Chapter 2: the expansion of trade industry

Key messages

View Chapter2mindmap from SOCIAL STUDIES 301 at Bert Church High School. Social Studies 8 The Origins of Western Worldview The Expansion of Trade - Ch.

Chapter 2: The Expansion of Trade. Curriculum Reflection Questions. What was the Renaissance? How did the Renaissance spark the growth and exchange of ideas. Chapter 1 'Introduction', Section 1.4 'The Globalization Debate' discussed how Thomas Friedman’s flat-world approach segments history into three stages: Globalization 1.0 from 1492 to 1800, 2.0 from 1800 to 2000, and 3.0 from 2000 to the present. In Globalization 1.0, nations dominated global expansion. . As trade expanded, the Company persuaded merchants and traders to come and settle near the factory. By 1696 it began building a fort around the settlement. Two years later, the Company gained zamindari rights over three villages. → One of the villages was Kalikata.

  • The World Economic and Social Survey was an early proponent of development as a process of large-scale structural and institutional change for the promotion of high standards of living, full employment and social progress. Starting from the first edition, issued in January 1948, the Survey recognized the need for coordinated international action to accelerate economic growth, facilitate the cross-border flow of goods and services and support effective utilization of resources in the context of an expanding and integrated world economy.
  • The expansion of international trade and a functioning payments system were recognized as two critical factors for development in the post-Second World War period. However, large fluctuations in commodity prices and, correspondingly, in foreign exchange earnings were a source of economic instability for many developing countries back then and this has continued to be the case right up to the present.
  • In the 1950s, the flexibility that European countries were afforded in meeting their International Monetary Fund-related obligations enabled the successful creation of the multilateral international payments system. Six years after the initial commitment, most Western Europe countries had eliminated foreign exchange restrictions and established current account convertibility. A similar flexibility in debt negotiations was important for the facilitation of a rapid recovery in Europe in the post-Second World War period as well as in Latin America in the 1930s.
  • International solidarity has played an important role in development and reconstruction. Western European countries received resources equivalent to 1 per cent of the gross national product of the United States of America in the period from 1948 to 1952 through the Marshall Plan. Generous financial support and flexibility in the enforcement of international commitments assisted in the recovery of financial stability and facilitated a more efficient allocation of resources and a more rapid liberalization of trade.
  • The discussion on planned development in Part I of the 1964 edition of the Survey (p. 2) remains of great significance today. The Survey observed that “the acceleration of economic and social development requires a more long-sighted approach to policy formulation” and that policy decisions “have to contribute actively to bringing about the structural and institutional changes which underlie economic development”. A key determinant of successful development outcomes is an improvement in the capacity of public administration which enables the synergies across the socioeconomic, environmental and institutional dimensions of development to be maximized.

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns (Early States and Economies)

Barriers

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 – 2 Marks Questions

Question 1.
Why was Mauryan empire regarded as a major landmark in the early Indian history? (Delhi 2015)
Answer:
The Mauryan empire was regarded as a major landmark in the early Indian history because for the first time Chandragupta Maurya founded a vast empire which extended to far North West to Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Moreover, historians think that the messages on Asoka inscription were very different from the other contemporary rulers.

Question 2.
Why is the 6th century BCE often regarded as a major turning point in the early Indian history. (Delhi 2015)
Answer:
The 6th century BCE is regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history for the following reasons:

  • It is an era associated with early states, cities, the growing use of iron, the development of coinage, etc.
  • This era witnessed the growth of diverse system of thoughts like Buddhism and Jainism.

Question 3.
Why is James Prinsep’s contribution considered as the historic development in the Indian epigraphy? (HOTS; Delhi 2015)
Answer:
James Prinsep was an officer in the mint of the East India Company. He contributed a lot in the Indian epigraphy by deciphering two scripts, viz, Brahmi and Kharosthi in the earliest inscriptions and coins.

