What Was the First Founded State

What Was the First Founded State?

The question of which was the first founded state in history is a complex one, as the concept of a state has evolved over time and different civilizations have developed their own systems of governance. However, many historians agree that the first known state in human history was Sumer, located in ancient Mesopotamia.

Sumer was an ancient civilization that existed in what is now modern-day Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It emerged around 4500 BCE and lasted until around 1900 BCE. The city-states of Sumer, including Ur, Uruk, and Lagash, were among the earliest urban settlements in the world.

The emergence of Sumer as a state was marked by several key developments. One of the most significant was the invention of writing, which allowed for the recording and administration of laws, taxes, and other aspects of governance. The Sumerians also developed complex irrigation systems, which allowed for the cultivation of crops on a large scale, leading to population growth and the need for centralized control.

The Sumerian state was characterized by a hierarchy of power, with a ruler, or king, at the top, followed by nobles, priests, and a bureaucracy. The king had both political and religious authority and was responsible for maintaining order and ensuring the prosperity of the state. The Sumerians also believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses, which played a central role in their daily lives and governance.

The state of Sumer was not a unified entity but rather a collection of independent city-states that shared a common culture and language. Each city-state had its own ruler and government, but they often engaged in alliances, trade, and even warfare with each other. The city of Ur, for example, was known for its powerful kings and its status as a major center of trade in the region.

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The decline of Sumer came about as a result of a combination of factors, including environmental changes, invasions by outside forces, and internal conflicts. Around 1900 BCE, the state of Sumer was conquered by the Elamites, a people from what is now southwestern Iran. The Elamites were later replaced by the Akkadians, who established the Akkadian Empire, the first known empire in history.


Q: How do historians determine which was the first founded state?
A: Historians rely on various sources such as archaeological evidence, written records, and ancient texts to determine the existence and characteristics of ancient states. They also study the development of complex social structures, governance systems, and economic organization to identify the earliest known states.

Q: Were there any other early states besides Sumer?
A: Yes, there were several other early states that emerged around the same time or shortly after Sumer. These include ancient Egypt, the Indus Valley civilization, and the early cities of the Shang Dynasty in China. Each of these states had its own unique characteristics and contributed to the development of early civilizations.

Q: What is the significance of the first founded state?
A: The emergence of the first founded state marked a crucial milestone in human history. It represented a shift from small, nomadic groups to larger settled communities, with centralized authority and complex social structures. The development of states also laid the foundation for the growth of civilizations, the establishment of laws and governance systems, and the advancement of technologies and cultural practices.

Q: How does the concept of a state today differ from ancient states?
A: The concept of a state has evolved significantly over time. Modern states are typically defined by defined territories, recognized borders, and centralized governments that exercise authority over their populations. Ancient states, on the other hand, often consisted of city-states or small territories that were governed by local rulers. Additionally, modern states have more complex systems of governance, including democratic institutions, while ancient states were often ruled by monarchs or autocrats.

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In conclusion, the first founded state in history is widely believed to be Sumer, an ancient civilization located in Mesopotamia. The emergence of Sumer marked a significant milestone in human history, as it represented the development of complex social structures, governance systems, and cultural practices. While Sumer was the first known state, there were other early states that emerged around the same time or shortly after, contributing to the growth of early civilizations.