History Class 12 Chapter 2 question answer in english

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Kings, Farmers and Towns questions and answers: Ncert Solutions For Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns

ClassClass 12
ChapterChapter 2
Chapter NameKings, Farmers and Towns class 12 ncert solutions
CategoryNcert Solutions

Are you looking for History Class 12 Chapter 2 question answer in english? Now you can download Ncert Solutions For Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns pdf from here.

note: All these questions and answers are based on the new syllabus. So the chapter numbers may seem different to you.

Class 12 History chapter 2 questions and answers in English [ Answer in 100-150 words ]

Question 1: Discuss the evidence of craft production in Early Historic cities. In what ways is this different from the evidence from Harappan cities?

Answer 1: Widespread and deep excavations in the early historic towns have not been possible due to the fact that these towns are still inhabited. In Harappan Civilisation, we have been fortunate enough that excavations have taken place widespread. Despite this shortcoming, we have found many artefacts in the historic towns.

These throw light on the craftsmanship of those days. There are other evidences too, that throw light on the craftsmanship of those days. The salient features of such evidences are as follows:

(i) Pottery and Artifacts: Early Historic cities reveal a variety of artifacts, including Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW), known for its glossy finish and association with affluent individuals. This contrasts with Harappan pottery, which although sophisticated, differs in style and function.

(ii) Diverse Material Culture: Artifacts from Early Historic cities encompass ornaments, tools, weapons, vessels, and figurines made from diverse materials such as gold, silver, copper, bronze, ivory, glass, shell, and terracotta. This diversity reflects a broad range of crafts and artisan skills.

(iii) Professionals and craftsmen: The donor inscription tells who all lived in towns in terms of professionals and craftsmen. It included washer men, weaver, scribes, carpenters, goldsmith, ironsmith, etc. It is notable in Harappan towns there are no evidences of iron use.

(iv) The craftsmen and artisans built their guilds too. They collectively bought raw materials, produced and marketed their products.

Question 2: Describe the salient features of mahajanapadas.

Answer 2: The mahajanapadas were significant political entities in ancient India, characterized by several key features:

(i) Prominent Mahajanapadas: The most notable mahajanapadas included Vajji, Magadha, Koshala, Kuru, Panchala, Gandhara, and Avanti. These were large territorial states with distinct cultural and political identities.

(ii) Political Structure: Most mahajanapadas were ruled by kings. However, Some, known as ganas or sanghas, were oligarchies where power was shared by a number of men, often collectively called rajas. In some cases, as in the case of the Vajji sangha, the rajas probably controlled resources such as land collectively.

(iii) Capital Cities: Each mahajanapada had a well-defined capital city, often fortified for protection and administrative purposes. These cities served as centers of political power and economic activity.

(iv) Social Norms and Governance: Brahmanas composed the Dharmasutras, which provided guidelines for rulers and society. Rulers were typically expected to be Kshatriyas and were advised on governance practices, including taxation and the collection of tribute from different social groups such as cultivators, traders, and artisans.

(v) Military and Expansion: Some mahajanapadas maintained standing armies and bureaucracies to govern their territories efficiently. Sometimes raids on neighbouring states were conducted for acquiring wealth. These raids were recognised as legitimate means.

(vi) Cultural and Economic Exchange: Mahajanapadas facilitated cultural exchanges, trade routes, and the spread of ideas across the Indian subcontinent. They were crucial in shaping early Indian civilization and laying the foundations for larger political entities in subsequent centuries.

These features collectively highlight the diversity and complexity of governance, social structure, and interactions within the mahajanapadas during ancient India.

Question 3: How do historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary people?

Answer 3: Historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary people using a variety of sources, especially since ordinary individuals often didn’t leave behind direct historical evidence. Here are some key methods they employ:

(i) Archaeological Finds: Remains of houses, pottery, tools, and other artifacts unearthed by archaeologists provide insights into the daily lives, dwellings, and material culture of common people.

(ii) Inscriptions and Scriptures: Some inscriptions on monuments and scriptures provide indirect information about the interactions between rulers and subjects, including matters like taxation and general well-being or grievances of the common populace.