Question 4.
How were the coins used in the 1st century CE? Give two examples. (All India 2015)
Answer:
The Kushana rulers issued the first gold coins in the 1st century. For example:

  • The wide spread use of gold coins indicates that the enormous value of the transactions was taking place.
  • Hoards of Roman coins were found in South India which indicates that trade was extended beyond political boundaries.

Question 5.
How did Kushana rulers exemplify themselves with the high status? (All India 2015)
Answer:
The Kushana rulers washed to project the notions of kingship in their coins and sculpture.
Colossal statues of Kushana rulers have been found installed in a shrine at Mat near Mathura and in Afghanistan. Many Kushana rulers adopted the title ‘Devaputra’ or ‘Son of God’.

Question 6.
How have the Prashastis drawn the factual information about the Gupta rulers? (All India 2015)
Answer:
Prashastis were important source for reconstructing the histories of Gupta rulers. Historians tried to draw factual information from such compositions. These were composed in praise of kings in particular and patrons in general by poets. Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta, composed the Prayag Prashasti (also known as Allahabad pillar inscription) where he described Samudragupta as the most powerful king of Gupta Empire who was equally powerful like God and protector of his poor subjects.

Question 7.
Mention any two features of the administrative system of the Mauryan Empire. (Delhi 2014)
Answer:
Two main features of the administrative system of the Mauryan Empire were:

  1. There were five major political centres in the empire viz, Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvamagiri.
  2. The administrative control was strongest in areas around the capital and the provincial centres and these centres were carefully chosen by the kings.

Question 8.
How did Magadha become the most powerful mahajanapada between 6th and 4th century BCE? Give two reasons.
(All India 2014)
Answer:
Historians explained the reason behind the emergence of Magadha as the most powerful mahajanapada in the following ways:

  • Agriculture was very productive in Magadha.
  • Magadha was rich in iron mines which provided resources for tools and weapons. Further, elephants were found in large number in this region.

Question 9.
Explain why the communication along both land and riverine routes was vital for the existence of the empire during the period of Mauryan. (Compartment 2013)
Answer:
During the Mauryan period, communication along both land and riverine routes was vital for the existence of the empire because:

  • The Mauryan empire was a very vast empire. Thus, for political control, military activity and people’s movement, both land and riverine routes were required.
  • Communication through roadways and waterways were necessary for trade and commerce and also for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, etc.

Question 10.
Mention any two pieces of evidence which referred to Asoka as the most popular ruler of the 6th century BCE.
(Compartment 2012)
Answer:
Asoka was the most popular ruler of the 6th century BCE as:

  • Historians found that the messages on Asokan inscriptions were very different from that of the most rulers and suggested that he was more powerful, industrious and humble than the other rulers.
  • Asoka tried to hold his vast empire together by propagating Dhamma, the principles that were universally accepted by all.

Question 11.
Who deciphered the Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts? What important facts were revealed through these scripts? (Compartment 2011)
Answer:
James Prinsep deciphered the Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts in 1838.
With the deciphered script, we know about the political, economic history and specially, the contribution of the king of that period.

Question 12.
Mention any two ways in which the inscriptions of land grants help us to understand rural society in ancient times.
(All India 2008)
Answer:
In ancient times, many land grants were recorded as inscriptions. We know these from:

  • Many land grants were given to religious institutions or Brahmanas. Some feel land grants were done to extend agriculture to new areas.
  • There were regional variations in the sizes of land donated, ranging from small to vast stretches of uncultivated land and the rights were given to donees, i.e. the recipients of the grant.
    BChapterwise CBSE Solved Papers : HISTORY

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 – 4 Marks Questions

Question 13.
Critically examine the limitations of the inscriptional evidences in understanding political and economic history of India. (Delhi 2015)
Answer:
Inscriptions are important source to know history. But there are certain limitations of inscriptions. These were:
1. Several thousands of inscriptions were discovered, but not all of them were deciphered or translated.

2. Generally, inscriptions were composed in praise of kings and patrons, e.g. Prayaga Prashasti was composed in Sanskrit by Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta. From this inscription, we know about the generosity, administrative capabilities of the king Samudragupta who was described as equal to different deities.

