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Confederacies and Chiefdoms - Essay Example

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 This essay seeks to investigate the comparison and contrasts between the Confederacies and Chiefdoms in the Eastern North America, with a view to understanding the number of people under each form of political organization, the nature of their powers and the reasons behind the formations. …
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Confederacies and Chiefdoms
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Confederacies and Chiefdoms

Download file to see previous pages...  There were three main confederacies that inhabited the Eastern North America, namely the Hurons, the Iroquois and the Powhattans (Johnson & Smith, 2003). The three confederacies took the form of having one single leader who was in charge of different tribes or communities that had been united to form a confederacy. The confederacies were mainly found in the regions of Southern Ontario, near lakes Ontario and Erie, where the Huron confederacy occupied, while the Iroquois Confederacy occupied the central New York region and the Powhattans occupied the Chesapeake regions (Johansen, 2005). On the other hand, the chiefdoms were organizations of a single community under the leadership of their chiefs, who wielded much authority and powers over the people and established informal government structures, with their aides under them, who were responsible for overseeing the implementation of the chief’s authority by the different sections of the community. The chiefdoms occupied the major river ways of the Mississippi River hence their being referred to as the Mississippian chiefdoms (Milner, 2006). The advantages in both forms of political organization is that the coming together of tribes and communities gave the political organizations the strength to fight against their enemies as opposed to when they could fight as single tribes or communities. However, the disadvantage is that the political organizations allowed for the leaders to exploit their subjects since their word was the authority.  Therefore, the subjects had to share the spoils of their hunting, gathering and agricultural exploits with the leaders, through paying such exploits as tribute to the leaders (Milner, 2006).
The population estimate of the confederacies and the chiefdoms in the eastern North America region has been the subject of controversy between archeologists. However, there is an agreement between the archeologists, based on the archeological artifacts that have been discovered in this region, that hunting and gathering was the main social and economic activity of the people, while ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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