NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies are part of NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History. Here we have given NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies.
|Chapter Name||Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies|
|Number of Questions Solved||9|
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies
Discuss the evidence of craft production in Early Historic cities. In what ways is this different from the evidence from Harappan cities ?
Various evidences of craft production in Early Historic cities have been found. These include fine pottery bowls and dishes, with a glossy finish, known as Northern Black Polished Ware, probably used by rich people and ornaments, tools, weapons, vessels, figurines, made of a wide range of materials – gold, silver, copper, bronze, ivory, glass, shell and terracotta. Iron was also used for making plough share, weapons and tools as well as to meet the growing demands in the cities.
On the other hand, the craft production in the Harappan cities included bead-making, shell¬cutting, metal-working, seal-making and weight-making. The material used was stones, jasper, crystal, quartz, copper, bronze, gold, shell, faience and terracotta.
The evidence of craft production in the Harappan civilisation have been found from excavations. The evidences for the Early Historic cities have been found from excavations as well as from inscriptions.
Another difference is that there were guilds in the early Historic cities. These were organisations of craft producers and merchants. These guilds or shrenis probably procured raw materials, regulated production and marketed the finished product.
Describe the salient features of mahajanapadas.
The salient features of mahajanapadas are as follows :
- The most important mahajanapadas were Vajji, Magadha, Koshala, Kuru, Panchala, Gandhara and Avanti.
- Most mahajanapadas were ruled by kings.
- Some, known as ganas or sanghas, were oligarchies where power was shared by a number of men, often collectively called rajas.
- In some cases, as in the case of the Vajji sangha, the rajas probably controlled resources such as land collectively.
- Each mahajanapada had a capital city, which was often fortified.
- Brahmanas composed the Dharmasutras which laid down norms for rulers as well as for other social categories. The rulers were ideally expected to be Kshatriyas. Rulers were advised to collect taxes and tribute from cultivators, traders and artisans.
- Sometimes raids on neighbouring states were conducted for acquiring wealth. These raids were recognised as legitimate means.
- Gradually, some states acquired standing armies and maintained regular bureaucracies. Others continued to depend on militia, recruited from the peasantry.
How do historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary people ?
Ordinary people rarely left accounts of their thoughts and experiences. The historians reconstruct their lives by examining stories contained in anthologies such as the Jatakas and the Panchatantra. For example, one story known as the Gandatindu Jataka describes the plight of the subjects of a wicked king. The subjects 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. As a result of it, people abandoned their village and went to live in the forest.
Compare and 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 ?
(a) The defeated people gave the following things to the Pandya chief as a mark of respect to the victorious king : Ivory, fragrant wood, fans made of the hair of deer, honey, sandalwood, red ochre, antimony, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, coconuts, mangoes, medicinal plants, fruits, onions, sugarcane, flowers, areca*nut, bananas, baby tigers, lions, elephants, monkeys, bear, deer, musk deer, fox, peacocks, musk cat, wild cocks and speaking parrots.
(b) The village of Danguna produced the following things : Grass, animal hides, charcoal, fermenting liquors, salt, khadira trees, flowers and milk.
- Similarities : Both the lists contain the things of daily use such as honey, turmeric, i cardamom, pepper, mangoes, fruits, onions, flowers (Source 3) and grass, salt, flowers and milk (Source 8).
- Differences : The things given to the Pandya chief included precious things such as ivory, fragrant wood, sandalwood and wild animals like tigers, lions, elephants, wild cocks. These things and animals prove that the forest people were brave and their economic condition was good. On the other hand, the things of the Danguna village did not include precious things. It included things such as grass, animal hides, flowers and milk which prove that they were ordinary people and their economic condition was bad. That was probably the reason for granting them various exemptions by Prabhavati Gupta.
List some of the problems faced by epigraphists.
The problems faced by epigraphists are as given below :
- Sometimes, the letters of inscriptions are very faintly engraved, and thus reconstructions are uncertain.
- Sometimes, the inscriptions may be damaged or letters missing.
- On certain occasions it is not easy to be sure about the exact meaning of the words used in the inscriptions, some of which maybe specific to a particular place or time. That is why scholars are constantly debating and discussing alternative ways of reading inscriptions.
- Several thousand inscriptions have been discovered but not all have been deciphered, published and translated.
- Many more inscriptions must have existed, which have not survived the ravages of
time. Whatever is available, is only a fraction of all inscriptions.
- There is also a possibility that what we consider politically or economically significant may not have been recorded in inscriptions. For example, there is no mention of routine agricultural practices and the joys and sorrows of daily existence in the inscriptions.
Discuss the main features of Mauryan administration. Which of these elements ate evident in the Asokan inscriptions that you have studied ?
The main features of Mauryan administration are as follows :
- There were five major political centres in the empire i.e., the capital Pataliputra and the provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvamagiri.
- The communication system existed along both land and riverine routes. It was very vital for the existence of the empire.
- As the journeys from the centre to the provinces could have taken a long time, there was arrangement for provisions as well as protection for the travellers,
- The Mauryans kept a large army. Magasthenes mentions a committee with six subcommittees for coordinating military activity which were as mentioned below :
- One to look after the navy;
- The second for management of transport and provisions;
- The third was responsible for foot soldiers;
- The fourth for horses;
- The fifth for chariots;
- The sixth for elephants.
The element that there were five major political centres in the empire – the capital Pataliputra, and the provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvamagiri – all have been mentioned in the Asoka’s inscriptions.
This is a statement made by one of the best-known epigraphists of the twentieth century. D.C. Sircar: “There is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions.” Discuss.
(a) The statement of D.C. Sircar that there is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions does not seem to be correct because not everything that is politically or economically significant was necessarily recorded in inscriptions. Some examples are given below :
- Routine agricultural practices and the joys and sorrows of daily existence find no mention in inscriptions.
- The inscriptions generally focus on grand, unique events.
- The content of inscriptions almost invariably projects the perspective of the person who commissioned them. For example, in some inscriptions Asoka claims that earlier rulers had no arrangements to receive reports about the people. This does not seem to be correct.
(b) The inscriptions give us only the following information :
- Information about the administration particularly major political centres.
- Asoka’s Dhamma and its propagation by special officers known as the dhamma mahamatta.
Discuss the notions of kingship that developed in the post-Maury an period.
- The main notion that developed in the post-Mauryan period was that of divine kings. The kings identified themselves with a variety of deities to claim high status. This strategy was adopted by the Kushanas who ruled over a vast kingdom extending from Central Asia to northwest India.
- Colossal statues of Kushana rulers were installed in a shrine at Mat near Mathura and in Afghanistan. This indicates that the Kushanas considered themselves godlike.
- Many Kushana rulers adopted the title devaputra, or “son of god”. It was possibly inspired by Chinese rulers who called themselves sons of heaven.
To what extent were agricultural practices transformed in the period under consideration ?
The agricultural practices were transformed in the period under consideration i.e., 600 BCE – 6OO CE in the following ways :
- There was a shift to plough-agriculture in fertile alluvial river valleys such as those of Ganga and the Kaveri from c. sixth 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.
- Those living in hilly tracts in the north-eastern and central parts of the subcontinent practised hoe agriculture, which was much better suited to the terrain.
- Irrigation was used to increase agricultural production. Wells, tanks and canals were used for this purpose. Communities as well as individuals organised the construction of irrigation works.
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