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India Terms

Ap World History - Summerville High School

TermDefinition
Indus River river sources in Himalayas to mouth of Arabian Sea; location of Harappan civilization.
Harappa along with Mohenjodaro, major urban complex of the Harappan civilization; laid out on planned grid pattern.
Aryans Indo-European nomadic, warlike, pastoralists who replaced Harappan civilization; militarized society.
Vedas Aryan hymns originally transmitted orally but written down in sacred books from the 6th century B.C.E.
Mahabharata Indian epic of war, princely honor, love, and social duty; written down in the last centuries B.C.E.; previously handed down in oral form.
Ramayana one of the great epic tales from classical India; traces adventures of King Rama and his wife, Sita; written 4th to 2nd centuries B.C.E.
Upanishads later books of the Vedas; contained sophisticated and sublime philosophical ideas; utilized by Brahmans to restore religious authority.
Buddha creator of a major Indian and Asian religion; born in the 6th century B.C.E.; taught that enlightenment could be achieved only by abandoning desires for earthly things.
Alexander the Great successor of Philip II; successfully conquered the Persian empire prior to his death in 323 B.C.E.; attempted to combine Greek and Persian cultures.
Himalayas mountain region marking the northern border of the Indian subcontinent.
monsoons seasonal winds crossing Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia; during summer bring rains.
Sanskrit the classical and sacred Indian language.
Varnas clusters of caste groups in Aryan society; four social castes—brahmans (priests), warriors, merchants, and peasants; beneath four Aryan castes was group of socially untouchable Dasas.
Indra chief deity of the Aryans; depicted as a colossal, hard-drinking warrior.
Chandragupta Maurya founder of the Mauryan dynasty, the first empire in the Indian subcontinent; first centralized government since Harappan civilization.
Mauryan dynasty established in Indian subcontinent in 4th century B.C.E. following the invasion of Alexander the Great.
Ashoka grandson of Chandragupta Maurya; extended conquests of the dynasty; converted to Buddhism and sponsored its spread throughout his empire.
dharma the caste position and career determined by a person’s birth; Hindu culture required that one accept one’s social position and perform their occupation to the best of one’s ability in order to have a better situation in the next life.
Kushans see Kush, Chapter 3.
Guptas dynasty that succeeded the Kushans in the 3rd century C.E., which included all but southern Indian regions; less centralized than Mauryan Empire.
Kautilya political advisor to Chandragupta Maurya; wrote political treatise.
gurus originally referred to as brahmans, who served as teachers for the princes of the imperial court of the Guptas.
Vishnu the brahman, later Hindu, god of sacrifice; widely worshipped.
Shiva Hindu god of destruction and reproduction; worshipped as the personification of cosmic forces of change.
reincarnation the successive rebirth of the soul according to merits earned in previous lives.
nirvana the Buddhist state of enlightenment; a state of tranquility.
Kamasutra written by Vatsayana during Gupta era; offered instructions on all aspects of life for higher-caste males, including grooming, hygiene, etiquette, selection of wives, and lovemaking.
stupas stone shrines built to house relics of the Buddha; preserved Buddhist architectural forms.
Harsha ruler who followed Guptas in India; briefly constructed a loose empire in northern India between 616 and 657 C.E.
Rajput regional military princes in India following the collapse of the Gupta Empire.
Devi mother goddess within Hinduism; devotion to her spread widely after the collapse of the Gupta and encouraged new emotionalism in religious ritual
Mahmud of Ghazni ruler of an Afghan dynasty; invaded northern India during the 11th century.
Muhammad of Ghur Persian ruler of a small Afghan kingdom; invaded and conquered much of northern India.
Qutb-ud-din Aibak lieutenant of Muhammad of Ghur; established kingdom in India with the capital at Delhi.
bhaktic cults Hindu religious groups who stressed the importance of strong emotional bonds between devotees and the gods or goddesses—especially Shiva, Vishnu, and Kali.
Mir Bai low-caste woman poet and songwriter in bhaktic cults.
Kabir 15th-century Muslim mystic who played down the differences between Hinduism and Islam.
Shrivijaya trading empire based on the Malacca straits; its Buddhist government resisted Muslim missionaries; when it fell, southeastern Asia was opened to Islam.
Malacca flourishing trading city in Malaya; established a trading empire after the fall of Shrivijaya.
Demak most powerful of the trading states on the north Java coast; converted to Islam and served as a dissemination point to other regions.
Timur-i Lang last major nomad leader; 14th, known to the West as Tamerlane; century Turkic ruler of Samarkand; launched attacks in Persia, Fertile Crescent, India, southern Russia; empire disintegrated after h is death in 1405.
Calcutta British East India Company headquarters in Bengal; captured in 1756 by Indians; later became administrative center for populous Bengal.
Treaty of Paris concluded in 1763 following the Seven Years’ War; Britain gained New France and ended France’s importance in India.
East India Companies British and Dutch trading companies that obtained government monopolies of trade to India and Asia; acted independently in their regions.
Safavid dynasty founded by a Turkic nomad family with Shi’a Islamic beliefs; established a kingdom in Iran and ruled until 1722.
Mughal empire established by Turkic invaders in 1526; endured until the mid-19th century.
Babur Turkic leader who founded the Mughal dynasty; died in 1530.
Humayn son and successor of Babur; expelled from India in 1540 but returned to restore the dynasty in 1556.
Akbar son and successor of Humayn; built up the military and administrative structure of the dynasty; followed policies of cooperation and toleration with the Hindu majority.
