CBSE Class 7 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 1

CBSE Class 7 History Chapter 1 Notes – Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years

Class 7 History Chapter 1 Notes provided by Extramarks are concise and accurate. These notes cover the entire chapter related to the changes that occurred through thousands of years(roughly 700 to 17500 and how they impacted the different areas.

New and old terminologies, historians, their sources, and the changes in socio-political groups, etc are also explained. These notes are made referring to CBSE (NCERT) books and are prepared keeping in mind the requirements of the students. 

Students can access these notes from the Extramarks website. These notes are comprehensive and gain a deeper understanding of this topic. It is best to refer to it while preparing for the exams.

Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years Class 7 Notes History Chapter 1

Access Class 7 Social Science(History) Chapter 1: Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years

New and Old Terminologies

Over time, the terms and meanings of words drastically changed with time. For example, the Persian word “Hindustan” written by Minhaj-i-Siraj during the 13th century referred to the areas of Punjab, Haryana, and the land between the Ganga and Yamuna, on the other hand, Babur used the term to describe the geography, the fauna and the culture inhabitants of the subcontinent, Amir Khusrau, the 14th-century poet used another similar word “Hind”  whereas, today the term “Hindustan”  means India.

Historians and their Sources

  • Ancient artefacts such as coins, inscriptions, architecture, and textual records are a source of information to know the past.
  • People progressively started gaining interest in writing holy texts, chronicles of rulers, petitions and judicial data, letters and teachings of saints, and registers of accounts and taxes.
  • Various communities such as wealthy people, monasteries, rulers, and temples wrote and preserved manuscripts. These consisted of enormous amounts of detailed information which were placed in libraries and archives. These manuscripts were difficult to understand and use as they were handwritten.
  • The texts were copied by hand as printing presses were not established then. Over time, there were several changes in those texts. There were many discrepancies as the original manuscripts of the authors were not available. Historians had to refer to various versions of similar texts to understand what the author had written formally.
  • Ziauddin Barani was a well-known historian in the 14th century. He wrote his chronicle first in 1356 then wrote another one two years later. The two chronicles were distinct from each other and the existence of the first version was unknown to historians till the 1960s. It was lost within the numerous library collections.

New Social and Political Groups

  • Between 700 and 1750, various changes occurred throughout this time period. Some of the new technological innovations included the Persian wheel for irrigation, the spinning wheel for weaving, and weapons for warfare.
  • Two writing styles were introduced: the Nastaliq style. which was cursive and simple to read, and the Shikaste style, which was denser and more hard to understand. 
  • Some new food items such as potatoes, chillies, corn, tea, and coffee were introduced into the subcontinent. New people introduced progressive ideas which led to several political, economic, social, and cultural alterations. 
  • Kshatriyas like “Rajputra” meaning the son of the ruler or Rajputs stood up to their ruler status. They possessed certain characteristics such as a chivalric code of conduct, bravery, and an astounding sense of loyalty. 
  • The opportunities present at that time were used by castes such as Marathas, Jats, Sikhs, Ahoms, and Kayasthas to become politically relevant.
  • Throughout this period, there was the gradual clearing of forests and the expansion of agriculture forced forest dwellers to migrate. With the gradual change in the habitat of the peasants, societies became more differentiated and people were grouped into jatis or sub casts.
  • Ranks varied depending on their background and occupations namely-  power, influence, and resources available and from region to region. 
  • Jatis had their own set of rules and regulations to direct the conduct of their members. The jati panchayat, an association of elders, imposed these regulations. Jatis necessarily also complied with the rules of their villages.  A chieftain was in charge of several villages. Collectively they formed one small unit of a state.

