According to Stephen Morillo, a common issue that political elites in state-level societies had to manage was the merchant dilemma. Explain what the merchant dilemma was in terms of how networks and hierarchies simultaneously strengthened and challenged each other, and examine the potential risks and benefits of merchant activities for the ruling elites. Compare and contrast the following state-level societies in terms of the relative strengths of the political elites and the merchants, elite strategy for the management of the merchant dilemma, and the degree of success or failure of that strategy: Song China; the Abbasid Caliphate, the states of Western Europe around 1100. What might be the reasons for the apparent absence of the merchant dilemma in Mayan societies before 900 in the ink in empire?
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