3. The context of the inscription invariably projected the perspective of the person who commissioned it. But it was not recorded what we consider politically and economically significant facts of that period. For example, routine agricultural practices, the joys and sorrows of common people were not mentioned in these inscriptions. History is not only the histories of kings, it includes different social groups and even marginalised sections of our society.

4. From mid-20th century historians’ become more interested in political and economic changes of society (e.g. the ways in which different social groups emerged). This lead to fresh investigations of old sources and in this respect, inscription had its own limitations to interpret political and economic history of India.

Question 14.
Historians have used a variety of sources to reconstruct the history of the Mauryan Empire. State any four such sources. (All India 2015, 2013)
Answer:
Historians have used a variety of sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryan Empire. These were:

  • Things found in archaeological excavation, specially sculpture are regarded as an important source.
  • Contemporary works like writings of Megasthenes, Arthashastra by Chanakya are important sources regarding that period.
  • The Mauryas were also mentioned in later Buddhist, Jaina, Puranic and Sanskrit literature.
  • Moreover the inscriptions of Asoka on rocks and pillars are regarded as the most valuable sources.

Question 15.
mat is the role played by the coins in the decipherment of Kharosthi script? (All India 2012)
Answer:
The role played by the coins in the decipherment of Kharosthi script was: Analysis of Indo-Greek Coins The coins of Indo-Greek kings who ruled over the north-western part of the sub-continent in c. second century BCE. were analysed by the epigraphists.

Comparison with Greek Script The Indo-Greek coins contain the names of kings written in Greek and Kharosthi scripts. The Kharosthi script was compared with the Greek one.

The European scholars who could read Greek, compared it with Kharosthi. There were few similarities e.g. letter ‘a’ was used in both scripts for writing names such as ‘Apollodotus’. James Prinsep identified the language of Kharosthi as Prakrit. After that, it became possible to read longer inscriptions easily

Question 16.
Explain briefly the notions of kingship during Kushana and Gupta empire. (Compartment 2011)
Answer:
In the 1st century BCE Kushanas ruled over a vast kingdom extended from Central Asia to North-West India. Their history has been reconstructed from inscriptions and textual traditions. The notions of kingship they wished to project are perhaps best evidenced in their coins and sculpture. The colossal statues of Kushana rulers were found in Mathura and Afghanistan.

According to some historians, this trend indicates that Kushanas thought themselves like God. Several Kushana rulers assumed the title ‘Devaputra’ or ‘Son of God’, perhaps they were influenced by the Chinese leaders who called themselves ‘Sons of Heaven’.

On the other hand, histories of the Gupta empire have been taken from literature, coins and inscriptions, including Prashastis. Prashastis were composed in praise of kings and patrons in general. The famous Prayaga Prashasti composed by Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta, is a powerful document to know about the Gupta rulers.

Question 17.
Describe briefly any two strategies for increasing agricultural production from 6th century BCE to 6th century CE.(Delhi 2010)
Answer:
To increase the agricultural production, some strategies were adopted from 6th century BCE to 6th century CE. These strategies were:

  • There was a shift to plough agriculture. The iron-tipped ploughshare was used to turn the alluvial soil in areas which had high rainfall.
  • Irrigation through wells, tanks, canals were started to irrigate fields to increase agricultural production.

Question 18.
Describe briefly the sources used for reconstructing the history of the Gupta rulers. (All India 2010, Delhi 2009)
Answer:
The Gupta rulers established a vast empire in the 4th century which was reconstructed from various sources. These sources are explained in the following ways:
Inscriptions Inscriptions are writings engraved on hard surfaces like stones, metals, etc. These are generally composed in praise of kings in particular, and patrons in general by the poets. For example, Allahabad pillar inscription or Prayaga Prashasti were composed in Sanskrit by Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta in praise of him.

Coins Coins are also an important source of reconstructing the history of Gupta rulers, as they include elements like scripts, images and the context in which they are found. Some of the most spectacular gold coins were issued by the Gupta rulers. These coins facilitated long distance transactions from which the expansion of trade and commerce was known.

