CBSE Class 7 History Chapter 2 Notes - New Kings and Kingdoms

New Kings and Kingdoms Class 7 Notes History Chapter 2 - PDF Download

There were a lot of new dynasties that existed right after the seventh century came to an end. By the time this century came by, there were more warrior chiefs and landlords who ruled the various regions which were a part of the subcontinent. With the help of the Class 7 History Chapter 2 Notes, there is no doubt that students will be able to learn more about the new kingdoms and the kings that came after these kingdoms.

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Access Class 7 Social Science (History) Chapter 2 – New Kings and Kingdoms Notes

The Emergence of New Dynasties

  • In the seventh century, there were large landowners or warrior leaders in different regions of the sub-continent. The kings at the time often recognized them as their subordinates or samantas.

  • An example is the Rashtrakutas in the Deccan. Initially, these were subordinated to the Karnataka Chalukyas.In the middle of the eighth century, Dantidurga, a leader of Rashtrakuta, overthrew his overlord of Chalukya and performed a ritual known as hiranya-garbha (literally, the golden belly). When this ritual was performed with the help of Brahmanas, it was thought to lead to the “rebirth” of the sacrificer as a Kshatriya, even if he was not one by birth.

  • In other cases, enterprising family members used their military skills to create kingdoms. For example, the Kadamba Mayurasharman and the GurjaraPratihara Harichandra were Brahmana who deserted their traditional professions and took up arms successfully.


Administration in the Kingdoms

  • Many of these new kings have adopted resounding titles like maharaja-adhiraja (big king, lord of kings), tribhuvana-chakravartin (lord of the three worlds) and so on.

  • In each of these states, resources were obtained from producers that is, farmers, herders, craftsmen who were often persuaded or forced to give up some of their production.

  • Sometimes these have been claimed as "rent" because of a lord who claimed he owned the land. Revenues also came from merchants. 

  • These resources were used to finance the king's settlement, and for the construction of temples and forts. They were also used to fight wars, which were in turn expected to lead to the acquisition of wealth in the form of plunder, and access to land as well as trade routes.

  • Officials in charge of collecting income were generally recruited from influential families, and positions were often hereditary. That was true for the military, too. In many cases, the king's relatives performed these functions.


Prashastis and Land Grants

  • Prashastis contain particulars which may not be literally true. But they tell us how the leaders wanted to present themselves as courageous victorious warriors, for instance. These were composed by scholarly Brahmanas, who sometimes assisted in the administration.

  • A long Sanskrit poem with the story of the kings that ruled Kashmir. It was created by a writer named Kalhana. He used various sources, including inscriptions, documents, eyewitnesses and previous stories, to write his story.


Warfare for Wealth

One of the most prominent of these leaders is Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He ruled from 997 to 1030, and expanded control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the northwest part of the sub-continent. He attacked the subcontinent almost annually his targets were wealthy temples, including Somnath in Gujarat. A large part of the wealth taken by Mahmud served to create a magnificent capital in Ghazni.

Sultan Mahmud was also interested in learning more about the people he conquered, and had a scholar named Al-Biruni write a review of the subcontinent. This Arab work, known under the name of Kitab ul-Hind, remains an important source for historians. He consulted Sanskrit scholars in preparing this narration.

The most famous sovereign of Chahamana was Prithviraja III (1168-1192), who defeated an Afghan sovereign named Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1191, but lost him the following year, in 1192.


A Closer Look: The Cholas

From Uraiyur to Thanjavur 

  • A minor family known mainly under the name of Muttaraiyar was in power in the Kaveri Delta. They served under the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Vijayalaya, who belonged to the old family mainly of the Uraiyur Cholas, captured the Muttaraiyar delta in the middle of the ninth century. Here he constructed the city of Thanjavur and a temple for the goddess Nishumbhasudini.

  • The successors of Vijayalaya conquered the neighboring regions and the kingdom grew in size and strength. The territories of Pandyan and Pallava to the south and north were integrated into this realm.

  • Rajaraja I, believed to be Chola's most powerful leader, became king in 985 and extended control over most of these areas. The administration of the empire was also reorganized. Rajaraja’s son Rajendra I continued his policies and even raided the Ganga valley, Sri Lanka and countries of Southeast Asia, developing a navy for these expeditions.


