What Is a Civilization, Anyway? The California History-Social Science Framework does not ask us directly to analyze or define what a civilization is; rather it asks that students "analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious and social structures of the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Kush. This topic is highly controversial, thus interesting. In this short article I hope to use the perspective of big history to provide sufficient background to support effective discussions at any grade level of what a reasonably value-free understanding of "civilization" might be.
He said that the world crisis was from humanity losing the ethical idea of civilization, "the sum total of all progress made by man in every sphere of action and from every point of view in so far as the progress helps towards the spiritual perfecting of individuals as the progress of all progress".
The abstract noun "civilization", meaning "civilized condition", came in the s, again from French. The first known use in French is inby Victor Riqueti, What is civilazation de Mirabeauand the first use in English is attributed to Adam Fergusonwho in his Essay on the History of Civil Society wrote, "Not only the individual advances from infancy to manhood, but the species itself from rudeness to civilisation".
In the late s and early s, during the French Revolution"civilization" was used in the singularnever in the plural, and meant the progress of humanity as a whole.
This is still the case in French. Already in the 18th century, civilization was not always seen as an improvement. One historically important distinction between culture and civilization is from the writings of Rousseauparticularly his work about education, Emile.
Here, civilization, being more rational and socially driven, is not fully in accord with human natureand "human wholeness is achievable only through the recovery of or approximation to an original prediscursive or prerational natural unity" see noble savage.
From this, a new approach was developed, especially in Germany, first by Johann Gottfried Herderand later by philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.
This sees cultures as natural organisms, not defined by "conscious, rational, deliberative acts", but a kind of pre-rational "folk spirit". Civilization, in contrast, though more rational and more successful in material progress, is unnatural and leads to "vices of social life" such as guile, hypocrisy, envy and avarice.
Social scientists such as V. Gordon Childe have named a number of traits that distinguish a civilization from other kinds of society. Andrew Nikiforuk argues that "civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities" and considers slavery to be a common feature of pre-modern civilizations.
It is possible but more difficult to accumulate horticultural production, and so civilizations based on horticultural gardening have been very rare.
A surplus of food permits some people to do things besides produce food for a living: A surplus of food results in a division of labour and a more diverse range of human activity, a defining trait of civilizations. However, in some places hunter-gatherers have had access to food surpluses, such as among some of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and perhaps during the Mesolithic Natufian culture.
It is possible that food surpluses and relatively large scale social organization and division of labour predates plant and animal domestication. The word "civilization" is sometimes simply defined as "'living in cities'".
Compared with other societies, civilizations have a more complex political structure, namely the state. The ruling classnormally concentrated in the cities, has control over much of the surplus and exercises its will through the actions of a government or bureaucracy.
Morton Frieda conflict theorist and Elman Servicean integration theorist, have classified human cultures based on political systems and social inequality.
This system of classification contains four categories  Hunter-gatherer bands, which are generally egalitarian.
Highly stratified structures, or chiefdomswith several inherited social classes: Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.
Living in one place allows people to accumulate more personal possessions than nomadic people. Some people also acquire landed propertyor private ownership of the land. Because a percentage of people in civilizations do not grow their own food, they must trade their goods and services for food in a market system, or receive food through the levy of tributeredistributive taxationtariffs or tithes from the food producing segment of the population.Civilization entered the English language in the midth century with the meaning “the act or process of bringing out of a savage or uneducated state.” In this preimperialistic age of exploration, it was popular to view people from less-developed lands as barbaric and in great need of cultural edification.
Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based single- or multiplayer strategy game. The player takes on the role of the ruler of a civilization, starting with only one settler unit and one warrior, and attempts to build an empire in competition with one to . A civilization or civilisation (see English spelling differences) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication (for example, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and .
Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based strategy 4X video game created by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley for MicroProse in The game's objective is to "Build an empire to stand the test of time".
1. An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions.
In everyday conversation, there is a tendency to use the word "civilization" to refer to a type of society that displays a set of moral values, such as respect for human rights or a compassionate attitude for the sick and the elderly.