The Chicken Or The Egg With Hierarchies In Ancient China

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The Chicken or the Egg with Hierarchies
In ancient China, the earliest dynasties Zhou, Qin, and the Han were never unified by religion, but by the government. These different dynasties varied in government structure, social hierarchies, and political philosophies. These factors shaped familial hierarchies and gender roles. In ancient India, the role of government and religion varied from those of China. In India, religion shaped the patriarchal gender roles, and religion dictated familial hierarchy. In ancient China and India gender roles were rooted in patriarchy, but where family hierarchy was involved both societies took different paths from each other, and these hierarchies were influenced by religion or governmental structures.
Religion
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India was similar to China in that it had different dynasties with different types of government. In India the two major empires, the Mauryan and the Gupta, did not last long enough to unify the country. Ruling in different ways, the Mauryan empire had a centralized government, but the Gupta empire was based on a decentralized government. In contrast, China was centered around its government. China’s different governments influenced how society ran. The Zhou had a decentralized administration; the Qin had its legalist system and central government, and the Han had both bureaucratic administration and central government. Legalism, Confucianism, and Daoism influenced government and societal roles. Legalism used in the Qin and Han dynasties constructed the social hierarchies, so individuals themselves could move up based on merit. Confusion morals in the Han dynasty dictated one should live according to morals. Chinese and Indian governments both had many different governments but only China was unified by …show more content…
Indian society was patriarchal; women had little influence and women were supposed to be dutiful. The Lawbook of Manu, said women must rely on the guidance of their husbands and sons, and a women’s job was to bear children and keep up with the house. In China, the mirror image to this sentiment is in Ban Zhou’s Lesson for Women saying women must be dutiful to their husbands, do womanly work, and put everyone before herself because women are lowly and weak. Women in both societies were treated as objects lower than men whose only job was to produce children. But, the reason for patriarchy differed. In China women were first lower than men because they could not preform religious rituals, later on they were lower because in government women had no place in the military and no influence in politics. In India women were lower because only men could be priests, landowners, and warriors which were the top castes, and religious texts like Mahabharata and Ramayana portrayed women as weak and emotional considering the best women to be dutiful to her husband. While patriarchy was formed by religion in India, it was formed by government in China. In India the caste system developed sub-castes, Jati, based on caste and occupation; these became communities made up of families that acted like one family, caring for each other, setting laws, and

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