NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 1 - Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years Notes

Chapter 1 - Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years Notes

1. Cartographer is a person who makes maps.

2. Arab geographer Al-Idrisi made a detail of the Indian subcontinent from his large map of the world in 1154 CE. In 1720, an another map developed by a French cartographer.

3. The term Hindustan was first used by Minhaj-i-Siraj in 13th century, a Persian chronicler. He meant the areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands between the Ganga and Yamuna. He used the term in a political sense for lands that were a part of the dominions of the Delhi Sultan but term never included south India.

4. Babur used Hindustan to describe the geography, the fauna and the culture of the inhabitants of the subcontinent.

5. In the 14th century poet Amir Khusrau used the word “Hind”.

6. We trace out many changes in the use of words with the change of time. For example, the word ‘foreigner’ is used in Hindi and Persian are ‘pardesi’ and ‘ajnabi’.

7. Historians use different types of sources to learn about the past depending upon the period of their study and the nature of their investigation such as on coins, inscriptions, architecture and textual records for information.

8. Later, paper became cheaper and more widely available and hence people used it to write texts, chronicles of rulers, letters and teachings of saints, petitions and judicial records, and for registers of accounts and taxes.

9. The study of the thousand years between 700 and 1750 is a huge challenge to historians largely because of the scale and variety of developments that occurred over the period. New technology like Persian wheel in irrigation, the spinning wheel in weaving and firearms in combat, new foods and beverages arrived in the subcontinent-potatoes, corn, chillies, tea and coffee. All these innovations-new technologies and crops came along with people, who brought other ideas with them as well.

10. One group of people who became important in this period were the Rajputs, a name derived for “Rajaputra”, the son of a ruler.

11. The term Rajput was applied more generally to a group of warriors who claimed Kshatriya caste status. The term included not just rulers and chieftains but also soldiers and commanders who served in the armies of different monarchs all over the subcontinent.

12. Other groups of people such as the Marathas, Sikhs, Jats, Ahoms and Kayasthas also used the opportunities of the age to become politically important.

13. Throughout this period, there was a gradual clearing of forests and the extension of agriculture. This forced many forest-dwellers to migrate. Others started tilling the land and became peasants.

14. These new groups of peasant gradually began to be influenced by regional markets, chieftains, priests, monasteries and temples. They became part of large complex societies and were required to pay taxes and offer goods and services to local lords.

15. As society became more differentiated, people were grouped into jatis or sub-castes and ranked on the basis of their backgrounds and their occupations.

16. Ranks of jatis were not fixed permanently, and varied according to the power, influence and resources controlled by members of the jati. The status of the same jati could vary from area to area.

17. Jatis framed their own rules and regulations to manage the conduct of their members.

18. A Sanskrit prashasti praising the Delhi Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban explained that he was the ruler of a vast empire that stretched from Bengal in the east to Ghazni in Afghanistan in the west and included all of south India. People of different regions-Gauda, Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat apparently fled before his armies. Historians regard these as exaggerated claims.

19. Amir Khusrau noted (1318) that there was different language in every region of this land. In southern Karnataka, Sindhi, Lahori, Kashmiri, Dvarsamudri; In Andhra Pradesh, Telangani; In Gujarat, Gujari; in Tamil Nadu, Ma’bari; in Bengal-Gauri; in eastern UP, Awadhi; around Delhi, Hindawi.

20. In contrast to these languages, there was Sanskrit which did not belong to any region. It was an old language and ‘common people do not know it, only the Brahmanas do.

21. During this period important changes occurred in what we call Hinduism today. These included the worship of new deities, the construction of temples by royalty and the growing importance of Brahmansas, the priests, as dominant groups in society.

22. The knowledge of Sanskrit texts earned the Brahmanas a lot of respect in society.

23. One of the major developments of this period was the emergence of the idea of bhakti.

24. In 7th century merchants brought teaching of Islam as well as Quran. Muslims regard the Quran as holy book and accept the sovereignty of the God.

25. Many rulers were patrons of Islam.

26. Islam was interpreted in variety of ways by its followers. There were the Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims. Shia who believed that the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law, Ali was the legitimate leader of the Muslim community while Sunni accepted the authority of the four Khalifas which also includes Ali as a one and last Khalifa.

27. In the middle of the 19th century, British historians divided the history of India into three periods - Hindu, Muslim and British.

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