3.1 ESPIRIT Indian Civilization

ESPIRIT Chart Civilization: Classical India
- Although mainly agricultural, India built great cities and engaged in extensive trade, adding to the economic complexity.
- The most important agricultural regions were along the Indus and Ganges Rivers. Torrential monsoons are the important rainy season that is crucial to the agriculture.
- Northern regions of India have an economy based on herding, while the southern coastal area has an active seafaring and trading economy. (This explains the economic diversity/complexity)
- India developed extensive internal and maritime trade. The economy and people were all about agriculture. The wealth of the upper classes was only enjoyed by a small fraction of the people.
 The Indian caste system had created a social schism and affected the other sectors.
  • Agricultural society like China
    • Farmer peasantry
    • Villages with local authority and cultures
      • Micro-organization
      • Close family ties
    • Patriarchal society in which women were greatly subordinated
      • Arranged marriages in which the bride had no say, only the family
  • More diversified than China's Middle Kingdom -- economically, idiomatically, prejudicially, demographically
  • Vedic (1500 - 1000 B.C.E) and Epic (1000 - 600 B.C.E) ages -- aka. the formative years
    • Reconstruction of Indian civilization after the fall of cities like Harappa along the Indus
    • Agriculture extended from the Indus to Ganges
    • Domination of Vedic beliefs and brahmins (700 - c. 500 B.C.E)
  • Caste system had Varnas, or, social classes
  • Low caste individuals had few legal rights and were highly abused by landowners
  • Peasantry and nobility had little contact;
intercaste marriage was forbidden -- capital crime
  • Brahmins and Kshatriyas (priests > warriors > Vaisyas (merchants and farmers) > Sudras (common laborers, serfs) > Untouchables
  • Provided social stability
The political system of India was not very elaborate.

  • Few politcal values and institutions
  • Kautilya, Chandragupta's chief minister, wrote a treatise instructing leaders how to maintain power.
  • government was overshadowed by local villages and the caste system
  • Politics were overshadowed by religion

  • Regionalism - distinct provincial cultures
    • Mauryan Empire
      • 322 B.C.E. - Chandragupta Maurya seizes power (322 - 298 B.C.E.)
      • Mirrored Persian and Hellenistic political structures
        • Bureaucracy
        • Legalism monarchy
      • United most of the subcontinent
      • Grandson Ashoka (269 - 232 B.C.E.)
      • Expanded the Mauryan Empire to just short of the southern tip
      • Empire collapsed and regional kingdoms flourished
    • Kushan state (? - 220 C.E.)
    • Gupta Empire (320 C.E. - 535 C.E.)
      • Longest lasting
      • Expanded authority with intermarriage alliances
      • Greatest political stability
      • Smaller than Mauryan
      • Did not impose Sanskrit
  • No antidisestablishmentarianism
  • Children should indulge in imagination longer
  • Placed emphasis on learning and rational inquiry
    • Under the Gupta, one of the first universities in the world was founded
  • Tolerant of cultures and religions
Religion, namely Vedic beliefs, like Buddhism and Hinduism, were at the epicenter of Indian society.

  • Vedic beliefs and practices
    • Vedas, written epics
      • Rig-Veda: dedication to the gods
      • Mahabharata and Ramayana, epics to real and mythological battles
        • Reflected a more settled agricultural society with stronger political units
      • Upanishads, Epic Age epic poems with a more mythical/religious flair
    • Similar to Greek and Scandinavian mythology
  • Buddhism
    • dharma, karma
    • Religion of Ashoka
    • Converted Kushan king Kanishka
      • Hurt Buddhism's reputation
      • Experienced the greatest influence 200 B.C.E. - 200 C.E.
  • Hinduism
    • Supported by Ashoka
    • Religion of the Guptas, who used a mandate of heaven claim
    • Exists as the religion of India's majority
    • No single founder, no central holy figures
    • Promoted Artha: economic goals; and karma: worldly pleasures
    • gurus and brahmins accepted certain dogmas
    • reincarnation
  • Indo-Chinese trade developed later in the classical period with the majority of the impact on China
  • Middle Eastern and Mediterranean civilizations conquered India at different points
    • Short lived, but brought many new aspects into the cultures
    • Middle Eastern influences persisted past the classical era, forcing the Indian culture to assimilate
  • Aryan invasions (1600-1000 B.C.E.)
  • Kushan invaders after the fall of Mauryan Empire
  • Sent religious missionaries and welcomed religious diversity
  • Classical India was more connected with the world than China making able to pull ahead
  • trading by sea was a technological advancement over China because China was isolated
  • India had the geographical advantage, being closer to trading countries and being a peninsula; maritime trade allowed India to flourish.

3.2 Comparison China/India economy

3.3 Key Terms

3.4 Thesis statements

1. Compare and contrast the ways civilization developed in India and Mesopotamia.
Development of civilization can take on different forms, like those of India and Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian civilizations were built after the technology of agriculture allowed people to settle in one area and become specialized.

2. Compare and contrast the impact of Confucianism in China with Hinduism in India (200 B.C.E to 200 C.E.)
Religion's effect on ancient societies can be evidenced and compared well by looking at China and India. Confucianism made some major changes in China as it affected more people and became the way of life and proper mannerism for the Chinese. Much the same in India, Hinduism was adopted by the ruling class and it became instrumental in the tradition of the caste sytem.

3. Describe the changes and continuities in the role of women in the transition from a hunter gathering life style to civilization.
Whenever the traditions of a group of people evolves from hunter gatherer to civilization, the roles women play always changes. As the transition occurs, women typically take on a more subordinate and less active lifestyle.

4. Compare the development of political structures in Classical China with those in Classical India.
The political stuctures of Classical China and India are easily comparable. Both political structures were based on a religion or idealism. For China it was Confuciansim, while in India the Caste system and political bodies embraced Hinduism.

5. Describe the different trading patterns China and India (200 B.C.E to 200 C.E.) What factors can explain these differences?

China and India were both very successful empires in ancient times, but their trading patterns differed greatly. The differences can be easily identified as geographic, cultural, and political*.