Literature Historians attempted to draw factual information from the compositions of Prashastis. Those who composed these, often treated them as works of poetry, rather than an account that were literally true. These were written in praise of king and patron in general. Thus, historians have to constantly assess the statements made in inscriptions to judge whether they are true plausible or exaggerations.

Prashastis They contribute prominently in reconstructing the histories of the Gupta rulers, e.g. Prayaga Prashasti was composed in Sanskrit for Samudragupta.

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 – 8 Marks Questions

Question 19.
Explain the main features of the Mauryan administration. (All India 2017)
or
Explain any four sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas, Examine the system of Mauryan administration. (Delhi 2016)
What type of source have been used to reconstruct the history of Mauryan empire? Explain with suitable examples. (Delhi 2012)
Answer:
For sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas, Historians have used a variety of sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryan Empire. These were:

  • Things found in archaeological excavation, specially sculpture are regarded as an important source.
  • Contemporary works like writings of Megasthenes, Arthashastra by Chanakya are important sources regarding that period.
  • The Mauryas were also mentioned in later Buddhist, Jaina, Puranic and Sanskrit literature.
  • Moreover the inscriptions of Asoka on rocks and pillars are regarded as the most valuable sources.

System of Mauryan Administration The growth of Magadha culminated in the emergence of the Mauryan empire. Chandragupta Maurya who founded the empire (321 BCE), extended control as far North-West as Afghanistan and Baluchistan, and his grandson Asoka, arguably the most famous ruler of early India, conquered Kalinga (present-day coastal Odisha).
There were five major political centres in the empire i.e. the capital Pataliputra and the provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvarnagiri, that are all mentioned in Asokan inscriptions.
Due to Vastness of the empire administrative system of this empire was not uniform. It is likely that administrative control was strongest in areas around the capital and the provincial centres. These centres were carefully chosen, both Taxila and Ujjayini being situated on important long-distance trade routes, while Suvarnagiri (literally, the golden mountain) was possibly important for tapping the gold mines of Karnataka.
Communication along both land and riverine routes was vital for the existence of the empire. It is obvious that the army was an important means for ensuring the latter.

Megasthenes mentions a committee with six subcommittees for coordinating military activity. Of these, one looked after the navy the second managed transport and provisions, the third was responsible for foot-soldiers, the fourth for horses, the fifth for chariots and the sixth for elephants. The activities of the second subcommittee were rather varied-arranging for bullock carts to carry equipment, and recruiting servants and artisans to look after the soldiers.
Asoka also tried to hold his empire together by propagating Dhannna, the principles of which were simple and virtually universally applicable. This, according to him, would ensure the well-being of people in this world and the next. Special officers, known as the Dhamma Mahamatta, were appointed to spread the message of Dhamma.

Question 20.
Explain the agricultural practices followed by the cultivators to increase productivity from C 600 BCE to 600 CE. (All India 2017)
or
To what extent were agricultural practices transformed from 6th century BCE? Explain briefly. (Delhi 2011)
Answer:
Agricultural practices were transformed from 6th century BCE onwards because of increasing burden of taxes imposed by state. The kings demanded considerable taxes from the subjects, from 6th cent ury BCE onwards.
In order to fulfil this demand for more taxes, the farmers started finding new means to increase the production of their crops.

These new means were:
Shift Towards Plough Agriculture Agriculture practices were significantly transformed by the shift to plough agriculture which spread in fertile alluvial river valleys such as those of the Ganga and the Kaveri.

Use of Iron-Tipped Ploughshare In the areas of high rainfall, the use of iron-tipped ploughshare turned the alluvial soil into highly fertile ground.

Use of Paddy Transplantation Paddy transplantation technique was used in which seeds were first broadcast then the saplings were transplanted in water logged fields. This ensured a higher ratio of survival of saplings and higher yields and dramatically increased the production of paddy crop. Although, this process requires high degree of manual labour.