Region and Empire

  •  By 700 many regions have adopted different geographical dimensions, languages, and cultural attributes. For instance, large states of Cholas or Mughals acquired many regions including Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban who ruled over a vast empire.
  • The conflicts between nations allowed pan-regional dynasties like the Cholas, Khiljis, Tughlaqs, and Mughals to establish their empires, however not all empires were successful.
  • The decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18 century, led to the re-emergence of regional states. There were several small and big states with years of imperial rule that altered the character of the regions. . These led to the commencement of different and collaborative traditions in terms of administration, the regulation of the economy, their rich cultures, and language.
  • These regions saw the effects of powerful pan-regional forces with many distinct and shared traditions in terms of governance, language, culture etc. Although these pan-regional forces impacted to some extent but managed to retain their individuality.

Old and New Religions

  • People’s ideas were based on their communal beliefs while their faith in spirituality was deeply personal. The social and economic organisations of local associations’ alterations over time led to changes in the faith in religion. 
  • Hinduism witnessed several changes in the way the religion functioned. These involved the devotion of new deities, the establishment of temples by royalty, and the growing significance of Brahmanas, the priests, as dominant groups in society.
  • The Brahmanas’ knowledge of Sanskrit texts helped them attain respect in society and gained support from several rulers too. Their position was consolidated by the patrons (new rulers searching for prestige). 
  •   An important development during this period was the rise of the Bhakti movement where people could worship their personal deities without the priest or the lofty rituals. 
  • New religions were introduced in the subcontinent, and the teachings of the Holy Quran were presented initially by merchants and migrants during the 7th century. The Quran is the holy book of the Muslims and they believe in the supremacy of the one God, named Allah. His love, mercy, and bounty accept all those who have faith in Him, irrespective of their social background.
  • Islam was construed in various ways just like Hinduism by its disciple. Many significant differences between the Shia Muslims and the Sunni Muslims besides other differences between distinct schools of law and in beliefs and mystic traditions. 

Thinking About Time and Historical Periods

  • During 19th century, the history of India was divided by British historians into three periods, namely: 
  1. Hindu
  2. Muslim 
  3. British
  • The division of history was roughly established on the prime ruler’s religion and the categorisation was not done on another crucial basis. It did not acknowledge the subcontinent’s rich variance.
  • The mediaeval phase focused on barbarians, early farmers, individuals living in towns and villages, and initial empires and kingdoms. The development of Hinduism and Islam as major religions and the arrival of European trading companies. 
  • The “modern” period and the “mediaeval” period have quite a disparity. The term “Modernity” implies material growth and intellectual development. While the term mediaeval means “of the Middle Ages“.

Understanding New Terminologies and Old Ones

Over time, certain words’ denotations tend to alter. For example, the term “Hindustan” was used to signify India in the 13th century. This term was used with keeping in mind a specific political sense for the lands as a whole that were a part of the regions under the Delhi Sultan. Even so, this part shifted with the extent of the Sultanate but it never included southern India.. In the early 16th century, Babur used the term “ Hindustan”  to describe the subcontinent’s specific culture, geography, and fauna and their occupants. Accordingly, over time, we can see that denotations of certain words are modified by uncovering changes over a thousand years.

For instance, the term ‘Foreigner’ is used by individuals to signify people who do not originally belong to India, whereas in the mediaeval period, this term was used to denote any specific unknown person who arrived at a particular village. . An individual or stranger who does not belong to the culture and society of a particular village would be considered a foreigner or pardesi in Hindi and ajnabi in Persian. Therefore, it is common for many words to have more than one denotation.

Different Sources Used by Historians

Class 7 History Chapter 1 Notes cover detailed information about historians and the various sources used by them to gain more insight into their past. These notes also include the study period and the sources used for their investigation. Particular artefacts such as inscriptions, architecture, coins, and specific textual records issue historians with relevant information. Although there was a considerable discontinuity, the number of textual records increased considerably.  Paper was priced at a reasonable rate and became widely available during this period so it was used for writing down some chronicles of the rulers, teachings, and holy texts and was easier to preserve. Additionally, the historians were able to obtain the different manuscripts that belonged to the monarchs, nobility, and monasteries, which helped them to learn more about that era.

