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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bullit View Post
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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.
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No there were many hegemonic powers of South Asian origin. Its just that most conquerors chose to ignore the arid, unproductive Northwest and gave two hoots about "uniting" anybody. Even Rashtrakutas were treated as one of the top powers of the world when controlling less than half of the landmass of Republic of India. More things to tax, trade etc.

Obviously these powers had the potential to unite "South Asia" if they chose to, but please refer to my first point as to why they did not.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 06:32 PM   #22
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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.
Actually, they did. They are exactly the ones who broke the Qin empire apart.

And btw, the traditional Chinese philosophy states that you should not exterminate the previous dynasty. There are plenty of emperors who lost their throne to another dynasty but live out their lives. They were given fiefdoms and titles and ranks so that their ancestors would still receive proper ritual and worship.

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It helped in China that a single ethnic group, dominated. The majority of Chinese shared a common language, writing, and social values.
That's because QSHD dragged everyone screaming and kicking across the field shouting 'but I don't want to' and everyone got so mad that they revolted the moment he died and took out his empire.

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The Chinese government was more centralized, and the rights of Chinese nobility less established, making it easier to unify.
These rights of the nobility got diminished through perhaps more than a thousand years. If we were to began when Zhou's king establish the fiefdoms from duchy to homestead, and we go to Tang's effort to truly break up the mengfa, then it's more than a thousand years.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 08:26 PM   #23

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There are two main factors that come to my mind:

1) Various imperial dynasties in China promoted "Sinciziation" to varying degrees. Over time, as more and more land came under the sway of different dynasties, and local ethnic groups were displaced by "Han" Chinese migrants, a relatively high degree of uniformity in language, and religious and cultural identity was produced which subsequent dynasties could utilize to bolster their claim to authority and consolidate power.

By contrast, the broadly analogous process in the Indian subcontinent was Aryanization which did not replace regional languages and cultures but instead accentuated them as diverse, unique elements within the fabric of Indian society. It is difficult to enforce long term authority over an area of the world where each political constituent values its own regional history and identity. In this respect, as Bart Dale noted above, it is not unlike Europe.

2) Indian dynasties lacked the extensive, pervasive bureaucratic structures established by Chinese dynasties. Chinese dynasties were highly centralized and their bureaucracy regulated and staffed by meritocratically chosen officials (at least nominally) in such a way as to minimize balkanizing tendencies and maximize the authority and reach of the central figure.

Indian dynasties however tended to be less centralized and more heavily reliant on their recently vanquished and reinstated vassals to carry out affairs in their respective regions. In the long term, this merely ensured that fragmentation would ensue in the lack of a powerful central authority when former vassals would seize the opportunity to rebel.

Last edited by EternalWay; August 26th, 2017 at 08:37 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 07:57 AM   #24

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And then there is everything in between. In terms of climate, flora, fauna and peoples.
You forgot the snows.
Uttarkhand (Trishul/Nandadevi)

Click the image to open in full size.

On the empire front, I hardly know anything about Chinese history, but I suppose there were many dynasties like in Egypt. In India also we had many empires and many dynasties. The dynasties don't last very long. 200 to 400 years. Change is the way of the world. Yes, in India the conquered people were not exterminated. They would normally migrate to some other region and establish a kingdom in time in their new locale. Actually the common people were hardly involved in empire making, they lived their life in peace and paid taxes to whoever was the king.

I do not remember it in detail but read somewhere that the Chach kings were from Central India. After their defeat, they transferred to Sindh and later to Kabul. Perhaps Bullit will have something to say about that.

Last edited by Aupmanyav; August 27th, 2017 at 08:15 AM.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 12:01 PM   #25

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Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post
I do not remember it in detail but read somewhere that the Chach kings were from Central India. After their defeat, they transferred to Sindh and later to Kabul. Perhaps Bullit will have something to say about that.
I know there is a tract called "Chach" on the east bank of Indus betwixt Attock and Taxila in Pakistan but sorry I have no knowledge of kings you refer to.
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Old August 28th, 2017, 03:25 AM   #26

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It may not be correct to say that Indian Empires were short-lived. We tend to get this impression because we skip details of many empires because of the long time periods involved in Indian history.


Here are some long-lived empires: Pala Empire 424 years (750-1174 AD), Ahom Kingdom 610 years (1228-1838 AD), Eastern Chalukyas 451 years (624-1075 AD), Hoyasala kingdom 317 years (1026-1343 AD), Vijaynagar Empire 310 years (1336-1646 AD), Solanki kingdom 302 years (942-1244 AD). These are fairly long reigns.


British Ascendency in India lasted for 127 years from 1820 (defeat of Marathas) till 1947 (withdrawal of British). Even if one considers British colonial power beginning in 1757, they lasted 190 years maximum.

The famous Mughal Empire lasted 211 years 1526-1737 AD.

I once analysed 28 Indian dynasties. The average reign per king was 18.5 years for 16 Hindu/Buddhist dynasties and that for Muslim kings was 14.0 years in 12 Muslim dynasties. Average reign per king was 17.1 years for all 28 dynasties.


regards

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PS: Don't know much about Chinese history. Someone can post length of their periods.
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Old August 28th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #27
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" It is the commonest fallacy of present discussions to speak of India as if it were the home of a strongly-coherent united race. It makes me sick when I hear the Secretary of State saying of India, “She will do this and she will do that.” India is an abstraction, represented by a handful of politically-minded classes who have no means of intercourse with each other except in the English language, who have no real contact with the masses, who are incapable of giving them the guidance they require, and are animated in the main by very great hostility to this country. India is no more a political personality than Europe. India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator."

This speech was published as part of India: Speeches by the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1931), pp. 163-70. Winston Churchill had served in British India in the army. He knew his subject well.
Whatever the case, India continues to exist pretty well united. Its division in 1947 was caused by a religion, an imported one.
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Old August 28th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #28

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Whatever the case, India continues to exist pretty well united. Its division in 1947 was caused by a religion, an imported one.
And 1937 Burma "partition"? Please do note we are talking about a entity called British India. You know the one with a Viceroy, poncy English and British flag etc etc. Please try not to confuse it with Indian Republic - even if it carries similar name.


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Old August 28th, 2017, 09:51 AM   #29
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And 1937 Burma "partition"? Please do note we are talking about a entity called British India. You know the one with a Viceroy, poncy English and British flag etc etc. Please try not to confuse it with Indian Republic - even if it carries similar name.
One may even call it "Chinese India" if that matters, but to the world it was India, except for some nationalistic Pakistanis.
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Old August 28th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #30

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One may even call it "Chinese India" if that matters, but to the world it was India, except for some nationalistic Pakistanis.
And some "un-nationalistic" Indians.
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