Post Vedic Age

The Post Vedic age is the era which is sometimes called Second Urbanization. The period of second urbanization (6th century B.C. to 3rd century B.C.) noticed the large-scale beginning of town life in the middle Gangetic basin. The widespread use of iron tools and weapons helped the formation large of territorial states. The towns became good markets and both artisans and merchants were organized into guilds under their respective headmen.

6th Century BC was the age of remarkable progress in different spheres of human life. The emergence of urban centers in North India was one of these developments for the 2nd time several towns & cities emerged in India because the 1st phase of urbanization was witnessed under Harappan civilization.

The process of urbanization was the outcome of a solid material socio-cultural political base prepared by all-round progress during the 6th century BC. This process of urbanization continued for more than 1000 years & gradually engulfed the whole of India.

Economic Factors involved in Post Vedic Age

Role of Agriculture: The process of agricultural growth that is started around 1000 BC had reached a state of agriculture surplus by 6th century BC. By this time the peasants started using animal power in agriculture act more frequently pull the plowshare Agriculture expansion produced a huge amount of surplus which prepared a solid material base for the emergence of urban centers.

Role of Arts & Crafts: By the 6th century BC use of iron in arts & craft had increased further as a result of which several news crafts had emerged. Craft based on leatherworking cotton & woolen textile, pottery, goldsmithing, coppersmithing & carpentry, etc. had also progressed immensely. The availability of agriculture increased the demand for arts & craft products. This process resulted in the emergence of craft centers such as Mathura & Urbanization that begin to be witnessed in North India.

Role of Trade & Commerce: Trade & Commerce witnessed the most remarkable 6th century BC. The availability of agriculture surplus & new craft products gave a boost to Trade & Commerce. Several other factors were responsible for remarkable progress in the field of Trade & Commerce such as monetization of the economy, the emergence of the guild, knowledge of script & political unification witnessed in North India for the 1st time in India history coins were issued in 6th century BC. These coins are known as punched marked coins. These were small pieces of copper & silver having various symbols punched on them.

Punched Marked Coins
Punched Marked Coins

Monetization of the economy gave a boost to Trade & Commerce because it helps in the growth of exchange North & West. The Vedic Aryan became aware of the script in 6th century BC, the knowledge of the script facilitated the growth of Trade & Commerce because the account of the transaction could be maintained.

Guilds also emerged for 1st time in the 6th century BC. These were the organization of groups involved in the different economic activities such as arts & crafts & Trade & Commerce. Guild managed market, check the quality of manufactured goods fixed prices of goods, looked after the welfare of its member & facilitated the transfer of vocational knowledge from generation to generation.

Guild also maintained troops to provide safety to its merchants. Guilds also enjoy judicial power over members. In reality, a guild was stated within the state. Their positive role helped in all-round progress of the economy. The emergence of Mahajanpada resulted in political unification at a much bigger scale uniform admin implemented by rulers of these Mahajanpada supported trade & commercial acts.

King patron size merchant & traders for the overall benefit of state & people. Progress in the field of trade & commerce resulted in the emergence of several new Trade & Commercial centers on one hand & the other hand character of existing settlement got transformed.

Role of Social and cultural factor 

The population increased over a period of time contributed to the process of urbanization because the size of existing settlements increased and new settlements emerged over a period of time. The positive ideas & values put forward by heterodox sects of the 6th century BC created a solid ideological base for the emergence of the urban economy.

Leaders like Buddha, Mahavira supported the practice of money lending. They were closely associated with reach merchants & traders. Materialistic outlook gained ground in North India as a result of remarkable progress witnessed in economic. This outlook encouraged people to invest their time & resource in economic progress.