Location:  Large Peninsula in South Asia

Mountain Passes: Himalayan Mts.  Isolate but Passes allow invasion

Monsoons: seasonal winds that bring rain.  Can bring flooding or drought.

Early Civilization

River Valleys:  Indus and Ganges Rivers

Harappa & Mohenjo Daro


Aryans (Sanskrit language, caste system, horse, iron)

Alexander the Great (Hellenistic culture)

Mauryas (Unified Empire)

Mughal (Islam)



        World’s oldest religion
        No one founder
        Worship Brahma (creator) and other gods
Holy Books
Reward/ Punishment for way you lived your life.
        Karma – the sum of your life’s actions.
        Dharma – The rules of your caste.  Your duty.
        Samsara – Reincarnation
        Mooksha – Becoming one with the universe.
        By Birth. Rigid.  Can not change except for re-birth.
        4 main based on occupation
        Untouchables. – Outcasts
        Discrimination now illegal, but still exists.

Influence of Hinduism

        Reincarnation but can attain Nirvana in one            lifetime.
        Usually no gods
        Reject caste system.

Jainism – Extreme nonviolence

Sikhism – Mix of Hindu and Muslim beliefs.


Four Noble Truths

All life is suffering.

Suffering is caused by desire for things that are illusions

The only way to end suffering is to eliminate desire.

The way to end desire is to follow the Eightfold Path.

Following the Eightfold Path leads to Nirvana

British Imperialism 1756-1947

Reasons:  Trading bases in far east

1858 Sepoy Mutiny


Improved health

Improved transportation

Improved education

Mohandas Gandhi

National Congress party: Leader wanted independence for India

Passive Resistance: Nonviolent, Non-cooperation

Civil Disobedience: Refusal to obey unjust laws

Non- Violence: Suffer punishment with self control

Cottage industries: Boycott British goods and use Indian domestic system

Salt March: March to the sea to protest British tax.


Civil War/ Partition of India

Hindu vs. Muslim; India divided to end religious conflict

India- Hindu

Pakistan (East&West) – Muslim

Mass migrations of people (10 –12 mil.)

New Government

Parliamentary -based on British Democracy

Jawaharial Nehru: 1st pm, wanted heavy industry

Indira Gandhi (Nehru’s daughter) birth control, suspended civil rights, assassinated.

Non-Alignment: Stayed neutral in cold war

Mixed Economy: socialism + capitalism

Modern Problems

Overpopulation:  Too many people, religion demands respect for life.  Family planning sponsored by government resisted.

Capital:  Foreign investment - $ leaves country

Religious rivalries: Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians (some boarder disputes)

Nuclear Power


Green Revolution: Using technology to increase food production has been very successful.