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Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
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Social Studies Biographies
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 6 to 8|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||7.6|
By Vickie Chao
1 Independence is the foundation of a nation. It does not always come easily. Looking back in history, almost every country had to fight to gain the right of self-rule. During the process, there was violence, and there was death. When the hard-earned freedom finally arrived, the key people who helped realize the dream became the new nation's founding fathers. Among all those outstanding individuals, there is one who really stands out. This person believed that freedom did not have to come at the cost of using force. He urged his followers to adopt a nonviolent approach. After years of struggle, he proved that he was right. On August 15, 1947, he made his native land an independent country. His ideals have since become the inspiration of people everywhere.
2 This amazing person was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The independent new nation he helped to build was India.
3 Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India. Porbandar, at the time, was the capital of a small city-state located in the western part of the Indian Empire. Though the city-state was controlled by an Indian prince, the real power lay in the hands of the British.
4 The British first set their eyes on India in the 17th century. Over the years, they slowly built up their presence and influence. When it became obvious that they were going to take over the entire land, people in India were very angry. They did not want to lose their freedom, so they fought back. The two sides clashed in 1857. Because the British were better organized and armed, they won the battle easily. After that, they made India part of their territory. They turned India into a colony. To effectively manage this vast area, the British resorted to using Indian princes. They allowed them to keep their own small kingdoms or city-states. Those princes did not have absolute power. They all had to answer to the British.
5 When Gandhi was about seven years old, his father became the prime minister of another city-state, Rajkot. The entire family moved. After they settled down, Gandhi began attending a primary school there. By all accounts, Gandhi was not a remarkable student. Though he received prizes every now and then, his overall academic record was not impressive. As the young boy turned thirteen years of age, he took time off from the school and got married. In 1887, Gandhi passed the entrance exam and became a freshman at Samaldas College. He did not like it there. After staying for just one term, he dropped out and went to Great Britain to study law. While he was there, he became a vegetarian and befriended many vegetarians. Those people initiated him into reading Buddhist and Hindu literature. Gandhi, for the first time in his life, started to show a deep interest in religion. He later became a devoted Hindu follower.
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