Very Short Questions with Answers (1 Mark Each)
Q. 1. What were ‘Chinampas’ of the Aztecs?
Ans. ‘Chinampas’ were artificial islands in Lake Mexico. They were made by the Aztecs by weaving huge reed-mats and covering them with mud and plants. These were exceptionally fertile.
Q. 2. State two features of early American civilisations.
Ans. Two features of early American civilisations were as follows : (i) They practised agriculture and corn was their major food item. (ii) They were not familiar with cattle-rearing.
Q. . What were two remarkable achievements of the Mayas?
Ans. Following were two remarkable achievements of the Mayas:
(i) The Mayas had a good knowledge of mathematics. They used a special sign for zero.
(ii) They devised a pictographic form of writing.
Q. . State two similarities between ancient Egyptian and Mayan calendars.
Ans. (i) Both the Egyptian and Mayan calendars were solar calendars. Both were based on the movement of sun.
(ii) A year had 365 days in both the calendars.
Q. . State two differences between ancient Egyptian and Mayan calendars.
Ans. (i) There were 12 months in Egyptian calendar, while a year had 18 months in Mayan calendar.
(ii) A month had 20 days in Mayan calendar, whereas there were 30 days in a month in Egyptian calendar.
Q. . Write two features of Mayan civilisation.
Ans. (i) Argiculture was their main occupation and corn was their major food item.
(ii) They devised a pictographic form of writing.
Q. 7. Write the main centres of Inca civilisation.
Q. 8. Write about the decline of early American civilisations.
Ans. In 1532, Spanish army, under Francisco Pizarro, destroyed the Inca civilisation. In this way in 16th century, the American civilisations declined due to foreign invasion.
Q. 9. Write about expansion of Maya civilisation.
Ans. Between 300 and 900 CE., Maya civilisation was at its peak of development. It was stretched in a large part of central America. Regions of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Ukatan were included in it.
Q. 10. When and how Aztecs got power? In how much area, their kingdom was expanded.
Ans. Aztecs got power in 1220 CE when they destroyed the power of Tolteks. The expansion of their kingdom was around two lakh sq. km.
Q. 11. What was the main political achievement of the Aztec civilisation?
Ans. Aztecs loved the wars. So they established a powerful kingdom with their bravery.
Q. 12. Write note on the American economy during Maya civilisation.
Ans. During Maya civilisation, the American civilisation was based on agriculture. Except this, weaving was another occupation of people.
Q. 13. Write any two features of religion of Mayans.
Ans. (i) People of Maya civilisation worshipped gods like Forest, Rain, Fertility, Fire, Corn, etc.
(ii) People sacrificed only one part of their body to make their gods, goddesses happy. There was a custom of human sacrifice.
Q. 14. The Incas were magnificent builders. Give two examples.
Ans. Incas were actually magnificent builders.
(i) Incas built roads through mountains from Ecuador to Chile.
(ii) They built their forts with stone slabs which were so perfectly cut that they hardly required any mortar.
Q. 15. How did the Incas cope with the infertile soil conditions?
Ans. Agriculture was the main occupation of the Incas. But the land was not so fertile. The Incas terraced hillsides and developed systems of drainage and irrigation to cope with the infertile soil conditions.
Q. 16. Some features of the cultures of the Aztecs and Incas were very different from the European culture. How?
Ans. (i) Aztec and Inca societies were hierarchical, but there was no private ownership of resources by a few people, as in Europe.
(ii) In Aztec and Inca civilisations, priests and shamans were accorded a higher status. Although large temples were built in which gold was used ritually, yet there was no great value placed on gold or silver. This was in marked contrast to the contemporary European society.
Q. 17. What was Cosmography?
Ans. Cosmography was the science of mapping the universe. Both heaven and earth are described in it. But it was seen as distinct from astronomy and geography.
Q. 18. What was Reconquista?
Ans. Reconquista was the military reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Christian Kings from the Arabs in 1492 CE.
Q. 19. What were Capitulacious?
Ans. Capitulacious were some type of contracts.
