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Government of Ancient India

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by

Molly Fuller

on 10 November 2015

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Transcript of Government of Ancient India

Government of Ancient India
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Topic: India Government
EQ: How did ancient India run (govern) its civilization?

Look for the
highlighted
terms. These are words that need to go into your notes. Make sure you write down what these words mean!
Cornell Note Reminder
The most famous of the empires of India is the
Gupta Empire


People call the time of the Gupta Empire (320 CE- 500 CE) the
Golden Age of India
because it was so peaceful and prosperous during this time. It covered the area in blue in the map above.
Gupta Empire
Caste System
The
government
in ancient India was similar to the other governments we have already studied. Remember a government is what keeps a country in order with leaders, laws and services. It can be a president and congress like we have in the United States. Or, in the ancient world, government was usually a king and this is called a
monarchy
.

The government of ancient India was a
monarchy,
which means that a
king
was in power. And when this king gained more territory and power, he became an
emperor
.
Type of Government
Brahmin
: Highest level. Very rich and well educated and vegetarian. Brahmins were rulers, government officials, religious leaders. Women were forbidden from this caste. This was the upper class of ancient India. They were Hindu.

Kshatriya
: 2nd highest level. Also rich and well educated. Usually part of the military or government.

Vaishya
: Middle Level. Farmers and traders who owned their own land and businesses.

Caste System
Remember India began in the Indus Valley. It was made up of small tribes, villages, and cities.

Eventually, India grew and needed a strong leader. A king came into power and over time India grew into a
kingdom
--a group of villages united as one. Then eventually the kings gained more power and grew into an
empire
--a large area unified as one.
Evolution of India
Sudra
: Servants and farmhands that did not own land or businesses. Most people in ancient India fell into this caste.
Would be kind of like the USA's low-middle class.

Chandala
: The lowest caste. Some would say it wasn't even good enough to call a "caste." Chandala's were called "the untouchables." Chandalas had the jobs in society that no one else wanted to do.
Caste System Continued
In the United States, people are unoffically divided into economic "
classes
" or "groups" of people.
-
Upper Classes
--make the most money in the USA
-
Middle Class
--makes the middle amount of money in the USA
-
Lower Class
--makes the least amount of money in the USA

These classes aren't official or required by the government, it just kind of works out that way right?

Well, Ancient India also had classes, but they were called "
castes
" were much more extreme than the classes we have today in the USA because the castes were actually ENFORCED by the government. Ancient Indians were born into their caste and could NEVER get out of it.
But why the caste system?
That's it!

Please take a moment to answer your essential questions in your summary.

Make sure you've written two or three quiz questions in your question column too!
PSSSST! A great quiz question might be... "What is the a monarchy? or.... "Who is in charge in a monarchy?"
Chandala
Chandala
The caste system probably sounds pretty terrible to you, so you might be wondering why such a harsh system was put in place....

Since one of the purposes of government is to organize society, the caste system was one of the ways the government of ancient India kept its society in order. The caste system gave society a structure. It's obviously a pretty unfair structure for the people on the bottom, of course, but that was of no concern to the people on top.
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