Chapter 7 : India and China

Chapter 7 : India and
SSWH2: The student will identify the major achievements of Chinese and Indian
societies from 1100 BCE to 500 CE.
SSWH2a: Describe the development of Indian civilization; include the rise and
fall of the Maurya Empire, the “Golden Age” of Gupta, and the emperor Asoka.
Let’s Preview the Chapter……
In India in the 200’s BC, military leaders seized
power and used their authority to strengthen the
government. Study the map on page 187.
What geographic factors might have made further
expansion difficult for the Mauryan Empire?
Ans: Explansion was made difficult for the Mauryan
Empire by mountains to the north and seas to the south.
Let’s Preview the Chapter….
From the time of the Aryan nomads, Indian civilization
was a product of interacting cultures. In China, the
government pressured conquered people to adopt Chinese
What geographic feature was the main connection
between the empires of India and China?
Ans: The Silk Roads connected the empires of India and
Timeline Review
What events were taking place in Africa and Europe at the time of the
development of the Indian and Chinese empires?
Ans: The Bantu migrations began in Africa, and the Western Roman
Empire fell.
What important and lasting legacy did the empires of both India and
China leave the world?
Ans: Major religions – Hinduism from India and Buddhism from China.
Gupta Empire
Chandragupta Maurya
Mauryan Empire
Religious toleration
Chandra Gupta
Who was Chandragupta Maurya? How would
you describe his conquest and rulership style?
After Alexander the Great conquered the Indus River Valley
In 321 BC he claimed the Indian throne from the Nanda king and
began the Mauryan Empire.
Chandragupta conquered lands that had been claimed by one of
Alexander’s generals Seleucus and expanded the Mauryan Empire
more than 2000 miles.
Chandragupta maintained a large army consisting of 600,000 foot
soldiers, 30,000 soldiers on horseback, and 9000 elephants. To feed,
clothe and pay his troops, the government levied high taxes.
Civilization, his conquest was not for . After his departure, a great
Indian military leader, Chandragupta Maurya took power of the Indian
Describe the style of rulership of
Chandragupta relied on an advisor named Kautilya who wrote a
ruler’s handbook called the Arthasastra which proposed tough
minded policies to hold an empire together, including spying on
people and employing political assassination.
How did he run his empire?
He created a highly bureaucratic government by dividing the empire
into four provinces, each headed by a royal prince. Each province
was then divided into local districts, whose officials assessed taxes
and enforced the law.
Who is Asoka?
Asoka was Chandragupta’s grandson who after his grandfather and
father, brought the Mauryan Empire to its greatest height.
Asoka became king in 269 BC following in the footsteps of his
grandfather waging war and expanding the empire.
During a bloody battle, Asoka was sorrowful of the great loss of life at
the Battle of Kalinga and turned to theory of Buddhism which states
“peace to all beings”. Asoka practiced religious tolerance.
Religious tolerance – acceptance of people who held different
religious beliefs.
Who is Asoka?
He had extensive roads built so that he could visit the
corners of India. He also improved conditions along the
roads to make travel easier for his officials and to improve
communication in the vast empire.
Along the road, he had wells dug and rest areas built to
accommodate travelers.
What caused a period of turmoil after
Asoka’s death?
Eventhough Asoka’s policies were noble and he showed tolerance and non
violence, they failed to hold together the empire after Asoka’s death in 232
His death left a power vacuum in which regional kings began to challenge the
government in central India.
In northern Italy, a flood of new people fleeing political instability began to
move into the region. Those new people included Greeks, Persians, and
Central Asians who invaded and disrupted Indian society.
Southern Italy experienced turmoil in the home of three kingdoms that had
never been conquered by the Mauryans. These people spoke the Tamil
language and are called the Tamil people. The people of these three
kingdoms were often at war with each other and others.
How was the Gupta Empire established?
After 500 years of turmoil and invasion a strong leader arose in the Indus
Valley area named Chandra Gupta. He was of no relation to India’s first
emperor, Chandragupta Maurya.
Chandra Gupta formed India’s second empire – the Gupta Empire which saw
a great expansion of Indian civilization.
The first Gupta Empire came to power not by battle, but by the marriage to a
daughter of an influential royal family. After this marriage, Chandra Gupta I
took the title “Great King of Kings” in AD 320.
After him, his son Samudra Gupta took the throne in AD 335. He was warlike
and expanded the empire through 40 years of conquest.
What was the daily life of India during
the Gupta era?
Most Indians lived in small villages and were farmers, who walked
daily from their homes to outlying fields.
Craftspeople and merchants clustered the in specific districts who had
shops on the street and lived in rooms below the street.
Most Indian families were patriarchal or headed by the eldest male.
Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and children all worked
together to raise crops.
Tamil groups in southern Italy were matriarchal or by the mother.
Property and sometimes the throne was passed through the female
How did the Gupta Empire end?
While village life changed very little, the royal court of the Gupta emperor
was a place of excitement and growth. Chandra Gupta II was highly esteemed
for his heroic qualities. He not only expanded the territory, but also trade
with the Mediterranean world. He ruled from AD 375 to 415.
After Chandra Gupta II’s death, a new group of invaders threatened northern
India. They called themselves the Hunas, who were related to the Huns who
had invaded the Roman Empire.
Over the next 100 years, the Gupta Empire broke into small kingdoms of
which many were overturned by the Hunas or other central Asian nomads.
The empire ended about AD 535.
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