How, When and Where.​

How Important are Dates?

  • History is about finding out how things were in the past and how things have changed.
  • Earlier, history was synonymous with dates.
  • History was an account of battles and big events such as:
    The year a king was crowned.
    The year he was married and had a child.
    The year he fought a particular war or battle.
    The year he died.
    The year the next ruler succeeded to the throne etc.
  • Now, historians look more towards why and how events happen and not entirely focussing on when events happened.

How do we periodise?

We divide history into different periods in an attempt to capture the characteristics of  time, its central features as and when they appear to us.

British classification of Indian History

In 1817, James Mill, a Scottish economist and political philosopher, in his book ‘A History of British India’ divided Indian history into three periods:

→ Hindu
→ Muslim
→ British

According to Mill, all Asian societies were at a lower level of civilisation when compared to Europe.

Another Classification of Indian history

Historians have usually divided Indian history into :


->medieval and 


 This division too has its problems.

→ Since this periodisation is borrowed from the West where the modern period was associated with the growth of all the forces of modernity such as science, reason, democracy, liberty and equality.

→ Medieval was a term used to describe a society where these features of modern society did not exist.

  • Many historians refers British rule period as ‘colonial’ since during this rule:

→ People did not have equality, freedom or liberty.
→ No economic growth and progress took place.

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