The societies of ancient Mesoamerica, their development, structure and collapses are still considered some of the biggest historical mysteries of the world. The researchers and expert experience scarcity of evidence and materials to study in order to have a better picture of the societies and cultures of ancient Mesoamerica.
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It is a well known fact that the nations of ancient Mesoamerica were highly developed and possessed advanced knowledge of the world around, they constructed very complicated and massive buildings and monuments, they practiced complex religions and they had multilayered hierarchical structure of the societies.
It is also known that the political leaders were considered people of divine origin. At the same time internal political and social unrest were quite common in the societies of ancient Mesoamerica in the period between 200 and 900 AD.
The political and social unrest were determined by the high level of political fragmentation in the societies such as Mayan and Aztec.
Regional conflicts and confrontations between the south and the north of the region, absence of a distinct political center and dynastic unions and rivalries were the basis of the increasing social division in these areas.
Besides, individual unions of certain members of ruling families led to political unrest and internal wars for territories and resources. Over the years the resources on the Mesoamerican territories became more and more scarce.
Overhunting of big animals and the exhaustion of rivers and soils in the region led to lack of food, the occurrence of droughts. These circumstances would be considered as failures of the rulers and cause political unrest and uprisings against the rulers.
At the same time, high political fragmentation and existence of individual dynastic unions could easily strengthen the society’s capacity to doubt the authorities of their rulers and lead to revolutionary movements that could be controlled by the individuals dissatisfied with the current power.
One more way of enforcement of the internal unrest in the society in the multiple gods ancient Mesoamericans worshiped. Confrontations between the followers of different cults were frequent in every state that practiced polytheism. This was happening due to the clash of ethical and religious beliefs.
The researchers studying social warfare in the ancient Mesoamerica confirm that the reasons of internal conflicts were multiple; some of them were growing social inequality and the discrimination of peasants by the ruling elite (Brown, Stanton, 24).
Besides, the regional conflicts within the states were caused by the need for local social identity of various regions. The ruination of graves of some of the elite members is currently explained as a sign of the uprising against the ruling families.
At the same time, not only the elites and their cohorts were alienated, but also communities and individuals coming from various levels of social hierarchy (Brown, Stanton, 24). Increased regionalism created growing tension between the political unions, and as a result various revolutionary movements and uprisings could occur.
Basically the southern societies were the ones that supported the idea of higher regionalism and the northern ones requited social unity. This is currently seen as one of the main reasons of social collapse in the southern regions and prosperity of the north (Brown, Stanton, 25).
To conclude, the uprisings against the sacred rulers are a known fact in the Mesoamerican history. These uprisings mainly occurred when the rulers would fail their people. Yet, high political fragmentation and regionalism could be the reasons of internal social conflicts and unrest even before the visible failure of the ruler.
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Brown, Kathryn M. and Travis W. Stanton. Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. Lanham: Rowman Altamira, 2003. Print.