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32

The Roman Empire routinely enslaved fair skinned Germans and Celts, and referred to those people derogatively as barbarians. Pretty much all the ancient Mediterranean and Near East empires including Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. practiced slavery, and like the Romans might also have drawn from more northerly, fairer skinned peoples. However, we should be ...


22

The Ainu people come to mind, an ethnic minority in Japan. Wikipedia says "Full-blooded Ainu are lighter skinned than their Japanese neighbors", and talks about "the long history of the oppression of the Ainu people by Japan's majority".


18

Oppression is all about political power, so really its just a matter of one group conquering another. Which of the two groups happens to do the conquering is just a matter of historical luck. One good example of a darker-skinned group happening to do the conquering is the ancient civilization of Kush. The Kushites were a Nubian people, speaking a ...


15

The United States was in the "new world." As such, it didn't START with many of the class structures common to European societies. As such, it was regarded as a good "testing ground" for theories of a classless society stemming from the Enlightenment. The "founding generation," even though heavily tilted toward the upper class, was greatly influenced by ...


15

When the Moors conquered and ruled Spain, most Spanish were lighter-skinned than the ruling Moors. Moors denied education, at least to Christian Spaniards, in the part of the country they controlled, and Granada was considered "too beautiful for Christian eyes." Also, the Mongols conquered and oppressed large parts of the former Soviet Union (especially the ...


13

The Barbary Pirates raided as far north as Iceland and Scotland to capture slaves. While still Caucasian, North Africans typically have darker skin than northern Europeans.


11

From Maid-of-all-work: Historically many maids suffered from Prepatellar bursitis, an inflammation of the Prepatellar bursa caused by long periods spent on the knees for purposes of scrubbing and fire-lighting, leading to the condition attracting the colloquial name of "Housemaid's Knee". It was a common condition caused by the hard physical labor ...


10

I'm quite sure white people have been the target for lynch mobs and even ethnic cleansing in certain African nations. Zimbabwe and Uganda comes to mind, but I am quite certain white people are looked down on in many places in Africa, mostly due to a history of imperialism. (Sadly, I don't have time to find sources right now).


10

Ancient Greece isn't as cohesive as Ancient Rome, each city-state had its own social structures. I'll concentrate this answer to Athens only, and try to give you at least another answer for Sparta. The earliest known division of the Athenian society is ascribed to Theseus, the city's legendary founder, with three basic classes: Eupatridae The nobility, ...


10

Wikipedia documents the present day persecution of people with albinism in parts of East Africa.


10

It was more. In 2006 Walter Schiedel wrote an interesting working paper on Roman incomes ("New ways of studying incomes in the Roman economy") which you can find on the web. However, Schiedel's paper just scratches the surface. When Cicero, a very frugal and honest man, ruled as governor of Cilicia, a relatively poor province, he made 2.1 million sesterces, ...


8

Scholars have noted that pre-agricultural societies often have more egalitarian gender norms than agricultural societies. This had led to theories that agriculture led to the development of inegalitarian gender norms, because it privileged men's body strength. A more refined version of thesis was first posited by Ester Boserup in "Woman's Role in Economic ...


8

In his momentous study L'origine des systèmes familiaux, Emmanuel Todd notes that, to the best of a rather sparse archival knowledge, first, the status of women in Eurasia in the 5000BC-1500CE interval seems to historically follow a lowering trajectory, second, this lowering trajectory seems to proceed in a top/down fashion and, third, the adoption of ...


7

There is a Chinese saying (in pinyin), "Hao tie bu da ding, hao ren bu dang bing." (Good iron is not used to make nails. Good men do not become soldiers.) For most of Chinese history, soldiers were vilified, rather than honored. Hence, they would not generally be regarded as members of the upper class, which was occupied by landowners and philosophers. ...


7

In China, there were warriors similar to ronin - the xia. As a link, I found only those regarding their philosophy or literature about them. GURPS Martial Arts (it's no solid historical work and I didn't manage to find any better source) states they were more like Robin Hood than Lancelot - they were not upper class like samurai. Korean Hwarang are ...


