INDIAN HISTORY General Knowledge Important Points in One Liner Form | Competitive Exams GK syllabus

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ANCIENT INDIA

Indus Valley Civilization

  • The excavations at MohenjoDaro(Sind), Harappa( West Punjab), Ropar(East Punjab),  Kalibangan(Rajasthan),  and Lothal(Gujarat) have testified that an advanced urban Civilization flourished in India between 2500- 1750 BC. 
  • The weapons of War like Axis, Spears, Daggers, Bows and Arrows and Slings were made of stone.
  • These people were good traders whose transport on land was the bullock cart while boats were used in the rivers and sea.
  • These people were dependent upon agriculture as they grow Wheat, Barley, Rice, Dates and Cotton.
  • Animal rearing boys another source of income as they domesticated cattle- Camels, Elephants, pigs, fowls and dogs. Iron was not known. they established commercial contracts with Sumerians.
  • Crafts: Motors used to paint pottery, children’s toys like rattles and whistles. Other crafts included spinning and weaving of cotton and wool. The Granary at Harappa was made of bricks.
  • The Indus valley people worshiped mother goddess, Shiva, stone, trees (especially peepal trees) and animals( especially bulls and snakes).
  • The meal God worshiped by them was Pasupati.

THE VEDIC AGE

  • The European Scholars place the period of their coming between 2000 BC and 1500 BC.They occupied north, pushing the dravidians to the South.
  • In the early vedic age the Aryans used to live in the village of Grams.
  • The head of the village was called Gramani.
  • The affairs of the village were managed by an elected panchayat.
  • The Chief duty of the king was the protection of the territory and welfare of his subjects.
  • The Rajan was helped by several officers like the Royal priest( Purohit), commander in chief(Senani) and the head of the village (Gramani).
  • Their culture was pastoral.
  • Aryans had a joint family system. The father was known as Grihapati.
  • In Vedic society women were held in Great respect. There was no Prada.
  • There was no rigid caste system among the early Aryans.
  • The main occupation of the Aryans was agriculture. They used to plow the land and grow crops.
  • Cattle rearing was another occupation. Cow was considered very sacred and would not be killed.
  • Barter system in trade was popular.
  • The areas of Vedic period were lovers of nature.
  • In the Aryan Period there was no Idol worship.
  • Yajna was an essential part of the Aryan religion.
  • Vedas are the most Sacred books of  Hindus. They are four in number: Rig ved: in the praise of God, Yajur Veda contains mantra for the performance of Yajanas,  Sam Ved contains music chants, Atharva Veda contains magical chants. Rig Veda is the oldest Veda. 
  • The Upanishads deal with Aryan philosophy and theology.
  • Manu Smriti: Manu Smriti deals with Laws of inheritance, duties of Kings, four varnas and the four ashramas.
  • The buransh are eight in number. The most important word the Bhagwat Puran and Vishnu Puran.
  • The Brahamans: These books deal with ritualism.

The Later Vedic Period

  • The Aryans had settled in the valleys of the Ganga and Yamuna.
  • Two important topics- the Mahabharata and the Ramayana reflect the social, religious, economic and political conditions of India in the later Vedic period.
  • The original name of Mahabharata was “Jaya Samhiti”.
  • The power of the kings increased immensely and kinship became hereditary.
  • The chief source of government income was the land revenue which was one sixth of the produce.
  • Regular Amy was Maintained. It considered the Four Arms:  Cavalry, Infantry, Chariots and Elephants.
  • Agriculture, Cattle rearing, trade and industry had made great progress.
  • The caste system became more defined and rigid.
  • The conditions of women declined.
  • The Aryans were split Into four groups according to occupations: Brahmins, KshatriyaVaishyas  and Shudras.

Mahavira Vardhamana

  • He was born in 599 BC.
  • He was the founder of Jainism.
  • He was the 24th Tirthankara of the Jains.
  • He was the son of a Vaishali Noble.
  • He joined the order of Parsh-Vanath  ( the 23rd Tirthankara) and attained supreme knowledge.
  • He was a great exponent of Jainism. He died in 468 BC at Pawapuri (Nalanda District) in Bihar.