Splendid Temples and Bronze Sculpture 

  • The great temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram, constructed by Rajaraja and Rajendra, are architectural and sculpture wonders.

  • Chola temples have often become the cores of establishments that have developed around them. These were centres of craft production. The temples were also provided with land by the leaders as well as by others.

  • The temples were not merely places of worship; they were also the centre of economic, social and cultural life.

  • The bronze images of Chola are regarded as among the most beautiful in the world. While most of the pictures were gods, sometimes pictures were made of devotees as well.


Agriculture and Irrigation

  • Many of the accomplishments of the Cholas have been enabled by new developments in agriculture.

  • The Kaveri River branched out into several small channels and drained into the Bay of Bengal. These canals often overflow, laying fertile soils on their shores. The water in the canals also provides the moisture needed for agriculture, including rice production.

  • Although agriculture developed earlier in other parts of Tamil Nadu, it was only in the fifth or sixth century that the area was opened up to large-scale cultivation. Forests needed to be deforested in some areas; lands needed to be cleared in other areas.

  • Various methods were used for irrigation purposes. There are some areas where wells have been drilled. In other areas enormous reservoirs were built to collect rainwater.


The Administration of the Empire

  • Peasant settlements, known as ur, flourished with the expansion of irrigation agriculture. Groups of these villages formed larger units referred to as nadu. The Village Council and Nadu have performed several administrative functions, including delivering justice and collecting taxes.

  • The wealthy peasants of the Vellala caste exercised considerable control over the affairs of nadu under the direction of the central government of Chola.

  • The Chola kings granted some wealthy landowners titles such as muvendavelan (a velan or peasant serving three kings), araiyar (chief), etc. as markers of respect, and gave them significant government offices at the centre.

  • Each brahmadeya was cared for by a gathering or sabha of prominent Brahmana landowners. These assemblies functioned extremely effectively. Their decisions were documented in detail in inscriptions, frequently on the stone walls of temples.

  • The inscriptions from the Uttaramerur in the Chingleput district, Tamil Nadu, provide details on how the sabha was organized. The sabha had separate committees concerned with irrigation work, gardens, temples, etc.

  • Names of those eligible to be members of these committees were written on small tickets of palm leaf; these tickets were put into an earthenware pot, from which a young boy was asked to take out the tickets, one by one for each committee.


The Rise of New Dynasties

When the 7th Century came around, there were a lot of different regions situated right here on the subcontinent which had warrior chiefs and big landlords as rules. These people were known as the Samantas or the Rulers. For those who want to know who were Samantas Class 7, this summary might be able to help them out. These Samantas or Subordinates had to provide the overlords and kings with certain gifts that were to be present at the courts. Also, they were responsible for providing more military support to the kings. But with the gain of power by the Samantas, they started their own independent rule and called themselves maha-samantas, roughly translated to the “great lord of the region”.

One of the very few examples of such a case is given by Rashtrakutas who were present in the Deccan regions and were Samantas in the Karnataka area to the Chalukyas. By the time the 8th century came by, one of the Samanta overthrew his king. Students can know more about who was Samantas Class 7 from the notes provided below.


Administration of New Kingdoms

The administration in the new kingdoms happened a bit differently than in earlier times. The kings of the New Kingdoms would have such high-sounding titles added to their names such as Tribhuvana-Chakravartin or Maharaja-Adhiraj. But, these kings had to share their power along with the Samantas. Apart from that, the new kings were also answerable to the different associations made by Brahmans, Traders, and peasants. In these particular states, the resources produced were obtained mostly from these associations and along with some artisans, cattle-keepers, and others.

Hence, they were coerced or persuaded to provide a part of their produce to the kingdom as “rent”. Then these resources would be further used for financing the kingdom and administration of the establishment. Furthermore, these resources would help in the construction of forts and temples and provide support during wars. This resulted in the acquisition of more wealth through plunder and provided the kingdoms with more land as well. More details are available for the students with New Kings and Kingdoms Class 7 notes.


Land Grants Provided to Prashastis

Learned Brahmans would form a group known as the Prashstis. The group was responsible for helping the kingdom’s administration. These people provide certain details to the kings which helped them in depicting themselves as warriors who were victorious and valiant. The details might not be true in the literal sense. As a result of these details, the kings would reward the Prashastis with certain grants of land.

