Reconstructing History Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Reconstructing History Questions & Answers.

In my previous post, I have shared Objective Type Questions & Answers of Reconstructing History so, make sure to check this post as well. I have also shared the questions and answers of Indus Valley Civilization and The Vedic Age so, you can check these posts as well.

Reconstructing History Questions & Answers

Question 1: Define history.

Answer: The word ‘history’ used to refer to accounts of events that are narrated in a chronological order, and deal with the past of humankind.

Question 2: What are manuscripts?

Answer: A manuscript is a document that is written by hand. Manuscripts give information about the lives of kings, religious beliefs and practices, medicine and science, etc. Manuscripts were written on metal, bark, palm leaf, cloth etc.

Question 3: What information do the Jain texts provide?

Answer: The Jain texts composed in 6th century CE impart with the information on political history of present-day eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Question 4: Name the four Vedas.

Answer: The four Vedas – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda

Question 5: What kind of information do religious scriptures provide us with?

Answer: Information about the social, political, cultural and religious life of people is known through the study of scriptures.

Question 6: How did India get its name?

Answer: India and Bharat are the two terms we often use for addressing our country. The word India is derived from the river Indus or Sindhu (the Sanskrit name of the river). About 2500 years ago, the Iranians and the Greeks came to India through the Northwest side. They were familiar with the river Indus. They called it the Hindos or the Indos and the region to the east of the river Indus was called India. The name Bharata was used to refer a group of people who lived in Northwest part of India. Their reference can be found in Rig Veda which is the earliest composition in Sanskrit, dated to around 3500 years ago. Subsequently, this name was used for the country.

Question 7: Evaluate the importance of studying history.

Answer: The study of history helps us understand how the present world evolved over long centuries of development. It tells us about the history of the present. We all live in a society, but it was not the way we see it. History makes us aware about these pasts. It takes us to another age, another world in which people lived their lives differently. Their food, clothes, buildings, society, economy, faiths, beliefs, arts and crafts were completely different. History equips us with the knowledge and understanding of the past, which is necessary for coping with the present. Subsequently, it helps us to plan for a better future. People who lived before us made several discoveries and inventions which eventually transformed many societies. The study of history explicates how such changes have taken place over a period of time. These changes were apparently so small and often so gradual that their impact was not even noticed by the people at that point in time. It is only when we study about the past; we observe such changes and its impact. It is not merely about the kings, queens, great men or their conquests and policies. It is also about the lives and activities of ordinary people. One can develop important qualities and skills by studying history. Therefore, it becomes essential to study history to understand how our pasts have shaped the present.

Reconstructing History Questions & Answers

Question 8: ‘Coins give us information that no other source does.’ Justify the statement.

Answer: The metal used in the coins indicates the advancement made in metallurgy during the period. They also throw light on the economic history of the era. Coins tell us about the territorial extent of the ruler as well as the chronology of a ruling dynasty. The images on the coins help us in interpreting the religious and cultural state of various ages. For example, the coins of Chandragupta II bear the figure of Goddess Lakshmi, whereas gold coins of his successor Kumargupta I show him as a devotee of God Kartikeya.

Question 9: How does the religious literature helps us to reconstruct the Indian history?

Answer: Information about the social, political, cultural and religious life of people is known through the study of scriptures. They provide us with information about the social conditions and religious beliefs during Vedic and later Vedic period. The four Vedas – the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva Veda belong to the ancient religious texts. Other ancient texts comprise of the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, the Upanishads, the Epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the Puranas. The Jain texts composed in 6th century CE impart with the information on political history of present-day eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The religious books of the Buddhists provide information about the historical personalities and incidents. They throw light on the life of the Gautam Buddha and some of his contemporaries.

Question 10: How did the rivers help to grow the large kingdoms?

Answer: The importance of the Himalayas and mountain ranges has more to do with the fact that the two great perennial river systems, the Indus and the Ganga, arise from them. Both these systems gave rise to the fertile northern plains on which arose the ancient civilisation. The navigability of the northern rivers helped internal trade and commerce; Ancient river ports such as Kanauj, Banaras (present-day Varanasi), Pataliputra (present-day Patna) and Prayag (present-day Prayagraj) became centres of trade. This, along with the productivity of the fertile plains, helped the growth of large kingdoms.

Question 11: The works by foreign travellers have to be read with some caution. Give reasons.

Answer: The works written by foreign travellers have to be read with some caution, as some of the travellers made certain observations about India which are not correct. Possibly, in some instances, the foreigners failed to evaluate rightly the Indian way of life owing to their lack of knowledge about Indian languages and customs and hence they misrepresented.

Reconstructing History Questions & Answers

Question 12: How do monuments help in the reconstruction of history?

Answer: Monuments help the historians in gathering information on social life, religious beliefs, economic prosperity, artistic skills and town planning of that era.

Question 13: Write a brief note on periodization of history.

Answer: Periodization is the division of history into periods of time for the purposes of discussion and treatment. Historians have divided the past into prehistory, proto-history and history.

i. Prehistory

The prehistoric period is the time before writing was invented. Hence, there are no written records available of this period. Hence, this period is called as prehistory for example, the Stone Age. Information about prehistoric times is collected by archaeologists by excavating and studying the remains of the past. These material remains such as bones, tools, coins, jewellery, ruins of buildings, etc. help them to know about the past.

ii. Proto-history

The proto-historic period is the time just before the beginning of recorded history. The Indus Valley Civilization and the Chalcolithic age are examples of proto-history. Several inscriptions, seals, etc. have been discovered belonging to this period. The people of the Indus Valley knew the art of writing but historians have not been able to read this script. Therefore, the period comes under the proto-historic phase.

iii. History

History is the period after writing was invented, for example the Vedic Age. Historians have been able to decipher the writing of this period. Written records of this period are important for reconstruction history. Many of these records are found on rocks, stone walls, pillars, copper plates, clay tablets, bark of the birch, etc. The entire historical period is often sub-divided into three periods by historians. They are Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods. This year we shall be studying about the ancient history of India.

Question 14: Describe the influence of geography in shaping the history of India.

Answer: The geography of a country plays a significant role in shaping its history. The Southern, peninsular part of the Indian sub-continent is surrounded by seas, while the Himalayas in the North and mountain ranges of the East and West separate North India from the rest of Asia. Nevertheless, the Bolan, Gomal and Khyber passes in the Northwest, allowed the early migration of various races from Central and West Asia to invade India. Passes along the Northern Mountains linked with Central Asia and Tibet, assisted in the spread of Buddhism into these regions. In the northeast mountains, there are fewer passes, which effectively kept China separated from India. However, the importance of the Himalayas and mountain ranges has more to do with the fact that the two great perennial river systems, the Indus and the Ganga, arise from them. Both these systems gave rise to the fertile northern plains on which arose the ancient civilisation. The navigability of the northern rivers helped internal trade and commerce; Ancient river ports such as Kanauj, Banaras (present-day Varanasi), Pataliputra (present-day Patna) and Prayag (present-day Prayagraj) became centres of trade. This, along with the productivity of the fertile plains, helped the growth of large kingdoms. To the south of the Gangetic plain are the Vindhya Ranges. They cut across the middle of the subcontinent, thus, acting as a barrier between the northern and the southern parts of the subcontinent. This led to the creation of two distinct cultures – the Vedic culture of the North and the Dravidian culture of the South.

So, these were Reconstructing History Questions & Answers.