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14 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Political Formations:





band: autonomous foraging groups

tribe: autonomous (self dependent) kin groups with internal hierarchies (tend to be foragers/hunter-gatherers)

chiefdom: politically ranked kin groups (people can rule or they cannot)

state: bureaucratic political decision making to control large populations

*very Euro/anglo centric

*terms are pejorative


Form of political organization

Urban: form of settlement distribution and hierarchy

Civilization: ambiguous term (useless term because it's hard to define)

Qualitative attributes of states

-Bureaucracy (specialized decision making to serve specific tasks)

-three or more tiers of administrative settlements

-palaces & royal tombs

-states control force, they monopolize it

Bureaucratic decision making

-institutionalized hierarchy

-transcends kinship (people don't have to be related to each other)

3+ years of administration

-Federal, State, County, City

Royal Tombs and palaces

-not something we see that much today

-to have royal residences on a large scales

-large mobilization of labor for private interests

Monopoly on coercive force

-frequently advertised

Quantitative attributes of states

-often multi-ethnic/lingual

- populations in hundreds/thousands/millions

-domains often several days from capital

Case: Shaka and the formation of the Zulu state

-origins in West Africa (Bantu speakers)

-spread to cone of Africa


-warring chiefdoms-innovative warfare

-earlier Zulu warfare )

-initial conquest

-invested in standing army, capital, legitimacy

-claimed Zulu had genealogical supremacy

Case: Kamehameha, Hawaii

-not in the direct line of the throne (not illegitimate)

-number of chiefdoms

-head priest for the war god

-contact with the British and Captain Cook (1787)

-leaves muskets with Kamehameha ("shock and awe")

Hawaiian heiau

hai: to sacrifice range from upright stones

Manipulation of religion - tapu (taboo)

-only Hawaiians can own land

-land can be taken away from them

​Common processes and strategies

-Charismatic leaders and competing chiefdoms

-conquests and advertising power

-legitimization of rule/hierarchy

-diplomacy and giving in return (infrastructure)


cultural collapse