Saturday, March 26, 2011

Modern Historiography

Modern Historiography
Georgi Plekhanov, "The Role of the
Individual in History"
• Marc Bloch, Feudal Society
Arnold Toynbee, "The Disintegration of
Civilizations" and "My View of History"
R. G. Collingwood, "History as Re-
Enactment of Past Experience".
Approaching Modern Historians
• Modern historians are engaged in two
levels of debate
– One with their predecessors
– The other with their contemporary
– So we will discuss them as “schools” that are
not really necessarily schools
– Today, an outline of what is “modern” in
historiography; then, the “problems” of the
modern and reactions.
Approaching Modern Historians…
• Debate over documentation
– Storytelling replaced with research
– Documentation valorized
• the birth of the footnote
Approaching Modern Historians…
• Debate over “objectivity”
– How to tell a story fairly (Ibn Khaldun)
– How to be scientific in storytelling (Vico)
– How to remove self from story (Ranke)

Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835.

Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835. 

        [1] As it seems to be the opinion of some of the gentlemen who compose the Committee of Public Instruction that the course which they have hitherto pursued was strictly prescribed by the British Parliament in 1813 and as, if that opinion be correct, a legislative act will be necessary to warrant a change, I have thought it right to refrain from taking any part in the preparation of the adverse statements which before us, and to reserve what I had to say on the subject till it should come before me as a Member of the Council of India.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Achievements Of Ancient India

Achievements Of Ancient India
Ancient India can be acredited with many acheivements. Some of them are listed here:
  • Earliest known precise celestial calculations: Aryabhata, an Indian Mathematician (c. 500AD) accurately calculated celestial constants like earth's rotation per solar orbit, days per solar orbit, days per lunar orbit.
  • Astronomical time spans: Apart from the peoples of the Mayan civilization, the ancient Hindus appear to be the only people who even thought beyond a few thousand years. Hindu scriptures refer to time scales that vary from ordinary earth day and night to the day and night of the Brahma that are a few billion earth years long.

UGC NET E-certificate within 6 days from the Result Date

UGC NET E-certificate within 6 days from the Result Date
Students clearing the National eligibility test (UGC-NET) will now receive an e-certificate in just six days. Presently, it takes at least six to eight months for the University Grants Commission (UGC) to issue the certificate from the day the results are declared, reports the Times of India.The e-certificate will not just reach the candidate in six days, but it can be verified with the UGC in just 24 hours. As of now, the verification process requires at least four months.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Industrial Revolution in Europe.

Question VII-1-10: Study the progress of Industrial Revolution in Europe.
What were the effects Industrial changes on the economic, social, political and intellectual life of the people?
Answer: In the beginning of eighteenth century, the scientific discoveries and technological changes ushered into a new era of machines. With new discoveries and inventions, the machine based industry replaced cottage industry. The scene of production shifted from cottage industry to factories where the production was done on large scale. In this way, in industrial field, a new form of activity emerged. In Marxian terminology a new ' relation of Production' set in. The new form of activity is termed as Industrial Revolution. This revolution first took place in England and then gradually spread over all over the world.
The major changes, which brought up the industrial revolution were-
(i) power driven machines, replaced manual machines, driven by muscular power of man or animal in most of production activities.
(ii) In the beginning, the steam power was widely used to run the machines. Afterwards, the use of electricity and the petroleum fuel became the vital ingredients to run the machines.
(iii) Steel was another vital material in making machines. Hence, numerous iron mills were erected.
(iv) Excessive investment of capital was needed and made.
(v) The nature of agricultural production also underwent changes. The small holdings were merged to form large land holdings. The new and more and more agricultural machinery were used for agricultural production.
(vi) Steam powered rail engines and marine ships revolutionize the transportation.
(vii) The large-scale production and many alternative modes of transportation and communication facilitated continuos international trade.

legacy of the French Revolution

Question VI-2-9: Discuss the immediate and permanent results and achievements of the French Revolution.
What was the legacy of the French Revolution of France, Europe and the World?
Give a critical account of the permanent effects of the French Revolution of 1789 on Europe.
Describe the permanent political and social changes in the life of France resulting from the French Revolution.

