CBSE Board Syllabus (2011) History Class 11th & 12th

  Cbse » You are here

Courses of Studies 2011

Class : 11th & 12th

21. HISTORY (Code No. 027)

Through a focus on a series of critical historical issues and debates (class XI) or on a range of important historical sources (class XII), the students would be introduced to a set of important historical events and processes. A discussion of these themes, it is hoped, would allow students not only to know
about these events and processes, but also to discover the excitement of doing history. Objectives
Effort in these senior secondary classes would be to emphasize to students that history is a critical discipline, a process of enquiry, a way of knowing about the past, rather than just a collection of facts. The syllabus would help them understand the process through which historians write history, by choosing and assembling different types of evidence, and by reading their sources critically. They will appreciate how historians follow the trails that lead to the past, and how historical knowledge develops The syllabus would also enable students to relate/compare developments in different situations, analyze connections between similar processes located in different time periods, and discover the relationship between different methods of enquiry within history and the allied disciplines.
The syllabus in class XI is organized around some major themes in world history. The themes have been selected so as to (i) focus on some important developments in different spheres - political, social, cultural and economic, (ii) study not only the grand narratives of development - urbanization, industrialization and modernization - but also to know about the processes of displacements and marginalization. Through the study of these themes
students will acquire a sense of the wider historical processes as well as an idea of the specific debates around them.
The treatment of each theme in class XI would include (a) an overview of the theme under discussion, (b) a more detailed focus on one region of study, (c) an introduction to a critical debate associated with the issue.
In class XII the focus will shift to a detailed study of some themes in ancient, medieval and modern Indian history although the attempt is to soften the distinction between what is conventionally termed as ancient, medieval and modern. The object would be to study a set of these themes in some detail and depth rather than survey the entire chronological span of Indian history. In this sense the course will be built on the knowledge that the
students have acquired in the earlier classes.
Each theme in class XII will also introduce the student to one type of source for the study of history. Through such a study students would begin to see what different types of sources can reveal and what they cannot tell. They would come to know how historians analyze these sources, the problems and difficulties of interpreting each type of source, ‘and the way a larger picture of an event, a historical process, or a historical figure, is built
by looking at different types of sources.

Each theme for class XII will be organized around four subheads: (a) a detailed overview of the events, issues and processes under discussion, (b) a summary of the present state of research on the theme, (c) an account of how knowledge about the theme has been acquired, (d) an excerpt from a primary source related to the theme, explaining how it has been used by historians.
While the themes in both these classes (XI and XII) are arranged in a broad chronological sequence, there are overlaps between them. This is intended to convey a sense that chronological divides and periodization do not always operate in a neat fashion.
In the textbooks each theme would be located in a specific time and place. But these discussions would be situated within a wider context by (a) plotting the specific event within time-lines, (b) discussing the particular event or process in relation to developments in other places and other times.

Class XI
Paper One                           Time: 3 hours                      100 Marks

1. Introduction to World History                              8 Periods
Section A: Early Societies                                      32 Periods         15 Marks
2. Introduction                                                        6 Periods
3. From the beginning of time                               14 Periods
4. Early Cities                                                         12 Periods
Section B: Empires                                                 40 Periods          25 Marks
5. Introduction                                                        6 Periods
6. An empire across three continents                   12 Periods
7. Central Islamic lands                                          12 Periods
8. Nomadic Empires                                               10 Periods
Section C: Changing Traditions                              44 Periods          25 Marks
9. Introduction                                                        6 Periods
10. Three orders                                                    12 Periods
11. Changing cultural traditions                             14 Periods
12. Confrontation of cultures                                12 Periods
Section D: Paths to Modernization                        46 Periods          25 Marks
13. Introduction                                                      8 Periods
14. The Industrial Revolution                                 12 Periods
15. Displacing indigenous People                           12 Periods
16. Paths to modernization                                    14 Periods

Class XI: Themes in World History

Themes Objectives

1. Introduction to World History             (8 )

2. Introduction                                       (6)
3. From the Begining of Time               (14)

Focus: Africa, Europe till 15000 BC
(a) Views on the origin of human beings.
(b) Early societies.
(c) Historians' views on present-day hunting-gathering societies.
4. Early Cities                                       (12)
Focus: Iraq, 3rd millennium BC
(a) Growth of towns. (b) Nature of early urban societies. (c) Historians' Debate on uses of writing.

