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Jonathan Hverven anth final exxam essays

Jonathan Hverven anth final exxam essays - Jonathan Hverven...

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Jonathan Hverven ANTH 250 Final Exam essays 1. Karl Wittfogel, pointed out that early civilizations appeared in regions where large- scale irrigation agriculture was practiced. He attempted to explain the major political systems of the world through control of irrigation agriculture in "Oriental Despotism", and termed societies that relied on large-scale irrigation "hydraulic societies". He suggests that large-scale irrigation required centralized coordination and direction. Water was a natural resource, and became a crucial variable because it could be manipulated and agglomerated in bulk. Water management was especially important in places where rainfall was insufficient but water was available nearby, such as in semiarid river valleys. Important to defend water canals from hostile neighbors. It can be carried on by small groups on an informal basis, it is more efficient and leads to greater growth if there is central management. In return, the person who manages the water has tremendous power over the farmers. If one source of power is so much more important than all others, a monopoly develops within a society. Hydraulic society might be viewed as a result of state formation rather than as a cause. It is unlikely that Wittfogel intended to imply that large-scale irrigation works preceded centralized government. The ancient Maya civilization arose in an area where irrigation was of marginal importance (though water control and management were important activities). Even in arid Mexico and Mesopotamia, archaeological evidence indicates that complex, large-scale irrigation appeared only after the state had already formed. Robert Carneiro’s theory grows out of hypotheses which emphasize the importance of population growth and population pressure. Formulated hypothesis using South American examples, but applied it to the Near East as well. Expanding population could not accomodate itself by colonizing new lands. Instead, it had to intensify production on lands already being used. Military conflicts between groups became more frequent, and losers were not able to flee to new farmlands. Successful militarists were rewarded by economic wealth, increasing amounts of land, and a conquered class of workers. Adaptive advantages of organizing and controlling a successful military operation quickly lead to institutionalization in the form of an early state. State then grows in size as a result of external conquests. Population growth in itself is insufficient to engender warfare, but population pressure does engender warfare if the expanding populations is constrained either by environmental barriers or by competing social groups whose populations are so dense as to preclude expansion.
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