The ancient river-valley civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt share many similarities in their social, political, financial, intellectual, and cultural elements, however, at the exact same time; both are extremely different from one another. Mesopotamia developed first as a civilization without influence, while Egypt constructed off of the latter to develop their own society, thus the shared traits of their educational system, federal government, religious beliefs, and social structure. However, the variable of place also occurs; when the basis of the civilizations were built, they branched off and continued to progress according to their own particular needs, which explains why the distinctions of the two lay in detail to the economy, intelligence, federal government, and religious beliefs.
Both Mesopotamia and Egypt shared particular aspects of their culture, due to the fact that Egypt based their original society off of Mesopotamia’s. The federal governments of both the civilizations were political monarchies, with a kind in Mesopotamia and a Pharaoh in Egypt. These governments provided the basis to the social structure, which began at the bottom with slaves and peasants, moving up to the merchants and craftsmens, then the rich aristocrats, with the priest class administering under the king.
The educational system was just readily available for rich, upper class kids, who learned to compose and went on to become scribes. The polytheistic faith likewise went through both civilizations; the Egyptians and Mesopotamians thought in gods and goddesses who ruled over nature. These similarities were due to the basic society that Mesopotamia put down for Egypt to later develop off on; the plain and simple ideas that were embraced to the requirement of the civilization came from Mesopotamia.
Although Mesopotamia and Egypt shared their basics of society, the differences lie in the details, where the simple ideas were fine-tuned to fit the needs of the society better. The government for both civilizations was a monarchy, however, due to geographical differences, Mesopotamia was divided into separate city-states, and Egypt was ruled under a centralized, authoritarian government. The economy was also affected by this change in government style, Egypt’s economy was more government regulated while Mesopotamia enjoyed a more free business class. And though both civilizations excelled in science (the measurements of time) and mathematics, Egypt became more advanced in the two subjects- the Greeks would later study them and pass on the knowledge to the Hellenistic world.
The writing systems were also different; Egyptians wrote in pictures, or hieroglyphics, and the Mesopotamians wrote in cuneiform. The religion, although polytheistic in both cultures, differed in the general outlook- the Egyptians saw the afterlife as a reward, a positive experience, and the gods as holding human qualities and able to maintain relationships with humans. On the other hands, Mesopotamia’s religion was dark and gloom, with distant gods and a bleak afterlife. The differences and separations in the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations were in the details, resulting from similar basis, but geographical and other variances alienated them.