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NCERT Solutions For Class 7 History Social Science Chapter 1 Tracing Changes Through A Thousand Years

Question 1. Who was considered a ‘foreigner’ in the past?
Answer:  The term ‘foreigner’ is used in the sense of a person who is not an Indian. In the medieval period it was applied to any stranger who appeared, say in a given village, someone who was not a part of that society or culture. In this sense a forest-dweller was a foreigner for a city-dweller. But two peasants living in the same village were not foreigners to each other, even though they may have had different religious or caste backgrounds.

Question  2. State whether true or false:

  • We do not find inscriptions for the period after 700.
  • The Maraihas asserted their political importance during this period.
  • Forest-dwellers were sometimes pushed out of their lands with the spread of agricultural settlements.
  • Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban controlled Assam, Manipur and Kashmir.

Answer:  (a) False; (b) False; (c) True; (d) False

Question 3. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Archives are places where………….. are kept.
(b) …………….was a fourteenth-century chronicler.
(c) ……., ……., ………, ……… and ………… were some of the crops introduced into the subcontinent during this period.
Answer:  (a) Manuscripts
(b) Ziyauddin Barani
(c) Potatoes, com, chillies, tea, coffee.

Question 4. List some of the technological changes associated with this period.
Some of the technological changes associated with this period are:

  1. Persian wheel in irrigation.
  2. Spinning wheel.
  3. Fire-arms in combat.

Question 5. What were some of the major religious developments during this period?
Some of the major significant religious developments occurred in Hinduism. The worship of new deities, the construction of temples by royalty and growing importance of Brahmanas, the priests, as dominant groups in society were the new changes. Brahmanas’ importance grew due to their knowledge of Sanskrit language. They were patronized by the Emperors. The idea of bhakti emerged among people. The merchants and migrants brought with them the teachings of Quran, the holy book of Muslims.

Question 6. In what ways has the meaning of the term ‘Hindustan’ charged over the centuries?
The meaning of the term ‘Hindustan’ has changed over the centuries in the following manner:

  1. In the thirteenth century Minhaj-i-Siraj used the term ‘Hindustan’. He meant areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands between Ganga and Yamuna. He used this term in a political sense that were a part of the dominions of the Delhi Sultanate. The term never included South India.
  2. In the sixteenth century poet Babur used the term ‘Hindustan’ to describe the geography, the fauna and the culture of the inhabitants of the subcontinent.
  3. In fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau used the term ‘Hind’ in the same sense as Babur did in the sixteenth century.
  4. ‘Hindustan’ did not carry the political and national meanings as the term ‘India’ does today.

Question  7. How were the affairs of jatis regulated?
The affairs of jatis were regulated in the following way:

  1. Jatis formed their own rules and regulations.
  2. There was an assembly of elders called jati panchayat.
  3. It enforced the rules and regulations.
  4. Jatis were also directed to follow the rules of the village.
  5. Several villages were governed by a chieftain.

Question 8. What does the term pan-regional empire mean?
The term ‘pan-regional’ was used in the sense of the areas of empires spanning diverge regions. The dynasties like Cholas, Khaljis, Tughluqs, and Mughals extended their empires pan-regional. Though, not all these empires were equally stable or successful. But pan-regional rule altered the character of the regions. Most of the regions across the subcontinent were left with the legacies of the big and small states that had ruled over them. The emergence of many distinct and shared traditions in governance the economy elite cultures and languages were some of the prominent factors that took place as a result of pan-regional rules.

Question 9. What are the difficulties historians face in using manuscripts?
Historians faced a lot of difficulties while using manuscripts because:

  1. There was no printing press in the 13th and 14th centuries. Scribes in those days made manuscripts by hand.
  2. To copy was not an easy exercise. Scribes could not read the handwriting of the other writers.
  3. They were forced to guess. So there were small but significant differences in the copy of the scribed.
  4. These small words or sentences here and there grew over centuries of copying.
  5. The manuscripts of the same text became a great extent different from the original.

