The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty in China. It was founded by Liu Bang who was a peasant rebel leader, and it followed the Qin Dynasty. The dynasty was characterized by economic affluence, cultural consolidation, and immense technological advancements. Social stratification was a key aspect of the dynasty, which was differentiated into different social classes. The social class was the main determinant of the kind of work an individual had to carry out within the dynasty. The emperor was at the top of the social hierarchy and was the most powerful individual in the dynasty. He was responsible for decision-making within the dynasty and his orders were to be obeyed by people from all the social classes. Further, the emperor was at liberty to hire anyone he thought fit to serve him. Below the emperor was the upper social class. This social class was made up of aristocrats and bureaucrats. These were highly learned people who mostly worked for the emperor, and served as his advisors. Such people were very wealthy and owned large chunks of land. The nobles were also part of the upper social class in the Han Dynasty. People in the upper social class served within the emperor’s court as advisors, high ranking military personnel, or other government positions as designated by the emperor.
The next social class within the Han Dynasty was the middle class. The reputation of this social class was higher than that of the lower class but below that of the upper class. The people in this social class were tasked with the duty of providing necessary commodities and to use their knowledge and skills to provide the necessary services to the wealthy. Some of the people in this social class consisted of medicine men, farmers, and ironworkers. The third and last social class was the lower class. These were people whose designation was to make useful items that could be used by other people within the kingdom. They did not have much stake in matters of the society and did not own land. The lower social class mainly consisted of craftsmen and artisans. These are people who made knives, swords, and other goods meant to be used by the other social classes. Thus, from the above discussion of the different social groups in the Han Dynasty, it is evident that each social class was designated to carry out different duties within the society. This is a clear indication that the social class was a key determinant of the kind of job one could undertake within the Han Dynasty.