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India’s Glorious Past War for Wealth & Wealth for War

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India’s Glorious Past –
War for wealth & wealth for war

India is country known for a rich history of wealth and many small and diverse kingdoms before the British came and stole what was rightfully ours. They who came to trade left with almost all of our money, all our knowledge and left us with a poor understanding of society and new and upcoming inventions and innovations which occurred in the world during that time. India, once called a land of paradise, a land which had wealth not only of monetary value but also in terms of our vast knowledge on science, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, trade, architecture, arts and sculpture and many other areas.
Indian Kings should the world their wealth by building great many structures, acquiring rare diamonds, breeding white horses and gifting them to all the foreign dignitaries. Although it doesn’t feel like one, India was one of the richest nations in the world up to the 17th Century. In fact most of our country was attacked because of huge amounts of wealth and money that people had here.
If history proves anything, it proves that in ancient times, India was the richest country in the world. The fact that she has always been the cynosure of all eyes, Asiatic or European, that people of less favored climes have always cast longing looks on her glittering treasures, and that the ambition of all conquerors has been to possess India, prove that she has been reputed to be the richest country in the world. Her sunny climate, unrivalled fertility, matchless mineral resources and world-wide exports in ancient times helped to accumulate in her bosom the wealth which made her the happy hunting grounds of adventurers and conquerors.

Strabo (c. 63 BC-3 BC) Greek historian in his book Geography II, 5, 12. Describing the location of India and calls it “the greatest of all nations and the happiest in lot.”
Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeran (1760-1842) says: “India has been celebrated even in the earliest times for her riches.” The wealth, splendor and prosperity of India had made a strong impression on the mind of Alexander the Great, and that when he left Persia for India, he told his army that they were starting for that “Golden India” where there was endless wealth, and that what they had seen in Persia was as nothing compared to the riches of India. Chamber’s Encyclopedia says” “India has been celebrated during many ages for its wealth.” The writer of the article “Hindustan” in the Encyclopedia Britannica remarks that India “was naturally reputed to be the seat of immense riches.” Milton voiced the popular belief when he sang of the wealth of India:

“High on a throne of royal state which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormuz and of Ind (India)
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric, pearl and gold.”
William Finch who came to India in 1608-11, first described Hindu temples as "pagods, which are stone images of monstrous men feareful to behold. He mentioned the temples in Ajmer, "three faire Pagodes richly wrought with inlayd works, adorned richly with jewels. Domingo Paes has left a valuable account of the great Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. He saw outside the city very beautiful pagodas, the chief among them was the temple of Vitthalasvamin which was begun by Krsnadeva Raya. Edward Terry, the chaplain to Sir Thomas Roe, King James's emissary described the temple of Nagarkot as 'most richly set forth, both scaled and paved with plate of pure gold." The wealth of the temples stirred Jean Thevenot imagination and he wrote about the temples of Benares and Puri that 'nothing can be more magnificent than these Pagodes...by reason of the quantity of gold and many jewels, wherewith they are adorned."

GDP in 1500s.
For India 's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the company lay at the root of the oppression that he had fought against. "The corruption, venality, nepotism, violence and greed of money of these early generations of British rule in India ", Nehru thundered in The Discovery of India, "is something which passes comprehension". Looking back at the company's conquest of India , Nehru noted "it is significant that one of the Hindustani words which has become part of the English language is loot".
Most foreigners came to India in search of her fabulous wealth. No traveler found India poor until the nineteenth century, but foreign merchants and adventurers sought her shores for the almost fabulous wealth, which they could there obtain.

'To shake the pagoda tree' became a phrase, somewhat similar to our modern expression 'to strike oil' or to get rich quick.
An idea of the immense wealth of India could be gathered from the fact that when Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi destroyed the far famed temple of Somnath he found such immense riches and astonishing diamonds cooped up in the single “Idol of Shiva” that it was found quite impossible to calculate the value of that booty.

