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Society and Inequality in Eurasia WHAP
Transcript of Society and Inequality in Eurasia WHAP
= Elites thanks to CSE. 124 BCE Wu Di estbl imperial academy, lasted for centuries, favored the wealthy, and gave bureaucrats great prestige and privilege.
- evaded taxes, often had own independent militaries, became known as scholar-gentry.
- most of pop'ln, some owed 2/3 in crop tax, led to some revolts (Yellow Turban Rebellion) which led to fall of Han.
CH culture disliked merchants- seen as greedy and social threat- and gov't tried to control merchants...but they prospered anyway... using their $$ to buy land and send sons to school.
Class and Caste in India
Slavery in Classical Empires
: Athens 1/3 slavery... Rome carried on this tradition.
Wealthy Romans owned hundreds/thousands, peasants owned a couple.
How did people become slaves?
War captives, abandoned children, piracy, etc.
Slavery deeply entrenched in Roman society- no legal rights, but some were freed.
Of course, this will lead to many rebellions, like Spartacus, but only for their own freedom, not to end slavery in general.
Major Changes and Continuities of Classical Empires
Caste as Varna
- evolved from interaction from Aryans and natives, which led to economic and social diffs. Believed in 4 Great Classes determined by birth and all from Purusha.
Caste as Jati-
based on occupations, organized as guilds. This + varna system = caste system. Social inequalities supported by karma, dharma (perform caste duties to be reborn into higher caste), and rebirth.
Function of caste
- local and made difficult for empire-building. Povided some social security and support, but also made it easier for wealthy to exploit the poor.
for slavery: several theories.
Domestication of animals as the first model.
Large-scale war, patriarchy, and private property encouraged the idea of slavery.
patriarchal "ownership" of women may have encouraged slavery.
Almost all civs had some form of it... though Greece and Roma often freed slaves, and Aztecs considered children of slaves as free.
- least common (< 1% of pop'ln).
- criminals, debtors, war captives... but had some protection w/ religious law.
Greek conquest of Persian Empire
Unification of Mediterranean world by the Roman Empire
Emergence of Buddhism and Christianity as universal religions
Collapse of dynasties, empires, and civilizations.
Society and Inequality in Eurasia and North Africa
- more patriarchal due to Confucianism.
See relationships in opposites, so men's sphere= public, women's= domestic.
- writted to say that the woman is subordinate to the father, then husband, then son.
even wrote that women's inferiority reinforced since birth.
, of course. Some women held political power, led revolts, etc.
Change after Han
- nomadic people, Tang allowed elite women more rights, Empress Wu, and Daoism influence.
Sparta vs. Athens
- limited women's rights.
Completely excluded from public life, no court rights, restricted to the home, could only negotiate small contracts.
- women encouraged to act as equals in marriage, participated in sporting events, not secluded in public life, and had larger role at home due to constant war.
: women freer in militaristic Sparta, while more restricted in democratic Athens.
China's scholar-gentry class.
India's caste system.
Religious and cultural traditions.