Under these contracts, the Spanish ruler claimed rights of sovereignty over newly conquered regions.
They also gave rewards, titles and right to govern the conquered lands to leaders of the expeditions.
Q. 20. To which country Columbus belonged?
When did he reach Indies?
Ans. Columbus was the citizen of Italy. On 12th April, 1492, he reached Indies.
Short Questions with Answers (2 Mark Each)
Q. 1. What were the greatest achievements of the Mayans?
Ans. Following were the greatest achievements of the Mayans:
(i) Calendar. Like the solar calendar, a Mayan year too had 365 days. The Mayans divided a year into 12 months. Each month had 20 days. The remaining five days were regarded as unlucky by the Mayans.
(ii) Knowledge of Mathematics. The Mayans had a great knowledge of mathematics. They used a special sign for zero.
(iii) Hieroglyphic Script. The Mayans made their own script. This script was a combination of pictorial signs and sounds.
(iv) Artistic Achievements. The Mayans were efficient in architecture, painting and sculpture. They built magnificent pyramids, crossings, temples and observatories.
(v) Utensils made on Wheel. The Mayans used utensils made on wheel.
Q. 2. Compare the calendars of the ancient Egypt and the Maya.
(i) Both the Egyptian and the Mayan calendars were solar calendars., i.e. both of them were based on movement of the sun.
(ii) A year had 365 days in both the calendars.
(i) There were 12 months in a year in the Egyptian calendar, whereas the Mayan calendar had 18 months in a year.
(ii) Each month was of 20 days in the Mayan calendar, while each month had 30 days in the Egyptian calendar.
(iii) The Mayans regarded the remaining five days of the month as unlucky, whereas the Egyptians celebrated the remaining five days.
Q. 3. Discuss the achievements of the Inca and the Aztec civilisations.
Ans. Achievements of the Inca Civilisation.
Achievements of the Inca civilisation were as follows:
(i) Efficient Administration. The Inca empire was divided into four parts. Each part was ruled over by a noble.
(ii) Developed Towns. The Inca empire had many towns. There were many huge buildings in these towns. These buildings included forts, temples, palaces, etc.
(iii) Arts and Crafts. Arts and crafts of the Inca empire were much developed.
(iv) Use of Metals. People of the Inca culture made ornaments of gold, silver and bronze. They used bronze in making their weapons and tools.
Achievements of the Aztec Civilisation.
Achievements of the Aztec civilisation are given below:
(a) Powerful Empire. The Aztecs established a powerful empire. This empire was divided into 38 provinces.
(b) Calendar. The Aztecs had their own calendar.
According to their calendar, there were only 260 days in a year.
(c) Use of Metals. The Aztecs had learnt how to melt soft metals.
(d) Religion. They worshipped several gods and goddesses such as the sun.
Q. 4. In what sense were physical cultures of the American civilisations differed from those of the Asian and European civilisations?
Ans. Physical cultures of the American civilisation were differed from those of the Asian and European civilisations in the following sense:
(i) People of the early American civilisations had a great knowledge of agriculture but they were not familiar with cattle-rearing. Religiously corncultivation was important to them. But people of the ancient Asian and European civilisations started agriculture and cattle-rearing side by side.
(ii) People of the early American civilisations began the use of metal only to make ornaments. Still they were efficient in crafts such as utensil-making, weaving, feather mozek-making and pear-making.
This characteristic of the early American civilisation was different from those of the ancient Asian and European civilisations.
(iii) People of the ancient American civilisation did not know how to use plough and wheel. But people of the ancient Asian and European civilisations knew how to use these.
(iv) The early Americans used only stone tools for a long time. Even monumental architecture and beautiful engraved statues of the great American civilisations were made by using only stone tools. From this aspect, people of the ancient Asian and European civilisations were far much ahead. They had almost abandoned stone weapons and began to use strong weapons made of iron.
(v) The early Americans had no system of writing.
On the other hand, developed civilisations of Asia and Europe had their own systems of writing.
