[Vajiram Classnotes] World Trade, Birth of Islam and Crusades | World History Notes for UPSC


Hey, aspirants, many toppers have mentioned Vajiram and Ravi class-notes as their source of preparation for UPSC CSE. If you are not in Delhi then it is quite difficult to get hold of these notes.

So here I have made a post which contains class notes of world history. Here I will cover the first topic i.e. Why Mahmud of Ghazni attacked India, Birth of Islam, Why Spices were important in the Middle Ages?

  • Source: Vajiram and Ravi Class notes + NCERT + Wikipedia + Google.
  • Disclaimer: These notes will be in one-liner format or question and answer format.
  • UPSC syllabus of world history says we have to cover world history from the industrial revolution till recent developments. But in this post, we are discussing

[World History] Why Mahmud of Ghazni Attacked India?

  • 1000 AD: In India, there was an absence of central power, culture was stagnant and backward also the society was divided.
  • Mahmud Ghazni attacked WAIHIND in 1008 and plundered the temple of NAGARKOT. As temples were banks at that time.

Prosperity cannot exist with weakness. Power brings prosperity. Power brings security.

So we can conclude that because India was weak in 1000 AD, India witnessed attacks from NW time to time.

Now let us discuss, why silk route was important? What is crusades? Why crusades are called holy war? and why the holy war happened? so let us start.

[World History] What was the Connecting Link Between East and West?

It was impossible for the west to survive without east. The main reason was the spices. As west was snow covered in winter. So spices acted as preservatives. East was hub of spices. So supply meets demand and trade happens.

Silk Road

  • Length: Approximately 7000 km
  • Major Route: From Beijing, China to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Alternative Route: Bharuch (Gujarat) – Delhi – Taxila – Europe
  • Sea Route: Arabian Sea – Red Sea – Mediterranean Sea.
  • Note: Marco Polo was Silk Road’s prominent traveller. His accounts of 24 years journey of Asia helped west to know the geography and culture of the east.

I have not told half of what I saw- Marco Polo

Silk Road

Birth of Islam

The 7th century was the darkest hour of human history (historians don’t know much about this period as if they never happened). Islam came with noble principles –

  • Liberty
  • Equality
  • Fraternity
  • Millat (Power to choose ruler)

Why Spices were important in the Middle Ages?

  • To preserve raw meat.
  • Spiced wines were famous at that times,
  • Demand was more and supply was limited,
  • Development of new taste
  • Medicinal purposes
  • Sense of scarcity and so on.

The Holy War: Crusades

Till 10th century Islam consolidated its position in the Middle East and then expanded towards the west. But its expansion towards the west created a rift between Christianity and Islam and gave rise to holy war called CRUSADES i.e. war between CROSS and CRESCENT.

  • Note: there was no holy thing in holy wars. Actually, they were fighting for silk route (see image below)
  • Pope Urban II declared those who will die in the holy war would be immediately absolved i.e. free from their guilt and sins.

Crusades went on from the 11th century to the 15th century. Finally, Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople (Present-day Istanbul) in 1453. So, now the silk route came under the direct control of Muslims. As they dominated silk routes Europeans had to find another way to get to East (spice trade).

So all this led to next development RENAISSANCE i.e. Rebirth of Nationalism in Europe.

At this point, we have covered the background of world history for UPSC. In the next post, we will cover the Renaissance in Europe. Till then goodbye.

NOTE: Classnotes Vajiram and Ravi for UPSC CSE

Here at this website, I will post my notes which mainly consist of Vajiram and Ravi Class-notes, NCERTs and standard books.

  • I have also made some videos on YouTube. You may find them helpful.
  • You can join us at telegram for notes and updates.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here