Jainism

  • It is a non Brahmanical system. Its founder was Mahavira.
  •  the chief doctrines of Jainism are Tree Ratna aur three jewels i.e. Every Jain must believe in three things: Right faith, Right knowledge, Right conduct. They believe in the doctrine of non violence.
  • They are salient about the existence of god.
  •  According to them, the highest aim of life is Nirvana.
  • Jainism is divided into two sects: Svetambara (white-clad) and Digambara (skyclad).
  • Their sacred books are Angus and Purvas.

Gautam Buddha

  • He was born in 563 BC at Lumbini (now in Nepal).
  • He was the son of Suddhodana Prince of Satya clan ruling Kapilavastu.
  • He got enlightenment at Bodh Gaya and delivered his first Sermon at Sarnath.
  • He died and Kushinagar.

Buddhism

  • It is one of the greatest Oriental religions. it rose against the background of Hinduism in North India in the 6th century BC.
  • Its founder was Gautam Siddhartha, properly known as Buddha.
  • Its main sacred books are: Tripitakas. The main precepts of Buddhism are: The Four Great Truths. 
  1. World is full of misery.
  2. The cause of the pain and misery is Desire or craving.
  3. Tin can be ended by killing or controlling the desires.
  4. Designers can be controlled by an eight fold path.

The Eight-Fold Path: It consists of right belief, right thought, right action, right livelihood, right exertion, right watchfulness, and right meditation.

  • Jatakas are the Buddhist religious books.

Buddhist Councils

  • The first council was held at Rajagriha in 483 BC.
  • The second council was held at Vaishali about 383 BC.
  • It led to the first division of this into Sthaviravadins and Mahasanghikas.
  • The third Council was convened by Ashoka at Pataliputra in 250 BC.
  • It was presided over by Tisa Mongali Putta.
  • The fourth Council was convened by Kanishka in 72 AD near Kundalvana (Kashmir).
  • It formally recognised the division of Buddhism into the great and Laser vehicles, Mahayana and Himalayan respectively.

Alexander’s Invasion ( 327-326BC)

  • Alexander defeated Porus, the king of the territory between Jhelum and Chenab, at Hydaspes. 
  • Alexander died at Babylon.

Maurya Dynasty (321-185 BC)

Chandragupta Maurya (321-298 BC)

  • He was the founder of the Maurya Dynasty.
  • He defeated Seleucus, the General of Alexander, in 305 BC.
  • He founded an excellent system of municipal administration and military organisation.

Megasthenese

  • He was the ambassador of Seleucus in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • His account of India is given in Indica,social conditions of that age.
  • Kautilya wrote Arthashashtra, i.e., “statehood”.

Bindusara (298-273 BC)

  • He was the son of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • His empire extended throughout the whole of northern India and parts of Deccan.
  • His reign ended in 273 BC.

Ashoka (273-232 BC)

  • He was one of the best and the ablest rulers in the world history.
  • He embraced Buddhism after the bloody war of Kalinga(261 BC), for he was greatly moved by the loss of human life in this war. The rest of his life he devoted towards the propagation of Buddhism far and wide.
  • His inscriptions on rocks and pillars(in Prakrit language) are a source of great historical interest.
  • Ashoka was converted into Buddhism by Upagupta. He had built stupa at Sanchi. His name is inscribed on Maski edict.
See also  Modern Indian History- General Knowledge (Important Questions)

Satavahanas Dynasty (235-30 BC)

  • Sometimes called the Andhras, this dynasty was established in the 3rd century by Simukha.
  • It lasted for about 450 years.
  • Its main areas were the Deccan and Western India with Pratishthana and its capital.
  • They built Chaitya temples in Karle and Amravati Stupa.
  • They were the first to give grants for religious beneficiaries.

Kharavela, Sakas, Satraps and Parthians (40-78 AD)

  • Kalinga reached the zenith of its glory under the Kalingraj (Kharveli) but is empire vanished soon after some period.
  • These were foreigners of Central Asia, who came to India in search of conquest and settled in India.
  • Nahapana was the greatest of Kshaarata Satraps.

KUSHAN DYBASTY (40-162 AD)

Kanishka (78-120 AD)

  • He was the greatest of Kushan rulers in India.
  • Like Ashoka, he was a great patron of Buddhism and convened the Fourth Buddhist Council at Srinagar.
  • In his days Buddhism was divided into two sects, Hinayana (lesser vehicle) and Mahayana (greater vehicle).
  • Gandhara School of Art (Greeco Buddhist style) rose to its zenith during his reign.
  • It specialised in the images of Buddha in sitting form with a ‘Chakra’ in the back and shows great Greek influence.
  • The Saka Era begins from the date of his accession.
  • Gold coins were issued for the first time by Kushana.