Question 10. How do historians divide the past into periods? Do they face any problems in doing so?
Historians divide the past into periods on the basis of continuity. This continuity is further based on:

  1. Coins
  2. Inscriptions
  3. Architecture
  4. Textual records

But they face difficulties in doing so as discontinuity exists.

  1. Textual records increased tremendously.
  2. They gradually displaced other types of available information.

Thousand years of human history (or of any country or region) witnessed a number of changes. After all, the ancient history of India is different from that of the other two periods i.e., the medieval period and modem period. Therefore describing the entire period as one historical unit is not an easy task.

Question 11. Compare either Map 1 or Map 2 with the present-day map of the subcontinent listing as many similarities and differences as you can find.
Map 1 and Map 2 given in the NCERT Textbook represent two different times. Map 1 was made in 1154 CE by al-Idrisi, an Arab geographer. This section is a detail of the Indian subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2 was made by a French cartographer in 1720. Both maps are quite different from each other, even though they represent the same area. In Map 1 we find south India at the place where we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is the island at the top. The place names are in Arabic. Some familiar places like Kanauj in Uttar Pradesh have been spelt as Qanauj. In comparison to this Map 2 was made nearly 600 later after Map 1. By that time information about the subcontinent had changed a lot. This map appears to be more familiar to us. The coastal areas, particularly, are more detailed.

Question 12. Find out where records are kept in your village or city. Who writes these records? Is there an archive? Who manages it? What kinds of documents are stored there? Who are the people who use it?

  1. Records are kept in our city at the archives. These records are written by the officials of the Revenue Department.
  2. The in charge of the Archives/ Deputy Director of Archives manages these records.
  3. Rare manuscripts, government records, and other valuable books, etc. are stored there.
  4. Scholars, researchers, and government officials use them.

V. Very Short Answer Type Questions

Question 1. Who was al-Idrisi?
Answer:  al-Idrisi was an Arab cartographer.

Question 2. Who is a ‘cartographer’?
Answer:  Cartographer is one who draws a map.

Question 3. What difference do you notice in the map drawn by al-Idrisi?
Answer: In the map drawn by al-Idrisi we find a completely different view. Here south India is shown at present North India and Sri Lanka is the island at the top

Question 4. Who used the term Hindustan for the first time and when?
Answer:  Minhaj-i Siraj used the term ‘Hindustan’ for the first time in the thirteenth century.

Question 5. What sources do historians use for the study of a particular period of history?[V. Imp.]
Ans. The historians use sources like coins, inscriptions, architectures, and textual records for the study of a specific period.

Question 6. What do you mean by archives?
Answer:  Archives were the places where manuscripts were collected.

Question 7. Who were scribes?
Answer: Scribes were those professionals who used to copy down the manuscripts.

Question 8. How did the scribes copy down the manuscripts?
Answer: Scribes copied down the manuscripts by hand.

Question 9. What changes took place during 700 and 1750? [V. Imp.]
Answer: Many technologies like the Persian wheel in irrigation, the spinning wheel in weaving, and firearms in combat made their appearance. Some new foods and beverages like potatoes, corn, chilies, tea, and coffee also arrived in the subcontinent.

Question 10. What factors contributed to a variety of developments?
Answer: The new technologies and innovations came to the subcontinent with the people who came from other areas and settled here.

Question 11. What were the new groups of people to be prominent at this age? [V. Imp.]
Answer: Rajputs, Marathas, Sikhs, Jats, Ahoms, and Kayasthas were the groups which came to be prominent in this age. They availed most of the opportunities of society.

Question 12. What do you mean by Jati Panchayat?
Answer: Jati Panchayat was the assembly of elders that controlled the conduct of the members of their jati They had their own rules and regulations.

Question 13. Who was the Chief of the village?
Answer: Villages were controlled by a Chieftain. Even the smaller Jati Panchayats were bound to follow the village administration.

