Reflective Essay


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Reflective Essay

  1. 1. Michael Nelson<br />P5 Honors Literature<br />5/15/11<br />TT Reflective Essay<br />Success, evolution, and failure, those are the three occurring words in the description of every civilization. It shall be seen how those three words defined the ancient Sumerian civilization thousands of years ago, and how those words apply to the modern nation of the United States. By comparing the United States to the Sumerian civilization and looking at the successes, failures, and evolutions of each, one can have a broader understanding of what may happen to our modern United States as it succeeds, fails, and evolves.<br />The Sumerian civilization had many successes. An example is the location of Sumeria. The location of Sumeria was a success because Sumeria was located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land between the rivers was very fertile and good for agriculture. This meant that Sumeria’s location promoted growth. Another success would be Sumeria’s writing system. Sumeria’s writing system was a success because the writing system promoted communication. Also, the writing system made it so the Sumerians could record important events for future reference. This made the Sumerians organized, knowledgeable, and literate. (Carrington 30-34) However, Sumeria had just as many failures as successes. An example of a failure is Sumeria’s location. Just as Sumeria’s location was profitable, it was also harmful. It was harmful because the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was a prime location for attack from roving invaders. The land between the rivers had undergone a repeated cycle of invasion for hundreds of years, and the Sumerians would not be the last to conquer the area. Another failure was Sumeria’s government. Sumeria’s government was a failure because the Sumerians had city-states, much like the Greeks. These city-states were not unified under a common banner, instead they had their own governments. This was a failure because these city-states lacked the cooperation necessary for a strong and unified civilization. ("Mesopotamia: The First Civilization") Both the failures and the successes of ancient Sumeria were created by evolution or the lack of evolution. Sumeria took advantage of the fertile terrain and their writing system to create a relatively long lasting civilization through evolution. However, the evolution of Sumeria did not change the fact that Sumeria was in hostile land and was not unified. This inevitably led them to their demise.<br />The United States also has successes much like the Sumerians. One of these successes is the U.S. government. The U.S. government is a success because it has a system of checks and balances, which helps stop corruption. Also the government is democratic, which means the people of the U.S. have a voice and can elect officials that best represent themselves. Another success is the distribution of rights to the citizens of the United States. It is a success because the citizens of the U.S. are not oppressed, and everyone can think freely. The U.S. citizens can also benefit the government with their rights by contributing ideas. (Longley) The U.S. military is another success of the United States. The U.S. military is a huge achievement of the U.S., because it protects the U.S. from foreign invasion, and helps keep peace in our nation. A good military is essential to any nation.<br /> There are many ways the United States is failing. However, the number of ways the U.S. is failing is not nearly as numerous as the number of ways the United States is succeeding. An example of the failings of the United States is the debt of the U.S. government. The debt of the U.S. government is a failure because the debt prevents the government from buying and getting what it needs. Currently, the U.S. is trillions of dollars in debt. Another U.S. failure is the level of unemployment in the United States. The level of unemployment in the U.S. is a failure because unemployment creates high poverty levels. Also, the unemployment levels have an impact on the United States’ unstable economy. Currently, the U.S. unemployment level is 8.8% ("Bureau of Labor Statistics"). An additional failure of the United States is the number of conflicts the U.S. involves itself in. The number of conflicts that the U.S. is involved in is a failure because the United States is involved in too many conflicts. An example of this is Libya. Libya presented no immediate threat to the U.S., but we still went in to help Libyan rebels. The costs of these conflicts are expensive and the number of conflicts the U.S. is involved in does not help in lowering the nation’s debt.<br />Previous histories of ancient civilizations, such as Sumeria, tell us that when the successes and the evolution of a nation stops, the digression of that nation follows. With Sumeria a combination of bad leadership, lack of cooperation, and hostile invaders brought their civilization to an end. Sumeria did not have a continuous cycle of evolution in their society and because of this Sumeria fell. Now when you look at the United States, you see that evolution is always occurring on a grand scale. Failures occur with every civilization, but if a civilization also has a combination of successes it will keep on evolving. This is what is happening with the United States. Examples of evolution within the United States includes these facts, the U.S. military is becoming more efficient, the U.S. government is reducing spending, and the U.S. unemployment rate is going down. There are many more examples of U.S. evolution and this evidence proves the fact that the United States is still moving forward and evolving.<br />The successes, failures, and evolutions of both the United States and ancient Sumeria have been carefully analyzed and compared to each other, leading to a solid conclusion on whether or not the U.S. is succeeding, failing, or evolving. The information that was analyzed includes Sumerian failures as well as Sumerian successes. The failures and successes of the U.S. were then compared to the Sumerian information. The evolution pattern of both civilizations was also compared. From the information it can be concluded that the United States is a successful country. Even though the U.S. does have its share of failures, the country is generally successful. Also, the United States is continually adapting and evolving to overcome its failures and to generate more successes.<br />Citations<br />"Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey." Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 03 May 2011. Web. 15 May 2011.<br />Guisepi, Robert. "Mesopotamia: The First Civilization." International World History Project. World History Project, Jan 2007. Web. 15 May 2011. <>.<br />Feinstein, Alan. "Sumerian Achievements." World History. ASFMS Social Studies, 2006. Web. 15 May 2011. <>.<br />Carrington, Laurel, et al. World History. 1st ed. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2005. 30-34. Print.<br />Longley, Robert. "Government 101." New York Times Company, 2011. Web. 15 May 2011. <>.<br />