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The History of India begins with
the birth of the Indus Valley
Civilization in such sites as
Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and
Lothal, and the coming of the
Aryans. These two phases are
usually described as the pre-Vedic
and Vedic perio ds. It is in the
Vedic period that Hinduism first
arose: this is the time to which the
Vedas are dated.
In the fifth century, large parts of
India were united under Ashoka.
He also converted to Buddhism,
and it is in his reign that Buddhism
spread to o ther parts of
Asia. It is in the reign of the
Mauryas that Hinduism took the
shape that fundamentally informs
the religion down to the present
day. Successor states were more
Islam first came to India in the
eighth century, and by the 11th
century had firmly established itself
in India as a political force; the
North Indian dynasties of the
Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous
others, whose remains are visible
in Delhi and scattered elsewhere
around North India, were finally
succeeded by the Mughal empire,
under which India once again
achieved a large measure of
political unity.
The European presence in India
dates to the seventeenth century,
and it is in the latter part of this
century that the Mughal empire
began to disintegrate, paving the
way for regional states. In the
contest for supremacy, the English
emerged 'victors', their rule
marked by the conquests at the
battlefields of Plassey and Buxar.
The Rebellion of 1857-58, which
sought to restore Indian
supremacy, was crushed; and with
the subsequent crowning of
Victoria as Empress of India, the
incorporation of India into the
empire was complete. Successive
campaigns had the effect
of driving the British out of India
in 1947.

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