1. How did the geographical location of the Indus Valley make possible the growth of civilization there?
The growth of civilization in the Indus Valley was made possible by the many geographical features surrounding the area where settlement in India first began. For example, the Indus River, which flows across the northern region of the subcontinent, would flood when the heavy snows of the Himalayas melted. As a result, a layer of fertile soil was left behind along the banks of the river, creating ideal farmland on which early settlers thrived. In addition, the Hindu Kush, the westernmost extension of the Himalayan Range, limited India’s contact with neighboring lands, such as China. In response to this separation, civilization in the
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Although many of its teachings reflected those of Hinduism, Buddhism challenged Hindu beliefs. For example, Siddhartha challenged the Brahmins’ authority and many of their rituals. This is because the way to reach enlightenment of the two religions differed. Many rich and powerful Indians welcomed his ideas of avoiding extreme behavior while seeking salvation, so the popularity of the Buddha religion heightened. In addition, the Buddha strongly opposed the caste system. He did not believe people should be confined to a particular place in society. As a result, Gautama gained support from much of the lower classes. By the time of his death, the Buddha’s many sensible teachings had influenced much of the Subcontinent and its people. 6. How do Asoka’s Buddhist beliefs influence his rule? Following his conversion to Buddhism, Asoka, India’s strongest Mauryan ruler, abandoned his violent ways and devoted much of his time to improve the lives of others. He swore he would never again launch wars of conquest and instead dug wells and built rest houses for weary travelers. However, Asoka’s generous actions did not positively affect his empire. Without using his authority to conquer other lands by war, Asoka’s Empire’s power and wealth declined. Within years of his death, the Mauryan Empire fell into a period of disorder, and its strength collapsed.
7. How did the Mauryans gain control of most of India? The