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Class 6 History Chapter 5 Question Answers - Kingdoms, Kings and an Early Republic

Short Questions and Answers

Q1: What were the natural advantages that helped Magadha to become a powerful kingdom in North India?

Ans: The following natural features helped Magadha to become a powerful kingdom:

  1. Many rivers, such as the Ganga and Son, flowed through Magadha. These rivers made the land fertile for agriculture. Moreover, these rivers were important for transport and water supplies.
  2. Another natural feature was the forests. Some parts of Magadha had forests. Elephants, which lived in the forest, could be captured and trained for the army. Forests also provided wood for building houses, carts and chariots.
  3. To become powerful, the rajas were fighting battles and required powerful weapons. Strong tools were required to clear forests. Magadha had iron ore mines, which could be used to make strong tools and weapons.

 Q2: Write a short note on the important rulers of Magadha.

Ans: Bimbisara and Ajatasattu were two very powerful rulers of Magadha. They used all possible means to conquer other janapadas. Mahapadma Nanda was another important ruler. He extended his control up to the northwest part of the subcontinent. Rajagriha in Bihar was the capital of Magadha for several years. Later, the capital was shifted to Pataliputra.

Q3: Why were taxes imposed by the rulers on the people of Mahajanapadas?

Ans: Huge resources were required by the rulers of Mahajanapadas to build forts and maintain large armies. Rajas of the janapadas depended on the occasional gifts brought by the people. So, instead of depending on these occasional gifts, the raja of the mahajanapadas imposed regular taxes on the people. Special officers were appointed to collect these taxes.

Q4: Why did Rajas build large and tall walls around the cities?

Ans: The Rajas built large and tall walls around the cities in order to show their wealth and power. Moreover, with these huge walls, the Kings could easily control the land and the people living inside the fortified areas.

Q5: How were regular taxes imposed and collected in the mahajanapadas?

Ans: Taxes were imposed on crops. This was most important since most people were farmers.

  1. The tax was fixed at 1/6th of the production. This was known as bhaga or a share.
  2. There were taxes on craftsmen who paid it by providing their labor. For example, a weaver or a smith would work for a day in every month for the king.
  3. Taxes on herders were met by them by providing animals and animal produce.
  4. Taxes were imposed on goods that were brought and sold through trade.
  5. Hunters and gatherers also paid their taxes by providing the forest produce to the raja.

 Q6: What resources were necessary to build the huge walls around the cities?

Ans: Building such huge walls requires a great deal of planning. A number of resources had to be found for the building of these walls. Firstly, thousands of bricks or stones had to be prepared. Secondly, the labor of thousands of men, women, and children was required in the construction of these walls.

Q7: Name the Later Vedic books.

Ans: The Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda are the Later Vedic books.

Q8: What was the content of Later Vedic books?

Ans: Later Vedic books contained rules about the society.

Q9: How did the use of iron ploughshare increase production during the age of mahajanapadas?

Ans: The use of an iron ploughshare helped to turn over the heavy, clayey soil, which was not possible with a wooden ploughshare. This increased the production.

Q10: Who provided the labor for the agricultural work done during the development of the mahajanapadas?

Ans: Slave men and women (dasas and dasis) and landless laborers (kammakaras) had to work on the agricultural land and, therefore, provide the labor.

Q11: What were the geographical features that made Magadha the most powerful Mahajanpada?

Ans : 

According to Historians, Magadha became the most powerful mahajanapadas due to the following geographical features:

  1. Many rivers, such as the Ganga and Son, flowed through Magadha, which provided good transport water supplies and made the land fertile.
  2. Parts of Magadha had forests that provided elephants, which were captured and trained for the army's needs. Forests provided wood for building houses and chariots.
  3. There were iron ore mines in the region that were used to make strong tools and weapons.

Q12: What was the Ashvamedha?

Ans: The Ashvamedha or horse sacrifice was a ritual in which a horse is let loose to wander and the raja’s men guarded it. If the horse wandered into the kingdoms of other rajas and they stopped it, they had to fight. If they allowed the horse to pass, they accepted that the raja who wanted to carry out the sacrifice was stronger than them. These rajas were then invited to the sacrifice, which was performed by specially skilled priests, who were rewarded with gifts. The raja who organized the sacrifice was recognized as being very powerful, and all those who came brought gifts for him.

Q13: Where did Alexander live, and what was his aim?

Ans: Alexander lived in Macedonia in Europe and wanted to conquer the whole world. However he was able to conquer only parts of Egypt, West Asia, and some parts of South Asia.

Q14: Name and explain different groups that existed during the Vedic period.

Ans: There were several different groups in society at that time — priests and warriors, farmers, herders, traders, craftspersons, laborers, fishing folk, and forest people. Some priests and warriors were rich, as were some farmers and traders. Others, including many herders, craftsmen, laborers, fishermen huntsmen, and gatherers, were poor.

Q15: Who divided people into four groups, and based on what?

Ans: The priests divided people into four groups called varnas. According to them, each varna had a different set of functions.

  1. The first varna was that of the Brahmin. Brahmins were expected to study (and teach) the Vedas, perform sacrifices, and receive gifts.
  2. In the second place were the rulers, also known as Kshatriyas. They were expected to fight battles and protect people.
  3. Third were the vish or the vaishyas. They were expected to be farmers, herders, and traders. Both the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas could perform sacrifices.
  4. Last were the Shudras, who had to serve the other three groups and could not perform any rituals. Often, women were also grouped with the Shudras. Neither women nor Shudras were allowed to study the Vedas.