Use of Irrigation to Increase Productivity Irrigation was another strategy to increase agricultural production. The irrigation was done through wells and tanks and sometimes the canals were used.

Communities as well as individuals organised the construction of irrigation works. The process of construction of irrigation was often recorded in the inscriptions by the kings.

The use of such technologies led to an increase in agricultural production which ultimately led to a growing differentiation amongst people engaged in agriculture. The large landholders and village headmen emerged as powerful figures who exercised control over the cultivators or agricultural labourers. Thus, there was a remarkable change in the field of agriculture from 6th century BCE.

Question 21.
Explain the system of land grants and trade from 600 BCE to 600 CE. (Delhi 2016)
Answer:
From the early centuries, the grants of land were recorded in inscriptions. Some inscriptions were recorded in copper plates. The records that have survived, give us the following facts:

  • The land grants were given to religious institutions or to Brahmanas. The Brahmanas were usually exempted from paying land revenue and other due to the king. The Brahmanas were . often given the right to collect these
    dues from the local people.
  • Women were not supposed to have independent access to resources like land. But aristocrat women like Prabhavati Gupta, daughter of Chandragupta II had access to lands.
  • All the people in rural areas had to obey the new land of the village and pay him all the taxes.
  • Some historians claim that land grants were indicative of weakening political power, as kings were loosing control over their samantas. Sometimes, kings tried to win allies by making grants of land.
  • Land grants provide some insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.
  • The system of trade from 600 BCE to 600 CE can be explained in the following ways:
    • Land and river routes criss-crossed the sub-continent and extended in different directions from the 6th century BCE. The ruler tried to control these routes by offering protection for a price.
    • These different routes were transversed by the peddlers who travelled on foot. But the merchants travelled with caravans of bullock carts and pack-animals.
    • There were seafearers. Their ventures
      were risky but highly profitable.
    • Successful merchants, designated as Manattuvan in Tamil and Setthis and Satavahanas in Prakrit w’ere very rich.
    • A wide range of goods were carried from one place to another. These were salt, grain, cloth, metal ores and finished products, stone, timber, medicinal plants, spices and pepper and textiles. All these were transported across the Arabian sea to the Mediterranean.

Question 22.
What does Asokan inscriptions tell about the Mauryas? Describe the limitations of the inscriptional evidences. (All India 2016)
or
To what extent the epigraphists face limitations of inscriptional evidence? Explain. (Delhi 2014, 2009)
Answer:
Asoka was the first ruler who inscribed his messages on stone surfaces i.e. natural rocks and polished pillars.
The major rock edicts explain the Mauryans administration specially about Asoka. Some of the important inscriptions are discussed below:

  • The name of Asoka was not mentioned in the inscriptions. Instead, the titles viz, ‘Devanampiya’ (beloved of the God) and ‘Piyadassi’ (pleasant to behold) were mentioned.
  • Asoka condemned the desire for fame and glory. He stressed on popularity of Dhamma.
  • Dhamma included respect towards elders, generosity towards Brahmanas and those who renounced worldly life, treating slaves and servants kindly and respect for religions and traditions other than one’s own.

Chapter 2: The Expansion Of Trade Barriers

Limitations of inscriptional evidence are:

Technical Limitations: Sometimes letters are very faintly engraved and thus doubts arise for inscriptions may be damaged or letters missing.

Damaged or Missing Letters: Sometimes important letters are damaged or missing in the inscription. It makes the work for epigraphists more difficult.

Lack of Clarity: It is not always easy to be sure about the exact meaning of the words used in the inscriptions, some of which may be specific to a particular place or time. So, scholars are constantly debating on alternative ways to read inscriptions.

Undeciphered Inscriptions: Thousands of inscriptions have been discovered, but not all have been deciphered, published and translated. Many inscriptions were destroyed and what we have today’ probably a fraction of it.

Non-relevance of Inscriptions: Inscriptions were composed in praise of kings and patrons in general. Not everything that is economically or politically important was recorded in the inscriptions, e.g. routine agricultural practice, the joys and sorrow of common man were not mentioned in the inscriptions. Thus, it is difficult for the epigraphists to give the complete picture of a society by relying on inscriptions only.

