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History of India

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Bill Hildenbrand

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of History of India

The History of South Asia
Pre- Vedic History
Earliest Settlers -
* Indus River Valley
First to domesticate local plants & animals
* Trade w/ gold coins

Early Vedic History
Vedic Period - dominated by the spread of Hinduism based on the Vedas
Aryans -
* Bring Iron weapons/tools
* Conquer Indus Civilizations => Acculturation =>
* Combine religion w/social order => Hinduism/Caste (
* 4 Main Varna - Aryans at top of social order (Caste)
- Indus people at bottom
Competing Empire Period
India would be controlled by Aryans until about 300 BCE
@600 BCE - Religious schisms => creation of Buddhism and Jainism
India begins to break into city states w/ powerful regional kings
@300 BCE - Persian empire control
Cyrus I and Darius I control northern India
by 325 BCE - Alexander "the Great" controls most of India

After Alexander => Regional Kingdom wars =>
Many different empires between 300 BCE and about 1100 CE
Most Dominant Kingdom -
Mauryan Dynasty

The Islamic Sultanates and Mongols
Around 1100 -
Seljuk Turks
* By 1192 Islamic
(Muslim leaders) had defeated the Rajah of Delhi => India under a
- rule by an Islamic leader
Forced Hindu-Islamic acculturation of Muslim cultures
Brief Period of Mongol Rule 1300's
* Muslims Rule India until the 1500's -
Mughal Dynasty
* Most Famous early leader-
- expand India to modern day Afghanistan
* Most Important leader -
(Barbur's grandson) - extended Mughal control over most of India
* Mughal control will collapse after Akbar -
* Poor leaders
* Invasion of Europeans
European Invasion
1600's - Portuguese 1st to arrive
Cape of Good Hope - southern Africa route
British, Dutch, French and Port compete for trade

British dominate trade =>
East India Company
India =>
Charter Colony

* East India Company controls trade until 1850's
* 1859 - Great Indian Mutiny -
"Supoy Rebellion"
Rebellion ends East India control - Charter revoked
* India => directly controlled by Parliament =>
Royal Colony
until 1947
End of Colonialism
By the 1900's - Indian/British Relations are NOT good
India has become the most important colonial holding - "Jewel in the British Crown"
Key source of minerals, precious stones, textiles, spices and opium
Indians greatly outnumber British => British government installing repressive rules
Outlaw many Hindu practices - Sati, arranged marriage, eventually the caste

Indians form political parties to demand rights
Indian National Congress
- Hindu party
Muslim League
British repression => boycotts and riots before WW I
Amritsar Massacre
- British "open fire" on protesting Indians in regional capital of Amritsar
In the 1930's arrival of
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Gandhi and Satyagraha
Gandhi - British educated, Indian attorney
Arrested for breaking racial
"apartheid laws"
in South Africa
Returns to India to lead efforts against the British
Calls for Peaceful Resistance -
Salt March
against law requiring Indians to buy British salt
Helps organize INC
By WW II - India was too expensive to keep
India into religious enclaves
* Muslim - East and West Pakistan
* India - Hindu
* 1947 Britain leaves South Asia
Indian Independence
British leave => fighting - Muslims and Hindus
Jawaharlal Nehru
=> 1st Prime Minister - INC
Nehru Family will be key in early Indian development
, Grandson
both become PM
Main goal - increase food production =>
"Green Revolution"
Revolution => heavy use of fertilizers and petro-chemicals
Revolution increase food -
neg. externality
- pollution and run-off => pollutes water sources
Ultimately failed

During Cold War
"Positive Neutrality - Non-Alignment
Fought Pakistan over Kashmir and China over borders
Died in 1964 => Indira Gandhi - 1966 became PM assassinated in 1984
Grandson Rajiv => PM - 1984 - 1989 - assassinated
Current PM - Manmohan Singh - 13th Indian PM - 1st Sikh to hold the office
Mauryan Dynasty
- Accepts Buddhism
Tries to create more secular govt
*greatest King
- Expands control over most of what is now India
*after his death => 400 years of Warfare =>

Northern India
Gupta Dynasty
about 200 CE. rules
* Indu-Gagnetic Plain from Peshawar (modern day Pakistan to modern day Bangladesh
* Also controlled much of the Deccan Plateau
"Flowering of Hindu Culture/Science"
* Period of relative peace

Southern India

ruled by a series of Rajah ( Hindu rulers)
* by 1000 CE Rajput (Rajahs) leaders broken any central unity
* Regional Warlords
*by 1100 CE. allowed the invasion of the Seljuk Turks (Muslims)
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