These lands were properly recorded on some copper plates. Now, these plates would be provided to the certain Brahman who had received the reward of the land. In the 12th century, an author by the name of Kalhana wrote a Sanskrit poem about certain rulers of Kashmir criticizing the policies followed by the rulers. More details are provided in the New Kings and Kingdoms notes.


Wealth Accumulated From Warfare

Some of the ruling dynasties were based mostly in one specific region. However, they did try to control the other areas. Hence, there were wars regarding the control of the land. One such city known as Kanauj situated in the Ganga Valley was a centre for control and there were wars between the Pala, Rashtrakuta, and the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasties. With the involvement of 3 different parties, the conflict was a long one and often described by historians as the “tripartite struggle”.

One of the main sources for the rulers to exhibit their power was through building different temples of varying sizes. Hence, during the times of war, one of the main targets of the opposing kings would be to destroy the temples of the area. Students can find more details in the Class 7 History Chapter 2 notes.

An example of this can be provided by naming Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (997-1030). The Sultan managed to gain control in areas such as Iran, Central Asia, and also the North-Western Subcontinent. While targeting the subcontinent, he made it a point to attack the wealthy temples, one of which was the Somnath Temple situated in Gujarat.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Who were the 3 Parties that Became Involved in the Well-Known “Tripartite Struggle”.

The parties or dynasties that were involved in the well-known Tripartite Struggle were the Rashtrakuta, the Gurjar-Pratihara, and the Pala Dynasties. They were constantly under conflict deciding the rule over the City of Kanauj which is located in the Ganga Valley. Look for the New Kings and Kingdoms Class 7 notes for more information.

2. Who were the Samantas?

During the 7th Century, the Subcontinent was divided into various regions that had certain warrior chiefs and landlords. These people were known as the Samantas and they had the responsibility of funding the administration of the kingdom by providing resources and military support. However, with time the Samantas began overthrowing the kings.

3. What were the qualifications necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola Empire?

Working of the sabha in the Chola Empire as recorded in the Uttaramerur inscription is as follows:

  • The members of a sabha must be the owners of taxable land.

  • Should possess own house.

  • Have to be aged between 35 to 70 years.

  • Must know the Vedas.

  • Have to know administrative matters thoroughly and be honest.

  • Members of committees within the past 3 years, cannot be a member of the committee again.

  • Those who don't submit their accounts, cannot contest in the elections.

4. How did the Rashtrakutas become powerful?

The Rashtrakutas became powerful because:

Rashtrakutas were under the rule of the Chalukyas of Karnataka.

  • In the mid-700s, a Rashtrakuta chief named Dantidurga overthrew the Chalukyan overlord.

  • He carried out a ritual, Hiranya-garbha by taking help from the Brahmans.

  • This then went on to become the rebirth of the person as a Kshatriya, if he was not born as a Kshatriya.

5. What did the new dynasties do to gain acceptance?

The new kingdoms grew in power and wealth. Then, they proclaimed themselves as mahamandaleshwar or maha-samantas. Several of these kings gave themselves high sounding titles such as tribhuvana-chakravartin and maharaja-adhiraja. At the same time, they employed learned brahmins to legitimise themselves as valiant warriors. These activities are recorded in the Prashastis. They showcased their pomp and wealth by erecting huge monuments and temples.

6. How was the financial position-controlled in these states?

These states used to be intricately associated with the workers, merchants, and Brahmins. These resources were therefore usually obtained from the workers, cattle-keepers, or artisans who produced goods. They were forced to give away part of their produce to the state. These traders were compelled to pay taxes. The functionaries responsible for the collection of revenue were typically from influential families or were in close relation with the rulers.

7. What was the role of temples during the Chola kingdom?

The Chola kings such as Rajaraja I and Rajendra built the famous temples of Brihadeshwara and Ganaikonda-Chola Puram. Temples made up the nucleus of the settlements that came up in this period. They became the core of the production of crafts and controlled the economic aspects associated with them as well. Therefore, they ended up as not only religious centres but also as the centre of social, economic, and cultural activities as well.

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