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Old August 26th, 2017, 02:55 PM   #11

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not the small status quo fiefdom types that were prevalent in the Northwest areas of present day Pakistan.
That is true but the dry North West [Pakistan] was also the region where the earliest civilizations took root like Harappa/Indus/IVC. Then subsequently Gandhara/Greek/Buddhist kingdoms.

Also if you look at the last 5,000 years of recorded history and then tabulate the periods when South Asia was united [of sorts] you will invariably find that this sub-continent was integrated by mostly, yes mostly [excluding a sliver of time] by external invaders most prominent being Moghul and British. Both were exotic to the region. One Turkic and the other Anglo-Saxons.

The noteable exception of a 'indigenous' pan South Asian empire was the Mauryan which only integrated the region for less than 99 years.

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Old August 26th, 2017, 02:58 PM   #12

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Although some impressive empires grew in South Asia (Maurya and Mughal particularly), I have to agree that they lasted lesser and were less stable than their Chinese counterparts.

Other colleagues told some ideas, I can add that China enjoys a central plain full of resources that act as the heart connector to the rest of territory. The Indo-Gangetic plain plays a similar role, but is more diverse and less integrative. The Deccan for instead, tend to isolate from the north, being able historically to develop strong powers

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That from a geographical point of view.

Then a cultural perspective is needed: Confucianism and legalist traditions in China are strong, while philosophy in India tend to be less square minded.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 03:30 PM   #13

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The Indo-Gangetic plain plays a similar role, but is more diverse and less integrative. The Deccan for instead, tend to isolate from the north, being able historically to develop strong powers
Sorry. The hyphenating of Indus with Ganges Basins conveniently overlooks something. From geographic point of view Indus Plain and Ganges Plain are like chalk and cheese. To begin with Indus flows south through semi arid to desert country finally emptying into the Arabian Sea. Ganges conversely flows in easterly direction through damp tropical to semi tropical landscape eventually disgorging into the tropical humid Bay of Bengal. The only reason you see green in the Indus strip is the artficial irrigation introduced by the British sans which the region is desert. Below are pastings from another thread. But I think they clarify the diversity of the South Asian geograpaphy which as we know has determinant effect on other factors including history.


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And a taste of what the border regions look like along signifant sections of the Indus/Ganges divide.



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Old August 26th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #14

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Comparing that with the river system of China and its canals

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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:03 PM   #15

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Comparing that with the river system of China and its canals
Yes indeed. The Yellow River Basin is crucible of Chinese civilization and the fulcrum that has held everything together. Whereas in South Asia we have Indus Basin, Ganges Basin and the Deccan to the south all of which are unique and historically been fractured.


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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:13 PM   #16
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That is true but the dry North West [Pakistan] was also the region where the earliest civilizations took root like Harappa/Indus/IVC. Then subsequently Gandhara/Greek/Buddhist kingdoms.

Also if you look at the last 5,000 years of recorded history and then tabulate the periods when South Asia was united [of sorts] you will invariably find that this sub-continent was integrated by mostly, yes mostly [excluding a sliver of time] by external invaders most prominent being Moghul and British. Both were exotic to the region. One Turkic and the other Anglo-Saxons.

The noteable exception of a 'indigenous' pan South Asian empire was the Mauryan which only integrated the region for less than 99 years.

Mughals did not take the South and could barely hold the Deccan. Guptas held Pakistan with ease too.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:26 PM   #17
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Sorry. The hyphenating of Indus with Ganges Basins conveniently overlooks something.
Pakistan is a "state" that was formed in 1947. The Indus is thousands of years old. Anybody can use the term "Indo Gangetic" without you getting all worked up and foaming at the mouth over it.

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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:33 PM   #18
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Perhaps one of the reasons India empires didn't last long may be the lack of ruthlessness by the Indian rulers. It seems to Indian conquers did not seem to exterminate the conquered dynasty, and as a result the when the hold of the ruling dynasty weakened, the original kingdoms re-established themselves.

In China, at least in the Warring State Period, the conquered dynasties were exterminate, so when China experienced periods of disunity, where the central government broke apart, the previously conquered units didn't reappear, the new kingdoms were not along the lines of the previous kingdoms. In Indian, the individual kingdoms retained their identities.

It helped in China that a single ethnic group, dominated. The majority of Chinese shared a common language, writing, and social values. In India, although most of India shared a common religion, the languages of India could be quite different, the Dravidinian like Tamil and Indo-European language like Hindi from completely different family groups. And with the invasion of Muslims, significant parts India did not even share common writing script, and had a religion quite different from the predominate Hinduism. Also, I think Islam and Hinduism had greater differences between each other than Daoism, Taosim, Buddhism had with each other, at least as those religions were practiced in China.

India was more like Europe - within each region a common culture dominated, but politically fragmented. In Europe, the empires were even more temporary than India- Napoleon, Hittler tried to create an united Europe, but ultimately failed. Both India and Europe's nobility seem more firmly established, with entrenched rights that rulers in both regions could not easily remove - they could resist unification better. The Chinese government was more centralized, and the rights of Chinese nobility less established, making it easier to unify.
Surprisingly, I agree with most of this.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:33 PM   #19

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Pakistan is a "state" that was formed in 1947. The Indus is thousands of years old. Anybody can use the term "Indo Gangetic" without a Pakistani getting all worked up and foaming at the mouth over it.
Okay I am fed up with you. Trust me I can use ascerbic language as well if not better than you against India. I am reporting you. I have tried to ignore you but you won't get off my case.

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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:38 PM   #20

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I've went over this in other threads. The Chinese didn't always see each other as one people, that is imposing modern ideas into the past. When the Qin fell there were a lot of revivalist movements going on:

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^that is a map of what China looked like right after the fall of the Qin. As you can see, a fair portion of these were states that existed right before Qin conquest. Basically the rebels against Qin were led by a fair amount of Warring States revivalist movements. Chu -> Chu, Wei -> Wei, Hann -> Hann, Yan -> Yan, Qi -> Qi.

There is no concept of "Han Chinese" until well well after the Han dynasty. But once the idea took off, the fact that we continue to impose this idea onto a past that does not apply, shows the success of said idea. But that only started roughly 1000 years ago, not since the dawn of Chinese history (hard to pinpoint a date because ideas on ethnic groups are more cultural than scientific, and constantly change in meaning)

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; August 26th, 2017 at 04:49 PM.
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