Question 23.
What do you mean by’ Numismatics?
How has the study of coins helped the Numismatists to reconstruct possible commercial networks? (All India 2014, 2010)
Answer:
Numismatics is the study of coins, including visual elements such as scripts and images, metallurgical analysis and the contexts in which they have been found.
The study of coins has helped the numismatists to reconstruct the possible commercial networks in the following ways:

Introduction of Coinage for Trade Facilitation: To some extent, exchanges were facilitated by the introduction of coinage. A wide range of goods like salt, grain, cloth, metal ores and finished products, stone, timber, medicinal plants, etc were carried from one place to another. These certainly required some kind of currency for exchange.
Hence, these led to the development of coinage across the trading cultures.

Excavation of Punch-marked Coins across the Sub-continent: Punch-marked coins made of silver and copper (16th century BCE onwards) were amongst the earliest to be minted and used. These have been recovered from excavations at a number of sites throughout the sub-continent. Numismatics have studied these and other coins to reconstruct possible commercial networks.

Trade

Kings, Merchants and Bankers as Issuing Authority: Attempts made to identify the symbols on punch-marked coins with specific ruling dynasties, including the Mauryas, suggest that these were issued by kings. It is also likely that merchants, bankers and towns people issued some of these coins.

Similarity of Kushana Coins with those of Greeks and Parthians: The first gold coins were issued in 1st century CE by the Kushanas. These were virtually identical in weight with those issued by contemporary Roman emperors and the Parthian rulers of Iran have been found from several sites in North India and Central Asia.

Close Connections with Roman Empire: The widespread use of gold coins indicates the enormous value of the transactions that were taking place. Besides, hoards of Roman coins have been found from archaeological sites in South India. It is obvious that networks of trade were not confined within political boundaries. South India was not a part of the Roman empire, but there were dose connections through trade.

Question 24.
How do the modern historians explain the development and growth of Magadhan power? Explain briefly. (All India 2012)
Answer:
Between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, Magadha (in present-day Bihar) became the most powerful mahajanapada. Modern historians explain this development in a variety of ways:

  • Magadha was a region where agriculture was especially productive.
  • Besides, iron mines (in present-day Jharkhand ) were accessible and provided resources for tools and weapons.
  • Elephants, an important component of the army, were found in forests in the region.
  • Also, the Ganga and its tributaries provided a means of cheap and convenient communication.

However, early Buddhist and Jaina writers who wrote about Magadha attributed its power to the policies of individuals, ruthlessly ambitious kings of whom Bimbisara, Ajatashatru and Mahapadma Nanda are the best known, and their minister, who helped implement their policies.

Chapter 2 The Expansion Of Trade

The two capitals, i.e. Rajagriha (Rajgir) and Pataliputra (Patna) of Magadha had their own advantages. Rajagaha was a fortified settlement, located amongst hill, thus, was not easily captured. Pataliputra was easily communicable through the Ganga and its tributaries.

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Source Based Questions

Question 25.
In praise of Samudragupta:
He was without an antagonist on Earth; he, hy the overflowing of the multitude of (his) many good qualities adorned by hundreds of good actions, he wiped off the fame of other kings with the soles of (his) feet (he is) Purusha (the Supreme Being), being the cause of the prosperity of the good and the destruction of the bad (he is) incomprehensible; (he is) one whose tender heart can be captured only by devotion and humility; (he is) possessed of compassion; (he is) the giver of many hundred thousands of cows; (his) mind has received ceremonial initiation for the uplift of the miserable, the poor, the forlorn and the suffering; (he is) resplendent and embodied kindness to mankind; (he is) equal to (the Gods) Kubera (the God of wealth), Varuna (the God of the ocean), Indra (the God of rains) and Yama (the God of death).