5. Introduction                                    (6)
6. An Empire across Three Continents     (12)
Focus: Roman Empire, 27 B.C to A.D 600.
(a) Political evolution (b) Economic expansion (c) Religion (d) Late Antiquity. (e) Historians views on the institution of Slavery.
7. Central Islamic Lands:                    (12)
Focus: 7th to 12th centuries
(a) Polity (b) Economy (c) Culture.
(d) Historians viewpoints on the nature of the crusades.

8. Nomadic Empires:                         (10)
Focus: the Mongol, 13th to 14th century
(a) The nature of nomadism. (b) Formation of empires. (c) Conquests and relations
with other states. (d) Historians’ views on nomadic societies and state formation.

9. Introduction (6)
10.Three Orders (12)
Focus: Western Europe, 13th-16th century
(a) Feudal society and economy: (b) Formation of states. (c) Church and Society. (d) Historian’s views on decline of feudalism

11. Changing cultural traditions (14) Focus on Europe, 14th to 17th century’.
(a)New ideas, and new trends in literature and arts. (b) Relationship with earlier ideas
(c) The contribution of West Asia. (d) Historian’s view points on the validity of the notion ‘European Renaissance’.
12.Confrontation of Cultures (12)
Focus on the America 15th to 18th century.
(1)European voyages of exploration. (b) Search for gold; enslavement, raids, extermination. (c) Indigenous people and cultures - the Arawaks, the Aztecs, the Incas. (c) The history of displacements.

(d) Historian's view points on the slave trade,

13. Introduction (8 )
14. The Industrial Revolution. (12)
Focus on England, 18th and 19th century.
(a) Innovations and technological change
(b) Patterns of growth. (c) Emergence of a working class.
(d) Historians' viewpoints Debate, 'Was there an Industrial Revolution?

15.Displacing indigenous People. (12)
Focus on North America and Australia,  I8th-20th century,
(a) European colonists in North America and Australia. (b) Formation of white settler societies. (c) Displacement and repression of local people, (d) Historians view points on the impact of European settlement on indigenous population.
16.Paths to Modernization. (14)
Focus on East Asia. Late 19th and 20th century.
(a) Militarization and economic growth in Japan. (b) China and the Communist alternative.
(d) Historians' Debate on meaning of modernization
17. Map Work on Units 1-15 (10)

Familiarize the learner with ways
of reconstructing human evolution.

Discuss whether the experience of
present-day hunting-gathering
people can be used to understand early societies.

Familiarize the learner with the nature of early urban centres.

Discuss whether writing is
significant as a marker of civilization.

Familiarize the learner with the history of a major world empire

Discuss whether slavery was a significant element in the economy.

Familiarize the learner with the rise of Islamic empires in the
Afro-Asian territories and its implications for economy and society.

Understand what the crusades meant in these regions and how they were experienced.

Familiarize the learner with the varieties of nomadic society and their institutions.

Discuss whether state formation is possible in nomadic societies.



Familiarize the learner with the nature of the economy and society of this period and the changes within them.

Show how the debate on the decline of feudalism helps in understanding processes of

Explore the intellectual trends in the period.
Familiarize students with the paintings and buildings of the period Introduce the debate around the idea of ‘Renaissance’.

Discuss changes in European economy that led to the voyages.




Discuss the implications of the conquests for the indigenous people.

Explore the debate on the nature of the slave trade and see what this debate tells us about the meaning of these “discoveries”.



Understand the nature of growth in the period and its limits.

Initiate students to the debate on the idea of industrial revolution.

Sensitize students to the processes of displacements that accompanied the development of America and Australia.


Understand the implications of such processes for the displaced populations.


Make students aware that. transformation in the modern world takes many different forms.

Show how notions like ‘modernization’ need to be critically assessed.

