Factional Competition and Political Development in the New World

Overview

Factionalism is an important force of social transformation, and this volume examines how factional competition in the kinship and political structures in ancient New World societies led to the development of chiefdoms, states and empires. The case studies, from a range of New World societies, represent all levels of non-egalitarian societies and a wide variety of ecological settings in the New World. They document the effects of factionalism on the structure of particular polities: for example, how it might have...

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Overview

Factionalism is an important force of social transformation, and this volume examines how factional competition in the kinship and political structures in ancient New World societies led to the development of chiefdoms, states and empires. The case studies, from a range of New World societies, represent all levels of non-egalitarian societies and a wide variety of ecological settings in the New World. They document the effects of factionalism on the structure of particular polities: for example, how it might have led to the growth of social inequality, or to changing patterns of chiefly authority, or to state formation and expansion, or institutional specialisation. The work is a creative and substantial contribution to our understanding of the political dynamics in early state society, and will interest archaeologists, anthropologists, political scientists and historians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521545846
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2003
  • Series: New Directions in Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Factional competition and political development in the New World: an introduction Elizabeth M. Brumfiel; Part II. Chiefdoms: 2. The power of prestige: competitive generosity and the emergence of rank societies in lowland Mesoamerica John E. Clark and Michael Blake; 3. Factional ascendance, dimensions of leadership, and the development of centralized authority Charles S. Spencer; 4. External warfare and the internal politics of northern South American tribes and chiefdoms Elsa M. Redmond; 5. Chiefdom rivalries, control, and external contacts in lower Central America Mary W. Helms; 6. Factional competition and the political evolution of Mississippian chiefdoms in the southeastern United States David G. Anderson; Part III. States: 7. Ethnicity and political control in a complex society: the Tarascan state of prehispanic Mexico Helen Perlstein Pollard; 8. Ethnic groups and factions in Aztec Mexico Elizabeth M. Brumfiel; 9. Factional divisions within the Aztec (Colhua) royal family Rudolf Van Zantwijk; 10. Alliance and intervention in Aztec imperial expansion Frederic Hicks; 11. Political factions in the transition from Classic to Postclassic in the Mixteca Alta Bruce E. Byland, and John M. D. Pohl; 12. Internal subdivisions of communities in the prehispanic valley of Oaxaca Stephen A. Kowalewski; 13. Cycles of conflict: political factionalism in the Maya lowlands Mary E. D. Pohl and John M. D. Pohl; 14. Political cosmology among the Quiche Maya John W. Fox; 15. Factionalism and political development in the central Andes Terence N. D'Altroy; Part IV. Discussion; 16. Factional competition and historical materialism Glenn Perusek; 17 Conclusions: moietal opposition, segmentation and factionalism in New World political areas John W. Fox.

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