Gold, the emblem of wealth, was first found in India. India was the home of diamonds and other precious stones in ancient times. Periplus says that “the Greeks used to purchase pieces of gold from the Indians.” Nelkynda or Neliceram, a port near Calicut on the Malabar Coast, is said to have been the only market for pearls in the world in ancient times. The pearls presented by Julius Ceasar to Servilia, the mother of Brutus, as well as the famous pearl earring of Cleopatra, were obtained from India. The most famous diamonds in the world are natives of India. Though the Pitt (or the Regent as it is now called) weights 136 carats and is larger in size, yet the Kohinoor, weighing only 106 carats, hallowed by ages of romantic history, is the most famous diamond in the world. Both were taken from India by the British. But the mythological and historical value of the Kohinoor is untold.

The Priceless Peacock Throne

What is the costliest single treasure made in the last 1,000 years? Wrought out of 1150 kg of gold and 230 kg of precious stones, conservatively in 1999 the throne would be valued at $804 million or nearly Rs 4.5 billion. In fact when made, it cost twice as much as the Tajmahal. On the top of each pillar there were to be two peacocks, thick-set with gems and between each two peacocks a tree set with rubies and diamonds, emeralds and pearls. The ascent was to consist of three steps set with jewels of fine water". Of the 11 jewelled recesses formed around it for cushions, the middle one was intended for the seat it for Emperor. Among the historical diamonds decorating it were the famous Kohinoor (186 carats). It was one of the most splendiferous thrones ever made. it was encrusted with 26,733 precious stones! Ascended by silver steps, it was sheeted with gold encrusted with emeralds and rubies. Its back was a peacock's tail of sapphires, pearls and turquoises. The throne was completed after seven years of unceasing labour by the best craftsmen of the empire and was valued at 10 million rupees or Rs 500 crore today.
It was the wealth of India that impelled the rude Arabs to invade the country, and led the half civilized Tartans to overrun it. It was the wealth of India that attracted Nadir Shah, the Portuguese and then the British.
Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936) American born, former President of the India Information Bureau of America and Editor of Young India (New York). Author of India, America and World Brotherhood, and Causes of Famine in India. He has written glowingly about India's culture:

"Another cause of India 's impoverishment is the destruction of her manufactures, as the result of British rule. When the British first appeared on the scene, India was one of the richest countries of the world; indeed it was her great riches that attracted the British to her shores. "

"The source of her wealth was largely her splendid manufactures. Her cotton goods, silk goods, shawls, muslins of Dacca, brocades of Ahmedabad, rugs, pottery of Scind, jewelry, metal work, lapidary work, were famed not only all over Asia but in all the leading markets of Northern Africa and of Europe. What has become of those manufactures? For the most part they are gone, destroyed. Hundreds of villages and towns of India in which they were carried on are now largely or wholly depopulated, and millions of the people who were supported by them have been scattered and driven back on the land, to share the already too scanty living of the poor ryot. What is the explanation? Great Britain wanted India 's markets. She could not find entrance for British manufactures so long as India was supplied with manufactures of her own. So those of India must be sacrificed. England had all power in her hands, and so she proceeded to pass tariff and excise laws that ruined the manufactures of India and secured the market for her own goods. India would have protected herself if she had been able, by enacting tariff laws favorable to Indian interests, but she had no power, she was at the mercy of her conqueror."
According to Economist Angus Maddison (1926 - ) in The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, the region that today comprises the Indian subcontinent held the largest share of the world's gross domestic product until the beginning of the 16th century, when it was rivaled by China, and then again throughout most of the 18th century.

At the end of the 16th century, India's great wealth sustained a population of more than one hundred million people.

In "India, the Silicon Jewel of the East" (Digital Journal, May 13, 2004), Paul William Roberts states, "There was an abundance of arable land, and the state of Indian agriculture compared favorably with any of the Western European countries. Right down to the subsistence-oriented peasant, everyone saw a good return on land and labor. There was a large and vigorous skilled workforce turning out not just cotton but luxury items for the barons, courts and ruling classes. Consequently, the economy produced a fabulous financial surplus."