  1. Who wrote the above Prashasti? State the importance of Prashasti?
  2. Mention any three qualities of the ruler described in the excerpt.
  3. How far are these values shown by the rulers, relevant in the contemporary society? Explain. (Delhi 2014)

Answer:
1. The Prayaga Prashasti also known as the Allahabad pillar inscription was composed in Sanskrit by Harisena. This Prashasti said that Samudragupta was without an antagonist on Earth and was adorned by hundreds of good actions.

2. The qualities of the ruler described in the excerpt are:

  • The ruler should be powerful with plethora of good qualities.
  • He should bring prosperity.
  • The ruler should have compassion and should try for the upliftment of the miserable, the poor and the forlorn.

3. The values shown in the above mentioned passage are relevant in the contemporary society to a great extent. The rulers ought to have positive attitude for the welfare of his countrymen. He should try incessantly to bring prosperity and equality in all walks of life.

Question 26.
The Sudarshana (beautiful) Lake in Gujarat:
The Sudarshana lake was an artificial reservoir. We know about it from a rock inscription (2nd century CE) in Sanskrit, composed to record the achievements of the Shaka ruler Rudradaman.
The inscription mentions that the lake, with embankments and water channels, was built by a local governor during the rule of the Maury as. However, a terrible storm broke the embankments and water gushed out of the lake. Rudradaman, who was then ruling in the area, claimed to have got the lake repaired using his own resources, without imposing any tax on his subjects.
Another inscription on the same rock (c 5th century) mentions how one of the rulers of the Gupta dynasty got the lake repaired once again.

  1. How do we get to know about the Sudarshana lake?
  2. Why this lake required the repair?
  3. Explain why did rulers make arrangements for irrigation? (All India 2014)

Answer:
1. We get to know about the Sudarshana lake from a rock inscription (2nd century CE) in Sanskrit, composed to record the achievements of the Shaka ruler Rudradaman.

2. The Sudarshana lake required repair because a terrible storm broke the embankments of the lake and water gushed out of the lake.

3. The rulers made arrangements for irrigation that included the repair of lakes, etc because the irrigation was crucial for the advancement of agriculture and eventual food security. The irrigation was adopted to increase the agriculture production through lakes, wells, tanks and canals.

Question 27.
The Importance of Boundaries:
The Manusmriti is one of the best-known legal texts of early India, written in Sanskrit and complied between 2nd century BCE and 2nd century CE. This is what the text advises the king to do.
Seeing that in the world controversies constantly arise due to the ignorance of boundaries, he should… have concealed boundary markers buried—stones, bones, cow’s hair, chaff, ashes, potsherds, dried cow dung, bricks, coal, pebbles and sand.
He should also have other similar substances that would not decay in the soil buried as hidden markers at the intersection of boundaries.

  1. Why did the controversies of boundaries arise? Explain.
  2. Suggest the ways to solve the boundary problems.
  3. Explain with example any such problem being faced by India today. (Delhi 2011)

Answer:
1. The ignorance of king to conceal the boundaries led to the controversies.

2. By concealing the boundaries by markers such as stones, bones, cow’s hair, chaff, ashes, potsherds, dried cow dung, bricks, coal, pebbles and sand. These substances do not decay in the soil and will act as markers at the intersection of boundaries.

TradeChapter 2: the expansion of trade industry

3. India faces such problems in the villages where the land records are poorly maintained and various stakeholders try to claim their ownership of the disputed land.

Question 28.
The Anguish of the King
When the King Devanampiya Piyadassi had been ruling for eight years, the (country of the) Kalingas (present-day coastal Odisha) was conquered by him. One hundred and fifty thousand men were deported, a hundred thousand were killed and many more died.

After that, now that (the country of) the Kalingas has been taken, Devanampiya (is devoted), to an intense study of Dhamma, to the love of Dhamma and to instructing (the people) in Dhamma. This is the repentance of Devanampiya on account of his conquest of the (country of the) Kalingas. For this considered very painful and deplorable by Devanampiya that, while one is conquering an unconquered (country) slaughter, death and deportation of people (take place) there.

