How, When and Where Class 8 Notes History Chapter 1 - PDF Download
History is more about change than just two kings fighting over a piece of land if you think about it. History has always been about the next evolution, which leads to modernism, which we see now all around us. Indeed history is about significant events such as wars between the two nations, battles between massive armies. Still, in truth, it is also about small things that completely changed the world. Like the wheel's invention, it was not a big deal back then as most people don’t know what to do with it. But now, in the 21st century, we can’t think of our lives without wheels.
Today we will be showing you how history is important and why, and how you need to study it based on the events that have happened. Class 8th history chapter 1 is quite a unique chapter as it puts a light on history as a whole and does not focus on a single event that happened to occur in that time. .
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The Place of Dates in History
As discussed above, history tells us about how the world looked in the past and how it looks now. So, there is a comparison between the past and the present. As soon as we establish any kind of relationship between ‘now’ and ‘then,’ we have to skip the timelines and periods out of the picture. For example, today you are 15 years old but how do you know that? It is because you know the history of your birth. It is due to your knowledge that 15 years ago you took birth so you know you are 15 years old today.
Precise Date vs A Period of Time
If you pick up any history book, you will find two ways of talking about a time in history. First, you will see the precise dates on which certain incidents happened. Then there are the timelines during which something began to happen.
Ask your mother exactly when you started speaking. Your mother will obviously say that it was a long process. You did not just start speaking fluently one fine morning. You learnt one word, then two, three and so on. Similarly, in Europe, industrialisation did not happen at once. It was a process that spanned over years. So, we say that the first industrial revolution started from the 18th century and we have no exact date.
Traditional history uses exact dates. Traditional historical discourse takes big events like the coronation of a king, start or end of a war, birth of somebody famous etc. as the standard against which the events of these periods are told. Because a decisive battle was fought between the Indian King Hemu and the Mughal forces.
The Demerits of the Date-Based History
Traditional date-based history has a severe flaw that it takes major incidents like wars, coronation of a king etc. as the focal points and then talks about the incidents surrounding these focal points. But history is not made up of these big incidents alone. It is made up of the actions of ordinary people like you and us. Traditional history has no place for these ordinary laymen. Neither does this kind of history show things in different perspectives.
For example, when history talks about the Second Battle of Panipat, it tells the story of how the Mughal forces won Delhi after defeating Hemu. But it does not tell us a thing about how he had driven the Mughals out of Delhi to Lahore and how he had captured the entire Gangetic Plains in less than a year. He also ruled Delhi and issued coins in his name, as Hemchandra Vikramaditya.
Who Gets to Decide Which Dates Are Important?
History is filled with dates and years. It is not feasible to talk about each one of them. So, who decides which year is important and which year isn’t? If a country is ruled by foreigners, they will try to tell its history from their point of view. It is only when the countrymen take the responsibility of telling their own history that we get the real picture.
The history book talks about how the history of India written from a British perspective tends to give importance to the years that mark the rule of various governor-generals of British India. All the other dates were considered secondary.
Let us take another example. In the higher classes, you will read about the Independence of America - how it fought against the British. But did you know that the Americans were mostly the British and European settlers? Before these settlers came to America, it was inhabited by the Native Americans.
A Vox article rightly says that if the foreign settlers had not forcibly marginalised the Native Americans - depriving them of their own land, it is the Native Americans who would have built the nation-state that we call America today. The history of North America has ignored the existence of Native Americans.
Which Periods Are Important?
As we said, we cannot use dates everywhere. So, we use periods. Here too, we have the same problem of deciding what historical incidents we should use to mark the start and end of a particular period.
James Mill, a historian who supported the British rule in India, divided the Indian history into Hindu, Muslim and British periods. The assumption was, during the reign of the Hindu and Muslim rulers, India was in the dark ages. It is the British rulers who pulled India out of the darkness. The ancient Sanskrit language is deeply intertwined with mathematics.
