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Free «The Mississippian Society» Essay Sample



The Mississippian society developed after corn became adapted to the Midwestern climate. Annual floods in the valleys of Mississippi River deposited fertile soils on the plains that were conducive for the growth of corn plus the warm climate that was experienced in the regions.  The region also had plenty of rainfall.  As the growth of corn which was imported from the Southwest thrived, the population of the Mississippian valleys exploded leading to the development of villages, hamlets and towns throughout the Mississippi River valleys. At the same time chiefdoms like Cahokia and Moundville were built. ‘These chiefdoms mainly comprised of a ruling class called “nobles” and the “commoners”. These societies existed between 700-1050 AD’.

Warfare and noble warriors

Battles were usually begun with barrage of arrows and atlatl darts, before the noble warriors closed with macuahuitls, wooden swords with razor-sharp obsidian on their edges. These wars were fought to protect the societies from external attacks and to conquer more farming ground and new regions to settle in. Only the noble young men were the ones trained to be warriors as they had the trust of the chiefdoms compared to the commoners.  Many people got killed in these wars. Chiefdoms like Cahokia and Moundville had very tough warriors that ensured they lasted longer than other chiefdoms to develop their civilization. 



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Large urban centers

As stronger chiefdoms conquered their weaker neighbors, they grew in size as their population increased both from the number of new people taken in and also increase in number of births. ‘Bigger urban centers assured the ruling community of higher tax revenues, more workers and even greater wealth as they controlled more trade and had more workers that they used to generate more wealth. The centers were located on the river valley. They were on trade routes and had good roads to connect them to near chiefdoms and centers’.

Life in the Mississippian culture

In the Mississippian societies, a person’s life was determined by ones social class. A child in the noble class was placed higher than any adult who was a commoner. For the nobles, their lives mainly involved supervision of workers on the fields, making decisions for the chiefdoms and training for wars among the young noble warriors. They were to ensure every work was done correctly and in time. ‘For the commoners, they spent their lives cultivating and harvesting in the field. They provided labor during constructions and transportation of goods from farms and also during trades’. The commoners were the subjects of the nobles and they obeyed their orders without question. 


In Mississippian societies like Cahokia and Moundville, having the good warfare and strong soldiers assured the kingdoms of their growth and also protected them from conquest of rival chiefdoms . These classes of lives ensued growth of the Mississippian societies and the establishment of civilization. They organized themselves into large urban areas that were easier to control and to collect taxes from. The society was organized in classes of the nobles and the commoners each with distinct role that made the societies thrive.




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