Kushāṇa power in Northern India. Among the republican peoples of this phase we may mention the names of the Kunindas, the Yaudheyas, and the Mālavas, who issued coins in the names of their respective republics (gaṇas) or States (janapadas). In the inscriptions of some of these peoples as well as in an interesting discussion of this type of polity in the Mahābhārata we may detect a tendency towards concentration of the ruling and deliberative authority in the hands of a select few. This was evidently due to the urgent necessity of safeguarding the independence of the republics against the ambition of neighbouring powerful kings. The end came in the first half of the fourth century after Christ when all the republics of Northern India, along with a number of minor monarchies, were absorbed in the Empire of the Imperial Guptas.
The New Bureaucratic Elite
The composition of the civil and military service elites of the Hohenzollern state was indicative of some of the major social changes which crystallized everywhere with the growth of the monarch's personal powers and of bureaucratic organization on a large scale. Since absolute government and the expansion of the dynastic labor market opened up fresh sources of differentiation, the stratification of society grew more complex. By giving rise to novel segments of the governing class, absolutism disturbed and confused the old social system, built on birth and privilege, on hierarchy and hereditary estate distinctions (ständische Gesellschaft).
The new civil and military bureaucracies constituted professional classes of great functional and political importance. Hence they were recognized by their creator, the sovereign ruler, as superior status groups. Having like organizational state and a common way of life as "royal servants," they formed two distinct occupational estates (Berufsstände), an estate of administrative government officials (Beam‐
tenstand) and an estate of military officers (Offiziersstand). These hierarchies of appointed and removable dynastic employees did not fit into the neatly defined divisions of the traditional society of northeastern Germany, the essential features of which had been the rigorous partition into hereditary estates (Geburtsstände), into closed, caste-like legal classes. In such a society "man was not man"; he was either superior, common, or inferior.
The nobility, being superior to all other groups in power, privilege, and prestige, had formed the First Estate (Adelsstand), the upper class. The commoners or burghers, i.e., the permanent town residents subject to municipal law and administration, being only "second class people" in influence and rights, had constituted the Second Estate (Bürgerstand), the middle class, inferior to the nobility but superior to the peasantry. At the bottom of the scale had stood the "inferiors," the Third Estate (Bauernstand), identical with the rural masses, mostly peasant serfs. 1
The formation of new upper class strata, made up of the holders of the higher positions in the civil and military bureaucracies, complicated social rankings. But their emergence also reacted on the relations____________________