Collapse Essay

Submitted By matt_canes3
Words: 779
Pages: 4

The Mayan and Haitian civilizations are very similar because of the fact that they have collapsed or are on the verge of collapsing. They both had times when they were prospering and at their peak and when they were struggling and approaching collapse. Although, there are some differences that are the determining factors as to which society is more successful. The Maya empire was one of the most dominant native societies of Mesoamerica. They were great innovators and were at their peak around the 6th century AD. No one is really sure what led to their collapse, but there are many theories. In the 17th century, Haiti became a rich colony of France. The natives there revolted against the French and gained independence in 1804. The civilization has been troubled ever since with many ongoing issues and some bad luck. Without a doubt, the Mayan civilization was more successful than Haiti because they traded more with friendly partners, had less encounters with hostile neighbors, and were better at using resources. The Mayans were more successful than the Haitians because they traded more with friendly neighbors. Trade in the Maya civilization was a crucial factor in maintaining their cities. Economic activities were centered primarily around foods, raw materials, manufactured goods, and luxury goods. Types of trade varied greatly in each region with specific kingdoms specializing in a specific trade. Areas were typically given a selected specialty based upon the resources available in their areas which allowed for very rapid production and distribution. Haiti was not able to trade as much because they had few resources to trade. They had exhausted many of their valuable resources. Also, all of the French ships that brought slaves to Haiti returned to Europe with cargos of Haitian timber (Diamond, 340). This caused Haiti’s lowlands to be largely stripped of timber by the mid-19th century. The Mayans had a system of trading that worked, but the Haitians were not able to do the same. Besides using resources more efficiently, the Maya Empire was more successful than Haiti because they had less encounters with hostile neighbors. Mayans did not encounter any hostile neighbors other than the Spaniards. Rather, they had many internal conflicts between rival city-states. The Maya civilization remained politically divided among small kingdoms that were perpetually at war with each other, and they never became unified into large empires (Diamond, 165). Unfortunately, the ongoing civil wars between the kingdoms were one of the main causes of the society’s collapse. In the early years of the Haitian civilization, many European powers, such as Spain and France were interested in colonizing the area. Eventually, France claimed the land and controlled it for about 150 years. The Haitian slaves revolted twice against the French in 1791 and 1801. In 1804, France gave up and abandoned Haiti (Diamond, 335). Haiti was controlled by another country for a long period of time while the Mayans were never controlled by another civilization. Above all, the Maya were more successful than the Haitians because they were better at using resources. When it comes to…