After the down fall of the Mauryan Empire, the Satavahanas and the Kushanas emerged as the large political powers. The Satavahanas acted as stabilizing factor in the Deccan and South. To which they gave political unity and economic prosperity on the basis of their trade with the Roman Empire. The Kushanas performed the same role in the North. Both these empires came to an aid in the middle of the third century A.D.
After the downfall of the Kushan dynasty there was political disturbance, conflict and disorder everywhere in the country. During the period of about 120 years (200 to 320 A.D.), there was no consolidated empire in India. However, there were many small kingdoms, which were always quarrelling among themselves.
That is why; this period is known as the dark period in the history of ancient India. But after the foundation of the Gupta dynasty, the political disturbances came to an end. Under the rule of the Guptas, the people of India enjoyed political unity and economic prosperity. The country made extraordinary progress in every aspect of life, due to which the Gupta period has been called as the 'Golden period' of ancient Indian history.