Answer: The French Revolution is the greatest event of the modern period. It influenced the whole human society. The whole world received the message of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The welfare of the common man became the paramount priority and required changes were made in their constitution by the different countries. A brief description of the effects of the French Revolution is as per the followings.
I. Effect on France
There is no doubt that the French Revolution had far reaching implication for the world. However, it had influenced France the most. The Revolution had left following social, economic and political effects on France.
France – The Representative of Humanity: - France became the representative of the humanity. It gave to the world of humanity three main important messages of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality. However, it paved the way for Republican governments for rest of the humanity when it became successful in France.
The Empire of France became French Nation: - The French nation was born because of the French Revolution. Since then, there was one France in place of different regions. The thirty million French (three crores) now had the equality of status as a citizens of a nation and equality before law for all of them. They were patriots of their nation in place of loyalty to any dynasty.
End of Despotic Rule: - Before the French Revolution, the Bourbon family was ruling over France. The rulers of this dynasty believed in the theory of divine right of kingship. They ruled as per their own wishes and whims. The French Revolution destroyed their very existence. It established a constitutional form of government and republic in France. They made the French people their own ruler.
Written Constitution: - France got her first written constitution due to the French Revolution. It was also the first written constitution of the European continent. It gave the right of franchise to the citizen of France. There were some shortcomings in the constitution but it had ushered in a new era in France.
Declaration of Human Rights: - The main result of the French Revolution was that the French people acquired many human rights. They were given the right of equality, freedom of expression, etc. They were free to organize their associations. They got the right to property. They got the equality before the law. They could object to illegal actions of the government officials.

causes and effects of Renaissance.

Question: II-1-2: Discuss the circumstances responsible for the rapid growth of Renaissance in Europe. What were its effects?

Write the causes and effects of Renaissance.

Definition of Renaissance: Rebirth, Reawakening, Intellectual Awareness, Resurgence, Cultural Awakening and Cultural Revivalism are different terms which are used for Renaissance in history. After the thirteenth century, under the changing conditions of the time, man tried to discover the man and the world. It was like awakening to the true realities about the nature and man. This awakening is referred to as Renaissance. It is a French word, which means to wake again from a sleep. Some authorities have called it rebirth. It was not an event, but a distinct phase of epoch making effects, which continued as a parallel movement along with other changes in the European history. It was an intellectual, liberal, and cultural movement. The conquest of Turks over Constantinople is considered as that political event which started it. However, it is considered to have continued from the 14th to 16th century (or from 1350 AD to 1550 AD). It was a phase of changes which were more evident in cultural sphere and not a political event.
The Main Features of Renaissance:
(i) Importance to Humanism: There was stressed on Humanism, which was the distinctive feature of Renaissance.
(ii) Rational Attitude: The rational attitude replaced the superstitious beliefs.
(iii) Importance of Experiment: -Under Renaissance, the facts were accepted true only when authenticated by experiments.
(iv) Worship of Nature in art and philosophy: The worship of the beauty of nature started again under the influence of Renaissance. Such attitudes were not favoured in medieval period of Europe with had followed the Grecian and Roman period. The European considered them blasphemous and faith of heretics. However, during the Renaissance period, the values and attitudes of Ancient Greek and Roman culture were being reestablished. No doubt, some historians prefer to rate the Renaissance only as a cultural awakening or resurgence as it had influenced the culture aspects of Europe the most.


6) In which one of the following Smritui is found the statement: “the royal charters were written on cloth or copper plate?
a) Manusmruti
b) Parasharasmruti
c) Yagnyavalkyasmruti
d) Shankhasmruti

Ans: C Yagnyavalkyasmruti. 

The statement is taken from Yagnyavalkya Samruti from Book 1, page 316. It is mentioned in the book of D. C. Sircar on page 66, of the book titled Indian Epigraphy. The book was published in1965 by Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. ISBN no 81-208-1166-6. In the chapter III titled Writing Materials, Dr. Sircar has elaborated on the epigraphy and the material used for writing. 

7) The famous Dasarajna (battle of ten kings) is mentioned in
a) Rigveda
b) Yajurveda
c) Samaveda
d) None of the above

: a. Rigveda. 