  1. Who was called ‘Devanampiya Piyadassi’? Give his brief description.
  2. Mention the importance and limitations of inscriptions.
  3. Explain the effects of war of Kalinga on Asoka.
  4. Why did the king repent after the war of Kalinga? (All India 2011)

Answer:
1. Emperor Asoka was called ‘Devanampiya Piyadassi’. Asoka was the most important ruler of Mauryan dynasty. He captured Kalinga and later repented on it and established the notion of ‘Dhamma’.

2. Importance of Inscriptions Inscriptions provide valuable information about those who commission it. They tell us about social and political conditions of that time when they were inscribed.
Limitations Inscriptions are source of limited information. They do not project the opinion of common people.

3. After the war of Kalinga, Asoka devoted hirnself to intense study of Dhamma and started instructing the people about the message of Dhamma.

4. The king repented after the war of Kalinga because it was very painful for him as the war led to slaughter, death and deportation of thousands of people.

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Map Based Questions

Question 29.
On the given outline map of India, locate and label the following. (Delhi 2013)
1. Avanti
2. Magadha
Answer:

Question 30.
On the given political map of India, locate and label the following. (All India 2012 )
1. Topra – Pillar Inscription
2. Girnar – Major Rock Edicts
Answer:

Question 31.
On the same map, three places related to Mahajanapada and cities have been marked as 1, 2 and 3. Identify them and write their names on the lines drawn near them. (Delhi 2008)
Answer:

Question 32.
On the map of India, three Asokan Pillar inscriptions have been marked as 1, 2 and 3. Identify them and write the names on the lines drawn near them (All India 2008)
Answer:

Important Questions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Value Based Questions

Question 33.
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.
One story known as the Gandatindu Jataka describes the plight of the subjects of a wicked king. These included elderly women and men, cultivators herders, village boys and even animals. When the king went in disguise to find out what his subjects thought about him, each one of them cursed him for their miseries, complaining that they were attacked by robbers at night and by tax collectors during the day. To escape from this situation, people abandoned their village and went to live in the forest.

1. Who were not satisfied with the king mentioned in the story Gandatindu Jataka?
2. What were the possible reasons behind their plight?

Answer:
1. The people who were not satisfied with their king w-ere elderly women and men, cultivators, herders, village boys and even animals.
2. The reasons behind their plight are given below:

  • The subjects of the king mentioned the story were not satisfied with the actions of their king, because they were living in abject conditions and in insecurity.
  • There was no one to hear their complains and see their sufferings.
  • The people of the area became more aggressive due to there miseries. They were oftenly attacked by robbers at night. And in the day time, tax collectors used to come to trouble them and collect more taxes imposed on them almost every week or month.

After this plight the people were forced to abandon their homes and live in the forest to protect themselves from the king.

Question 34.
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.
While these technologies often led to an increase in production, the benefits were very uneven. What is evident is that there was a growing differentiation amongst people engaged in agriculture – stories, especially within the Buddhist tradition, refer to landless agricultural laborers, small peasants, as well as large landholders.
1. After having new technologies and an increase in agricultural production, why the benefits were very uneven among people engaged in agriculture? Discuss.
Answer:
1. The new’ technologies transformed the nature of agricultural production. In semi-arid areas irrigation was done by wells, tanks and less commonly canals. The iron-tipped ploughshare was also used to turn the alluvial soil in high rainy areas.

But after all these back-breaking efforts, the benefits share w7as very- uneven. It broke the society among landless agricultural laborers, small peasants, ploughman and large landholders.

Mostly large landholders had a large piece of land and due to their richness they w’ere able to use new technologies and hire landless agricultural labourers ploughmen and small peasants to work – on their fields to get more profits.

Due to having no land, the condition of landless laborers become very poor.
They searched for work everywhere. On the other hand, small farmers were not able to use new technologies in their fields due to lack of financial assistance. This created uneven situation, where large landholders become more powerful and enjoying more benefit, whereas small peasants and landless labourers enjoy less benefit.

Important Questions for Class 12 History

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