Kings and an Early Republic
Q36. In what ways are present-day elections different from the
ways in which rulers were chosen in janapadas?
Some men became recognized as rajas by performing very big sacrifices. The
ashvamedha or horse sacrifice was one such ritual. In present day elections leaders or rulers are
chosen by voting.
Q37. What led to the increase in the production?
began transplanting paddy. This meant that instead of scattering seed on the
ground, from which plants would sprout, saplings were grown and then planted in
the fields. This led to increased production, as many more plants survived.
Q38. Why were taxes collected by the
rulers of the mahajanapadas?
As the rulers of the mahajanapadas were building huge forts and maintaining big
armies, they needed more resources. So, instead of depending on occasional gifts
brought by people, as in the case of the raja of the janapadas, they started collecting
Q39. Who was Alexander? Name some places that were conquered by
More than 2300 years ago, a ruler named Alexander, who lived in Macedonia in
Europe, wanted to become a world conqueror. He conquered parts of Egypt and West
Asia, and came to the Indian subcontinent, reaching up to the banks of the Beas.
Q40. What archaeologists have found about the ‘janapadas’ and
have excavated a number of settlements in these janapadas. They found that
people lived in huts, and kept cattle as well as other animals. They also grew
a variety of crops — rice, wheat, barley, pulses, sugarcane, sesame and
Q41. Write a short note on painted grey ware.
and bowls are the most common vessels made out of Painted Grey Ware. These are
extremely fine to touch, with a nice, smooth surface. Perhaps these were used
on special occasions, for important people, and to serve special food.
Q42. Write a short note on gana or sangha.
a gana or a sangha there were not one, but many rulers. Sometimes, even when
thousands of men ruled together, each one was known as a raja. These rajas performed
rituals together. They also met in assemblies, and decided what had to be done
and how, through discussion and debate.
Q43. Why did the rajas of Mahajanapadas build forts?
Forts were probably built because:-
People were afraid of attacks from other
kings and needed protection.
It is also likely that some rulers wanted
to show how rich and powerful they were by building really large, tall and
impressive walls around their cities.
Also in this way, the land and the people
living inside the fortified area could be controlled more easily by the king.
Q44. How were the Mahajanapadas different from Janapadas?
About 2500 years ago, some janapadas became more important than others, and
were known as mahajanapadas.
The word janapada literally means the land where the jana set its foot, and
Example: Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji, Panchala, Avanti, Gandhara, Kuru etc.
Example: Chedi, Aja, Bharata, Puru, Mahavrisha etc.
Q45. Why did people oppose the system of
Many people did not accept the system of varna laid down by the Brahmins:-
Some kings thought they were superior to
Others felt that birth could not be a basis
for deciding which varna people belonged to.
Besides, some people felt that there should
be no differences amongst people based on occupation.
Others felt that everybody should be able
to perform rituals.
And others condemned the practice of
Q46. Write a short note on the governance system in ‘Ganas’ and
Note on the governance system in ‘Ganas’ and ‘Sanghas’
In a gana or a sangha there were not one,
but many rulers. Sometimes, even when thousands of men ruled together, each one
was known as a raja.
These rajas performed rituals together.
They also met in assemblies, and decided what had to be done and how, through
discussion and debate.
For example, if they were attacked by an
enemy, they met to discuss what should be done to meet the threat.
However, women, dasas and kammakaras could
not participate in these assemblies.