The battle of ten kings is mentioned in Rig Veda, Mandal 7, hymn 83. Suda of Trtsu family of Bharta Tribe fought against ten kings on the River Purushani that is present River Ravi. Bharata Tribe was assisted by Vashishta and the ten kings were assisted by Vishvamitra. The hymns in which the battle and victory is mentioned invoked Indra and Varun.
The ten tribes were Alina, Anu, Bhrigu, Bhalana, Dasa or Dasyu, Druhyu, Matsya, Parshu, Purus, Pani or Parnis.

The King Suda killed Bheda, one of the independent commander of a tribe without a king.
King Suda was grandson of Devodasa Atithigva . (Mentioned in Devadatta Ramkrishana Bhandarkar's Some Aspects of Ancient Culture' published from Madras.) 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


(1)The copper – hoard culture in the post – Harappa period has provisionally been identified with which one of the following pottery types?
a) Sothi Pottery 
b) Ochre colour pottery
c) Painted grey ware 
d) Northern Black polished ware

Answer: Ochre Colour Pottery

The Sothi Pottery: The Sothi Pottery belongs to the earlier stage of the Harapa Culture. The pottery of this phase was found at Sothi in Bikaner District of Rajesthan. The Sothi pottery is about the earliest stages of the Harapa Culture and not the post Harapa Culture. The main scholar giving this view is Amalanand Ghose as described in An Encyclopedia of Indian Archeology page 72. The phase is early stage is identified with Kalibangan finds also. 

Painted Grey Ware: Painted Grey Ware refers to the post Harapa culture but it is later than OCP-Copper Hoard culture. It belongs to Iron Age Culture of Gangetic Plain. It does not belong to the Bronze Age. The time period is between 1100 BC to 350 BC. It succeeds Black and red ware culture. Some of the earlier phase is contemporary to the Black and Red Ware culture. It belongs to rather Later Vedic period. It was followed by Northern Black Polished Ware culure. According to B. B. Lal, it flourished in around Hastinapur, Mathura, Ahichatra, Barnawa and Kurukshetra. 

Northern Black Polished Ware: Northern Black Polished Ware culture succeeded Painted Grey Ware Culture. It had started in the middle of Later Vedic Period. It continued upto the rise of the Mauryan Empire. This culture is of interest more for its impact of Harapa Culture on the later period. The impact had been seen in the use of the mud bricks, backed bricks, architecture, and different crafts. But it appeared long after the disappearance of Harapa culture. 

Hence, the Harapa Culture period is identified with 3000 to 1750 BC. The Sothi Culture is identified with the 3000 to 2000 BC. The Ochre Colour pottery culture more recognizable for the collection of refined copper implements belongs to 2000 to 1000 BC. The Painted Grey Ware culture belongs to 1000 to 300 BC. Northern Black Polished Ware belongs to 700 BC to 300 BC. 
The Harappan Culture followed the Chalcolithic Age or the Copper Age. The Sothi culture belongs to Bronze Age. The Ochre coloured belongs to later stage of Bronze Age but with increased use of refined copper but pre-Iron Age. The rest of the two belongs to Iron age.

Ans: C. Both 1 and 2.
In Mohenjo daro the lime mortar use is quite evident in the Great Hall and Great Bath complex.
Dholavira (Kotada), in Bhachau taluka of district Kutch of Gujarat, is another metropolis of Harappan Civilization which has similar city plan as that of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. No doubt that main contruction material is sun baked burned mud bricks but the most significant feature of Dholavira is the use of stone in the dwelling buildings. It was discovered by J P Joshi in 1967-68. It is one of the four main major cities of the Harappan culture. It is also distinctivly different from other cities because of more importance is given to fortification in this city. Dholavira is also famous for ten large sized inscriptions which has been identified as the oldest sign board in the world. It is also famous for making arrangement for the water storage. It used limestone along with baked bricks. 

3) With reference to Indus Valley Civilization, consider the following animals:
1. Bull 2. Elephant 3. Rhinoceros
The figure/figures of which of the above animal/animals is/are found on the Indus seals?
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1,2 and 3

Ans: Bull, Elephant and Rhinoceros, are all shown the seals. Apart from that the markhor (a goat), tiger, Buffaloes, crocodile, fish, hare and dogs are other animals shown on the seals. In addition to that there are shown composite animals wherein like the head is that of a tiger but hind legs are of bull. The special animal is unicorn. 

