What Is the Mita System AP World History?

The Mita System AP World History is a term that is often heard in the context of ancient Inca civilization. The Mita system was an essential aspect of the Inca Empire’s economy and labor system.

It was a form of tribute payment that required citizens to provide labor services to the state, which could include farming, mining, and road construction. In this article, we will explore the origins and significance of the Mita System in AP World History.

Origins of the Mita System

The origins of the Mita System can be traced back to pre-Incan times. The concept of communal labor was a long-standing tradition among Andean communities, where members would come together to work on projects for the betterment of their communities. The Incas expanded this communal labor concept into a more organized system that could be used for state purposes.

How did it work?

Under the Mita System, each community had to provide a certain number of workers for public works projects for a set period. These workers were rotated between different tasks and projects so that no one person was overburdened with work. The state provided food, shelter, and clothing for these workers during their time in service.

Why was it significant?

The Mita System was significant because it allowed for efficient management of public works projects without requiring additional taxation or conscription of soldiers. It also helped to prevent social unrest by ensuring that everyone contributed to society’s well-being equally.

The Decline of the Mita System

After the Spanish conquest in 1532, the Mita System was gradually phased out as colonial authorities sought to impose their own labor systems on indigenous communities. However, some elements of the mita system persisted in some areas well into colonial times.


Today, the legacy of the Mita System can still be seen in some Andean communities, where communal labor practices continue to be an essential aspect of community life. The Mita System remains an important topic for historians and scholars studying the Inca civilization and its influence on Andean culture.


The Mita System was a vital aspect of Inca civilization that helped to organize labor and public works projects efficiently. It also played a significant role in preventing social unrest by ensuring that everyone contributed to society’s well-being equally.

Although it was phased out after the Spanish conquest, its legacy can still be seen in some Andean communities today. Understanding the Mita System is crucial for anyone studying AP World History, as it provides insight into the complex economic and social systems of ancient civilizations.