Geog597.01:South Asia Outline

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South Asia

General Urban Characteristics:
-Low level of urbanization
-High rate of urban population growth
-Many of the world's largest cities
Historical Influences

Indus Civilization (2500-1500 B .C.E.)
-Mohenjo Daro

Aryan Influence (began 1500 B.C.E.)
-Sanskrit languages
-Caste System:

main divisions of the caste system (varnas):
-Brahmins (priests, scholars)
-Kashatryas (warriors, rulers,)
-Vaisyas (merchants, farmers)
-Sudras (manual laborers, servants)

below the other castes:
-Untouchables (also known as Harijans or Dalits)
-jatis (subcastes)
-"spiritual pollution"

-three major concepts:
-Reincarnation (to ultimately reach Moksha)

Ganges Plain Mauryan Empire (300s -100s B.C.E.) -emperor Asoka ruled in 200s B.C.E.
Pathalpiputra (Pataliputra)-in same location as today's Patna (see textbook, p.335 for description of city form)

-southern part of India
-languages NOT derived from Sanskrit
-Madurai (see p. 335 in textbook and picture on p. 336)

Muslim Influence
-first significant Muslim influence came in 1000s C.E.
-Moghul dynasty (1526 -1707)
-Shahjahanabad (Delhi)
-mixture of Muslim and Hindu elements (see text pp, 335-338)
-Taj Mahal in Agra

European Influence
-1500s, British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese all tried to establish trading centers
-1600s, British gained dominance and squeezed out the others

British East India Company (1757 -1857)
-British merchants controlled trade between Europe and S.E. Asia via South Asia -plantations were established
-India was:
-exporter of raw materials-
-importer of finisheed products
-Sepoy Rebellion (1857)
India's Rebel - lasted only a year

-Official British Colony (1857 -1947)
-Presidency Towns:
-Calcutta (now Kolkata)
-Madras (now Chennai)
-Bombay (now Mumbai)
-Dual Cities
-example: Delhi/New Delhi

-Independence (1947)
-Partition of the colongy
-India (Mostly Hindus)
-Pakistan (divided into West Pak. and East Pak.) Mostly Muslims
-Sri Lanka (Buddhists)

-East Pak. broke away from West Pak. in 1971 and became Bangladesh - Islam (Muslim)


-accelerating economic growth
-growing middle class
-high-tech centers:
-Bangalor (Silicon Plateau) Economy can't keep up with rapid pop. growth


-positive gains are overshadowed by rapid population growth
(still enormous poverty)


-Sinhalese (Buddhists) more political power
-Tamils (Hundus) -> Some want to form own country (North Sri Lanka). Others want more recognition.

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