Sunday, September 19, 2010

Economic Development during Magadh and Maurya

Maurya dynasty has been earmarked as the oldest and united kingdom when India flourished econmically, politically and culturally. Its effect persisted during the next few centuries. But the original records of its reign in southern India upto 500 BC, other than the Silalipi written in Sanskrit or in Prakrit ,  was not available . The countries, in southern India,  not under the rule of Ashok were Pandya, Chola, Chera, Satyaputra and Keralputra. Some records of Pandya kingdom was available in the description of Meghasthinis. During the reign of Maurya kingdom, Budhism were spread in South India. Maurya dynasty played a very important role in th3e economic development of ancient India. Though the development was different in different regions of the kingdom. The most developed area was northern India where the land was fertile and the underground wealth was abondant. Use of Iron took an important part inthe developmaent. Development in irrigation was rapid. Collective and individual irrigation system was in vogue. Apart from agriculture the rearing of cattle was also in practice.
Increase of trade and cottage industry induced the increase of Cities. There were 570 forts and more than 60 gates to be crossed to ereach the capital Pataliputra. System of coins was began to start. Private ownership of land was also increased at that time.
The total land of the country was divided in small quantities amongst the cultivators. these cultivators were called the free-man . These freemen unitedly prepared by donating their labour the streetsn roads, pools, ponds etc. If any body refused to do any work he or she was penalised by fines. These united body ina village not only was responsible for their own development work they were also a safety valve for any external attack, which was studied by Karl marx in 1857-58 and wrote his observation in Grundrisse .
One-sixth of the of the production from land was usually allotted as their tax payable to the King's exchequer which may icrease or decrease as per natural conditions.
Thou the slve system was started during Vedic period it graduaaly icreased in Maurya dynasty. These slaves were divided amongst the free-men according to the terms and condition. There were different types of slaves. They were being used as the furniture of the owner.
Use of daily labour was also in practice. Their wage in case land was one tenth of the production.