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Socio Economic Conditions During Mahajanapadas



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Besides, the establishment of big empires, another important feature of the age was increased prosperity and the growth of towns. The primary reason of increased prosperity of India was its growth of foreign trade with the countries of the North-West, Western countries and several countries of Asia.

There were several trade routes and roads connecting different parts of India in all directions. One trade route was from Kosambi, through Gangetic plain, to Punjab and then Taxila joining the routes to Iran, Central Asia, European countries and several countries of Asia. Another route started from Rajagriha and, passing through Kosambi and Ujjaini, was connected with the port of Baroach from where the trade was carried on with western countries through sea-route. One important route passed through the entire Gangetic plain and reached the boundary of Burma and yet, another route connected northern plain with the sea-coast of south-east. These routes developed because of increased trade and, in turn, helped in enhancing internal as well as external trade.

The increased prosperity of the Indian affected their social structure as well. Towns became not only the centers of trade but centers of industries as well. Various goods were produced on a large scale to feed the foreign trade and that could be possible only in town or vice versa. By that time, Indian rulers had started minting good coins of different metals. It helped in the development of trade and growth of industries because coins proved to be a good medium of exchange and, thus, facilitated transactions. The growth of trade and industry formed rich trading and industrial communities which concentraded themselves in towns. We find existence of different guilds formed by traders and industrialism during this period. It created various organised and consciously awakened groups in towns which, finally, resulted in the formations of several sub-castes.

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