6

Well here is an African example of the darker the better. Southern Africa was invaded from the north by black tribes (intentionally no names as there were a number) who then oppressed the lighter skinned San, Koisan etc. The conquering tribes were agriculturalists while the indigenous people were mainly hunter gatherers. The black tribes also worked metal ...


6

The first problem is that you're reading a textbook. Textbooks are not ways in which historical research is reported; they're primarily teaching tools and are highly criticised and considered bad for teaching in some systems. Your textbook gives us some clues about how the authors are using "class," a complex theoretical tool. as Marx ...


6

The slaveholding colonies and states of the American South are one such example, where the slaveholding class used illiteracy as a way to make it easier to control the enslaved population. An act from South Carolina of 1740 made it a fineable offense to teach slaves to read or write: Whereas, the having slaves taught to write, or suffering them to be ...


6

The upper classes who stayed wealthy did so because of their economic practices. The global economy today is a recent invention; economies tended to have less interaction on a broader scale in the past. Thus, there was an even more immediate feel of the zero-sum game (my gain comes from your loss) in ancient times. One way for a person to make the initial ...


5

The original question relates most strongly to Weberian conceptions of class. I would suggest that Bordieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste would be useful here. During the 19th century, the petits-bourgeois and professionals along with some small capitalists, homogenised in Western Europe under the pressure of urbanisation, ...


5

This one could be interpreted a number of ways, and most of the interpretations could be answered with a book. I'm going to take a shot at it anyway. In Marxism, the bourgeoisie is the class that owns the means of production. This can be direct ownership of, say, a factory or train; or it can be a nice stock portfolio. The key point is that you are ...


5

France seems to hung on to the tradition longer than other places. It was still occurring in France with regularity before ww1. Perhaps it the slaughter of ww1 brought about the sharp decline after the war. Georges Clemenceau french leader during war fought duels 1892,duelled the author and Boulangist Paul Déroulède with pistols. ...


5

I interpret the question as, "where and when in world history, was the lack of literacy of a population held against it, despite other qualities? One example was in 14th century England, where religious dissenters known as "lollards" were attacked, not for their religious beliefs (per se), but for the ignorance (of Latin) and the Latin catechism. Another ...


4

The last "class" concept I can think of the U.S. having would be segregation. I believe it was the "everyone is equal" movement (The whole "sitting at the front of the bus" thing) that lead to our current class-less "everyone is equal" state.


4

Even if somebody can rise to height, does not make a society classless. Class is not an sealed set of people: people always can move from one class to another. You possibly confuse class with a social estate or caste the two being more closed divisions of society without easy ways to change. What distinguishes class (by Marx) is the possession of the means ...


4

I would suggest the answer is "No" - and the aristocracy would not actually include gentry either. Social gradations at that time were subtle but strong, a wealthy "gentleman" would still defer to a peer, even if the peer were the poorer. Read Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope for examples. But royalty was in a different category, as, indeed, it is today; ...


4

The reason that the upper class was able to preserve itself was because only a handful of the descendants obtained most of the property of the founders. For instance, Genghis Khan was prolific in his production of children, to the point where perhaps 0.5% of the world's people are descended from him from him, or at least have his DNA. In a world of 7 ...


3

There were essentially 3 classes of Roman - Patrician, an elite wealthy group of families, who mostly formed the senate Plebeian, free land owning citizens, some with a right to vote, some without depending on whether they lived in Rome or outside it and Slaves, who were considered property and had no rights. Specialised workers therefore could have ...


3

Merchants during the feudal system, tended to be Jews or other "foreigners." Lombards, Genovese and Venetians, (from the most entrepreneurial parts of Italy), and Greeks, tended to perform this function in northern Europe, Dutch (and other western Europeans) in Eastern Europe, etc. Merchants were basically independent of the feudal system, being neither ...



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