Eurasian Social Hierarchies: China and India AP World History Notes Chapter 6 500 BCE to 500 CE Patriarchy in China Women considered subordinate to men Hierarchy within the family: Fathers Sons (oldest to
youngest) Mothers Daughters (oldest to youngest) Patriarchy in China Men go out, women stay in. Men = public and political roles Women = domestic roles at home
3 Obediences: women obedient to first their fathers, then their husbands, then their sons Influence of Daoism
Yang = superior principle = masculine and related to rulers, heaven, strength, rationality, and light Yin = inferior principle = feminine and related to subjects, earth, weakness, emotion, and darkness The yin and yang are permanent and embedded within the universe Gave justification to the natural superiority of men over women Loosening of Strict Patriarchy Collapse of Han Dynasty (400s CE) Nomadic people invaded northern China
Their women = far less restricted This influenced native Chinese women Elite women started to handle legal and business affairs More women rode horses, played polo, wore mens clothing, etc. Chinese Social Structure Emperor Elite Government Officials Landlord Class (Scholar-Gentry Class)
Peasants (90% of population) Merchants Chinas Landlord Class Threatened state authority Avoided paying taxes Decreased state revenues Increased tax burden on the peasants Raised their own militaries Benefited from:
Wealth they gained from their land Power and prestige that went with the education they paid for Chinas Peasant Class 90% of the population Suffered from: famines, floods, droughts, hails, pests, etc. State authorities demanded that
they: Pay high taxes Provide one months labor every year on public works projects Serve for 2 years in the military (men only) Yellow Turban Rebellion
Peasant uprising around 184 CE In response to floods along Yellow River, resulting epidemics, and general misery & poverty Wanted a Great Peace with social harmony, equality, and common ownership of property Suppressed --> but weakened the Han dynasty Chinas Peasant Class
Though oppressed, peasants were still honored in a way because they provided for their country Backbone of China Hard-working Provided food = survival for all Chinas Merchant Class At the bottom of society Seen as unproductive and as profiting off of the hard work of others
Seen as greedy and materialistic This went against Confucian values Caste System in India Similarities with Chinas Social System: Social status determined at birth Little (if any) social mobility Sharp class distinctions and great inequalities Inequalities justified by religious/cultural traditions as natural and inevitable
Caste System in India Caste = comes from Portuguese word casta, which means race or purity of blood 4 varnas = ranked classes in the Indian caste system Each varna had its own duties Born into and remained in your varna for life Caste System in India Brahmins = Priests
Study & teach the Vedas; perform religious ceremonies to please the gods & ensure welfare of people Kshatriyas = Warriors; Rulers Study the Vedas; lead government; head army Vaisyas = Common people: merchants, artisans, farmers Tend herds, care for land; make & sell useful products Sudras = Native, non-Aryan people = Unskilled laborers, servants
Serve other varnas Untouchables = Outside of Caste System Perform tasks considered unclean These 3 classes = regarded as pure Aryans Caste System in India: Formed from the Body of Purusha Kshatriya = from the shoulders
Sudras = from the feet Brahmins = from the head Vaisya = from the thighs The Untouchables
Outside of the varna system It was believed that if people in higher castes came into contact with the untouchables, then their ritual purity would be polluted Untouchables used separate wells, separate bathrooms, separate temples for worship, etc. Many untouchables had to wear
wooden clappers to alert others when they were approaching The Untouchables Common jobs of the untouchables: Clean bathrooms Handle and cremate corpses Clean and skin dead animals Butcher animals Executioners Caste System in India
Each varna was further divided into sub-castes called jatis Jatis were typically formed according to occupation --> ex: shoemakers, weavers, etc. Each jati had its own rules for daily life -- including diet, marriage, and social customs Caste System in India People were not allowed to mix with others outside of their jati
Could only eat with others in your jati Could only marry someone in your jati Caste System in India Dharma = the faithful and selfless performance of ones present caste duties Karma = determined which caste you would enter at birth Adhering to dharma and subduing your ego ensured spiritual progress, good
karma, and possible birth into a higher caste when reincarnated
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