The Mauryan dynasty was situated on rich alluvial soil near iron deposits with Magadha as the heart of bustling commerce and trade. The capital, Pataliputra, was a city of magnificent palaces, temples, a university, a library, and parks. A highly centralized and hierarchical government with a large staff regulated tax collection, trade and commerce, industrial arts, mining, the welfare of foreigners, and maintenance of public places including markets and temples.
Administration: A disciplined central authority. The entire Empire was divided into four provinces. A network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice and security. General prosperity and improved law enforcement reduced instances of crime and internal conflicts.
Trade: Maurya sponsored many public works and waterways to enhance productivity. Political unity and internal peace lead to expansion of internal trade in India. The empire exported silk goods and textiles, spices, and exotic foods. There was a rich exchange of scientific knowledge and technology with Europe and West Asia. Ashoka also built roads, waterways, canals, hospitals, and rest houses.
Economy: For the first time in South Asia, political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system that enhanced trade and increased agricultural productivity. Chandragupta Maurya established a single currency across India. Farmers paid taxes and crop collection to a nationally administered and strict-but-fair system of taxation.
Military: The Mauryan army destroyed powerful chieftains who sought to impose their own supremacy in small areas. The Empire boasted the largest standing army of its time: 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 war elephants. A vast espionage system provided both internal and external security. Even after renouncing warfare and expansionism, Ashoka maintained this large army to maintain stability and peace.
Religion: Hinduism was the only religion at the beginning of the empire. The Mauryans were secular rulers, and their tolerant approach gave birth to three diverse religions in India: Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Even after embracing Buddhism, Ashoka kept Hindu Brahmana priests and ministers in his court. The Mauryans discouraged the caste system and discrimination.
Source: Mauryan Empire Achievements and Contributions
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