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India's Rulers and Society

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1 India's Rulers and Society
6th Grade UBD - Unit 4 - India's Rulers and Society India's Rulers and Society

2 Preview Aryans in India- The Aryans invaded India from the northwest around 1500 BCE and had a major cultural influence on the population already living there. India’s Caste System- The caste system in India was introduced by the Aryans and based on ideas introduced in the Vedas. The Mauryan and Gupta Empires- Religious developments and other advances during the Mauryan and Gupta Empires had a strong impact on Indian society.

3 Reach Into Your Background
Untouchables are members of the lowest class in Indian society and often suffer discrimination at the hands of the higher classes. Predict how social class impacted the lives of the Ancient Indian people? (5 minutes)

4 Partner Activity Work with a neighbor and compare your answer with theirs. What things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

5 Key Ideas- Aryans in India
The Aryan religion of Brahmanism developed into Hinduism. The Aryans introduced the language of Sanskrit and developed its written alphabet. The Aryan caste system was adopted and used by Indians for many centuries.

6 Aryan Invasion For much of its early history, India was isolated by natural barriers such as mountains. However, at times other civilizations and groups of people were able to cross the mountains and enter into the territory. One of these groups was the Aryans.

7 Key Term Natural Barrier- An obstruction that occurs naturally, for example a mountain range. Natural barriers have been important factors in human history, by obstructing migration and invasion.  

8 Aryan Invasion The Aryan invaders conquered the people of the Indus River civilization in India. They settled in the fertile valleys as farmers, raising cattle and horses that they had brought with them.

9 Aryan Invasion The Aryan brought their own religion, or set of beliefs and rituals, as well as their own cultural customs. These ideas blended with existing cultures to shape life in South Asia.

10 Aryan Cultural Contributions
One of the most significant changes was the establishment of their religion. The Aryans worshipped many gods. They believed these gods lived in nature.

11 The Vedas The Vedas are written collections of hymns, prayers, chants, and other religious writings that make up the most important part of the sacred texts of Hinduism. They were probably collected over several centuries and passed down orally.

12 Key Term Vedas- A written collections of hymns, prayers, chants, and other religious writings that make up the most important part of the sacred texts of Hinduism. 

13 Key Term Hinduism- The dominant religion in India, is one of the world’s oldest religions. Believed to originated on the Indian subcontinent around 1500 BCE. 

14 The Vedas The Vedas are believed to have first been written down in Sanskrit, one of the ancient languages of India, between 1500 and 1200 BCE.

15 Hinduism Over time Aryan religion mixed with local Indian beliefs and practices to form Hinduism, a new religion. Hinduism combined a wide range of traditions and is still practiced by more than 800 million people around the world.

16 The History of Hinduism
Video- The History of Hinduism

17 Aryan Cultural Contributions
Religion was not the only change the Aryans made to Indian society. They also established their idea of social classes.

18 Key Ideas- India’s Caste System
The caste system consisted of give major castes or groups: the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas, the Shudras, and the Dalits/ Untouchables. A person's caste ruled his or her life. It determined things like occupation, who a person could marry, what a person could eat, and where a person lived Discrimination based on the caste system was outlawed in 1949, but the caste system continues to create political and social divisions in India, particularly in rural areas.

19 Key Term Caste System-Arranges people into hereditary groups within a society. 

20 Aryan Cultural Contributions
The Aryans used these ideas to create a hierarchy in society. The system they introduced is called the caste system and it remained a dominant part of Indian culture until the mid-1900s.

21 Aryan Cultural Contributions
The caste system divided people into groups that dictated what jobs they could have, who they could marry, and where they could live.

22 The Caste System A person’s status and role within society was tied to the group, or caste, he or she belonged to. Different groups in society were responsible for different jobs and responsibilities.

23 The Caste System People in one group were not allowed to marry people from another group. A person was born into a group and was not allowed to change groups at any point in life. The caste system remained a dominant force in Indian society for many centuries.

24 The Caste System Brahmans (Priests, Judges, and Scholars)
Kshatriyas (Soldiers) Vaisyas (Merchants and Farmers) Shudras (Peasants, Servants, and Laborers) Dalits/Untouchables (Outcasts)

25 Independent Activity In the United States, because of a universal education system and rights promoting equal opportunities for everyone. Explain what it would be like living in a country where your social class and opportunities are set for life, before you are even born? (5 minutes)

26 The Caste System Today As India became more urbanized in the 1900s, people of different castes began interacting with one another, particularly in the cities.

27 The Caste System Today Discrimination based on the caste system was eventually made illegal in 1949. Ever since, the government has created laws protecting people from lower castes against discrimination.

28 The Caste System Video- The Caste System

29 Key Ideas- The Mauryan and Gupta Empires
The Mauryan Empire connected most of India under one territory by conquering other states or local kingdoms. Emperor Ashoka was one of the most influential historical figures in ancient India. Ashoka converted to Buddhism and encouraged the spread of Buddhism in India. Gupta mathematicians developed a decimal system of writing and used zeroes as placeholders.

30 Ancient Warriors of India
Video- Ancient Warriors of India

31 The Maurya Elephant Army
Video- The Maurya Elephant Army

32 The Mauryan Empire India's first empire, the Mauryan Empire, was established around 322 BCE. A great military leader, Chandragupta Maurya, was the first true emperor in India. His grandson Ashoka is remembered as one of the greatest kings in India's history.

33 The Mauryan Empire Ashoka was an experienced warrior and extended the lands of the empire. Around 256 BCE invaded the Kalingas another powerful kingdom and defeat them. However, he was overcome by the death and destruction he witnessed.

34 The Mauryan Empire After the battle Ashoka converted to Buddhism and instituted new policies throughout the empire. He promoted peace, opened universities, and established new trade routes for his people.

35 The Mauryan Empire Ashoka had stone pillars erected throughout India. These pillars were covered in engravings and markings that told his story and shared his religious philosophies with his people.

36 Key Term Buddhism- Is both a religion and a philosophy. Today Buddhism is the fourth largest religion on Earth, with about 360 million followers.

37 Gupta Empire Around 320 CE, the Gupta Empire came into being. The Gupta dynasty ruled India for about 215 years. During this time, the dynasty built roads throughout the empire, reestablished Hinduism as the main religion in India, and made many scientific, mathematical, and cultural advances.


39 Gupta Empire The creation of the numeric system upon which our modern system is based and the introduction of the number zero as a placeholder are among the important developments that occurred during the Gupta period.

40 Numerals and the Origin of Zero
Video- Numerals and the Origin of Zero

41 Independent Activity What has been the “muddiest” point so far in this lesson? That is, what topic remains the least clear to you? (4 minutes)

42 Partner Activity Work with a neighbor and compare your muddiest point with theirs. Compare what things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

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