Din-i-Ilahi religion initiated by Akbar that blended elements of Islam and Hinduism; did not survive his death.
Aurangzeb son and successor of Shah Jahan; pushed extent of Mughal control in India; reversed previous policies to purify Islam of Hindu influences; incessant warfare depleted the empire’s resources; died in 1707.
Taj Mahal mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, built by her husband Shah Jahan; most famous architectural achievement of Mughal India.
Nur Jahan wife of ruler Jahangir who amassed power at the Mughal court and created a faction ruling the empire during the later years of his reign.
Mumtaz Mahal wife of Shah Jahan; took an active political role in Mughal court; entombed in Taj Mahal.
Marattas people of western India; challenged Mughal rule under Aurangzeb.
Sikhs Indian sect, beginning as a synthesis of Hindu and Muslim faiths; pushed to opposition to Muslim and Mughul rule.
caravels Slender, long-hulled vessels used by Portuguese; highly maneuverable and able to sail against the wind; key to development of Portuguese trade empire in Asia.
Asian sea trading network divided, from West to East, into three zones prior to the European arrival; an Arab zone based on glass, carpets, and tapestries; an Indian zone with cotton textiles; and a Chinese zone with paper, porcelain, and silks.
mercantilists proponents of mercantilism; an economic theory that gave central importance to maintaining a positive balance of trade with other nations.
Goa Indian city developed by the Portuguese as a major Indian Ocean base; developed an important Indo-European population.
factories European trading fortresses and compounds with resident merchants; used throughout the Portuguese trading empire to ensure secure landing places and commerce.
Batavia Dutch establishment on Java; created in 1620.
Dutch trading empire the Dutch system extending into Asia with fortified towns and factories, warships on patrol, and monopoly control of a limited number of products.
Francis Xavier Franciscan missionary who worked in India during the 1540s among outcast and lower-caste groups; later worked in Japan.
Robert di Nobili Italian Jesuit active in India during the early 1600s; failed in a policy of converting indigenous elites first.
Mataram controlled most of interior Java in the 17th century; weakness of the state after the 1670s allowed the Dutch to expand their control over all of Java.
sepoys Indian troops, trained in European style, serving the French and British.
British Raj the British political establishment in India.
Plassey (1757) battle between the troops of the British East India Company and the Indian ruler of Bengal; British victory gave them control of northeast India.
Robert Clive architect of British victory at Plassey; established foundations of the Raj in northern India.
presidencies three districts that comprised the bulk of British-ruled territories in India during the early 19th century; capitals at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay.
princely states ruled by Indian princes allied with the Raj; agents of the East India Company were stationed at their courts to ensure loyalty.
nabobs name given to British who went to India to make fortunes through graft and exploitation; returned to Britain to live richly.
Lord Charles Cornwallis British official who reformed East India Company corruption during the 1790s.
Ram Mohun Roy western-educated Indian leader, early 19th century; cooperated with British to outlaw sati.
Isandhlwana (1879) Zulu defeat of a British army; one of the few indigenous victories over 19th-century European armies.
tropical dependencies Western European possessions in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific where small numbers of Europeans ruled large indigenous populations.
settlement colonies colonies—such as South Africa, New Zealand, Algeria, Kenya, and Hawaii—where minority European populations lived among majority indigenous peoples.
White Dominions a type of settlement colony—as in North America and Australia—where European settlers made up the majority of the population.
white racial supremacy belief in the inherent superiority of whites over the rest of humanity; peaked in the period before World War I.
National Congress party political party that grew from regional associations of Western-educated Indians in 1885; dominated by elites; was the principal party throughout the colonial period and after independence.
B. G. Tilak first populist leader in India; believed that Indian nationalism should be grounded in the Hindu majority; exiled by the British.
Morley-Minto Reforms (1909) provided Indians with expanded opportunities to elect and serve on local and national legislative councils.
Montagu-Chelmsford reforms (1919) increased national powers of Indian legislators and placed provincial administrations under ministries controlled by Indian-elected legislatures.
Rowlatt Act (1919) placed severe restrictions on Indian civil rights; undercut impact of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms.
Mohandas Gandhi Western-educated Indian lawyer and nationalist politician with many attributes of an Indian holy man; stressed nonviolent tactics and headed the movement for Indian independence.
satyagraha “truth force”; Gandhi’s policy of nonviolent opposition to British rule.
Quit India movement mass civil disobedience campaign against the British rulers of India in 1942.
Muslim League Indian organization that emerged at the end of World War II; backed Britain in the war.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah Muslim Indian nationalist; leader of the Muslim League; worked for a separate Muslim state; first president of Pakistan.
Bangladesh formerly East Pakistan; after a civil war became independent in 1972.
Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India (r. 1966–1977, 1980–1984); daughter of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; dominated Indian politics for several decades.
Jawaharal Nehru one of Gandhi’s disciples; governed India after independence (1947); committed to program of social reform and economic development; preserved civil rights and democracy.
Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister of Pakistan, (r. 1988–1990, 1993–1996).
religious revivalism an approach to religious belief and practice that stresses the literal interpretation of texts sacred to the religion in question and the application of their precepts to all aspects of social life.
primary products food or industrial crops with a high demand in industrialized economies; their prices tend to fluctuate widely.
neocolonial economy industrialized nation’s continued dominance of the world economy, despite the absence of direct political control over the non-industrialized world.
Created by: amygilstrap7