Recommended text books :
1. Themes of World History, Published by NCERT

Class XII
Paper One                   Time: 3 hours                      100 Marks

Themes in Indian History Part-I                                 45 Periods                   25 Marks
Units 1 - 4
Themes in Indian History Part-II                               55 Periods                    30 Marks
Units 5 - 9
Themes in Indian History Part-III                              70 Periods                    35 Marks
Units 10 - 15
Unit 16 : Map Work                                                  10 Periods                     10 Marks

Class XII: Themes in Indian History

Themes Objectives

1. The Story of the First Cities: Harappan Archaeology. (11)

Broad overview: Early urban centres.
Story of discovery: Harappan civilization
Excerpt: Archaeological report on a major site.
Discussion: how it has been utilized by  archaeologists/historians.

Familiarize the learner with early urban centres as economic and social institutions.

Introduce the ways in which new data can lead to a revision of existing notions of history.

Illustrate how archaeological reports are analyzed and interpreted by scholars.

2. Political and Economic History: How Inscriptions tell a story.                 (11)

Broad overview: Political and economic history from the Mauryan to the Gupta period.
Story of discovery: Inscriptions and the decipherment of the script. Shifts in the understanding of political and economic history.
Excerpt: Asokan inscription and Gupta  period land grant.
Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by historians.

Familiarize the learner with major trends in the political and economic history of the subcontinent.

Introduce inscriptional analysis and the ways in which these have shaped the  understanding of political and economic processes.

3. Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata     (12)
Broad overview: Issues in social history, including caste, class, kinship and gender.
Story of discovery: Transmission and publications of the Mahabharat.
Excerpt: from the Mahabharata, illustrating how it has been used by historians.
Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing social history.

Familiarize the learner with issues in social history.

Introduce strategies of textual analysis and their use in reconstructing social history.

4. A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa        (11)
Broad overview: (a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaisnavism, Saivism. (b) Focus on Buddhism.
Story of discovery: Sanchi stupa
Excerpt: Reproduction of sculptures from Sanchi.
Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been interpreted by historians, other sources for
reconstructing the history of Buddhism.

Discuss the major religious developments in early India.

Introduce strategies of visual analysis and their use in reconstructing histories of religion.

5. Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i- Akbari     (11)

Broad overview: (a) Structure of agrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. (b)
Patterns of change over the period.
Story of Discovery: Account of the compilation and translation of Ain-i-Akbari.
Excerpt: from the Ain-i-Akbari
Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the text to reconstruct history.

Discuss developments in agrarian relations.

Discuss how to supplement official documents with other sources.

6. The Mughal Court: Reconstructing  Histories through Chronicles           (11)
Broad Overview: (a) Outline of political history 15th-17th centuries. (b) Discussion of
the Mughal court and politics.
Story of Discovery: Account of the production of court chronicles, and ‘their subsequent.
translation and transmission.
Excerpts: from the Akbarnama and Padshahnama.
Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the texts to reconstruct political histories.

Familiarize the learner with the major landmarks in political history

Show how chronicles and other sources are used to reconstruct the histories of political institutions.

7. New Architecture: Hampi                  (11)
Broad Overview: (a) Outline of new buildings during Vijayanagar period-temples, forts,
irrigation facilities. (b) Relationship between architecture and the political system..
Story of Discovery: Account of how Hampi was found.
Excerpt: Visuals of buildings at Hampi Discussion: Ways in which historians have analyzed and interpreted these structures.

Familiarize the learner with the new buildings that were built during the time.

Discuss the ways in which architecture can be analyzed to reconstruct history.

8. Religious Histories: The Bhakti-Sufi tradition (11)
Broad Overview: (a) Outline of religious developments during this period. (b) Ideas and
practices of the Bhakti-Sufi saints.
Story of Transmission: How Bhakti-Sufi compositions have been preserved.
Excerpt: Extracts from selected Bhakti Sufi works.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been interpreted by historians.

Familiarize the learner with religious developments.

Discuss ways of analyzing devotional literature as sources of history.

9. Medieval Society Through Travellers' Accounts (11)

Broad Overview: Outline of social and cultural life as they appear in travellers’ accounts.
Story of their writings: A discussion of where they travelled, why they travelled, what they
wrote, and for whom they wrote.
Excerpts: from Alberuni, Ibn Batuta, Bernier.
Discussion: What these travel accounts can tell us and how they have been interpreted by

Familiarize the learner with the salient features of social histories described by the travellers.

