials, goods and services also tend to share ideas, religions and philosophies. Examples of this come in the spreading of Christianity to Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, as well as the introduction of North American foods and cooking into Europe. Islam originally spread throughout Africa via trade routes. The introduction of silk and other materials into European culture also altered the civilization, which began to prize certain commodities and establish certain social norms based around them.

Conquest and trade are two of the main ways that civilizations spread their influence. There are other ways cultures and peoples are known to do this, however. For example, ‘civilized’ cultures often bring techniques like writing and reading to ‘uncivilized’ cultures through religious or research missions. Conquering nations may teach natives to make and use certain weapons, equipment or technology that the civilization did not possess prior to conquest. Even traveling professors and teachers can influence other civilizations. How a civilization spreads its influence depends mainly on their ability to trade with the other civilizations, as well as their desire to conquer land and peoples. Western civilization tends to use conquest to influence, while eastern ones tend to use trade or other means.

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