The development of farming: social complexity and political activity

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The development of farming: social complexity and political activity

By | September 2006
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The evolution of complex societies began when agricultural subsistence systems raised human population densities to levels that would support large scale cooperation, and division of labor. During the Archaic period, many Indians located in North America, in the highlands of Mexico spreading from north to east, adopted the new technologic practice of farming. Upon this new technology, the need for people to remain in close proximity to their agriculture led to the growth of established communities, which in turn cause a division in labor. At long last, uneven access, due to division in labor, to wealth and power ended in the surfacing of classes.

Historians believe that the act of living in one spot would have more easily allowed the growth of personal possessions and an attachment to certain areas of land and without this revelation in farming traditions, modern societies would have been far different, but with certain people, the act of foraging seemed more appealing. As different techniques became available, different cultures began to take into account its pros verses its cons. In the end, some tended to view farming as an increment of production of food while others experienced a transformation into that of an urban civilization. The development of farming first influenced the production of a sophisticated association. The greater populations being formed lead to the grouping of separate clans liable for different social, political, and ritual positions. This in turn required some form of social organization: a chief or leader of the clan, who were mostly present to resolve crimes, but also aided in the resolution of disputes between families. These leaders, however, besides crimes and conflicts, could not aid in the stabilization of farming communities. The growth in population demanded larger supplies of foods and labor, which had led to warfare among neighborhoods. With property ownership becoming increasingly important to villagers, organized...