Mayan political system
Examine the significant features of the political system of the Mayans.
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.
The city-states were then divided into smaller villages, which was ruled by 'batabs, or village chiefs who reported to the HalachUinic.
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.
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.
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