Egypt was one of the four River Valley Civilizations, the first agricultural settlements that blossomed into cities and civilizations. Located on the Nile, Egypt grew into a strong, centralized civilization.
The Nile was particularly helpful because it provided the Egyptians with irrigation. One of the hallmarks of early civilization was having a surplus of food that could sustain a large and growing population. As the Egyptians formed on the end of the Nile River, they had access to lush, fertile lands that were fed by the mighty river. Egyptians were able to grow wheat and barley as cereal grains which supported a growing population and labor force.
In addition to allowing for agriculture and surplus foods, the Nile allowed Egyptians to expand their territory and trade connections. In traveling up the Nile, Egypt was able to grow its empire by creating cities like Memphis, Alexandria, Giza, and Heliopolis. This would not have been possible without the Nile, for both agricultural reasons but also in allowing the Egyptians to travel quickly by boat. The Egyptians also used it for trade with other groups, like the Kush to the South. As a counterpoint, the Kush later invaded and took over the Egyptians with the help of the Nile in transporting their forces.