Mathura School of Sculpture

  • It is purely indigenous and not exotic. Red stone is used in it.
  • It is influenced by Gandhara School.

Gupta Dynasty (320-550 AD)

  • The Gupta period is known as the Golden Period of Hinduism in India.
  • The Guptas freed the country from the foreign domination.
  • Art, science and literature were cultivated with success and distinction.
  • Ajanta Caves were built between 300 and 700 AD during the Gupta period. Most of them professed faith in Brahmanism.
  • They built the Iron Pillar at Mehrauli in Delhi.
  • The temples at Bhitargaon and Deogarhare special examples of Gupta architecture.
  • Sri Gupta was founder of the Gupta dynasty.

Chandragupta I (320-335 AD)

  • He was the first great ruler of Mauryan Jynasty.
  • Gupta rule started from 320 AD during his reign.

Samudragupta (335-375 AD)

  • He was a great scholar, poet and musician.
  • He is known as the Indian Napoleon on account of his conquests.
  • He was a worshipper of Vishnu but tolerant of Buddhism also.
  • He erected the Allahabad Pillar, the inscription on which was composed by Harisena.

Chandragupta II (375-413 AD)

  • During his reign the Gupta empire was at the height of its power.
  • He was a liberal patron of arts and literature.
  • The Chinese piigrim Fahien visited India during his time.

Kumaragupta [1413-455 AD)

  • He was the son of Chandragupta Il.
  • Towards the end of his reign, he was attartedt Pushyamitra (from the west) anu the Huns. With him ended the golden era of the Guptas.

Skandagupta (455-477 AD)

  • He was the last great ruler of the dynasty.
  • His reign was short and stormy as the Huns made their fierce raids in his time.

PUSHYABHUTI DYNASTY (560-647 AD)

Harshavardhana (606-647 AD)

  • His capital was Kannauj.
  • He was the author of Nagananda and Ratnavali.
  • Banabhatta, the famous poet lived during his reign.
  • He is considered to be the last Great Hindu King of North India.
  • He was a follower of God sun.
  • Hieun Tsang was a Chinese O pilgrim, who visited India during the reign of King Harsha.
  • According to him, Nalanda University was at its height.

SOME SOUTH INDIAN DYNASTIES

Sangam Age

  • In this age successive assemblies of Tamil poets were held at Madurai and several anthologies of Tamil poems were compiled.
  • The age refers to the history of South India between 300 BC and 300 AD.

Pallavas of Kanchi

  • After the fall of the Andhras in the third century AD, the Pallavas came into prominence.
  • Their first great king was Sivaskanda Varman.
  • The Pallavas were patrons of Sanskrit and Brahminism.
  • They were at constant struggle with the Chalukyas in the north and the Cholas in the south.
  • The dynasty of great Pallavas was founded by the Simahavishnu; father of Mahendra Varman I.
  • The Pallavas are remembered for temple architecture, especially rock-cut raths (Seven Pagodas) at Mahabalipuram.
  • Their capital was Kanchipuram.

Chalukyas of Vatapi (Badami)

  • The Chalukyas came to power in the 6th century in Karnataka with their capital at Vatapi in the Bijapur
  • district. The founder of this dynasty was Pulakesin 1 (535-566 AD).
  • Aihole is the site of Chalukya architecture.

Pulakesin II

  • Pulakesin II He was the most famous ruler of the time. His greatest achievement was his victory over Harshavardhan in 620 AD.

Rashtrakutas (733-973 AD)

  • In 733, Dantidurga overthrew the Chalukya power and founded the kingdom of Rashtrakutas of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • They had their capital at Malkhed, near Sholapur.
  • During the reign of Krishna I, the rock-cut temple of Kailasha at Ellora was carved. Dhruva, another able king, defeated Dharmapala of Bengal and Mihira Bhoja, the Pratihara King.
  • Govinda III was the most powerful king of the Rashtrakutas.
  • During the reign of Krishna II, Kailash Temple at Ellora was built.
  • Elephanta caves were also built in his period.

