Buddhism and the First Unification of India History Alive Chapter 17
The Mauryas Unify India • First leaders to unify India.
Chandragupta Maurya • Began building the Empire in the 320s B.C.E. • Used his great army of 700,000 soldiers and 9,000 elephants to overthrow the other rulers.
Chandragupta Maurya • Used force. • Powerful army. • Spies. • Torture.
Chandragupta’s Accomplishments • Central Government • Wrote Laws • Gave farmers water for crops • Built a Royal Road 1,000 miles
Toward the end of his life • Chandragupta became an ascetic. • He lived in poverty. • He traveled with monks.
King Ashoka • Chandragupta’s grandson. • Ruled from 269 to 232 B.C.E. • After one brutal battle he decided to reject violence.
Ashoka embraces Buddhism • Supported Buddhist values of love, peace, and nonviolence. • He gave up hunting and became a vegetarian. • He visited Buddhist sites.
Ashoka embraces Buddhism • Ashoka gave up wars of conquest. • He wanted his people to follow the Buddhist path. • He urged them to be kind, respectful, and moral.
Ashoka’s Edicts • An edict is a command that is obeyed like a law. • He had edicts carved into walls, rocks, and tall pillars in public places.
FYI: Not all of Ashoka’s actions reflected Buddhism • He allowed slavery. • Permitted people to be executed for serious crimes. • He kept a strong army. • Gave up conquest, but would not give the lands back that he conquered.
Ashoka’s Edicts Designed to Promote • Buddhist Values • General Welfare • Justice • Security
After Ashoka’s Death • About 45 years after his death the kingdom broke apart into separate kingdoms. • Buddhism spread.