Ancient Egypt and China also had similar social structures and government, but both had different purposes and motives. The most important person in Egypt, who was also at the top of the social system, was the Pharaoh.
Pharaohs were believed to be gods in human form that rule Ancient Egypt. “Egypt was united under the rule of one man, the pharaoh. As a god-king, the pharaoh presided over rituals to the Egyptian gods.” (Voyages 42) The order of the social structure from highest class to lowest class in Egypt was the Pharaoh, priests, scribes, skilled artisans/craftsmen, peasants and farmers, and slaves and servants. In Egyptian society, how high you were in the social system depended on who you were and how you were treated. For example, the pharaohs, or kings, were believed to be gods in human form that rule Ancient Egypt. Because the pharaohs were believed to be gods (and was the highest class on the social system), his people would build him a temple inside a pyramid to protect them in the afterlife. The Egyptian social structure started when the first pharaoh of Egypt started ruling.
In the social system of Ancient China, you were born into your class, but you could change your class, this is known as meritocracy. An example would be, ” A newly recruited soldier might start at the lowest rank, but if he succeeded in battle, he could rise in rank and thereby raise the stature of his household.”(Voyages 101) You could work very hard and you had a choice to switch your class by taking an exam to become a scholar. For another example, you could be born into being a merchant and take the very difficult Confucius exam and become a scholar or government official. But, Ancient China had one rule. Men were the only ones allowed to take the exam and become a scholar or government official.
The order form highest to lowest class in Ancient China was Scholars and Government Officials, Farmers and Peasants, Artisans and Craftsmen, and Merchants and Traders. China believed in the “Mandate of Heaven” which said “The Chinese belief that Heaven, the generalized forces of the cosmos (not the abode of the dead), chose the rightful ruler. China’s rulers believed that Heaven would send signs before withdrawing its mandate.
” (Voyages 95) When heaven decided that withdraw the mandate, the dynasty would start falling apart so that a worthy ruler could defeat the bad ruler and restore peace to the dynasty. This allowed different people to be at the highest class in the social system at different times.