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Antony Santiago 11-1

Ch. 15 worksheet questions 10/20/09


1) List some of the factors leading to the collapse of unified imperial rule in India
both before and after the reign of Harsha.
a. Northern and Southern India followed different political trajectories after
the fall of the Gupta empire. In the north, politics became turbulent and
almost chaotic. Local states contested for power. Nomadic Turkish
speaking people from central Asia frequently took advantage of this
unsettled state of affairs, to cross the Khyber Pass and force their way into
India. Also, local rulers established their authority too securely in India’s
region for Harsha to overcome them. Harsha fell victim to an assassin.
2) When and how did Islam enter India?
a. Islam reached India through several routes. One was military: Arab forces
entered India as early as mid-seventh century even before the
establishment of the Umayyad caliphate, although their first expeditions
were exploratory ventures rather than campaigns of conquest. Sind, the
Indus River Valley was conquered and with the rest of the dar-al-islam,
Sind passed into the hands of the Abbasid caliphs. Sind was on the fringe
of the Islamic world. (2) Muslim merchants took their faith to coastal
regions in both northern and southern India. Arab and Persian mariners
visited Indian ports as well.(3) Migrations and invasions of Turkish
speaking peoples from central Asia. Some entered as mercenary soldiers.
3) Indian agriculture
a. How did it improve in postclassical era?
i. Dams, reservoirs, canals, wells, and tunnels appeared in large
numbers. Monumental reservoirs lined with brick or stone captured
the rains of the spring and summer months, allowed Indians to
store their water to use during a drought period.
b. What was the impact on population in the subcontinent?
i. India’s population grew steadily throughout the postclassical era.
In 600 C.E the population was fifty-three million. By 800 C.E is
increased to 64 mil and 79 mil. This encouraged the concentration
of people in cities. Many cities had populations over 100,000
4) List significant trade goods produced in Southern India
a. Pepper, Gems, Pearls, and cotton from India. They later on traded fine
cotton textiles, iron, and steel, and other fine spices. Copper, salt , pepper,
saffron, sugar, rice went to Indonesia. Emporia – warehouse for goods.
5) How did seasonal monsoons affect trade in the Indian Ocean?
a. By that larger ships and improved commercial organization enhanced the
value of trade within the Indian Ocean basin. As the mariners recognized
the rhythms of the monsoons, they built larger ships that enabled them to
leave the coasts and ply the blue oceans of the Indian Ocean. Thus, the
seasonal monsoon winds caused merchants to time their travels and trade
according to the monsoon season. Time to conduct voyages decreased as
ships could sail straight to their destination. Trade was more long distance,
Antony Santiago 11-1
Ch. 15 worksheet questions 10/20/09
resulting in specialized production of commodities for the commercial
6) What goods did Indians specialize in for the world market?
a. Indian artists enjoyed a reputation for the manufacture of fine cotton
textiles. Other specialized industries were sugar refining, leather tanning,
stone carving, and carpet weaving. Iron and steel production also emerged
as prominent industries. Indian artisans also produced high-carbon steel
that held a lethal cutting edge, which were used for knives and swords. SE
Asian lands provided fine spices while incense, horses, and dates came
from SW Asia.
7) What was the function of the Hindu temple in Chola society?
a. Public life revolved around Hindu temples that served as economic and
social centers. Southern Indians used their growing wealth to build
hundreds of elaborate Hindu temples, which organized agricultural
activities, coordinated work on irrigation systems, and maintained reserves
of surplus production for use in times of need. These temples provided
basic schooling for boys in the community, and larger temples offered
advanced instruction. Employed Brahmins, attendants, musicians,
servants, and slaves. Temple administrators collected portion of
agricultural yield from lands subject to temple authority. Served as
bankers, made loans, and invested in commercial and business ventures.
Encouraged production and trade.
8) Following the Muslim invasions, why did Hinduism survive while Buddhism
a. Monks exiled by Muslim conquerors. One reason for the increasing
popularity of Hindu, was the remarkable growth of devotional cults,
particularly those dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus embraced the
new cults warmly, because they promised salvation. Temples and shrines
dotted the southern Indian landscape. Hinduism also focused on
philosophy, as it emphasized subtle reasoning and sophisticated
9) Explain the influence of Indian culture on southeast Asia before the arrival of
Muslim traders in the 8th century. How did India exert such an important influence
without ever establishing any long-term centralized rule?
a. Southeast Asian ruling elites became acquainted with Indian political and
cultural traditions. They adopted kingship as the principle form of political
authority. Through Indian merchants, trading spices and exotic products
such as pearls, aromatics, and animal skins for textiles, beads, gold, silver,
and manufactured metal goods; SE asian rulers consolidated political rule.
They took “Raja,” (kings) for themselves. Worshipped Vishnu, Shiva, and
welcomed Sanskrit and Hinduism. Extablished positions for administrators
and bureaucrats like those at Indian courts.
10) In postclassical India was the caste system essentially a flexible one?
a. The caste system became securely established in Southern India. The
emergence of merchant and craft guilds in southern regions strengthened
the caste system, since guild members organize themselves as a subcast.
Antony Santiago 11-1
Ch. 15 worksheet questions 10/20/09
Powerful temples fostered caste distinctions. The caste system in general
was a flexible one, as it extended its geographic reach and adapted to the
arrival of migrants and helped them integrate into Indian society. Was
flexible with subcastes(thought they could influence social status)
11) Islam
a. Why was Islam able to become so entrenched in Indian society?
i. The reason was that many Indians converted to Islam as hope to
improve their positions in society. Hindus of lower caste hope to
escape discrimination by converting to a faith that recognized the
equality of all believers.
b. When and how did Islam reach southeast Asia?
i. Foreign muslim traders took local spouses and found a place in
Indian society. It often arrived in the cultural baggage of
concurring people, also Sufis mystics acted as missionaries
attracting individuals to Islam. Many Muslim merchants came
from south Arabia or Persia. The powerful state of Melaka, also
sponsored Islam Sufis appeal to a large public. Hinduism: divine
c. Where did Islam take root?
i. Islam took root in Southern Arabia or Persia as well as Gujara and
the port cities of southern India. Port cities are Melaka and
northern India. Northern India: Indus and Ganges.