Then there is the question, why should we categorise periods based on religions. There are many aspects of history apart from the religious angles.
To banish this bias, modern historians started dividing Indian history into ancient, medieval and modern. But the Indian civilization did not advance chronologically. It was during the so-called ‘ancient’ times that the Indians were at the prime of socio-political growth.
Only when the British came in the so-called modern age did India plunge into darkness. So, this chronological way of periodicity is wrong.
The Colonial Period
Because India plunged into darkness during British rule, modern historians refuse to term that age as the modern age. The British came to India and sucked the very life force of the country reducing it to a poor, socially divided nation.
During their 190 years of rule, they replaced the Indian customs, culture, language and even the thought process with their own versions. To this date, we shake hands when we greet people.
When a country subjects another country to forceful rule leading to an annihilation of the local culture, traditions, language, customs, and the original thought process - we call that colonialism. That is exactly what happened when the British came to India.
Where Do Historians Get the Info?
Historical incidents of the last 250 years had the fortune of being written down. So, what are the sources of this historical info?
The British were of the opinion that every instruction, plan, execution of the plan, research etc should be written down so that these things could be studied and analysed in the future.
So, every government department in the British Raj - like the courts or the village Tahsildar’s office made it a point to create documents stating their works and plans.
The surveys of the topography, number of people in a region, density of forests, number of people belonging to a particular religion or gender etc produced historically significant records.
Then there were archaeological, Zoological or Botanical surveys. However, official documents were official. These documents spoke the language of the government. The lives of ordinary people, tribal and marginalised, were never in the focus.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Can we get a 360-degree view of history from the official records?
Ans: Official documents were mainly written by the British officials or the people who worked for the British. So, they hid many dark things that the British did. To give you an example - the official records of the British said that only 379 people died in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. But actually, the number was as high as 1000.
Again, during the rule of Hitler, the books and properties of the Jews were destroyed. But still, we have the personal accounts of the Jews like the diary of Anne Frank from where we get the dark details of that time.
2. What is the flaw in Mill’s way of periodisation of Indian history?
Ans: Based on this assumption, he divided the Indian history into - Hindu, Muslim and British. This kind of periodisation is wrong because:
It groups together the entire history of India based on religion and politics. It is not that during the Hindu rule, Muslims were not living in India and vice versa.
This kind of periodisation ignores cultural or scientific advancements.
It is during the Hindu rule that scientists like Aryabhata or Sushruta existed.
3. How are newspaper reports different from the official records?
Ans: Official records spoke favourably of the government. But the newspaper reports presented the truth. So much was the power of newspapers that the British had to come up with the Vernacular Press Act.
4. Can we use paintings made by the British as a historical source?
Ans: No, we can’t. Most of the paintings commissioned by the British psychologically tried to hammer in the notion that the British Raj was good and the Indians needed it. The picture drawn by James Runnel that we have in our history book shows that the Indians wilfully submit the Indian Shastras to Britannia. This painting is actually an example of cultural colonialism. So, we must take the paintings drawn during British rule with a grain of salt.
5. Is history all about dates?
Ans: History is not about dates. Let’s start the discussion from an evolutionary point of view. Suppose you went to a village. While you were roaming around, you saw a tiger sufficiently far from you. What would be your natural reaction? You would quickly take shelter and hide from the view of the tiger. Why would you do that? Because you know tigers attack humans.
Now, think, how did this knowledge come to you? You have seen on TV, read in books about this basic characteristic of tigers. In the past, men were attacked by the tigers. So, this knowledge about the past improves your life in the present.
Can you now see, History is not just about memorising dates? We learn from history. Avner Seagal rightly says that history shows the students the world as it was, the world as it is. Most importantly, History makes us wonder how the world should be.
As soon as we establish a relationship between the past and the present, we usher in the concepts of ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’. These concepts are intrinsically connected with dates and years. So, history has to include dates.