From the early 18th century until the beginnings of the 19th century, when India enjoyed a 24.4 % share of the world's gross domestic product (see table) economic historian Paul Bairoch conforms, the region enjoyed a 25 % share of the global trade in textiles. It was the world's leading manufacturer of handicrafts and handloom textiles.

Bairoch writes, "More important, there was a large commercialized sector with a highly sophisticated market and credit structure, manned by a skilful and in many instances very wealthy commercial class."

Paul William Roberts adds, "Methods of production and of industrial and commercial organization could stand comparison with those in vogue in any other parts of the world. India had developed an indigenous banking system. Merchant capital had emerged with an elaborate network of agents, brokers and middlemen. Its bills of exchange were honored in all the major cities of Asia."

Gross Domestic Product in Millions of Dollars

Year
1000 1500 1600 1700

India- $33.8 60.5 74.3 90.8
China - $26.6 61.8 96.0 82.8
Western Europe - $10.2 44.3 66.0 83.4
World Total - $116.8 247.1 329.4 371.4
Maurya Era
For the first time in South Asia, political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity. The previous situation involving hundreds of kingdoms, many small armies, powerful regional chieftains, and internecine warfare, gave way to a disciplined central authority. Farmers were freed of tax and crop collection burdens from regional kings, paying instead to a nationally administered and strict-but-fair system of taxation as advised by the principles in the Arthashastra. Chandragupta Maurya established a single currency across India, and a network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice and security for merchants, farmers and traders. The Mauryan army wiped out many gangs of bandits, regional private armies, and powerful chieftains who sought to impose their own supremacy in small areas. Although regimental in revenue collection, Maurya also sponsored many public works and waterways to enhance productivity, while internal trade in India expanded greatly due to newfound political unity and internal peace.
Under the Indo-Greek friendship treaty, and during Ashoka's reign, an international network of trade expanded. The Khyber Pass, on the modern boundary of Pakistan and Afghanistan, became a strategically important port of trade and intercourse with the outside world. Greek states and Hellenic kingdoms in West Asia became important trade partners of India. Trade also extended through the Malay peninsula into Southeast Asia. India's exports included silk goods and textiles, spices and exotic foods. The external world came across new scientific knowledge and technology with expanding trade with the Mauryan Empire. Ashoka also sponsored the construction of thousands of roads, waterways, canals, hospitals, rest-houses and other public works. The easing of many over-rigorous administrative practices, including those regarding taxation and crop collection, helped increase productivity and economic activity across the Empire.

