Similarities and Differences of Mesopotamia and Shang China

Topics: Shang Dynasty, Social class, Sociology Pages: 6 (2231 words) Published: November 15, 2012
Features | Mesopotamia | Shang China|
Community Development * Large settlements * Stable food supply * Trade and communication | Most of the settlements began along the borders of Mesopotamia and date from the 10th to the 9th millennium BC. Because of the dry climate and flooding of the river, farmers had to adapt and eventually began to grow crops of fruits and vegetables. | People settled towards the middle or lower parts of the Yellow River in places called urban centers. They built the 1st real cities in China; they also built palaces and temples. The settlements began to start crops along the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. In the growing industry fishing became popular just like agriculture, even handcrafting. | Organized Systems * Religious systems * Military authority * Civil authority * Economic authority | Sumerians believed in Polytheism and devoted all their prayers and offerings to their Gods, in believing that they controlled the nature of their agriculture. City-states ruled by a king who claimed divine authority. The government helped regulate religion and enforce duties, also providing a system of courts for justice. To keep his people in order King Hammurabi created a document for his people creating justice for the innocent and the guilty. Each city-state regulated their own trade and controlled much of their own businesses. Their business dealt with agriculture and clothing, basic needs for a society. | The Shang Dynasty practiced Polytheism; their most important God was Di. They also believed in ancestor worship which was probably around for thousands of years after they started it. A Shang king could gather an army of about 5,000 for in border campaigns or call all his forces in a grand army around 13,000 to face down serious threats such as insurrection and invasion. The king began to tax the people for agriculture and this outraged them and attacks started to happen. The Shang began to lose control. In their economy, they began to fish as an industry; they also sold hand crafted goods, which became industries. | Complex Social Structures * Division of labor * Division of power * Gender roles * Class structure | Division of labor meant that farmers would buy goods from other workers. Kings thought of themselves as superior to all, they believed of themselves as divine authority. In gender, the men were the hunter-gatherers and women picked berries. The Sumerians had a specific class system. The highest class was the priests, middle class were merchants, and the majority was city-states, which was lower class, made up of farmers.| In the class structure and division of labor, nobles had the most power followed by craftsmen, peasant farmers, and then slaves. Most of the Shang people were farmers. Even though class differences affected gender roles lower-class women were to stay home cook, clean the house, take care of the kids, and make clothes for the whole family. But the division of labor was also important between men and women in different civilizations and social classes. | Form of Writing * Statement of values * Business records * Legal records * Continuity of traditions | To keep track of their trades, the Sumerians had to develop a writing system. They wrote all of their transactions on clay tablets. These were the first legal records, displaying numbers of their traded goods. | The Shang people showed the importance of family and Shang society. This value was carried out through China’s history to present day. Even the ritual of ancestor worship. | Artistic Achievements * Visual arts * Literature * Architecture * Music | Art was made up of natural resource; stone, shells, and marble. The societies depended on art in order to find organization and structure. People of Mesopotamia recorded all their literary works on clay tablets, which include folktales, prayers, hymns, proverbs, personal letters, and fables. Religion...
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