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Hindu Vs. Mesoamerica Vs. Europe Essay

749 words - 3 pages

The Hindu caste system compared to the social systems of medieval Europe and the civilizations of Mesoamerica and the Andes have several important similarities and differences. While all the social class structures provide guidance and structure to the society, they were also very strict. All three of these systems enforced a small amount of social mobility within the caste structure. . The Hindu caste system was based around a firm ruling system and Hinduism, medieval Europe was centered on the church and the estates, and the civilizations in Mesoamerica and the Andes was unified upon the use of religion and upper class service.
The Hindu Caste system characterized individuals by their born occupation and skin color (Varna). The caste system was also focused on Hinduism and the belief of reincarnation. Hindus believe they are born again into a different person after death. This reincarnation depends on the good and bad deeds that the individual performed during their current life. Reincarnation ends when the person reached perfection and paradise, known as Nirvana. The caste system directly reflected the Hindu religion. If a person born into high class was to perform negative actions, then their next life would mirror those actions. The highest class in the caste system was the Brahmins, or priests. These priests and religious teachers were the most powerful citizens because they ruled over religion. The next class system is the rulers and soldiers called Kshatriyas. After the Kshatriyas, were the Vaishays (merchants and traders). Finally, the caste system contained the Shudras (laborers and workers). Outside of the caste systems was a group called the Untouchables (Achuta). The untouchables were outcasts in society and were not allowed to participate in social events or have contact with others of higher class. People under the Hindu caste system underwent strict rules enforced by religion.
In Medieval Europe, like the Hindu caste system, the class system focused on occupational levels. Medieval Europe's social pyramid was divided into three large groups known as the three estates. The three estates included everyone from knights to guilds. The first estates contained the exceedingly wealthy and nobles as well as the army men and soldiers. The second estate was members of the clergy who were a large part of the church. The third estate is farmers who worked the...

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