India Political Structure


Harappan Society (3000-1900 BCE): the Dravidians

  • Surplus of the food cultivated led to the establishment of 2 major cities: Mohenjo-daro and Harappa
    • Had large city-walls, exemplifying their political authority
    • Included many temples, markets, public buildings, and streets
  • Archaeologists haven't uncovered any evidence of a political system
    • Believed that these two cities were similar to the independent city-states of Mesopotamia
    • No evidence of imperial rule/authority

Aryan Society: The Vedic Age (1500-500 BCE)
  • When first migrating to India, they had many chiefdom organizations with no official government
    • Rajas (leaders of the tribe) governed these tribes with a council of village elders
    • Regional kingdoms began to develop as agricultural systems developed
  • Varna were established as a means of separating the classes
    1. Priests (brahmins)
    2. Warriors/aristocrats (kshatriyas) (http://www.kamat.com/indica/caste/19131.jpg )
      19131.jpg
      19131.jpg
    3. Artisans/merchants (vaishyas)
    4. Peasants (shudras)
    • You were required to marry into your caste/subcaste
    • Those at the top of the caste wielded the most political power in society
  • Males held larger privileges in society (inheriting property, family rituals, priests/warriors/chiefs)
    • Very patriarchal society in which men dominated
    • Women's most important duties were to bear children and maintain a stable home

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Early Political Structure of Egypt

  • Based around the Nile River
    nile-river.jpg
    nile-river.jpg
    (http://fondlywithcheese.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/nile-river.jpg )
  • Created states (small kingdoms) and recognized official authorities
  • 3100 BCE- unified rule of Egypt under ruler named Menes
    • ruler from Upper Egypt, gained and extended power to Lower Egypt
  • City of Memphis- made capital and early political center
  • Centralized state ruled by Pharaoh (Egyptian King)
  • Pharaoh's claimed to be living gods, continues trend of early civilizations of Divine Rulers
  • Power of pharaohs was greatest during Archaic Period (3100-2660 BCE) and Old Kingdom (2660-2160 BCE)

Shang Political Structure (1766-1122 BCE)

  • Relied on a large group of political allies (centralized rule by king over the regional rulers)
    • large network of towns whose local rulers recognized the Shang kings
  • Ao- early Shang capital
    • huge city wall demonstrates tight centralized rule- took about 10,000 laborers almost 20 years
  • Yin- later Shang capital
    • extravagant tombs demonstrate respect of subjects toward rulers
  • Capital moved 6 times throughout the dynasty
    • was always the social, economic and cultural center
    • site of administration and military command- but most of all, always had large amounts of bronze foundries
  • Bronze was key to the Shang's political power, had monopoly on the production and since it was only metal, meant everyone was reliant on them for getting any metal tools

Zhou Political Structure

  • Mandate of Heaven (idea implemented throughout the 20th century in China)
    • belief that the Zhou emperors would be granted power by the heavens as long as they ruled wisely and justly
    • emperors served as the link between the earth and the heavens
    • emperors took title "son of heaven" (son of heaven rather than child of heaven demonstrates patriarchal nature)
  • Decentralized administration- too big to rule when centralized.
    • entrusted power and authority in subordinates who owed allegiance tribute and military support
    • Zhou rulers often related to subordinate rulers- if not, then marriages were arranged
    • subordinates demonstrated loyalty to Zhou dynasty by delivering taxes/tribute and military forces to royal court
  • Hao- capital where Zhou rulers ruled from.

Qin Political Structure (221-209 BCE)

  • Came to power after Period of Warring States (PWS)
    • chaotic period for Chinese civil war for power
  • Unified China- ruled by a single emperor
  • Qin Shihuangdi- the first Qin emperor ruled with legalism
qin shihuangdi
qin shihuangdi
(http://www.crystalinks.com/qinemperor.jpg )
  • ** Legalism
      • Daoism and Confucianism- schools of thought that were turned to, but failed to end PWS
      • Legalism proved to work
      • ruthless leadership and scare tactics
      • harsh, strict laws
    • ruled from Xianyang- capital
    • divided China into administrative provinces and districts
    • entrusted officers of the central government to implement policies
    • standardized laws, currencies, weights and measures
      • Along with roads and bridges, encouraged communication across state boundaries


      Created By: Eitan, Kaitlyn, Lauren
Evaluated By: Joe Kusters: grammar errors and edited word flow
Loie Warren: changed some grammar seemed good though
Lauren Bower: changed some capitalization and some grammar
Katie Centeno: everything seemed good, changed some wording
Thomas Luppi: Looks fine, couldn't find any issues