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1

First of all, peasants were not slaves or anything like that. They were essentially renting a given lend, and most often than not they came into this relationship volunteerly as free men. In many if not most lands and eras getting free from this relationship was actually possible, and peasants could move to another landlord. After bigger wars or diseases ...


1

Roman upper class families, especially senators, restricted their family size in order to avoid having their sons fall out of senatorial status. This risked having all the children die, which led to the practice of adopting children from other families to inherit the name, and property, of a noble family that has no heirs.


3

"In the past" is a little vague. I'll concentrate on the West because I have no acquaintance with this in the New World and little with Asia In 500 BC, when there was no primogeniture in Athens, men controlled their wealth through infanticide. Since everything had to be split between sons & a dowry provided for daughters, families consisted of two sons ...


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 ...


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 ...



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