In many ways, the economic situation in the Mauryan Empire is analogous to the Roman Empire of several centuries later. Both had extensive trade connections and both had organizations similar to corporations. While Rome had organizational entities which were largely used for public state-driven projects, Mauryan India had numerous private commercial entities. These existed purely for private commerce and developed before the Mauryan Empire itself.
Mughal Era
An estimate of India's pre-colonial economy puts the annual revenue of Emperor Akbar's treasury in 1600 at £17.5 million (in contrast to the entire treasury of Great Britain two hundred years later in 1800, which totaled £16 million). The gross domestic product of Mughal India in 1600 was estimated at about 24.3% the world economy, the second largest in the world.
By late 17th century, the Mughal Empire was as its peak and had expanded to include almost 90 per cent of South Asia, and enforced a uniform customs and tax-administration system. In 1700 the exchequer of the Emperor Aurangzeb reported annual revenue of more than £100 million.
In the 18th century, Mughals were replaced by the Marathas as the dominant power in much of Indian, while the other small regional kingdoms who were mostly late Mughal tributaries such as the Nawabs in the north and the Nizams in the south, declared an autonomy. However, the efficient Mughal tax administration system was left largely intact.
By this time, India had fallen from the top rank to become the second-largest economy in the world. A devastating famine broke out in the eastern coast in early 1770s killing 5 per cent of the national population.
Economic historians in the 21st century have found that in the 18th century real wages were falling in India, and were "far below European levels."
South Indian Kingdoms- Nizam of Hyderabad
During the period of Nizam rule, Hyderabad State became the richest. Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and his family including Salar Jung I were taught by Nawab Sarwar Ul Mulk and Agha Mirza Baig Sarwar ul mulk Bahadur, who was his political advisor, and the senior-most salute state among the Indian princely states. It was spread over 223,000 km2 (86,000 sq. mi) in the Deccan, ruled by the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The Nizams were conferred with the title of His Exalted Highness, and "Faithful Ally of the British Government" by the imperial-colonial British government for their collaborating role in the wars against Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the Great Revolt of 1857–1858.,and the senior-most salute state among the Indian princely states. It was spread over 223,000 km2 (86,000 sq. mi) in the Deccan, ruled by the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The Nizams were conferred with the title of His Exalted Highness, and "Faithful Ally of the British Government" by the imperial-colonial British government for their collaborating role in the wars against Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the Great Revolt of 1857–1858.,The rule of the Nizams brought cultural and economic growth for Hyderabad city. One example of the wealth of Nizam rule is the Jewels of the Nizams, which is an international tourist attraction occasionally displayed in Salar Jung Museum. In 1948 Hyderabad state had an estimated population of 17 million (1.7 crore), and it generated an estimated annual revenue of £90,029,000.The state had its own currency known as the Hyderabadi rupee, until 1951. The pace at which the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan amassed wealth made him one of the world's richest men in 1937 and he was also known for his miserliness. According to the Forbes All-Time Wealthiest List of 2008, Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan is the fifth richest man ever, with an estimated worth of US$210.8 billion (adjusted with the present value of the US dollar). The Nizams set up numerous institutions in the name of the dynasty including hospitals and schools, colleges, universities that imparted education in Urdu. Inspired by the Indian Civil Service, the Nizams established the Hyderabad Civil Service and built large reservoirs. Survey work on the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was initiated during this time, though the actual work was completed by the Government of India in 1969.

Conclusion
So like we all saw, wealth was always in abundance here. Invaders came, some looted our wealth, some created great many things with our wealth, and some despised our wealth so much, they looted and ruled over us as our “masters” for over 4 centuries. Finally after the british left us, they took with them our wealth, our knowledge, our way of thinking, our perseverance to innovate new machine, techniques and strategies, and left us poor, sick, only to ask the world for money to sustain a healthy and happy way of life.

Reference:
Wikipedia – India’s past
Mbabullshit.com

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...Decline of the Roman/Han/Gupta Empires Diverse Interpretations Assignment COMPARISONS TO FOCUS ON: * The causes for the decline of the Roman, Han and Gupta Empires * Understanding of how and why the collapse of the empire was more severe in Western Europe than it was in the Asian Empires. * Comparison of the role that religions played in the declines * The impact of missionary outreach of the Christians and Buddhists in these empires RESOURCES * Upshur – “The Decline of Empires” * Stearns - Decline of Empires. * Frank Smitha - “Decline and Fall” * Johnson and Johnson – “Why Don’t Empires Last?” * Spodek – “China and Rome: How do they compare?” * Bulliet pages 168-170 and 186-189. ASSIGNMENT 1. Construct a Venn comparing and contrasting the causes for decline of the Roman, Han and Gupta empires. Information will come from the documents and not the lecture…you already wrote the lecture notes once, why write them again? Rome Han similarities Gupta 2. Write 3 comparative analytical mini-paragraphs about the decline of empires. (generalization, facts, analysis…) Remember that analysis answers the question “why?” Example: The AP World History teachers have very different tastes in beverages. Ms. Forswall likes tea while Ms. Patch likes cola. Green tea and Earl Grey are Ms. Forswall’s favorites; they taste nothing like Pepsi or Coke because soft drinks are much sweeter. Ms. Patch usually chooses a diet style......

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