Social structure of Ancient China

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Social Studies
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Social structure of Ancient China


Shi Class

Gong Class

Shang Class

Emperors in Ancinet China were the topmost level of the Ancient Chinese social pyramid. They were the most respected people of the land, and owned the largest land and ruled the people in the land.An emperors daily life was usually the same throughout the week.5:00-7:00am - get up, make cursey and read books7:00-9:30am - have breakfast9:30-11:00am - hold court, deal with nationwide affairs11:00-2:30pm - have a break from work, have lunch2:30-5:00pm - read books, write poems, paint pictures, see operas or enjoy music played by the concubines5:00-9:00pm - have supper, have Buddhist service then sleep

Above: picture of Ancient Chinese Emperor painting.

The Nong Class people were the peasant farmers, who produced the food to sustain the society. They were considered as high ranked people compared to craftsmen and traders. They were valuable members of the society. They were lanholders who were responsible for producing food and crops for themselves and the society.

Nong Class

The Shi Class were the gentry scholars of the Zhou and Shang dynasty. They were regarded as low level aristocratic lineage. They possessed certain privilages that other people were not given. These included being able to ride chariots into battle, and being able to command battles from the chariots. These people were appointed as the civil services of the country.

Above: Gentry Scholar of the Ancient Chinese Shi Class.

The Gong Class people were the composed craftsmen and artisans. As per Chinese understanding these people were considered the labourers. They were like farmers but did not own much land, therefore they developed goods and crafts. They were a wealthy class but not a good class hence they had no privilages that the higher classes had.

Left: pictures of cratsmen and artisans making goods.

The Shang Class were the lowermost class in the country. They were either traders, merchants or women. They would not achieve a good status because so they were put in the lowest class. Merchants were wealthy, but not respected because they were indulged in themselves in trading and transporting goods.

Left: Picture of merchants selling and trading merchandise.

Social structure of Ancient China

Right: Picture of peasant farmers, cutting crops.


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