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Life in Ancient China

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Jenna Ryan

on 21 January 2013

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Transcript of Life in Ancient China

Landowning Aristocrats Aristocrat families owned large estates in early China. Classes in Ancient Chinese Society Social classes in ancient China were very important because they determined how early Chinese people had to live life and how much money you would make. Life in Ancient China! By: Jenna R-U Peasant Farmers About 9 out of 10 early Chinese people were farmers at one point in their lives. Merchants The merchants social class included shopkeepers, traders, and bankers. What was Life Like for a Chinese Family? Because farming in ancient China required many workers , people had big families to help them produce more and become wealthier. Thank You! :-) Three social classes in ancient China were: landowning aristocrats peasant farmers merchants Aristocrat-owned houses had courtyards, gardens, fine furniture, silk hangings, and a wall around the house to keep out bandits. Aristocrats relied on farmers to grow the crops that made them wealthy. Aristocrat families did not own large estates for long. This was because each aristocrat divided his land among his sons. As a result, there was no land left to divide. Farmers lived in simple houses inside village walls. Aristocrats owned the fields outside of the village. The fields are where farmers planted and grew their crops. To pay for the use of the fields, the farmers gave part of their crops to the landowners. Most farmers owned a small piece of land where they grew food for their family. A typical family ate fish, turnips, beans, wheat or rice, and millet. Farmers had to pay taxes and work one month each year building roads and helping on other big government projects. They even served as soldiers during wartime. In Chinese society, farmers ranked above merchants. The merchants lived in towns and provided goods and services to the landowners. Many merchants became wealthy, but they were still underestimated. Older sons raised their own crops and provided food for their parents. Younger children did simpler jobs. Chinese families also practiced filial piety (fih-lee-uhl py-uh-tee). Filial Piety The filial piety was a phrase that meant the children had to respect their elders. The family had to show the the most respect to the head of the family which was the oldest male. The family placed the oldest male's needs and desires before their own. A son could take on the head of the family, and then even his mother would have to obey him. Men and Women's Roles in Ancient China Men and women had very different roles in early China. Men were respected because they grew crops, went to school, ran the government, and fought wars. These jobs were considered more important than the jobs women did. Most women raised children and managed the household. Women were not allowed to do most of the things men were allowed to do. Family Life in Ancient China P.S.: Confucius is an ancient Chinese thinker. Quiz Time! 1. What were the three main social classes in ancient China? 2. Why did ancient Chinese people have big families? 3. What if filial piety? 4.What type of roles did men have in early China? 5. What type of roles did women have in early China?
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