Class 8 History Chapter 1 Notes
In this chapter, students will learn that earlier people were using history as a synonym for the dates. Also, students will get to know about the perspective of the old historians who used to dive deep into the dates of the battles and who won them. But modern historians have changed everything. Modern-day historians try to look for the change that has happened and how it was initiated and what led to its initiation.
This chapter's writer breaks the history into two periods to make students understand the characteristics of time and other central features as students read through the chapter pages. Moving apart from the British classification of Indian history, which was generally divided into Ancient, Medieval, and Morden. In ancient times and even now, Brirshters used to believe in writing down the things which they feel are essential. Every instruction led out by the British empire, every plan, policy, decision, and agreement used to be written up to be taken as evidence if the time comes to present it to other people.
When, Where, And How Class 8 Summary
In 1817, a British writer named James Mill published a three-part book with the title A history of British India. In his book, James Mill divided Indian history into three parts. The Hindu, Muslim, and British. According to Mill, every Asian community has a lower level of civilization than the people living in European countries. In his book, he described before Britishers came to India, Hindu and Muslim disputes used to rule the country. You can see the religious intolerance among the different communities. Also, there was an issue of cast taboo and the practising of the superstitions which dominated the social life of the people living in India.
(Image to be added soon)
(A Historical landmark built in 18th Century India.)
In his writing, he said that during the British rule, the Indian community became more civilized. His vision of Indian history with Britisher was meant to be progressive and civilized.
Facts Which You Need to Know
There are many things that the government official papers still hide, and things that are not written anywhere. The official statement will never justify the common people's reaction when the Britishers first came to India and started taking over the power from the common man. If you can find the diaries of the people who used to live in that time, you will get to know the British empire's real face in India.
You might think history can be traced from the autobiographies of essential persons like Mahatma Gandhi, but that’s not true. During the writing and its first draft, the people know millions of people will read it. As a result, there are a lot of things that are hidden. The real history of a nation hides in the letter a man sends to his wife. It hides in the diary a small kid writes every day. The stories from the tribes, peasants, the workers who used to work in the mine, history hides in their stories.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Why is it important to study history?
When students get to learn about history, they will be able to make better decisions and better understand the world in which they are living. In addition to this, students will get to know how history has impacted their present lives and how the laws came into existence that protect them from fraud and criminals.
Likewise, history is filled with wars and religious crime. When students go through history, they will start appreciating their present living conditions. For many people studying history means studying the change which came year after year and led human civilization to the modern world that we see around us today. With history, we explain the things of the past, and history gives us the pattern that we might miss today that can lead to dangerous outcomes if they are not treated
2. What is colonialism?
The concept of colonialism is quite old. It is said to take over the control of an independent area or group of people by one power. Most of the time, we can see the marks of colonialism in our history. When one nation subjugates another, conquering its total population and defeating its army to rule over them. In addition to this, when colonialism occurs, the country that took over the power makes it compulsory for the local people to learn their language and cultural values.
If you look at the world map in 1914, you can see most of the world has been colonized by Europeans at some point or the other. The concept of colonialism can be found in the fall of imperialism. Egypt and Rome are the prime examples of colonialism in the early stages of history. They tried to take over their neighbouring states' power to increase their power by taking their men for the army.
3. What were the reasons behind the preservation of official documents by britishers?
Following were the reasons why the Britishers used to preserve official documents:
Understanding the social, economic, and historical context of that time.
From the archived records, anyone can access and use any information or proof for any judgement or decision.
The notes and reports that were created in the past might be consulted for further information.
The documents that have been preserved show the development that the country has made in the past.
4. What is Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 8 all about?
Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 8 ‘Women, Caste and Reform’, talks about the situation of women during the 18-19th century. It explains how the women were treated, how they were forced to follow certain rituals without their own will. It discusses about the caste discrimination that prevailed in the society at that time. The chapter tells about the reformers who were against the degradation of women and lower caste people and tried to bring the change in the society.
5. Where can I find reliable revision notes of Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 8?
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