Question 14. What was the stretch of Delhi Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban’s Empire?
Answer: According to a Sanskrit Prashasti Delhi Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban’s empire was stretched from Bengal (Gauda) in the east to Ghazni (Gajjana) in Afghanistan in the west. It also included all of south India (Dravida)

Question 15. Why did Brahmanas dominate in society during this period? [Imp.]
Answer: Brahmanas were the only class of people who were proficient in the Sanskrit language. This was the reason that made them prominent.

Question 16. Who were the patrons?
Answer:  Patrons were a group of rulers and rich class of people who provided protection and livelihood to the Brahmanas, artists, and poets.

Question 17. What was the major development of this age?
Answer: The emergence of the idea of bhakti was the major development of this age.

Question 18. How history was divided by historians during the middle of the nineteenth century?
Answer: The British historians divided the history of India into three periods—:P

  • Hindu,
  • Muslim and
  • British.

Question 19. What was the basis of such division?
Answer: Such division was made on the basis of the religion as the historians did not consider any aspect more prominent other than the developments in religions.

Short Answer Type Questions

Question 1.  What difference do you trace out in the region of Hindustan of the thirteenth century and the modem India?
Answer: The term ‘Hindustan’ in the thirteenth century implied the areas of Punjab, Haryana, and the lands between the Ganga and Yamuna. Minhaj-i Siraj used the term in a political sense for lands consisting of a part of the dominions of the Delhi Sultanate. The areas included in this term shifted with the extent of the Sultanate. However, it never included south India.

Question 2. What does time mean for historians? How does it help them? [V. Imp.]
Answer:  Time, for historians, doesn’t mean just a passing of hours, days, or years. Instead, it reflects changes in social and economic organization, in the persistence and transformation of ideas and beliefs. In order to study historical developments historians divide the past into large segments. It makes the study convenient. The historians study different aspects of the specific period and then assess the comparative developments their impact on society and their contribution to the future generations.

Question 3. What do you mean by pan-regional rule? What was its impact? [V. Imp.]

Answer:  Pan-regional rule applies to the trend of extending the empire to the region beyond one’s own state. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century, many regional states emerged. Consequently, a chance of sharing different traditions in the realms of governance, economy, elite cultures, and languages was brightened. People knew a lot of new things, manners, etc, without losing their own culture and identity.

Long Answer Type Questions

Question 1. What was the process of copying the manuscript? What were its drawbacks? [Imp.]
Answer: As there was no printing press during the period between 700 and 1750, Scribes used to copy down the manuscripts which were hand-written. Sometimes it was difficult to recognize the original script. So the Scribes used their own way of interpreting the facts. Consequently, there were differences were found in the copies written by different Scribes. As all the copies were handwritten, it was difficult to recognize which was the original one. It was the drawback of such copying.

Question 2. Trace out the major changes in society during 700 and 1750? What was its main reason? [V. Imp.]
Answer: A number of changes took place in society between 700 and 1750. This period traced the technological appearance of Persian wheel in irrigation, the spinning wheel in weaving and firearms in combat. Potatoes, com, chilies, tea, and coffee were some of the new foods and beverages. These developments came with the arrival of the people who migrated to this land. As a result this period saw various changes in the economic, political, social and cultural life,

Question 3. What was the change in the religion of the time? Trace out major developments? [V. Imp.]
Answer: The period between 700 and 1750 witnessed major changes in religion. It was seen prominently in Hinduism. The worship of new deities, the construction of temples by royalty, and the growing importance of Brahmanas, the priests, as dominant groups in society were some of the major developments.

The idea of bhakti emerged. Merchants and migrants brought the new teachings of the ‘Quran’, the holy book of the Muslims. A class of patrons emerged. They were the rulers who provided shelter and protection to the ulemas—the learned theologians and jurists. Muslims were divided into two groups—Shia and Sunni. Shia Muslims believed in Prophet Muhammad’s authority while the Sunnis accepted the authority of the early leaders—Khalifas.

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