ancient china social classes
[5] [2] [19] Eventually the Zhou dynasty came to an end in 256 BCE, when one of these kingdoms, Qin, marched on the Zhou capital and annexed the rump of territory still controlled by the Zhou king. They did not have the concept of caste but believed segregation on the basis of class. Citizens during the Shang dynasty can be classified into four social classes: the king & aristocracy, the military, artisans & craftsmen, and peasants. An official career in Han times was for the most part open only to members of the gentry class, which, although much larger than the old aristocracy had been, still remained a very small group within the wider society of ancient China. [4] They inhabited what near the Yellow River and what is now present day Shaanxi (around the eastern side of China). [4] The four classes did not have much of legal impact or a substantial impact on the government, however, became an integral part of the social structure of Ancient China as a country. The capital was quickly moved east to Chengzhou, near modern-day Luoyang, and the Zhou abandoned the western regions. The Warring States period saw technological and philosophical development, and the emergence of the Qin Dynasty. It was a society that followed a class system of land-owners, soldiers, bronze workers, and peasants. After Zhou Dynasty fell, China went into a warring states period where there was alot of political confusion. Zhou Dynasty is defined by a unique social hierarchy, standardized spoken language, and lengthy time of reign. A Map of the Warring States of China: This map shows the Warring States late in the period. [6] [4] Here they began to develop Shang-style agriculture, and they also built a city in an area named Plain of Zhou, which gave its name to the state and the dynasty. [16] Qin was the first imperial dynasty. [12] [8] [2] [2] Why this social pyramid would not work in Australia A social pyramid would not work today in Australia because we vote for our leader (P.M) back in ancient China their leaders were chosen by the Mandate of Heaven and their people had no choice on who made the rules, when we vote for our leader, we vote based on their rules and opinions. [5] They were seen as a necessary part of society to help grow the country. [8] The lowermost class in the social hierarchy of ancient China was the Shang class which was composed by traders and merchants. [5], Divisions in Society Over time, ancient Sumerian society became divided into social classes, or groups with different levels of importance. It has left its mark on not only the development of Ancient Chinese social life but transformed civilizations on both sides of the continent. The Zhou justified the change of dynasty and their own authority by claiming that the dispossessed Shang had forfeited the " Mandate of Heaven " by their misrule. The growth of bureaucracy began the rise of a key new class in ancient Chinese society, the gentry. [8], Soya beans had been introduced into northern and central China towards the end of the Shang period. Unlike most ancient civilizations farmers weren't on the bottom of the social scale. [3], Mandate of Heaven : The Chinese philosophical concept of the circumstances under which a ruler is allowed to rule. According to the traditional Chinese view, the town dwellers artisans and merchants were the least favoured of the four classes. Under the Shang dynasty the Chinese people covered a sizeable portion, but by no means all, of the north China plain, plus some of the Loess plateau to its west. These four classes were nobles and officials, peasants, artisans and merchants. According to this idea, there could be only one legitimate ruler of China at a time, and this ruler reigned as the "Son of Heaven" with the approval of the gods. [4] [6], The peasants are found in the lowest part of the social heirarchyof the Zhou dynasty. [12] Next were landowning nobles who supplied the king's military with fighters and weapons. The Zhou continued and developed lacquer work done in the Shang Dynasty. Though they could achieve significant wealth, they were held in low esteem because they did not produce anything, but rather transported and traded goods made by others. [11] [3] [8] [6] Farmers were greatly appeciatedby the people because agriculture was extemly important in Ancient China. [12], The Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1046 BCE) was the second dynasty of China which succeeded the Xia Dynasty (c. 2700-1600 BCE. [12] The Zhou Dynasty overthrew the Shang Dynasty, and used the Mandate of Heaven as justification. [12] [10], The Zhou Dynasty contributed to the use of iron. Chinese people divided themselves into different social structures according to many different factors like occupation and habitation. [4] In his On the People's Democratic Dictatorship speech he defined the Chinese people as consisting of four social classes, also referred to in Asian cultures as the four occupations (士農工商) shi, nong, gong, shang ("the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie". [10] [6] [3], The Zhou capital was then moved further east, and later scholars have given the term Eastern Zhou to the following period (771-256 BCE). [8] [3] The gods' blessing was given instead to the new ruler under the Zhou Dynasty, which would rule China for the next 800 years. This was in spite of the fact that throughout Chinese history, the merchant class were often wealthy and held considerable influence above and beyond their supposed social standing. This was the class identified by the Chinese character that stands for “labour.” They were like farmers in that they produced essential objects, but most of them did not have land of their own and so did not generate the revenue. what were the social classes within the soceity of Zhou Dynasty? Another reason this would not work because it is illegal to have slaves and only a small percentage of Australians are poor. [12], Jie, the last king of the Xia Dynasty (the first Chinese dynasty), was overthrown c. 1760 BCE by Cheng Tang. Ancient China produced what has become the oldest, still extant, culture in the world. Philosophies and Religion During the Zhou Dynasty, the origins of native Chinese Philosophy developed, its initial stages beginning in the 6th century BC. For three centuries after the Zhou conquered the Shang, Zhou rulers maintained order in North China and expanded their territories. This blood bath of a time period is historically known as "The Period of the Warring States" and would prove too much for the Zhou to come back from. The old order was vanishing what would replace it? [11] Qin, Zhou, Song, Han and Shu were all named after a dynasty. They owned land just like gntry scholas did and they ran the economy. [8], Agriculture remained at the root of ancient Chinese civilization, and the vast majority of the people gained their livelihood from farming. [2] From highest to lowest social strata, the categories were: the Shi, or Gentry scholars; the Nong, or peasant farmers; the gong, artisans and craftsmen; and the Shang, merchants and traders. In Zhou dynasty China, membership of the shih class was mainly hereditary: to become a member of this literati class, one needs to be born into it. [6] In ancient Chinese society, the Fengjian social structure of circa 1046-256 BCE gave rise to Confucian or Legalist scholars’ classification of the Chinese people into four broad categories. [8], Over the centuries, the expansion of the Chinese people led to large-scale migrations of peoples from southern China into Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, where they created new political states and culture areas. Ceramic and Jade art continued from the Shang Dynasty, and was improved and refined, especially during the Warring States Period. [10] [12] Privacy Policy  | Ancient China's civilization was filled with lots of city states and resources. They formed an army led by King Wu of Chou and rebelled, conquering the last Shang king, King Zhou in about 1045 BC.


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