Indus Valley vs Shang Dynasty

Topics: India, Indus Valley Civilization, Social class Pages: 2 (279 words) Published: October 19, 2014
Ruzan Daruwalla
The ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley Civilization and the Shang Dynasty were both users of an early version of the caste system. They both incorporated a very apparent male dominance in their daily lives. However, while the Shang Dynasty was centralized government ruled by emperors, the Indus Valley Civilization was comprised of small republics governed by religious priests.

The class system in both civilizations did not only divide economic classes but also divided gender class and slavery was lightly involved. The class system had a priest class, then a warrior class, then a merchant class, followed by a peasant class and then even lower were the slaves. Though each civilization did not use slavery heavily they both used a decent number of slaves. Male dominance also played a large role in both civilizations. The females’ equality started degrading after the initial reign of the civilizations.

The Shang Dynasty was one of the first examples in history to have a centralized government. The way China’s dynasty system worked was one family became insurgent and overthrew the previous rule over the land making them the Royal family. The eldest male became emperor and his eldest son was to be his successor. The only way a dynasty (reign of one family) was taken out of power was to either not give birth to a male or get overthrown by a another insurgent family. Most of its counterpart civilizations used a confederacy type approach. For example the Indus Valley Civilization had several small republics scattered across the land. Each republic had its own leader. Most heads of state were likely to be religious leaders as well.
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