Pandya Dynasty

  • The Pandyas were subjects of the Pallavas of Kanchi.
  • Their capital was Madurai.
  • In the 11th and 12th centuries, they were tributary to the Cholas, but later became the chief Tamil power in the South.
  • Their kingdom declined after the Muslim invasion in 1310.

Chera Dynasty

  • This was another Tamil kingdom.
  • Sengutioan, the talchera was the famous King of Chera Dynasty.
  • Their kingdom included the greater part of Travancore and they were subsidiary to the powerful Cholas.

Chola Dynasty

  • It was also an ancient Tamil kingdom ruling over Tamil Nadu and parts of Karnataka.
  • It was founded by Vijayalaya in 850 AD, who defeated Pandyas of the south and occupied their capital Madurai.
  • The Chola empire is known for Local Self-government or Village Autonomy.
  • It was under Cholas that overseas conquests were undertaken because of their Naval power.
  • The Cholas occupied Pegu in Burma (Myanmar), Sumatra, Malaya and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Their capital was at Tanjore. Vimana style of architecture reached its zenith ‘during their -reign.

Rajaraja Chola (985-1014 AD)

  • He established the supremacy of the Chola power in the south.
  • He built the Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjore (Thanjavur).

Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 AD)

  • He extended the dominions of the Chola kingdom.
  • His fleet crossed the Bay of Bengal with an army and conquered a number of States in Sumatra, Java and Malaya.
  • He built a new capital, Gangaikonda cholapuram to commemorate his victory in the north.

MEDIEVAL INDIA

Advent of Turks in India

  • Mohammed-bin-Qasim was the first Arab commander to conquer a portion of India, i.e., Sind in 712 AD.

Mahmud Ghazni (997-1030 AD)

  • He was the son of Subuktgin. He was a great conqueror and warrior of his time.
  • His greatest ambition was to become the master of the whole of Asia and to build an Asian empire.
  • India’s immense wealth attracted him and he carried out 17 invasions to the country between 1000 to 1026 AD to plunder the wealth of India with a view to finance his expeditions in Asia.
  • His court poet was Firdausi who wrote Shahnama in his honour.
  • Al-Beruni, has given a reliable description of the invasions and Indian conditions.

GHORI DYNASTY (1186-1206 AD)

Mohammad Ghori (1186-1206 AD)

  • In 1186, he occupied Lahore. • He was defeated by Prithvi Raj the ruler of Delhi and Ajmer, in the first Battle of Tarain in 1191.
  • He defeated Prithvi Raj at Tarain in 1192 in the second battle and laid the foundation of Muslim rule in India.

SLAVE DYNASTY (1206-1290 AD)

Qutubuddin Aibak (1206-1210AD)

  • He was the founder of the Slave dynasty.
  • He himself was slave and General of Mohammad Ghori.
  • During his reign, he built a mosque (Quwat-ul-Islam) at Delhi and started the famous Qutub Minar, the tallest tower in India.

litutmish (1210-1236 AD)

  • He was the son-in-law of Qutub ud-din Aibak.
  • He was recognised by Khalifa in 1219 AD.
  • Mongols under Changez Khan attacked India in 1221 AD during his reign.
  • He called himself Lieutenant of Khalifa.
  • He completed the construction of Qutub Minar in 1232, which was begun by Qutub-ud-din Aibak.

Razia Begum (1236-1239 AD)

  • She was the daughter of lltutmish and the first and only Muslim woman ruler of Delhi.
  • She was the most talented and capable child of Iltutmish.

KHILJI DYNASTY (1290-1320 AD)

Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316 AD)

  • He was a great conqueror and reformer.
  • Southern India was conquered for first time by him.
  • He shot into fame because of secularisation of the administration and various civil, military and economic reforms he undertook.
  • He enforced a rigid price control Shah Suri and system in order to maintain a standing army at small expense.
  • He conquered Chittor in 1303 AD.
See also  Medieval Indian History-General Knowledge [Important Questions]

TUGHLAQ DYNASTY (1320-1412 AD)

Mohammad Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD)

  • He was a great scholar and writer.
  • However, some of the novel administrative experiments (such as shifting the capital to Devgiri, new coinage, etc.), made him encourage unpopular.

