16 Mahajanpad Class 6 History Chapter 4 Notes – Our Bharat I HBSE Solution

Class 6 History NCERT Solution for chapter 4 16 Mahajanpad notes for Haryana board. CCL Chapter Provide Class 1th to 12th all Subjects Solution With Notes, Question Answer, Summary and Important Questions. Class 6 History mcq, summary, Important Question Answer, Textual Question Answer in hindi are available of  Our Bharat I Book for HBSE.

HBSE Class 6 History 16 Mahajanpad notes for Haryana Board of chapter 4 in Our Bharat 1 Solution.

16 Mahajanpad Class 6 History Chapter 4 Notes

Rise of Janpada and Mahajanpada

The process of the development of a state started in India in the Rigvedic period. The primary unit of society was the family. From a family, a clan was formed, from a clan to a tribe, from a tribe to a Jana, from a Jana to a Janpada, and from a Janpada, a Mahajanpada was formed. The members of the family were often the descendants of the same ancestor, living together to meet their needs.

The group of families belonging to the same clan was called Jana’. The head of the Jana was called ‘Rajan. He was responsible for the safety of the Janas. To assist Rajan, there were officers like commandants, priests, village headman, etc. In that era, the cow was the main asset of the people. The main function of Rajan was also to protect the cattle of the people. There was a commandant to help Rajan’s military. The priest used to teach the Dharma to Rajan

The Gramini was the head of the Gram (village). The area of a Jana consisted of several villages. The smallest unit of administration was the village. The area of a Jana gradually came to be called ‘Janpada’. Initially, people of only one Jana lived in a Janpada. Later on, people from other Janas also settled in one Janpada. Over time, cultural ties were established between them. A Janpada consists of both a town and a village. With the stability of life and an increase in the population, the size of the Janpadas also increased. Small Janpadas become bigger. Their area also increased. Now they are known as Mahajanpadas. This era is called the Mahajanpada period of India. The Janpadas of the Vedic age were now transformed into 16 big Mahajanpadas. All the Mahajanpadas extended from Gandhara (Afghanistan) to Bengal in the east and from the Himalaya mountains in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south.

Till the 6th century BC, there was a lack of central authority in India. The whole nation was divided into many small and big independent states called Mahajanpadas. The number of states is given in the Buddhist texts ‘Anguttar Nikaya” and “Mahavastu’ and the Jain text ‘Bhagwati Sutra’. Perhaps their real number was much higher. Some of these states were monarchical and some had republican administrative structures.

Monarchy: The rule of the state is run by a king and the successors of his dynasty.

Republic: The government in the state is run by the representatives elected by the people.

Development of Mahajanpada system

From Vedic literature, we get information about ancient Indian polity. The Veds and Brahmin texts also give comprehensive information about the Indian state system. The Mahabharat and Kautilya’s Arthashastra also provide a deep insight into the Indian political system. We have come to know that the Sabha and Samiti were the ancient institutions of democracy in India. The famous historian Kashiprasad Jaiswal states that the Sabha was born in the Rigvedic era. The Sabha and the Somiti checked the power of the king. These institutions show the development of democratic values in India. The Rigvedic Janpada system changed into the Mahajanpada system. The Mahajanpadas had both monarchial and democratic governments. In the monarchical system, the position of the king was hereditary, whereas in the republican system, the king was elected. Later, the period of imperialism started in the Mahajanpadas, and during this period, Magadha Mahajanpada suppressed all opposition and became a big state.

In these sixteen Mahajanpadas, each Mahajanpada was in conflict with one another. With the passage of time, due to the feeling of patriotism, the tendency of monarchy was increasing rather than republican rule. The strong tried to usurp the weak and the small Janpads had to struggle to maintain their independence.

At that time, the republics also had to create a union of states as per the requirement. Various Mahajanpads took the help of merital relations to make themselves powerful such as the king of Kaushal who married his daughter Mahakausala to king Bimbisar of Magadha and Prasenjit who married his daughter Vajira to Ajatashatru, son of Bimbisar. He also established marriage relations with the Shakyas. The king of Vats married the princess of Videh. Therefore, friendship was established between the states through marriage.

