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The Tang Dynasty

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Alice Watson

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of The Tang Dynasty

Social Classes during the Tang Dynasty
Social Classes during Tang Dynasty
Generally at the top of the social hierarchy was the emperor and his family but if emperor had worked his way up to his title rather than coming from an eminent family it was possible for the aristocracy to become more powerful in certain instances.
Next would typically be aristocrats,
then the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy
was divided into two separate levels of honor the scholars and officials.
All of these groups were frequently at the top of the food chain during Chinese history, and they very respected.
The servants and the priests who served the gods in the emperor’s palace and and clergy were above the peasants. Many different classes of wealthy were established too.
Instead of just aristocracy, wealthy land owners and peasants as the basic classes, there was wider variety emerging. Land owners, free peasants, sharecroppers, landless laborers were a few of them.
Peasants were were higher in the hierarchy than artisans and traders and Slaves were the lowest in the Tang Dynasty’s social structure, like in most cultures.
There were actual laws were made to make sure that each of these social classes behaved in a manner according to their station, called the Tang Code.
The Tang Code was composed of roughly 500 sections of ancient law total that were were compiled into 12 volumes. They covered everything from domestic matters to corporal punishment. They were
Flogging
Caning
Imprisonment
Exile
Death
and it was written in roughly 624.
Women had much more freedom during the Tang Dynasty, but by no means had all of the rights of men.
They were treated with more respect and power, even allowed to take religious orders and become priestesses. But this mostly applied to women in and close to the large cities and most rural women continued on as before.
Women of high rank were also provided a lot ofrespect and were often allowed to join in discussions and debates with men of high social rank.
But most women had no say at all as regards their husband. They were expected to comply with their parents or brothers' arrangements. Women had neither the right to divorce their husbands, nor the right to remarried. Women were permitted to marry only once in her their lifetime.
But a husband could lawfully abandon his wife if she committed one of the seven sins: being infertile, lascivious, jealous, succumbed to a repellent disease, meddling, or stealing. Men were regarded as superior to women.
But previously , women of earlier dynasties had barely any freedom, no voice in expressing themselves, no education, and no say in their future. More modern (for the time) women had a few of the same rights as the men and enjoyed the privilege of education, and a few others. They were also given a favorable law as to owning land. The social changes were very different (and very much needed) in this dynasty in comparison to earlier dynasties.
MacKenzie Miller hour 4
Full transcript