Firoz Tughlaq (1351-1388 AD)

  • He is chiefly noted for works of public utility. He founded new cities, built mosques, hospitals, canals, roads and opened alm houses for the poor and needy.
  • He organised Haj pilgrimage at the expense of the state.
  • He had founded the Department of Public Works.

MUGHAL DYNASTY

  • He laid the foundation of Mughal rule in India. After several unsuccessful invasions of India, he at last defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Thus, the Lodhi rule ended.
  • In 1527, Babar defeated Rana Sanga at Kanwah near Fatehpur Sikri.
  • In 1529, in the Battle of Gogra, he defeated the Afghans under Mahmud Lodhi. He thus became master of nearly the whole of northern India.

Humayun (1530-1556 AD)

  • He could not consolidate the Mughal empire because of political instability, an empty treasury, division of dominions into jagirs and family hostility. He also lacked quick decision, sustained efforts, sternness and political insight.
  • In 1540, he was defeated by Sher Shah Suri and fled from the country. • He returned to power only in 1555 after Sher Shah Suri’s death.

Suri Dynasty (1540-1555 AD)

  • The Suri dynasty is particularly noted for the administration and reforms brought about by Sher Shah Suri (1540-45 AD) in the fields of central and provincial administration, land revenue, police, military and judicial spheres.
  • Roads and Sarais were made to encourage trade- the most important one being the Grand Trunk Road.
  • Currency was reformed with pure gold and silver coins being struck. • Postal department was very advanced.
  • During his reign, currency notes were first printed.

Akbar (1556-1605 AD)

  • He was crowned the emperor of India at the age of 13 at Kalanaur (Punjab).
  • He defeated Hemu in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 and became the unquestioned master of the country.
  • He continued his policy of conquest. He made several conquests, winning against the ruler of Malwa in 1561, against the brave Rani Durgawati of Gondwana in 1564.
  • He captured the fort of Chittor (in Mewar) in 1567.
  • Akbar defeated Rana Pratap in the Battle of Haldighati in 1576.
  • His greatest achievement was the land revenue administration. In times of famine, farmers got loans and the state share was reduced.
  • Social Reforms included prohibition of child marriage and female infanticide; widow remarriage for Hindus was legalised; forcible conversion to Islam was prohibited; pilgrim tax, Jazia, was abolished, etc.
  • Military reforms included Mansabdari system, under which each officer was assigned a rank (mansab). Varying from 10 to 10,000, the mansab carried the Zat (the personal status and salary) and Sawar (the number of cavalry men to be maintained). The system was borrowed from system followed in Mongolia.
  • Religious policy of Akbar is famous for the formulation of Din-i-llahi, in 1582, taking the good points of Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Sikhism.
  • When he died, he was buried at Sikandra near Agra.

Jahangir (1605-1627 AD)

  • He came to the throne on Akbar’s death in 1605 AD.
  • He is known for his strict administration of justice.
  • His wife Nur Jahan influenced him a great deal.
  • He was a great patron of paintings. Mansur was the greatest poet in his court.
  • His reign first witnessed the coming of European travellers such as Thomas Roe.

Shahjahan (1628-1658 AD)

  • His reign is known for promotion of art, culture and architecture.
  • The Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Taj Mahal, etc., were built by him.
  • In the last years of his life, he was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb and died in captivity in 1666.

Aurangzeb (1658-1707 AD)

  • He came to the throne after defeating Dara in the Battle of Samugarh in a violent war of succession.
  • After his death, the Mughal empire disintegrated.
  • His reign was marked by the war with Shivaji, rebellion of Jats, revolt of the Satnamis, martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, imposition of Jazia and war with the Rajputs.

Bahmani Kingdom (1347–1518 AD)

  • It was a Muslim kingdom established in the Deccan during the reign of Mohammad Tughlaq and founded in 1347 by Zafar Khan, a brave soldier.
  • Their capital was Gulburga.
  • The most important person of this kingdom was Mahmud Gawan, a Persian who was a minister for about twenty-five years.
  • He was put to death in 1481 and thereafter this kingdom began to decline and in a short time was split into five independent States, viz., (a) Berar, (b) Bidar, (c) Ahmadnagar, (d) Bijapur, (e) Golkunda.
  • At last in 1565 all these states combined and destroyed Vijaya nagar kingdom at the Battle of Talikota.