Q. 5. Throw light on scientific achievements of the American civilisations.
Ans. Scientific achievements of the American civilisations are described below:
(i) Calendar. People prepared their own calendar. According to this calender, a year had 365 days. The Mayans divided a year into 18 months. Each month of this year had 20 days. The Mayans regarded the remaining five days as unlucky. The Aztecs too made their own calendar which was similar to that of the Mayans.
(ii) Knowledge of Mathematics. The Mayans also had a good knowledge of mathematics. They used a special sign for zero.
(iii) Hieroglyphic Script. The Mayans invented their own script. This script was a combination of pictorial signs and sounds.
(iv) Medicine. Medicine was greatly developed in the Inca civilisation. People used herbs for treatment of different diseases. There have been found human skulls and skeletons. These show that people also knew surgery.
Q. 6. Write a brief note on the early people and geographical features of America.
Ans. For thousands of years, people have been inhabiting North and South America and nearby islands. People from Asia and the South Sea Islands have also been living there. South America was covered with dense forests and mountains. World’s largest river, the Amazon, flowed through miles of dense forests of this region. In central America, in Mexico, dense settled areas of habitation were there along the coast and in the plains while villages were scattered over forested areas.
Q. 7. Where did the Arawakian Lucayos live?
Discuss the main characteristics of them and their culture.
Ans. The Arawakian Lucayos lived on hundreds of small islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Greater Antilles. A fierce tribe, the Caribs had expelled them from the Lesser Antilles. On the other hand, the Arawaks preferred negotiations over conflict. They were very good in boat-building. They built their canoes from hollow tree trunks and sailed the open sea in them.
They lived by hunting, fishing and agriculture. They grew corn, sweet potatoes, tubers and cassava.
The Arawakian Culture. The Arawakian Lucayos produced food collectively so that everyone in the community could be fed. Polygamy was quite common. Whole of the community was organised under clan elders. They were animists. Like in other societies, shamans also played an important role as healers and intermediaries between this world and that of the supernatural.
Q. 8. What was the Spanish policy towards the Arawaks? What was its result?
Ans. The Spanish attached too much value to gold, while the Arawaks did not. The Arawaks were quite happy to exchange gold for glass beads brought by the Spanish, because it looked beautiful. They were also very skilled in the art of weaving. The hammock was one of their specialities which the Spanish liked very much.
The Arawaks were quite generous. They were always ready to cooperate with the Spanish in their search for gold. But later on the Spanish policy towards the Arawaks became brutal. That is why Arawaks resisted it with violent incidents. This resistance was to have disastrous results for them.
As a result, the Arawaks and their way of life ended within 25 years.
Q. 9. What were the Tupinambas ? Why did the Europeans envy them?
Ans. The Tupinambas lived on the east coast of South America and in villages in the Brazil wood forests. They had no access to iron which is why they were unable to clear the dense forests for cultivation.
But they had very good supply of vegetables, fruits and fish. So they were not depended alone on agriculture. There was no king, army or church to regulate their lives. So the Europeans who met them envied their happy freedom.
Q. 10. Discuss some of the important features of economic and cultural life of the Aztecs.
Ans. Some of the important features of economic and cultural life of the Aztecs were as given ahead:
(i) The Aztecs had limited land, so they undertook reclamations. They made artificial islands in Lake Mexico by weaving reed mats and covering them with mud and plants. These lakes were called Chinampas.
(ii) Between the exceptionally fertile islands, they constructed canals on which the capital city Tenochtitlan was built in 1325. Its palaces and pyramids rose dramatically out of the lake.
(iii) The most impressive temples of the Aztecs were dedicated to the gods of war and the sun. This was because the Aztecs were frequently engaged in war.
(iv) Rural society was the base of the Aztec society.
Crops like corn, squash, beans, maniac root, pumpkins, potatoes, etc., were cultivated by the people. Clan was owner of the land and it was not owned by any individual. The clans also organised public construction works. Peasants like European serfs, cultivated land owned by the nobility. In exchange, they obtained a part of the harvest.