Egypt was owned by the pharaoh. The pharaoh was believed to be half human and half god. Everyone was supposed to do what the pharaoh said.
The pharaoh was inherited, so normally the oldest son or if the pharaoh had no sons, his oldest daughter would be the next pharaoh once their father died.
The people of the pharaoh had to pay taxes in food and labor. The pharaoh gave out grain to the hungry when in severe drought.
The pharaoh couldn't always be telling his people what to do so he hired people to do this for him. Sometimes people were drafted into the army by the pharaoh.
The First Intermediate period ended with the 11th dynasty, which was marked by a number of Pharaohs trying to reunite a broken Egypt. They Included Imyotep I, II, and III and Mentuhotep I and II. It was Mentuhotep II who was finally able to rejoin the Upper and Lower Kingdoms.
The 12th Dynasty began with Amenemhet I, who worked hard to restore Egypt after many years of political chaos, civil war, and famine. It was during this time that ordinary people became aware of their own rights, and began to expect that the riches of Egypt belonged to them as well as the royal class. This was the birth of the very first "middle class". Amenemhet built the Wall of the Prince to protect Egypt's eastern border, and moved his capital to the border area between the north and south, in order to better unite the two kingdoms. This was known as "The Golden Age" for Egypt, yet in the end, Amenemhet I was assassinated by his enemies.
Senuset, son of Amenemhet I, avenged his father's murder and took back the throne. He published the writings of his father and they became the model of how a king must always meet the needs of his people for many years that followed. Senuset's reign was highlighted by the development of many mines and quarries to collect the gold and precious stones of Egypt.
Amenemhet III, grandson of Senuset created a series of giant water wheels that diverted the floodwaters of the Nile into Lake Moeris, creating an irrigation system that allowed about 153,000 acres to be turned into fertile farmland. He is also known for his architectural feats, having built two gigantic statues of himself and for the Labyrinth or Pyramid of Hawara, one of the great wonders of the ancient world. He was also the first Pharaoh to give "foreign aid"- aid to another country and its people, by sending food and beer to starving people in neighboring Nubia.