All About the Egyptian Government

Did you know that the first pieces of history regarding the government were actually influenced by the location of the Nile River Valley? Before the ancient civilization of Egypt flourished, there were many safety precautions that had to be made because of the flooding of the river. Throughout time, the establishment of various kingdoms backed these acts. In the beginning of Egyptian ancient times, two separate governments were created.


The different groups of Egyptians during this ancient time rallied behind two different forms of government, which were separated into what was known as the Upper Kingdom and the Lower Kingdom. It wasn’t until 3100 BC when Menes, who was the ruler of Upper Egypt, changed the way of their world. He eventually took over the Lower Egyptian Kingdom by conquering the land and people. He decided to unite the two kingdoms into one entity. He then became ruler of both the upper and lower regions of ancient Egypt. With this unifying of both kingdoms, Menes created the capital of Memphis.


The name changes of the leader of ancient Egypt evolved throughout the years. At first, he was referred to as a ruler. Eventually, the title of ”˜pharaoh’ was established. The powers and rule that the pharaoh was responsible for was much similar to the duties of a king. Many went further and viewed their pharaoh as a god among the people. He was thought to know some of the secrets that centered on the earth, as well as the heavens. For this reason, a pharaoh’s power was looked upon as legendary and godlike. He was in charge of maintaining and overseeing all of the ways of Egyptian life, from making sure the fields stayed irrigated to creating laws for the land to making sure the land was full of peace. He made sure the trade in the area, as well as the economy was prosperous.


The pharaoh owned many different things through his title. He was the sole possessor of the mines in Egypt, as well as the trading fleets and quarries. Merchants did not conduct the business of trade; it was the royal officials who were in charge of such business. For this reason, a pharaoh appointed several different officials to help with the interworkings of the government. One of the most important titles bestowed upon someone was that of vizier, who was also named the Chief Overseer. When compared to today’s government, he was quite similar to that of a Prime Minister. He would see that the orders of the pharaoh were carried out, as well as assisted with some of the decision making. He was also in charge of tax collection. Other titles included that of governors (also called local nomes), followed by a variety of scribes and overseers. Scribes looked over and kept the records of the land. Overseers made sure that farming and all of the peasants were in order. Another key component to the government of ancient Egypt was how religion played an important role.