(iii) Material Culture: The tools, implements, and objects used by craftsmen, farmers, and other workers reveal details about their occupations, technological practices, and lifestyles.

(iv) Folklore and Oral Traditions: Historians also study folklore, myths, and oral traditions passed down through generations. These narratives often contain valuable cultural, social, and sometimes historical insights into the lives of ordinary people.

Question 4: Compare and contrast the list of things given to the Pandyan chief (Source 3) with those produced in the village of Danguna (Source 8). Do you notice any similarities or differences?

Answer 4: The gifts given to Pandya chief included things like ivory, fragrant wood, honey, sandal¬wood, pepper, flowers, etc. in additions to many birds and animals were also given as gifts. On the contrary, items produced in the village of Danguda included grass, skin of animals, flower salt and other minerals, etc. In both the lists the only common item is flower.

Question 5: List some of the problems faced by epigraphists.

Answer 5: The specialists who study inscriptions are called Epigraphists. Epigraphists, who study inscriptions, face several significant challenges in their work. Some of these problems include:

(i) Faintly Engraved Letters: Often, the letters of inscriptions are very faintly engraved, making it difficult to reconstruct the original text with certainty. The faintness of the engraving can lead to uncertainties in interpretation.

(ii) Damaged or Missing Inscriptions: Inscriptions are frequently found in a damaged state, with parts of the text missing. This damage can result from natural erosion, human interference, or the passage of time, complicating the task of accurately deciphering the text.

(iii) Ambiguous Meanings: The exact meanings of words used in inscriptions are not always clear. Some terms may be specific to a particular place or era, leading to debates among scholars regarding alternative readings and interpretations of the inscriptions.

(iv) Undeciphered Inscriptions: Although several thousand inscriptions have been discovered, not all of them have been deciphered, published, or translated. This lack of comprehensive decipherment limits the understanding of historical contexts and narratives.

(v) Fragmentary Evidence: Many more inscriptions must have existed, but they have not survived the ravages of time. The available inscriptions represent only a fraction of all that once existed, providing an incomplete picture of the past.

(vi) Selective Recording: There is a possibility that significant political or economic events were not recorded in inscriptions. For example, routine agricultural practices and the everyday joys and sorrows of people’s lives are often absent from inscriptions, leading to gaps in the historical record.

[ Write a short essay (about 250-300 words) on the following: ] Class 12 history chapter 2 ncert solutions in English

Question 6: Discuss the main features of Mauryan administration. Which of these elements are evident in the Asokan inscriptions that you have studied?

Answer 6: Asokan inscriptions mention all the main features of the administration of the Mauryan Empire. Thus, the features of the administration are evident in the inscriptions of the Asokan age. The important features of the same are as follow:

1.The capital of the Mauryan Empire was Pataliputra. Apart from the capital there ‘ were four other centres of political power in the empire. They were Taxila, Ujjaini,
Tosali and Suvamagiri.

2.Committee and subcommittees were formed to run the administration and safety of boundaries. Megasthenes has mentioned that there were one committee and six sub-committees. The six subcommittees and their areas of activities are as follows:

  • (i)The first sub committee looked after navy.
  • (ii)The second sub committee looked after transport and communications.
  • (iii)The third sub committee looked after infantry.
  • (iv)The fourth sub committee had the responsibility of horses.
  • (v)The fifth had the responsibility of chariots.
  • (vi)The sixth had the responsibility of elephants.

3.Strong network of roads and communications were established. It is notable that no large empire can be maintained in the absence of the same.

4.Asoka made an attempt to keep the empire united by the philosophy of Dhamma. Dhamma are nothing but moral principles that actuated people towards good conducts. Special officers called Dhamma Mahamtras were appointed to propagate Dhamma. In fact Romila Thapar has made it the most important element of the Asokan state’s governing principle.

Question 7: This is a statement made by one of the best-known epigraphists of the twentieth century, D.C. Sircar: “There is no aspect of life, culture and activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions.” Discuss.

Answer 7: The statement by D.C. Sircar underscores the comprehensive role of inscriptions in documenting the multifaceted aspects of Indian life, culture, and activities. Inscriptions serve as a singular and invaluable source of historical information.

