The Maya Rebellion, Yucatán Paige Antczak

The Maya Rebellion was a revolution against European economic and political control over Yucatán. Also, the control of the European population over social classes, leading then to the Caste War.

Economic Impact

"During the 19th century, extensive plantation-based agricultural enterprises in the region forced owners to turn to the Maya as a source of labor" ("Mayan Empire").
The extensive sugar industry formed in the Maya Empire impacted the standard of living for the people by putting a great number of the people into the industry, supporting slavery, citizens continued their disapproval of their new political leaders and became upset with how they were being treated.


"The leader, Manuel Antonio Ay, was executed by firing squad. This event led many Maya to conclude that they needed to rise up against the white authorities (thus giving the rebellion the name Caste War), and others to eliminate castes within the Indian society and remove the Maya elites who collaborated with the whites and often exploited fellow Indians" ("Caste War of the Yucatán").

The Maya indigenous people didn't approve of the Spanish representatives and Yucatecos acting out against their leader and executing him, as a result they decided to work together, unlike the caste system intended. The actions against individuals in the Mayan culture gave the people the power to revolt against the Europeans.

Social Impact

"For the Spanish to maintain their control over the indigenous people of Yucatan, they had to devise ways to split the Mayan population and prevent them from uniting with each other" ("Northern Belize").

The Spanish representatives put the citizens into a social caste system to keep them from revolting over the Spanish and turned the people against each other, when people found this fact out it was a good reason to rebel against the Spanish. (Note: the Maya Empire already had a caste system in place, but the Europeans exerted forceful separation from people which was new to the social system.)

"The Spanish favored the Mayan hidalgos through granting them extra rights and privileges, and therefore won over an influential section of Mayan society" ("Northern Belize").

This greatly effected the society because since influential individuals were okay with the Spanish power, the indigenous people figured that the hidalgos were automatically right in their decisions for the society and didn't realize they were being taken advantage of... until they decided to rebel.


To conclude, the Maya Rebellion was triggered by harsh actions by the Yucatecos and Spanish leaders revolving around change in politics, economic labor, and social class systems that ruined lives for many of the indigenous people, causing a revolution to take place as the beginning of the Caste War.

Works Cited

“Caste War of Yucatán.” World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 2 Mar. 2017.

“Caste War of Yucatán.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

“Mayan Empire.” World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 2 Mar. 2017.

“Northern Belize - The Caste Wars of the Yucatan and Northern Belize.” Northern Belize - The Caste Wars of the Yucatan and Northern Belize. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

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Paige Antczak

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