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Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings Farmers And Towns
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Kings Farmers And Towns
Chapter – 2
PART – I
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Q.1. Who was Asoka? Which state he annexed into Mauryan empire ?
Ans : Asoka was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. He was the most famous ruler of Mauryan empire. He annexed the state of Kalinga in Mauryan empire.
Q.2. To which ruler belong the oldest messages on stone-surface? What do they tell about dhamma?
Ans : The oldest messages on stone surfaces belong to Asoka, a Mauryan ruler. He used his inscriptions to proclaim what he meant by dhamma. They included the following:
a) Respect towards elders.
b) Generosity towards Brahmans and sanyasis.
c) Kind behaviour towards slaves and servants.
d) Respect for the religions and traditions of others.
Q.3. What is Sangam Texts?
Ans: Sangam Grantha are the books written in Tamil language. They are a kind of poems. They tell us how the chiefs of Tamilkam region accumulated and arranged their resources.
Q.4. Name three types of source about history of Gupta rulers.
Ans : a) Literature.
b) Coins and inscriptions.
c) Prashastis, composed by poets in praise of kings.
Q.5. All the cities emerged in sub-continent during sixth century BCE were located along routes of communication. Give examples.
Ans : a) Cities like Pataliputra were situated on the riverine routes.
b) Cities like Ujijayini were situated along the land routes.
c) Cities like Puhar, were near the coast, where sea routes began.
Q.6. Mention one major political difference between Mhajanapadas and Ganas or Sanghas.
Ans: While most Mahajanapadas were ruled by kings, some, know as Ganas or Sanghas, were oligarchies (per 80), where power was shared by a number of men, often collectively called Rajas.
Q.7. Discuss in a very brief paragraph the process of transplantation.
Ans : Transplantation is used for paddy cultivation in areas where water is plentiful. Here, seeds are firsts broadcast, when the saplings have grown they are transplanted in waterlogged fields. This ensures a higher ration of survival of seedlings and higher yields.
Q.8. Why is the 6th B. C regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history?
Ans : a) The 6th B.C. saw the rise of states, cities widespread use of iron and coins.
b) It also witnessed the growth of different religions like Buddhism and Jainism.
Q.9. Name the five major political centres of the Mauryan empire.
Ans : Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvarnagiri were the five major political centres of the Mauryan Empire.
Q.10. Why were fortification walls built at Rajgir?
Ans : a) Fortification walls were built to render the capital impregnable. In those days there were no means of storming citadels, as canons come to be invented later.
b) It was a measure of safeguard because in those days raids on neighbouring states was recognised as a legitimate means of acquiring wealth.
B. Textual Questions & Answers:
Q.1. Discuss the evidence of craft production in Early Historic cities. In what ways is this different from the evidence from Harappan cities?
Ans: Evidence of craft production in early historic cities are collaborated from wide range of artefacts that have been recovered from them. These include fine pottery known as Northern black polished ware, probably used by rich people. Other relate to ornaments, tools, weapons, vessels, figurines made from wide range of materials- gold, silver, copper, bronze, ivory glass, shell and terracotta.
Votive inscriptions in a number of cities, which mention the name of donor and specify his occupation also tell us about people who lived in towns, carpenters, potters, goldsmiths, blacksmiths,many crafts persons were organised into guilds or shrenis. These guilds probably procured raw materials, regulated production and marketed finished products. Probably a wide range of iron tools were used to meet the needs of urban centres.
Flourishing land, river and overseas routs linking Central Asia, West Asia, South East Asia and China and use of coins e.g., punch marked as mode of exchange all point apart from trade linkages to specialisations in goods and crafts. While evidence of craft production is early historic cities is based on remains, inscription and trade linkages, those in the Harappan cities are based on remains of raw materials such as stone nodules, whole shells, copper ore, tools, unfinished objects, rejects and waste material as places of production.
Moreover traces suggests in Harappan cities there were specialised centres of craft production e.g., Chanhudaro. Chanhudaro was almost exclusively devoted to bead making, shell cutting, metal working, seal making and weight making. Nageshwar and Balakot were specialised centres for making shell objects like bangles ladles and inlay.Specialized drill have been found at Chanhudaro, Lothal Dholavira.
The harappan cities unlike the early historic cities suggest apart from small specialised centres of production, craft production was also undertaken in large cities such as Mohenjodaro and Harappan.
Q.2. Describe the salient features of Mahajanapadas.
Ans: In the early texts of Buddhism and Jainism, we find a mention of sixteen states under the name of Mahajanapadas. Though the names of the all these Mahajanapadas are not uniform in these books yet the names of Vajji, Magadha, Kaushal, Kuru, Panchal, Gandhar and other are alike. It indicates that all these Mahajanapadas must have been very important.