Printing presses were not established at that time. Therefore, scribes noted each manuscript with their hands and introduced minor changes here and there. Consequently, many alterations were made over time. Therefore, the similar texts’ manuscripts would come out to be distinct from one another. As a result, historians had to read other texts to find out what the author had written originally.

Changes in The Old and New Socio-Political Groups

There have been numerous developments and changes between 700 and 1750.  During this period, new technologies were introduced. For example, the invention of the Persian wheel played a crucial role in irrigation, the spinning wheel was built to aid in weaving and also firearms used in combat. Several alterations took place in the foods and beverages. Some new foods were introduced from the subcontinent such as potatoes, chillies, coffee, corn, and tea. 

Cultivation and production motivated numerous people to travel for new opportunities, fortune and wealth. This led to modifications in habitat as well. Forests were emptied for agriculture and other reasons. Individuals began categorising themselves into groups such as priests, chieftains, etc. Temples, monasteries, and markets were built. This resulted in a socio-political division among the people.

Formation of Regions and Religions

A few larger states were under the rule of dynasties such as Tuglaqs, Cholas, and the Mughals comprising various regions. Therefore, these regions adopted the specific culture and language of the dynasties that were ruling over them. Over time, a few alterations were made to religious traditions as well. Despite the pan-regional influence, they managed to retain their identity. Important Questions And Answers

  1. What new technological things and developments occurred between 700 and 1750? 

Ans: The new technological things and developments that occurred during the thousand years were responsible for a variety of developments. :

  • Between 700 and 1750, new technologies made their appearance namely –  the Persian wheel in irrigation, the spinning wheel in weaving, and firearms in combat.  
  • Two writing styles were introduced: the Nastaliq style which is cursive and simple to read, and the Shikaste style which is denser and more difficult to understand. 
  • Potatoes, chillies, corn, tea, and coffee were among the new foods introduced to the subcontinent. Progressive ideals were introduced by newcomers, and these changes in politics, the economy, society, and culture followed.
  1. What did historians use as their sources to study the past?

Ans: The sources used by historians to study the past are:

  • Ancient artefacts such as coins, inscriptions, architecture, and textual records are a source of information used to study about the past.
  • Writing holy scriptures, kings’ biographies, court records, petitions, saints’ letters and teachings, financial records, and tax registers gradually became more popular.
  • Manuscripts were created and kept by a variety of communities, including affluent people, monasteries, kings, and temples. These contained a staggering amount of specific information. Because they were written by hand, these manuscripts were challenging to understand.
  • Since printing presses were not yet operational, the texts were copied by hand. These writings underwent a number of alterations over time. Since the original authors could not be located, there were several inconsistencies. To understand what the author had written formally, historians must consult several manuscript variants of the same piece.
  • Ziauddin Barani who was a historian in the 14th century wrote his chronicle first in 1356 then wrote another one two years later. The two chronicles were separate from one another, and until the 1960s, historians were unaware that the first edition even existed. It was misplaced in the enormous library collections.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What were the obvious results of the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century?

The most prominent results of the decline of the Mughal empire in the 18th century were :

  • In the 18th century, the decline of the Mughals led to the re-emergence of the regional states.
  • During the imperial and pan-regional rule, the integrity of the region was impacted however they managed to retain their identity.
  • The small and big states started administering their region with legacies.
  •  The region changed and there was a rise of distinct and shared traditions such as culture, governance t, economy, language, etc.
  • No advancement in regional development occurred between 700 and 1750 AD.

2. Who are the Mughals?

The descendants of two significant clans of rulers, the Iranis and Turanis (nobles of Turkish descent) were the Mughals. Their maternal side were descendants of Genghis Khan, the Mongol ruler who captured and took control over parts of China and Central Asia whereas their paternal side were successors of Timur, who ruled over Iran, Iraq, and present-day Turkey.