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The development of agriculture, which took place at different times around the Americas, facilitated the development of sedentary societies built around centralized (to varying degrees) political systems. In the Southeast United States, for example, the development of agriculture led to the creation of the Woodland and especially the Mississippian cultures, who were renowned for enormous, complex cities such as Cahokia and Etowah that were based on the production of corn. Other, even more prominent, and roughly contemporary examples were the Aztec and Maya peoples in modern Mexico and Central America. The development of agriculture enabled societies to produce surpluses, which allowed for division of labor. This, in turn, led to varying degrees of social stratification, as well as wars with neighboring peoples over fertile lands.
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