In the later Vedic period, the tribal groups shifted to the territorial organizations, and the area of settlement were now pointed as janapadas (states).
- In transition from tribe to monarchy, they lost the essential democratic pattern of the tribe but retained the idea of government through an assembly representing the tribes.
- There was, therefore, a strong awareness of the pure land of the Aryans called Aryavarta.
- Each janapada tried to rule and suppress other janapadas to become Mahajanapadas.
- Budhhist literature Angutara Nikaya affords a list of 16 Mahajanapadas in the begining of 6th century B.C.
- Use of Iron tools for agricultural and military purposes was the main cause of formation of Janapadas.
List of 16 Mahajanapadas and their capitals:
|9. Kurus||Hastinapur (Indraprastha)|
|10. Magadha||Girivraja (Rajgriha)|
|11. Maila||Kushinara, Pawa|
|12. Matsya||Virat Nagari|
|13. Panchala||Ahichhatra & Kampilya|
- The kings had the supreme authority.
- The republican states had a Gana-parishad or an Assembly of senior and responsible citizens.
- The Gana-Parishad had the supreme authority in the state. All the administrative decisions were taken by this Parishad.
Republics were basically of two types:
- Containing a single tribe like those of the Sakyas, the Kolias and the Mallas.
- Containing a number of tribes or the republics of confederacy like the Vrijjis.
Differance between Republics and Monarchies:
- Tribal ruler claimed share in revenues from peasants.
- Each ruler was free to maintain his own little army under his senapati.
- Functions under the leadership of the republic assemblies.
- Priest had no influence
- The king claimed to be the sole recipient of such revenues.
- Only king maintains his regular standing army. He did not permit any other armed forces.
- Functioned under the individual leadership of the king.
- Priest had a considerable influence.