A History of the Political System of the Mayans

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In history, the Europeans have been known to brand everyone who is of a different ethnic background than they are, as uncivilized, underdeveloped, or just plain savages. However, recorded history has proven that other ethnic groups were in fact civilized and advanced in their own way, through careful study by many historians. One such ethnic group was the Mayas who existed long before the Europeans came in the 16th century. They were Middle American Indians who had one of the best civilizations in the Western World.

A very significant feature of the Mayan civilization was their well-organized political system.

The Mayans had a theocratic system of government (government ruled by religious leaders) and the Mayan empire was organized in city-states, also known as temple states. Each city-state had its own ruler who was called Halach Uinich, which meant the real or true man. This was a decentralized system of government as each city-state had its own ruler. The ruler was not chosen in a democratic way, but was hereditarily passed on from father to son.

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The city-states were then divided into smaller villages, which was ruled by batabs, or village chiefs who reported to the Halach Uinic.

This political system shows a great deal of organization on the part of the Mayas, as they had to have been intellectually inclined to establish and execute a type of Government such as this. It also shows that they were a cooperative people, as they had to work together in order to ensure that the system ran smoothly.

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The fact too that the Mayan political system was theocratic, shows that the people placed great emphasis on religion. The town was divided into temple states emphasising the important place which religion held in their society. Further down in the political system was the Ah Kuleloob, a group of men who accompanied the batabs. They acted as delegates or emissaries who made sure that the Batabs orders were executed.

The Maya clergy also had a very important role the government. All the rulers including the Halach Uinich came to them for predictions and advice, and valued their opinions so highly that they almost never defied them.

The Mayans had a very organized system of Government. Although the leader was chosen democratically, their political system was not autocratic as it allowed for the incorporation of other groups ideas in ensuring that the system was efficient, thus practicing a division of power. The stratification in the system, the emphasis on religion and the division of labour show just how advanced their system of Government was in comparison to other indigenous groups which existed at the time such as the Tainos whose political system was not as advanced and stratified.

Their system showed maturity, and a level of intelligence in a people, which was not commonplace during the era in which they existed among the indigenous.

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A History of the Political System of the Mayans. (2023, Apr 06). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/a-history-of-the-political-system-of-the-mayans-essay

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