- from Ancient China
Ancient Chinese society was like a ladder. On the very top step, or highest rank, stood the emperor and the royal family.
They had the most power and wealth. Just below them were civil servants. They were government workers. They were very respected because they served the royal family. Also, they could read and write. Below civil servants stood the peasants and the craftspeople. Peasants were farmers and had not much money, but China needed them to produce food for everyone. Craftspeople made many things for the upper classes. They created tools, weapons, furniture, and household goods. Near the bottom of the ladder was the merchant class. Many people in this class were rich, such as traders and shopkeepers. But they were looked down upon. That’s because they made money by trading goods that others had made. On the very bottom step of the ladder were entertainers, soldiers, and servants. People on the bottom of the social ladder had not much hope of climbing up. Even so, a few did rise.