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Feudal serfdom before 1959

By Source:China Tibet News 2015-07-22

Tibet before 1959 had a society of feudal serfdom. Along with the general characteristics of feudal serfdom, there were many remnants of slavery. This social system was more cruel and reactionary than serfdom in Europe in the Middle Ages. The serf-owners' economic interests were protected by a political system that combined political and religious powers, ruling over the Tibetan people spiritually as well as politically. The local government of Tibet (in Tibetan, Kashag, and meaning "the institute that issues orders") was composed of powerful and influential monks and aristocrats. It upheld a series of social, political and legal institutions that rigidly stratified society. The Thirteen Laws and The Sixteen Laws divided the Tibetan people into three strata in nine grades according to their family background and social status. 

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