The ancient Chinese society was a society divided into 4 main parts. The divisions were based on the position of men in the society. This position depended on the jobs that they performed.
The Classification Of Men In The Ancient Chinese Society:
The four broad division of the ancient Chinese society were:
The shi – This was the topmost social position occupied by the scholars n the other respectable men.
The nong- They occupied the very next social strata. They were mainly peasants or farmers by occupation.
The gong- The third social strata was occupied by the artisans and the craftsmen.
The Shang this was the fourth rung of the society. The merchants and traders belonged to this category.
The Different Social Strata:
The Shi- Just assuming that these people were scholars would not be absolutely correct. The people occupying this social rank were initially valiant worriers. But gradually, scholars filled up this rank. People from aristocratic studied to be a part of this group.
There were some scholars in this group who did not have much property. But they were looked upon as respectable men because they possessed a lot of knowledge. It was not an easy job to carry on the extensive practice of knowledge. This is because the information was not readily available and it was a challenging job.
The Nong- These people were peasants by profession. They were owners of vast stretches of lands. Agriculture was a very important part of the country. These people were the producers of food of the land. Not only that, they paid taxes which served as the income of the state. Therefore, they played a very important part of the economy of ancient China.
The Gong- These people possessed the skill to create different objects of utility. In modern terms, they may be called the laborers. In their work, they were somewhat like the farmers in the sense that they produced several objects of utility. But they did not possess any land. So they were inferior to the peasants. They did not generate that much revenue as was generated by the peasants.
The Shangs- The ancient Chinese people did not hold much respect for traders and merchants. They did not have the ability to produce something on their own. They merely traded others goods.