Kingdom of Vijayanagar (1336-1565 AD)

  • It was the last great Hindu kingdom of southern India founded by Harihara and Bukka brothers in 1336 AD.
  • The greatest rulers of this dynasty were Deva Raya II and Krishnadeva Raya (1509–1530).
  • During the reign of Deva Raya II, the Persian traveller Abdul Razak visited in 1443.
  • Krishnadeva Raya was a successful warrior. He was on friendly terms with the Portuguese who imported horses and foreign goods for him.
  • He was a great patron of arts and learning.
  • In 1565, the Deccan sultanates fought and defeated Ramaraya, the ruler of Vijayanagar in the famous Battle of Talikota.

The Marathas (1649-1708 AD) •

  • Shivaji (1627-1680) was the founder of the Maratha kingdom.
  • Shivaji was a brave general and an efficient administrator.
  • The Maratha method of warfare was guerilla warfare.

The Peshwas (1708-1818 AD)

  • Peshwa dynasty was founded by Balaji Vishwanath (1713-20) who was their ablest ruler and streamlined administration. They aspired for India’s sovereignty.
  • The Maratha rule came to an end after the battle with Ahmed Shah Abdali in Panipat in 1761.
  • Thus, the scene was left free for the East India Company.

The Sikhs

  • Sikhism was started as a religious sect but became a military community.
  • Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) founded the Sikh faith which lays emphasis on unity of God, rejection of casteism and rituals and brotherhood of man.
  • Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) transfor-med the religious sect to a military brotherhood.
  • It was the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev in Jahangir’s reign which was a turning point in Sikh history, making them enemies of the tyranny of Mughals.
  • After Banda Bairagi, the Sikhs lacked effective leadership and they took refuge in the Himalayan hills.
  • They formed misls, or groups which established independent kingdom in Punjab in the 18th century under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

THE BRITISH PERIOD- IMPORTANT GOVERNOR-GENERALS OF INDIA

Warren Hastings (1773-1785)

  • He introduced several reforms, established civil and criminal courts and courts of appeal.
  • He passed The Regulating Act,1773, giving a legalised working constitution to the Company’s dominions in India.
  • Itenvisaged a council of ministers under the Governor-General.
  • The Pitts’ India Act of 1784 put the Company’s affairs in permanent control of the British Parliament.

Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793)

  • He introduced a new revenue system under the Permanent Settlement of Bengal in 1793.
  • In the third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92), Tipu Sultan was defeated. Lord Cornwallis introduced Civil Services in India.

Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)

  • He made an alliance with the Nizam.
  • Tipu was defeated in the Fourth Mysore War (1799) and killed.
  • Wellesley prepared the Subsidiary System of Alliances.

Lord William Bentinck (1828-1835)

  • He is famous for the social reforms, such as abolition of Sati (1829).
  • Indians were employed at higher posts but on lower salaries.
  • He also made a treaty with Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of Punjab.
  • In 1833, with the Charter Act, the Company ceased to be a trading company and became administrative.
  • The Governor of Bengal was termed the Governor-General of India.
  • In 1835, English was introduced as the medium of instruction on the recommendations of Lord Macaulay.

Lord Dalhousie

  • Dalhousie rigidly followed the Doctrine of Lapse through which the British would get those States whose rulers died without a son to inherit.
  • He annexed Satara, Jhansi, Jaipur, Bagpet, Udaipur and Nagpur by applying the Doctrine.
  • Lord Dalhousie abolished titles and pensions of the native rulers. He annexed Berar and Oudh (which was an act of aggression).
  • Reforms included setting up of PWD, improvement of Posts and Telegraphs on modern lines, laying first Railway line (1853), giving special attention to education and passing the Widow Remarriage Act (1856).
  • During his time postal stamps were issued for the first time.

The Revolt of 1857

  • The Revolt of 1857 (also called the First War of Indian Independence) arose out of a combination of political, economic and socio-religious causes.
  • The immediate cause was a rumour that cow and pig fat was being used to grease cartridges and this enraged both Hindu and Muslim feelings.
  • The decisive outbreak was at Meerut. Its main leaders were the Rani of Jhansi, Tantya Tope, Nana Saheb and Bahadur Shah Zafar. Rani of Jhansi was the ablest and the most courageous leader.
  • She was killed while fighting in June 1858.
See also  Ancient Indian History (Important Questions)

INDIA UNDER THE CROWN •

  • The Queen’s proclamation on November 1, 1858 transferred the Government of India from the Company to the British Crown. As a result, Viceroy was appointed.