 Q16: Explain the term gana or Sangha and its functions.

Ans: In a gana or Sangha, there was not one, but many rulers. Sometimes, even when thousands of men ruled together, each one was known as a raja, and they formed a republic together. These rajas performed rituals together. They also met in assemblies and made decisions through discussions and debates. When they were attacked by the enemy, they gathered together and decided what to do.

Q17: What archaeological excavations tell about the ‘janapadas’ settlements?

Ans: Archaeologists have excavated a number of settlements in these janapadas, such as Purana Qila in Delhi, Hastinapur near Meerut, and Atranjikhera near Etah (the last two are in Uttar Pradesh). They found that people lived in huts and kept cattle as well as other animals. They also grew various crops — rice, wheat, barley, pulses, sugarcane, sesame, and mustard.

Q18: What were the characteristics of the earthen pots used by the people in janapadas?

Ans: The people of janapadas made clay(earthen) pots. Some of these were grey in color, and others were red. One special type of pottery found at these sites is known as Painted Grey Ware. As is clear from the name, these were grey pots and had painted designs, usually simple lines and geometric patterns.

Q19: Why was the capital city of Mahajanapadas fortified?

Ans: The capital city of Mahajanapadas was fortified with huge walls of wood, bricks, or stones around them because people were afraid of attacks from other kings and needed protection. Some rulers wanted to show how rich and powerful they were by building huge walls and forts.

Q20: How did the fortification of their land help the rulers in controlling their people living in the mahajanapadas?

Ans: The fortification helped the Rajas in many ways; they were able to control the people and land inside the fortification.

Q21: Why were taxes collected by the rulers of the Mahajanapadas?

Ans: To build huge forts and maintain big armies, the rulers needed more resources. So the rulers collected regular levies instead of depending on occasional gifts from the people.

Q22: Describe the system of government in Vajji.

Ans : The system of government in Vajji was known as gana or sangha. Vajji was administered by not one but many rulers. Each ruler was known as a raja. These rajas performed all the rituals together. All these rajas met in assemblies. Through discussions and debates in these assemblies, they decided what had to be done and how. Both Buddha and Mahavira belonged to ganas and sanghas.

Q23: What were the features of the taxation system in Mahajanapadas in ancient India?

Ans: Taxes were collected in Mahajanapadas from the common people to build the city's infrastructure and maintain big armies to protect the city. Taxes from the crops were the most important source of revenue for the king’s officials. The crop tax was fixed at 1/6th of the produce or bhaga (share). Craftspeople were also made to pay taxes in the form of labor provided for a day to the king. Herders were made to pay taxes in kind and would have to give up animals or animal produce as tax. There were taxes on tradable goods and forest produce. The king was the main beneficiary of these taxes.

Q24: What is the difference between the Republican and the Monarchical Mahajanapadas?

Ans: A republican Mahajanapad was ruled by a group elected by the common people called the sangha. Monarchies were ruled by kings, and their word was law.



Questions and Answers


Q1: Why did agriculture flourish in the Mahajanapadas?

Ans: Around 600 B.C. two major changes occurred in agriculture. One was an increase in the use of iron ploughshare. By using an iron ploughshare, heavy, clayey soil could be turned over better than with a wooden ploughshare. This led to an increase in the production of grains. Secondly, the transplantation of paddy began during this time. In this process, instead of scattering seeds on the ground, saplings were grown and then planted in the fields. This led to increased production, as many more plants survived. As a result of these two changes, agriculture flourished in the Mahajanapadas.

Q2: How did the use of iron ploughshare and the transplantation of paddy increase production during the age of mahajanapadas?

Ans: The use of an iron ploughshare helped to turn over the heavy, clayey soil, which was not possible with a wooden ploughshare. This increased the production. Second, people began transplanting paddy. This meant that saplings were grown and then planted in the fields instead of scattering seeds on the ground, from which plants would germinate. This led to increased production as more plants survived. This, however, was back-breaking work.

The document Class 6 History Chapter 5 Question Answers - Kingdoms, Kings and an Early Republic is a part of the Class 6 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 6.
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FAQs on Class 6 History Chapter 5 Question Answers - Kingdoms, Kings and an Early Republic

1. What were the different kingdoms during the early republic?
Ans. During the early republic, there were several prominent kingdoms in different regions. Some of the major kingdoms were the Maurya Empire, Gupta Empire, Chola Kingdom, Vijayanagara Empire, and the Pallava Kingdom.
2. Who were the famous kings during the early republic?
Ans. There were several famous kings who ruled during the early republic. Some notable kings include Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka the Great, Samudragupta, Harsha Vardhana, and Rajendra Chola I.
3. How did the early republic influence the development of these kingdoms?
Ans. The early republic had a significant influence on the development of these kingdoms. It provided a stable political environment, which allowed for the consolidation of power and expansion of territories. Additionally, the exchange of ideas and cultural interactions during this period contributed to the growth and prosperity of these kingdoms.
4. What were the major achievements of these kingdoms?
Ans. The major achievements of these kingdoms varied across different regions and time periods. Some common achievements include the establishment of strong administrative systems, advancements in art, architecture, and literature, economic prosperity through trade and agriculture, and the spread of religion and philosophical ideas.
5. How did the kingdoms contribute to the overall history of the early republic?
Ans. The kingdoms played a crucial role in shaping the history of the early republic. They contributed to the political, economic, and cultural development of the region. The rise and fall of these kingdoms influenced the balance of power and the emergence of new dynasties. Their legacies continue to have an impact on the historical narrative of the early republic.
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