(i) Determination of State’s Boundaries: Inscriptions carved in various territories help delineate the boundaries and expansions of kingdoms, offering a clear picture of historical geography.

(ii) Names of Kings: The inscriptions reveal the names and titles of rulers, such as the various titles used by Ashoka the Great, which are known primarily through these records.

(iii) Historic Events: Significant historical events, like the Kalinga War, are chronicled in inscriptions, providing insights into the pivotal moments that shaped history. For example, Ashoka’s adoption of Dhamma is well-documented in his inscriptions.

(iv) Conduct of Kings: The character and policies of rulers are often detailed in inscriptions. For instance, inscriptions highlight Ashoka’s welfare activities and his efforts towards the well-being of his subjects.

(v) Information about Administration: Administrative details, such as the appointment of officials, are recorded in inscriptions. An example is Ashoka appointing his son as a Viceroy, which is known through these records.

(vi) Land Settlement and Taxes: Inscriptions provide information on land grants, gifts, and taxation systems, offering a glimpse into the economic aspects of governance.

In essence, inscriptions encapsulate a wide array of information about governance and daily life, validating D.C. Sircar’s assertion that no aspect of Indian life, culture, or activity is absent from these historical records.

Question 8: Discuss the notions of kingship that developed in the post-Mauryan period.

Answer 8: In the post-Mauryan period, the notion of kingship evolved significantly, incorporating the divine theory of state. Monarchs increasingly claimed divine sanction to rule, a concept propagated extensively by the Kushan rulers, who ruled from Central Asia to Western India.

Kushan Kings: The Kushan kings, such as Kanishka, referred to themselves as “Devputra” (Son of God), thus elevating their status to a divine level. They reinforced this divine kingship by erecting grand statues of themselves in temples, symbolizing their godly status and emphasizing their divine right to rule.

Gupta Rulers: The Gupta dynasty saw a further development of kingship. The period was characterized by the emergence of large-sized states that relied heavily on Samantas (feudal lords). These Samantas could sometimes become powerful enough to challenge the king’s authority. The Guptas managed to maintain their rule through strategic alliances and military prowess.

Literature, Coins, and Inscriptions: These sources played a crucial role in shaping our understanding of kingship during this era. Poets and writers often extolled the virtues of monarchs, providing valuable insights into the nature of kingship. For instance, Harisena, a court poet, praised Samudragupta, a notable Gupta ruler, highlighting his military achievements and divine favor.

Question 9: To what extent were agricultural practices transformed in the period under consideration?

Answer 9: The period post-600 BC witnessed significant transformations in agricultural practices, driven primarily by the increasing demand for taxes. To meet these demands without reducing their produce, farmers adopted new tools and practices, leading to enhanced productivity. The key developments included:

(i) Use of Plough: The introduction and widespread use of the plough marked a major shift in agricultural practices. Previously uncommon, ploughs began to be utilized extensively in the Ganga and Cauvery basins. In regions with abundant rainfall, ploughs fitted with iron tips were employed, which significantly boosted paddy production. This technological advancement allowed for more efficient tilling of the soil, leading to higher yields.

(ii) Use of Spade: In areas with harsher land conditions, farmers turned to spades. This tool was particularly useful for those dealing with less fertile or more challenging terrains. The spade enabled better soil preparation and management, contributing to improved agricultural productivity even in difficult environments.

(iii) Artificial Irrigation: Farmers began to supplement rainfall with artificial irrigation methods. This included the construction of wells, ponds, and canals, often through collective efforts. These artificial irrigation systems ensured a more reliable water supply, reducing dependency on unpredictable natural rainfall and further increasing agricultural output.

The adoption of these new technologies and practices led to a substantial rise in agricultural production. This, in turn, gave rise to a new social stratum. Buddhist literature from the period describes the emergence of small and big farmers, referred to as Grihpatis. Similar references are found in Tamil literature, highlighting the growing importance of land ownership. The village head’s position often became hereditary, emphasizing the significance of landholding in the social hierarchy.

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