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Regional and Transregional Interactions Essay

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The social structures of the Hindu caste system, the Bantu peoples of Africa, and medieval Europe differed greatly. Some structures were given different names while others just consisted of different kinds of people. Each class also had different responsibilities to their community, specifically the lowest and highest class members. The Hindu caste system only had four major classes which they gave different names based on their creator-god’s body parts, the Bantu people only had one ruling class, and the medieval Europeans had three classes which they called estates.

Each of the places had some version of Hindu caste systems but they were all called different names and consisted of different people. The highest caste of Hindu’s caste system was called the Brahmins; the Brahmins only consisted of priests and teachers. This caste system came about from the different body parts of their creator-god named Brahma. Unlike the Hindu people, the Bantu people’s class structure, specifically the highest class, were determined by the most prominent family in the community.

The head of this well-known family was known as the chief of the community, though they worked alongside the ruling class. In Medieval Europe, their class identification system were named the estates. Medieval Europe’s highest estate was made up of the wealthy and noble people of Europe but sometimes higher ranking church members would have more power and influence over their country than the people of the highest class.

The next group of Hindu’s caste system was known as the Kshatriyas, who were the rulers and soldiers of India, and the Vaishyas, who were the merchants and traders. Medieval Europe’s second group wasn’t quite as large, the members of the group were called the clergy. This clergy included people in the army and some of them had higher ranks than those who lived in the lowest classes. Unlike the European system, Hindu caste members could move up a higher class and be reborn wealthy if they acted well in their current life. The church members of the community didn’t have a special class where they were classified in. They hovered in the middle of lower class priests but still held authority over farmers and high-ranking authorities. The legislatures of Europe, or parliaments, were the lower’s class members’ connection to the heads of state.

The third and final caste of Hindu’s social structure was known as the shudras, otherwise known as the society’s laborers. Hindu’s lowest possible caste, which actually weren’t even considered a caste, were known as the untouchables and were considered impure. They were shunned, insulted, and banned from worship services, and kept away from the higher class members. The untouchables’ jobs were to do tasks no one else wanted to do, such as butchering meat or taking care of the dead. Europe’s last estate was not split up into two like Hindu’s caste system but the lower class did do things for the higher class members, just as the untouchables did. The members of the estate consisted of mostly farmers and these farmers had to till the land and grow food for themselves as well as the people of higher classes.

The Hindu caste system had five different groups, the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, and the Shudras. The Brahmins were the highest class, the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas were the second, and the Shudras were the third and final official class. The Bantu peoples’ ruling class consisted of the male heads of the families in the communities. European’s highest class consists of the nobles, the second estate were the clergy, and the third, as well as largest, estate were people who tilled the land and grew crops. Each system had a higher class that controlled the people of their communities but only two of the systems had a second and third class. Though they have these similarities, as you can see, some have different class names and each class consists of different kinds of people that take on different jobs.


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