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Mayan Demise

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There is no doubt that The Maya are widely known for initiating civilization of Mesoamerica. Research suggests three periods characterized the Mayan civilization. The periods include the Pre-Classic between 300BC and 250AD, Classic Period 250AD and 900AD, and Post Classic between 900AD (Alex, 2007). All the periods were very significant in the history of Mayan civilization. However, around 750AD, during the post Classic period, the Mayan civilization witnessed a systematic collapse or demise. Subsequently, various theories, myths and tales have been postulated in an attempt to explain how this great civilization collapsed.    

A theory presented in Kerr's journal points at climate changes as the catalyst towards the disappearance of the Maya civilization (Mark, 2007). The Mayan agricultural system relied on clearing the rain forest and burning of the vegetation to provide land for various agricultural practices. Their population continued to grow and with time, the fields could not be left uncultivated or fallow for long enough to regain fertility. The fields were then overworked and production stifled, therefore, there was inadequate food for the local wildlife and this led to migration and scattering (Michael, 1992).

Another theory suggests war as the possible cause for the decline of the Mayan system. Jared Diamond in his book ‘How the societies choose to fail or succeed’ explains that the Mayan leaders used many of their resources to warfare, while simultaneously forgetting that resources were finite (Mark, 2007). This numerous warfare could have prompted the Mayans to flee discard and abandon their agricultural methods, which were conventional. With intense war and lack of food, Mayans may have fled for survival. New diseases could also break out causing mayhem because of war with strange new people. This might have resulted to the decline of the Mayan society.

I tend to support the second theory on warfare as the most probable cause of the decline of the Mayan civilization. This is because it is possible for a government to make wrong decisions in warfare using laws that mislead the people and premises of justice (Alex, 2007). Every government has individuals who neglect their responsibilities hence hurting the people or even leading to distinction. It is therefore possible that the Mayan decline was a result of poor decisions by faulty officials.

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