6 History Chapter 6 Kingdoms Kings And Early Republic

Chapter Notes and Summary
Handouts : These are compressed versions of slides.
Janapadas : powerful kings who performed big sacrifices and later ruled larger territories termed as Janapadas. term “Janapada” literally means ‘foothold of a tribe’. A Janapada could be a republic like Vajji or a monarchy like Magadha.
Varnas : Later, Vedic texts like Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda mentioned certain rules about society.
There were different groups in society such as priests and warriors, farmers, herders, traders, crafts persons and labourers.
Varna Hierarchy : priests divided people into four groups called varnas. Each varna had different sets of functions.
Selection of Rulers : In ancient India, some of rajas were probably chosen by jana, people. Some changes regarding election of raja took place around 3,000 years ago. Some men performed Ashvamedha sacrifice and came to be recognised as rajas.
Sources : remains were excavated at Purana Qila in Delhi and at sites like Hastinapur and Atranjikhera in Uttar Pradesh. We know about Janapadas from Brahmanas, early Buddhist texts and excavated archaeological remains.
Gana : This was method of rule in early centuries where members of a society met in assemblies and decided about administration through discussions and debates.
Mahajanapadas : A Mahajanapada was usually ruled from its capital city. There was intense rivalry among Mahajanapadas, resulting in frequent wars. Huge walls made of mud, stone, wood or bricks were used to fortify these capital cites.
Taxes : Money was required by new rajas for building forts and armies. They started collecting regular taxes from people. Tax could be paid either in cash or in kind.
Changes in Agriculture : Agriculture prospered in most of Mahajanapadas as they were located in fertile areas. Two major changes came in agriculture. One was growing use of iron plough. Secondly, people began transplanting paddy which led to increased production.

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