The collapse of the whole human civilization has always been a debatable question. Moreover, the understanding of the reasons for collapse is even a more arguable and versatile question. There have been many types of research done, trying to assemble all the previous experiences and to infer what are the most general factors for the civilization collapses. The most known of them are the researches done by Jared Diamond in “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”, Joseph Tainter in “A Study of History”. The civilization, often being discussed in this respect is a Maya civilization, the vanish of which still seems to be a mystery and factor for different assumptions to be put forth. The classical assumptions of the collapse are based on different aspects, including social and environmental one.
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So, the theoretical assumptions are also many-sided. As far as there have been different arguments to weigh for each theory, one might give a closer look at each of them.
The social theory is aimed at explaining the collapse of Maya civilization as either a rebellion of the lower class within it or as the great losses, caused by the wars between different nations of that time. As the territory division of the time was achieved with the help of wars, Mayas were always involved in battles, which, according to the assumptions of the scholars caused a collapse of the whole civilizations. The rebellion of the lower class was dictated by its oppression and too much work, being put on the shoulders of those people. Still, both theories are being argued as the territory contradiction existed since early times, and this only factor could not bring a stable civilization to collapse. And the rebellion is being doubted as a factor, which was the main one to bring Mayas to collapse as they had a stable government.
The second class of theories, which are put forth are the so-called environmental theories. These assumptions include either catastrophic events such as natural disasters, which contributed to vanish of Mayan civilization. Or the contagious and disastrous diseases, which occurred at that time and destroyed the nation. However, these theories also face agreement and argument. While Jared Diamond is known as an adherent of this theory (he compiles a list of general environmental factors to contribute to the collapse of any civilization), many Mayanists argue that there could be either natural disasters or diseases to cause a collapse of Maya civilization as there is no evidence to the correctness of either theory, based on the environmental aspect.
Inferring, it is necessary to understand that such an arguable question as civilizations collapse is been discussed for a while and probably will not be solved in the foreseeable future. There have been many types of research done in this sphere, which appealed to miscellaneous methods of research. Among them, one finds such fundamental works as “How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by J. Diamond or “A Study of History” by J. Tainter. The theories, put forth by the scholars are based on different aspects, like social or environmental ones, every theory has its adherents and opponents. While there are some doubts among the scholars on the social factor being the main one to bring the Maya civilization to collapse, the environmental one is also being disputed as lacking enough evidence. Of course, today the reasons for the collapse of civilizations are poorly understood by people. It contributes to further scholarly assumptions made and further back or argues of them.