Discuss how travellers’ accounts can be used as sources of social history.

PART – III                     (70)
10. Colonialism and-Rural Society: Evidence
from Official Reports               (11)
Broad overview :
(a). Life of zamindars,
peasants and artisans in the late 18 century (b)
East India Company, revenue settlements and
surveys. (c) Changes over the nineteenth
Story of official records: An account of why official investigations into rural societies were under taken and the types of records and reports produced.
Excerpts: From Firminger's Fifth Report, Accounts of Frances Buchanan-Hamilton, and
Deccan Riots Report,
Discussion: What the official records tell and do not tell, and how they have been used by

Discuss how colonialism affected Zamindars, peasants and artisans.

Understand the problems and limits of using official sources for understanding the lives of  people.

11. Representations of 1857                    (11)
Broad Overview: (a) The events of 1857-58. (b) How these events were recorded and narrated.
Focus: Lucknow.
Excerpts: Pictures of 1857. Extracts from contemporary accounts.
Discussion: How the pictures of 1857 shaped British opinion of what had happened.

Discuss how the events of 1857 are being reinterpreted.

Discuss how visual material can be used by historians

12. Colonialism and Indian Towns: Town Plans and Municipal Reports                     (11)

Broad Overview: The growth of Mumbai, Chennai, hill stations and cantonments in the 18th and 19th century.
Excerpts: Photographs and paintings. Plans of cities. Extract from town plan reports.
Focus on Kolkata town planning.
Discussion: How the above sources can be used to reconstruct the history of towns. What these sources do not reveal.

Familiarize the learner with the history of modern urban centres.

Discuss how urban histories can be written by drawing on different types of sources.

13. Mahatma Gandhi through Contemporary Eyes           (13)

Broad Overview: (a) The nationalist movement 1918 - 48, (b) The nature of Gandhian politics
and leadership.
Focus: Mahatma Gandhi in 1931.
Excerpts: Reports from English and Indian language newspapers and other contemporary
Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.

Familiarize the learner with significant elements of the nationalist movement and the nature of Gandhian leadership.

Discuss how Gandhi was perceived by different groups.

Discuss how historians need to read and interpret newspapers, diaries and letters as historical source.

14. Partition through Oral Sources              (12)

Broad Overview: (a) The history of the 1940s; (b) Nationalism. Communalism and Partition.
Focus: Punjab and Bengal.
Excerpts: Oral testimonies of those who experienced partition.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been analyzed to reconstruct the history of the event.

Discuss the last decade of the national movement, the growth of communalism and the story of Partition.

Understand the events through the experience of those who lived through these years of communal violence.

Show the possibilities and limits of oral sources.

15. The Making of the Constitution              (12)

Broad Overview: (a) Independence and the new nation state. (b) The making of the constitution.
Focus: The Constitutional Assembly debates.
Excerpts: from the debates.
Discussion: What such debates reveal and how they can be analyzed.

Familiarize students with the history of the early years after independence.

Discuss how the founding ideals of the new nation state were debated and formulated.

Understand how such debates and discussions can be read by historians.

16. Map Work on Units 1-15                          (10)  

Recommended text books :
1. Themes in Indian History, Part I, Published by NCERT
2. Themes in Indian History Part-II, Published by NCERT
3. Themes in Indian History Part-III, Published by NCERT

Please visit for CBSE Board other syllabus (2011) Class 9th & 10th

Please visit for CBSE Board other syllabus (2011) Class 11th & 12th

Start Discussion!
* (Will not be published)
* (First time user can put any password, and use same password onwards)
Start a new topic: (If you have any question related to this post/category then you can start a new topic and people can participate by answering your question in a separate thread)
Title/Question: (55 Chars. Maximum)
Comment/Detailed description:* (No HTML / URL Allowed)

Characters left

Verification code:*

(If you cannot see the verification code, then refresh here)

CBSE Board, UP Board, IGNOU, JNU, MBA MCA, BBA and other educational boards of India

Disclaimer: For documents and information available on, we do not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. Papers, Results, Syllabus, Logo and other educational contents are owned by Indian Education Board and BoardGuess does not hold any copyright on it. The format of materials, being displayed on this website, comes under the copyright act., All Rights Reserved ©