IMPORTANT VICEROYS OF INDIA

Lord Canning (1856-1862) •

  • He was the first Viceroy of India.
  • He introduced many reforms. Bengal Tenancy Act improved the position of tenants.
  • The Indian Penal Code came into force.
  • High courts were established.
  • The Indian Council Act, 1861, was the first step towards constitutional government.
  • Universities were opened in Calcutta (Kolkata), Madras (Chennai) and Bombay (Mumbai) in 1857.

Lord Mayo (1869-1872)

  • His achievement was the decentralisation of finances in India and also making the first Provincial Settlement. In 1871, the First Census took place.

Lord Lytton (1876-1880)

  • He held a magnificent durbar at Delhi where Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India.
  • The Durbar aroused great discontent because of the money wasted, instead of being spent for relief in the Deccan famine.
  • A Famine Commission was appointed.
  • In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act restricted the independence of the press.
  • The Indian Arms Act was another repressive measure. He was also associated with Indianisation of Civil Services and llbert Bill.

Lord Ripon (1880-1884).

  • He was a liberal statesman who favoured giving a greater share of administration to Indians.
  • The Factory Act (1881) tried to improve the position of factory workers, prohibited children, below twelve, from working more than nine hours a day.
  • The Vernacular Press Act was repealed in 1882. Education was extended.
  • The most constructive work was the enactment of Acts regarding local self-government.
  • The Ilbert Bill was passed in 1883, which sought to remove judicial disqualifications on racial distinction.

Lord Curzon (1899-1905)

  • He laid the strategic railway lines.
  • North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was formed.
  • Financial reforms included reduction of salt tax.
  • Police reforms saw salaries of policemen raised, training schools and establishment of Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
  • Agricultural reforms included the Punjab Land Alienation Act (1905) which was useful to the cultivators.
  • The Ancient Monument Preservation Act (1904) and the founding of the Archaeological Department helped to save ancient historical buildings.
  • In 1905, Bengal was partitioned on administrative grounds and it evoked strong criticism of the people.

Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921)

  • His Viceroyalty saw the August Declaration in 1917 that control over the Indian Government would be gradually transferred to the Indian people.
  • The Government of India Act (December 1919), also called the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms, introduced the system of Dyarchy in the provinces.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement was started in September 1920.

Lord Willingdon (1931-1936)

  • Second Round Table Conference (December 1931).
  • The Communal Award of August 1932 assigned seats to different religious communities and gave separate electorates to the depressed classes.
  • The Poona Pact in September 1932 between caste Hindus and the Depressed Classes agreed upon a practically joint electorate.
  • The Third Round Table Conference in November 1932 was again useless.
  • The Government of India Act, 1935 was passed.

Lord Linlithgow (1936-1943)

  • During his Viceroyalty provincial autonomy was established.
  • Congress ministries were established in 1937. When India joined the Second World War in 1939 without consulting the Central Legislative Assembly, the Congress ministries resigned as a protest.
  • The Quit India Resolution was passed by the Congress in 1942. Its leaders were thrown into prison.

Lord Wavell (1944-1947)

  • The Wavell Plan formulated in June 1945 at Simla Conference, was rejected by the Muslim League.
  • The Cabinet Mission Plan (1946) provided for an interim government and laid down the procedures for framing the Constitution of India.
  • On February 20, 1947, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that transfer of power would take place before June 1948.

Lord Mountbatten (1947-1948)

  • He decided that partition of India was the only way to resolve the political deadlock. His June 3, 1947 Plan partitioned the country.
  • Indian Independence Act made India and Pakistan dominions-India on August 15, 1947 and Pakistan on the August 14, 1947.
  • The State of Kashmir acceded to the Indian Union after the raids which were engineered by Pakistan.

CULTURAL AWAKENING

Brahmo Samaj (1825)

  • Raja Ram Mohun Roy was the founder of Brahmo Samaj. He wanted to modernise the Indian Society.
  • After Ram Mohun Roy, the work of Samaj was expanded by Debendra Nath Tagore and Keshab Chandra Sen.