Tradition of republican rule in India-

In the Mahajanpada era, there was not one type of government system in India. Sometimes there was a monarchical system and somewhere there was a republican system of government. Sometimes there was a co-ordination of both types of government. In the republican system of governance, the head of the gana was the elected ruler. Malla and Vajji were based on the republican system of governance. In the republican system of government, people had equal rights. In the system, importance was given to the freedom and equality of citizens. In the system, the rights of governance and power were not in the hands of any particular person but in the hands of the gana or prople. The supreme authority of the republic was the Nayaka, Pramukh or President. He was usually elected for life by the assembly of the gana or sangha. Sometimes, the heads of the yana were hereditary.

In a republican system of government, the king presided over a representative council and the republics were governed by a supreme council. Both the young and the old attended this council. There were debates in these meetings. These states continued to exist for a long time. People started considering the monarchical system of government as better than the republican. Under such circumstances a powerful monarchy emerged under the leadership of Magadha.

Rise of Magadha Mahajanpada as a vast empire

  • The rulers of Magadha were very capable and courageous. Powerful rulers like Bimbisar, Ajatashatru, Udayan, Shishunag and Mahapadmanand expanded kingdom of Magadha far and wide.
  • They had a huge army, which included infantry, chariots, horses and elephants.
  • Elephants were naturally abundant in this area. The geographical location also contributed significantly to the rise of the Magadha empire.
  • The rivers Ganga, Son and Champa provided a strong base for agriculture and transport. There were huge iron mines in Magadha.
  • The land of the Magadha region was quite fertile and water was also available in abundance in this region.
  • The rise of new cities and the circulation of metal coins also strengthened the economic situation. Here, the empire received a lot of tax by levying octroi on commercial products. The environment of this empire was more free than that of other states. The people of Magdha had a nationalist ideology.

Major Dynasties of Magadha

Haryak dynasty

1. Bimbisar: The first powerful ruler of this dynasty was Bimbisar, who ruled from 544 BC to 492 BC. He was the real founder of the empire. Bimbisar started the expansion of Magadha by con- quering the kingdom of Anga. He appointed his son Ajatashatru as the ruler of Anga. The early capital of Magadha was Girivraj (Rajgriha).

2. Ajatashatru: Ajatashatru became the ruler of Magadha by killing his father, Bimbisar, in 492 BC. He is also known in history by the name Kunik. After a long struggle, Ajatashatru conquered Kashi and Vajji Sangha and included them in the Magadha empire. During the reign of Ajatashatru, the first Buddhist conference (483 BC) was held in the Saptaparni cave of Rajagriha, Ajatashatru was assassinated in 460 BC by his son Udayan.

3. Udayan: Udayan ruled from 460 BC to 445 BC. He founded a city named Pataliputra (Kusumpura) at the confluence of the Ganga and Son rivers and made it his capital. He was a follower of Jainism. He was a nationalist ruler like his forefathers. The last ruler of the Haryank dynasty was Nagadashak, who was killed by an Amatya (minister) named Shishunag in 412 BC and established his dominance over Magadha and founded the Shishunag dynasty.

Shishunag Dynasty (412 BC 344 BC)

The founder and ruler of this dynasty, Shishunag, further expanded the Magadha empire by taking the kingdoms of Avanti and Vats under his control. Shishunag made Vaishali his second capital, apart from Pataliputra, to keep the Vajjis under control. Shishunag ruled until 394 BC. After that, his son Kalashok (Kakvarn) ruled till 366 BC. During his reign, the second Buddhist conference was organised in Vaishali in 383 BC. Mahanandin (Nandivardvan) was the last ruler of the Shishunag dynasty. He ruled until 344 BC. Mahapadmanand overthrew the Shishunag dynasty and founded a new dynasty which is known as the Nandvansh.

Nand dynasty (344 BC-322 BC)

Mahapadmanand was the founder of this dynasty. He enrolled a huge army and, with its influence, conquered the states like Ikshvaku, Kuru, Shursen, Mathura, Kalinga etc. Mahapadmanand provided stability to the empire. After the death of Mahapadmanand, his son Panduk became the ruler, but he was ineligible. After him, many rulers ascended the throne for a short time, and in the end, Dhananand became the last powerful ruler of this dynasty. He was a contemporary of Alexander. He had a huge army of 2 lakh infantry, 20 thousand cavalry, 2000 chariots, and three thousand elephants, but he was unpopular among his subjects. Chandragupt Maurya took advantage of this situation. With the help of Kautilya, he attacked Magadha in 322 BC and defeated Dhananand, ending the Nand dynasty empire and established the Maurya empire in India.


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