Main characteristics : The main features of the Mahajanapadas are! as follows-
i) Most of the Mahajanapadas were ruled by a king. But a group of people ruled those states which were known as a Republic. Every person of this group was called a king.Lord Mahavira and Lord Budha had relation to this republics. Like the Republics of Vajji in some other states, the king and the people had a collective control over economic resources.
ii) Every Mahajanapadas had its own capital. It was often surrounded by a fort. The fortification of the capital was needed for the maintenance of the capital, border forces and economic resources for the officials.
iii) Approximately in the 6th century BCE, the Brahmans started composing a religious book in Sanskrit called dharmashastras. In it, the rules were determined for all social sections including king. It was also expected that all the rulers should be Khastriyas.
iv) The main job of the rulers was to collect tax from the farmers, merchants and craftsmen. They also accepted offerings.
v) It was legitimate to attack the neighbouring countries to raise money from them.
vi) Slowly and steadily, some states started keeping their regular armed forces and officials. The other states were still dependent on assistant armies. The soldiers were often recruited from the farmers.
Q.3. How do historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary people?
Ans: Historian reconstruct the lives of ordinary people by using historical sources such as material remain (ruins of houses, buildings, pottery tools, implements) description given as instruction issued to the government, official by the emperor/rulers account given by the foreign traveller about the ordinary people.
i) Material remains give us idea about the socio-economy standard of the people. If they live small houses definitely they belong to ordinary category of the people in the society. Similarly simple cotton, cloth, ornaments made of copper and silver, indicate that their economic position was low. The agricultural tools and instruments tell us about their occupation. Different crafts also tell us about their economic activities.
ii) From text books, inscriptions, parasite and description left by foreign travellers also tell us about their social position. For example the description given by Fa-haien of China tell us about the miserable positions of Chandals etc.
Q.4. Compare the contrast the list of things given to the Pandyan chief (source 3) with those produced in the village of Danguna (source 8). Do you notice any similarities or differences?
Ans: i) The Pandyan chief spices like turmeric, cardamom, pepper and agricultural products like coconuts, mangoes, medicinal plants, onions and sugarcane.
ii) The also received animals as gifts for example lions, elephants. monkeys and bears.
iii) The village of Danguna fermented liquor, produced salt and made seats from animal hides.
iv) Mineral deposits were mined, flowers and milk were readily available.
v) Except for availability of animals and a few agricultural products the things given to the Pandyan chief and those produced in the Danguna village are very different.
Q.5. List some of the problems faced by epigraphists.
Ans: The scholars who study the inscriptions were often very wise people. They faced the following problems :
i) Sometimes the words are engraved in very light colours.It is very hard to decipher them.
ii) Sometimes the inscriptions are damaged. Many words are lost due to their damage.
iii) It is always not easy to find out the real meaning of the inscriptions. Sometimes the things are stated in relevance to a particular situation or time.
iv) Thousands of inscriptions have been found. But not all of them can be translated or understood.
v) There might have been many more inscriptions. It is possible many of them would have been damaged. These inscriptions which are available may be a part of many more which have already been damaged.
vi) There is another basic problem. What is important today both politically and economically may not have been mentioned in the inscriptions. For example, the inscriptions do not refer to agriculture and the joys or sorrows of daily life. They describe only special and grand occasions.
vii) The inscriptions reflect the views of those who write them. So we must critically analyse all the inscriptions to find out the ultimate truth.
Write a Short Essay on the Following:
Q.6. Discuss the main features of Mauryan administration. Which of these elements are evident in the Asokan inscription that you have studied?
Ans: Among the elements of Mauryan administration evident in the Asokan inspirations are:
i) There are five major political centres in the empire : The capital Pataliputra and the provincial centre of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvarnagiri. Virtually the same message was engraved everywhere, raising the question of whether the vast empire had a uniform administrative system.
ii) Among the officers at the district discussed in Asoka’s inscriptions is the rajuka responsible for surveying and assessing land and administrating justice. The IV Pillar Edict of Asoka is entirely addressed to the rajukas. They are advised on their behaviour towards the peoples and rulers giving reward and punishment.
ii) Among the other officials mentioned in Asokan inscriptions are those connected with the administration of the city, and those who worked among frontier peoples. In addition to these were officials referred to as Dharma Mahamatras.
Inscription also mention an important official ‘Pativedakas’. The epigraphists have translated the term of reporter. His main function was to report to the king about the affairs of the people anywhere and at all times. One of their functions was to record gifts and donation made to religious establishments. In addition to spreading the message of Dharma.
Q.7. This is a statement made by one of the best known epigraphists of the 20th century, D.C. Sircar. “There is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions”. Discuss.
Ans : Introduction : Inscriptions are very important as a source of history reconstruction. D.C. Sircar has correctly argued that there is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions. Generally, inspirations were commissioned by those achievements/activities/ ideas were recorded in them, Inscriptions are virtually permanent records, Some inscriptions carry dates. Others are dated on the basis of peliography or styles of writing, with a fair amount of precision. For instance, the letter was written like C.250BCE,By C. 500CE, it was written like 500 A.D.
Votive inscriptions give us description about gifts made to religious institutions. These mention the name of the donor, and sometimes specify his/her occupation as well.
