Geography might not seem like a crucial point nowadays but it has impacted many civilizations throughout the past history. Two civilizations that geography has had a pivotal impact on are Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley civilization. Geography doesn’t always have a positive impact. Geography can have also a very downhill negative impact. The geography of a place, such as Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley, play an important role in economic growth and progress like it did with the issue of invasion and isolation in these two civilizations.
Known as the “land between two rivers”, Mesopotamia was a river valley civilization that geography has both positively and negatively impacted. Located in western Asia between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, this civilization has the benefit of getting flooded. Flooding is supposed to cause damage, true, but not in this case. When Mesopotamia became flooded, came what was called the Fertile Crescent because of the left behind silt from the flood. Mesopotamia was part of the “cultural crossroads” because it was right in between the other continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Along with the Fertile Crescent, this “cultural crossroads” were a strike to the start of many new civilizations because of the good trade and high cultural diffusion. Since Mesopotamia was very easily accessible, it was also easily invaded, however.
A feature of geography that in addition caused an impact on a civilization was mountains. The Himalayas and the Hindu Kush were two mountains that surrounded a civilization that had begun, the Indus River Valley civilization. The Indus River Valley civilization was located in the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia. The benefit this time, were protective barriers, high mountains.
The Hindu Kush was the northwestern border which isolated and protected the civilization causing it, however, to have low cultural diffusion. On the opposite side were the Himalayas. The serious northeastern barrier, connected to Mt. Everest, protected this civilization from invasions from all sides. Thus, it was very difficult for civilizations to form. Not only did the Indus River Valley have a negative barrier but it also had a somewhat positive climate. The climate consisted of two seasons, the wet monsoon and the dry monsoon: the wet monsoon being a season of flooding and the majority of India’s precipitation, and the dry monsoon being a season of good trade.
Overall, as civilizations, both Mesopotamia and Indus River Valley have been impacted by their geography. The rivers caused too much interaction and no protection while the mountains caused too little interaction and too much protection from invasion. Despite their differences in lifestyles, both civilizations were affected on their historical development.