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Causes for the rise of Magadha

Filed under: History Magadha Empire on 2021-06-16 21:00:48
Geographical factors

# Magadha was located on the upper and lower parts of the Gangetic valley.
# It was located on the mainland route between west and east India.
# The area had fertile soil. It also received enough rainfall.
# Magadha was encircled by rivers on three sides, the Ganga, Son and Champa making the region impregnable to enemies.
# Both Rajgir and Pataliputra were located in strategic positions.

Economic factors

# Magadha had huge copper and iron deposits.
# Because of its location, it could easily control trade.
# Had a large population which could be used for agriculture, mining, building cities and in the army.
# The general prosperity of the people and the rulers.
# The mastery over Ganga meant economic hegemony. Ganga was important for trade in North India.
# With the annexation of Anga by Bimbisara, river Champa was added to the Magadha Empire. Champa was important in the trade with South-East Asia, Sri Lanka and South India.

Cultural factors

# Magadhan society had an unorthodox character.
# It had a good mix of Aryan and non-Aryan peoples.
# The emergence of Jainism and Buddhism led to a revolution in terms of philosophy and thought. They enhanced liberal traditions.
# Society was not so much dominated by the Brahmanas and many kings of Magadha were ‘low’ in origins.

Political factors

# Magadha was lucky to have many powerful and ambitious rulers.
# They had strong standing armies.
Availability of iron enabled them to develop advanced weaponry.
# They were also the first kings to use elephants in the army.
# The major kings also developed a good administrative system.
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