JAC Board Class 7 Social Science Notes History Chapter 1 Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years
→ The Arab geographer, Al-Idrisi made the map of the world in 1154 CE showing Indian subcontinent.
- In 1720s, French people made maps which were quite different from Al-Idrisi’s map.
- Cartographers are the skilled people who draw and develop maps which involve scientific, technological and art aspects.
→ New and Old Terminologies:
- Over the period of time, historical records and facts existed through different languages. There is a vast difference in grammar, vocabulary and in the meaning of words as well. The term Hindustan was used by Minhaj-i-Siraj, a Persian chronicler in 13th century, which has now become India.
- Babur in the early 16th century used “Hindustan” to describe the geography, fauna and the culture of the subcontinent. Whereas, in 14th century, Amir Khusrau used, the word “Hind” for the same context.
- Historians are very cautious about the terms and words they use as they had different meanings in the past. For example, by “foreigner” we mean who is not Indian. But in the medieval time, it meant any unfamiliar person who was part of the same village but not a part of the particular society or culture.
- In Hindi, the term pardesi and in Persian ajnabi are used for “foreigner”.
→ Historians and their Sources:
- Historians use different sources to learn about the past. These sources are coins, inscriptions, textual records and architecture.
- People started using paper in this period and historians got many information. They used to write holy texts, ruler’s chronicles, letters and teachings of saints.
- Manuscripts were kept in libraries and archives. They were collected from wealthy people, monasteries, rulers and temples.
- Manuscripts helped the historians but faced many difficulties as scripts were handwritten. Printing press was not invented.
- People used to revise their chronicles at different times. The 14th century author, Ziyauddin Barani wrote his first chronicle in 1356 CE and second one after two years and they differ a lot with each other.
→ New Social and Political Groups:
- Historians faced challenges between 700 BC and 1750 CE as there were many different technological developments took place. Some of them were the spinning wheel in weaving, the Persian wheel in irrigation and firearms in combat.
- The subcontinent also saw development in food and beverages; potatoes, chillies, com, tea, coffee. This came with people and hence it was a period of political, social, economic and cultural changes.
- One of the influential communities emerged in this period. It was of Rajputs or “Rajaputra”. They were warriors, rulers, chieftains, soldiers and were known as Kshatriyas by caste which existed from 8th to 14th centuries.
- This period experienced the extension of agriculture and clearing of forests. Many forest dwellers migrated and changed their habitat.
- Peasant group came into existence influenced by regional markets, monasteries, chieftains and temples.
- Gradually, people were grouped into sub-castes or “jatis” based on their occupation. The status of the same jati could vary from place to place. These were not permanent and diversified according to the power, influence and resources controlled by members of the jati.
- Jati Panchayats were formed. They framed their own rules and regulations. But jatis were also bound to follow the rules of the village.
- Chieftain governed several villages which was a small unit of a state.
→ Region and Empire:
- By 700 CE many regions developed their own geographical dimensions along with their own languages and cultural traits.
- Between 700 and 1750 CE, there were significant developments as many areas were ruled by different kingdoms.
→ Old and New Religions:
- During these 1000 years, religious tradition developed majorly.
- Hinduism saw many changes during this period. It includes worshipping of new deities, construction of temples by kingdoms and rise of Brahmanas as a prominent group in society.
- Other developments were the rising of the idea of bhakti.
- Muslims regarded Quran as their holy book. It appeared in 7th century and the teachings were brought by the merchants in the subcontinent.
- There were sets of followers in Islam as well and divided into two sects – Shia and Sunni.
→ Thinking about Time and Historical Periods
- British historians in the middle of the 19th century divided the history of India into three periods – Hindu, Muslim and British.
- Their concept was based on religion of the ruler as there was no major development in the social, economic or cultural aspects.
- The Indian societies–reached a level of prosperity that attracted many European trading companies.