Prarthana Samaj (1849)

  • In 1867 under the guidance of Keshab Chandra Sen the Prarthana Samaj was established in Bombay. Its activities were similar to those of Brahmo Samaj.
  • Justice Ranade and Dr. RG Bhandarkar were leading members of Samaj and participated actively in its activities.

Arya Samaj (1875)

  • Arya Samaj was founded by Dayanand Saraswati (Mulashankar) at Bombay
  • A few years later the headquarters of the Arya Samaj were established at Lahore. Dayanand wrote Satyartha Prakash to popularise his ideas.

Ram Krishna Mission (1897)

  • The Ram Krishna Mission was founded by Vivekanand.
  • He was the great disciple of Ram Krishna Paramhansa.
  • He passed away in 1902.

The Theosophical Society (1889

  • The Theosophical movement was introduced in India by an American Lady Madame Blavastsky Theosophy means divine wisdom .
  • In 1882, they shifted their headquarters to India at Adyar in Madras.
  • Annie Besant came to India in 1893 and become the leader of the theosophical movement.

Aligarh Movement

  • It was started by Sir Saiyed Ahmad Khan.
  • He condemned the system of Piri and Muridi.
  • His social ideas were propagated through his magazine Tahajib-ul Akhlaq.
  • He founded the Aligarh Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.
  • It became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.

Revolutionary Movements in Northern India

  • A meeting of revolutionaries from all parts of India was called at Kanpur in October, 1924. • The Hindustan Socialist Republican
  • Association(HSRA) was founded at Kanpur in Oct., 1924 by Sachindranath Sanyal, Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee, Ramprasad Bismil and Chandra Shekhar Azad.
  • They committed a dacoity in a running train on Aug 9, 1925 at Kakori on the Lucknow Shaharanpur section of the Northern Railway. Four revolutionaries – Ram Prasad Bismil, Asfaqullah Khan, Roshan Lal and Rajendra Lahiri were sentenced to death.
  • Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw two crude bombs in Central Legislative Assembly on 8th April, 1929, when the Public Safety B and the Trade Disputes Bill, were being discussed.
  • Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged till death on 23rd March, 1931 at Lahore Jail .
  • Surya Sen (1930), a revolutionary of Bengal, mastermind the raid on Chittagong armoury. He was hanged in 1933.
  • Chandra Shekhar Azad was surrounded by the police at Alfred Park, Allahabad and killed in an encounter on 27th Feb., 1931.

Freedom struggle in India (Gandhi and Afterwards)

  • Mahatma Gandhi led Champaran Satyagraha movement in Bihar in 1917.
  • Mahatma Gandhi, Ballabh Bhai Patel and Indulal Yajnik played an important role in Kheda movement
    in 1918.
  • It was the provocative enactment of the rowlatt Act in February, 1919, which made Gandhi launch an All-India Satyagraha Campaign
    for the first time.
  • Jalliawala Bagh Incident took place on April 13, 1919, in which 379 innocent people were killed.
  • The Non-cooperation movement (1920-22) was the first all-India national movement.
  • The All-white simon Commission (1927-28) was boycotted by Indians.
  • The Nehru Report, finalised at Lucknow in 1928, was drafted by Motilal Nehru and Taj Bahadur Sapru. It formulated a Dominian status for India.
  • The Lahore congress under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929 adopted the “Purna Swaraj”
  • instead of a Dominian Status. • Civil Disobedience Movement
  • (1930-32) was led by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi started the Dandi March (March 12 to April 6, 1930) from Sabarmati Ashram to the Sea coast.
  • The Karachi session of the Congress (1931) endorsed the Gandhi-Irwin pact.
  • In second Round Table Conference (1931) Gandhi represented the Congress alone.
  • The August offer (1940) dis appointed Gandhi and then Congress started Individual Satyagraha.
  • The proposals of Cripps Mission (1942) were rejected by the Congress and it started Quit India Movement on August 9, 1942.
  • The Cabinet Mission under the presidentship of Sir Stafford Cripps (1946) presented a formula of dividing India into three groups, which was rejected by Indian people.
  • The Mountbatten Plan (1947) became the basis of partition and independence of India which was ratified by the British Parliment and Crown on July 18, 1947 and implemented on August 15, 1947.

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