4) Which one of the following contains the famous Gayatri Mantra?
a) Rig Veda
b) Samveda
c) Yajurveda
d) Atharvadeda

Ans: a. Rig Veda.

Gayatri Mantra is found in Third Mandal of Rig Veda. The Mandal has 62 hymns and the tenth richa in the 62th hymn is the gyatri mantra. It is attributed to Rishi Vishvamitra. The Gayatri Mantra is addressed to god Savitar. The rest of the hymns of the third mandal at attributed Agni and Indra. It being in the third Mandal, hence, it belongs to the core part of the Rig Veda as the first and the tenth mandals are considered to be the latter additions. It is called gayatri because of the meter used to chant is gayatri. The second name is Savitri Mantra, after the name of the god who is invoked in this mantra. (Savitar is shown as an aspect of Usha – a goddess whereas in most of the books checked, Savitri is shown as male divinity and thus an aspect of Surya). Savitri Mantra is repeated again and again in numerous upnishads. It has been widely praised and interepreted by leading brains of India like Swami Vivekananda, S Radhakrishanan, J. Krishnamurthi and many others.

5) The famous phrase “tattvamasi” is found in which one of the following Upanishads?
a) Chandogya
b) Mundaka
c) Mandukya
d) Isavasya

Ans: a. Chandogya Upnishad.
Tattvamasi literary means You Are That. Linguistically correct version is Thou art That.
It is an utterance in the dialogue between Uddalaka Aruni and Shvetaketu. Shvetaketu was son of Uddalaka. 

Michael Foucault in History

Michael Foucault, (1926-1984) - French writer, philosopher, and historian, Foucault was born on 15 October 1926 in Poitiers, France, where he undertook his early studies, he attended the Jesuit College of St. Stanislas. Thereafter, he studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris (1946), where after many years of travel he spent most of his life. Foucault received degrees in philosophy, psychology, and his diploma in psycho-pathologie (1952) before accepting a position in Uppsala (1955-1958), Warsaw (1958), and Hamburg (1959). In 1964 he accepted a professorship in philosophy at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, and in 1970 was appointed Chair in the "History of Systems of Thought" at the College de France. Appropriately, he invented the title himself. In the course of his career he lectured in a dozen countries, visited Attica Prison, and travelled in the far East. He was author of many books (see below), a number of which were both influential and controversial. He aimed, as one scholar suggested, to escape the demands of what others considered thought-worthy.

The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration

Years of Exploration
Accomplishments of Explorer

Bartolomeu Dias
Sailed Around the southern tip of Africa
Vasco de Gama
Sailed Around Africa to India
Pedro Alvares Cabral
Sailed to Brazil

Christopher Columbus
Explored the Caribbean and parts of Central America
Juan Ponce De Leon-
Conquered Puerto Rico, Explored Florida
Vasco Nunez de Balboa
Discovered the Pacific
Hernan Cortes
Conquered Mexico
Ferdinand Magellan
Crew Circled the World
Francisco Pizarro
Conquered the Incas in Peru
Francisco Coronado
Explored South Western of United States
Hernado De Soto
Explored to Mississippi River

John Cabot
Explored the East Coast Of North America
Henry Hudson
Explored the Hudson Bay of Canada

Henry Hudson
Explored Hudson River of New York

Giovanni De Verrazano
Discovered New York Harbor
Jaques Cartier
Explored St Lawrence
Samuel de Champlain
Explored St Lawrence, Settles Quebec

Voyage Of Vasc da Gama

Vasco da Gama was born around the year 1496, in Sines Portugal. Da Gama was born into a noble family. Da Gama distinguished himself by defending Portuguese interests on the coast of Guinea, against the French. In January 1497, da Gama was placed in command of an expedition to round Africa and reach India.
On July 8th, 1497, da Gama sailed with his four ships for Southern Waters. By November, they had rounded the horn and reached the furthest point to which Dias had previously traveled. Da Gama needed the services of a navigator to direct him to India. He encountered difficulties when he attempted to secure those services from Muslim Mozambique. He was received warmly in Melinda, East Africa, where he was able to obtain the serviced of a navigator.