They tell us about of the people who lived in towns: washing folk, weavers,scribes, carpenters, blacksmiths, officials, religious teachers, marchants and kings. Sometimes, organisations of crafts producers, guilds or sirenis, are mentioned in inscriptions and texts.These probably procured raw materials, regulated production, and marketed the finished produce.
Around the same time, there is evidence for long distance trade. Historian combine evidence from a variety of sources to reconstruct and understand this process.
Q.8. Discuss the notions of kingship that developed in the post Mauryan period.
Ans : i) Many kings sought to uplift their status by identifying with a variety of duties. This was done especially by the kushans.
ii) The notions of kingship which they wished to project can be seen by the coins and sculptures of the times.
iii) Huge statues of kushana rulers have been found in a shrine at Mat near Mathura and in shrine in Afghanistan as well.
iv) Historians have felt that this indicate that the kushana considered themselves divine.
v) Many Kushana rulers adopted the title devaputra or “son of god” inspired by the chinese rulers who called themselves sons of heaven.
Q.9. To what extent were agricultural practices transformed in the period under consideration?
Ans: Transformation in agricultural practice from C.600 BCE 600 CE:
New strategies for increasing agricultural production were adopted. One such strategy was to shift to plough agriculture, which spread in fertile alluvial river valleys such as those of the Ganga and kaveri from C. 6th century BCE. The iron-tipped ploughshare was used to turn the alluvial soil in areas which had high rainfall.
In some parts of the Ganga valley production of paddy was dramatically increased by the introduction of transplantation, although this meant back breaking work for the producer. While iron plough share led to a growth in agricultural productivity. Its use was restricted to certain parts of the sub-continent cultivators in areas which were semi-arid, such as parts of Punjab and Rajasthan did not adopt it till the 20th century, and those living in hilly tracts in the north eastern and central parts of the sub-continent.
Practical hoe agriculture, which was much better suited to the terrain. Another important strategy adopted to increase agricultural production was the use of irrigation, through wells and tanks, and less commonly canels, communities as well as individuals organised the construction of irrigation works. The later, usually powerful men including kings, generally recorded such activities (construction of walls, tanks canals etc.) in inscriptions.
From the early centuries of the CE(Common Era), we find grants of land being made. The records that have survived are generally about grants to religious institutions (such as temples) or to Brahmans. There were regional variations in the sizes of land donated ranging from small parts to vast stretches of uncultivated land and the right given to donets (the receipts of the grant).
Some historians feel that land grants were part of a strategy adopted by ruling lineages to extent agriculture to new areas. Other historians suggests that land grants were indicative of weakening political power, as king were losing control over their samantas they tried to wish allies by making grants of land. However, there land grants provide some insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.
Differences in rural society have been observed by the scholar in this period (C.600 BCE-600 CE). While different technologies and ways generally led to an increase in production, the benefits were very uneven. The literary sources (such as the buddhist texts), refer to landless agricultural small peasants as well as large land-holders.
The large land holders as well as the village headman, emerged as powerful figures, and generally exercised control over other cultivators. The Sangam texts also mentioned different categories of people living in village- large landowners or Vellalar, ploughmen or Uzhavar and slaves or adimai. It is likely that these differences were based on differential access to land, labour and some of the new technologies.
Q.10. Compare maps 1 and 2, and list the Mahajanapadas that might have been included in the Mauryan Empire. Are any Asokan inscriptions found in these areas?
Ans : Mahajanapadas were mainly expanded in North India. Whole North India was included in Mauryan empire. Probably all the Mahajanapadas could have been included in Mauryan Empire. Following is given their list :
iii) Kuru .
iv) Panchala .
x) Vajji (Vriji).
xvi) Ashmaka (at the banks of river Godavari in South India)
Inscriptions of Asoka have been found at all these places.
C. Passage Based Question & Answers :
Read the following passage with care and answer all the questions given below it :
THE HISTORY OF PATALIPUTRA
Each city had a history of its own, Pataliputra for instance, began as a village known as Pataligrama. Then, in the fifth century BCE, the Magadha rulers decided to shift their capital from Rajagriha to this settlement and renamed it. By the fourth century BCE, was the capital of the Mauryan Empire and one of the largest cities in Asia. Subsequently its importance apparently, declined. When the chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang visited the city in the seventh century CE, he found it in ruins, and with very small population.
Q.1. Write the name of that village from which the town/ city of Pataliputra developed.
Ans: Pataliputra emerged from a village known as Pataligrama.
Q.2. By which rulers and when in place of which town Pataliputra was made capital?
Ans: In the fifth century BCE, the Magadhan rulers dedicated to shift their capital from Rajagriha to Pataliputra.
Q.3. By the fourth century BCE what importance was gained Pataliputra?
Ans: By the fourth century BCE Pataliputra was the capital of the Mauryan Empire and one of the largest cities in Asia.
Q.4. During the Maurya Empire which Chinese traveller came when? What was the position of Pataliputra at that time?
Ans: The Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang visited Pataliputra in the seventh century CE. He found it in ruins, and with a very small population. It’s importance apparently declined.
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