Class X History Chapter 5 | The Age of Industrialization |Important Questions

Here are important questions from the chapter The Age of Industrialization.

  1. Why did the industrial production increase in India during the First World War? (2014)

The war increased industrial production in India due to the following reasons.

The war required the British mills to produce goods needed by the army. Consequently, there was a decline in India’s imports from Manchester. This gave Indian mills greater opportunities to produce for the vast Indian market. As the war went on, Indian factories were also required to produce war needs such as jute bags, tents, leather boots, army uniform cloth, saddles and a variety of other items. In order to fulfill the need, new factories were set up and old ones worked multiple shifts. More people were employed and made to work longer hours. Thus the war boosted industrial production in the country and enabled local companies to capture Indian market by substituting foreign companies.

2. How did the inventions in the 18th century enhance the efficiency of the production process in the cotton textile industry?

There were several inventions in the 18th century that increased the efficiency of various processes involved in the production of cotton textiles. The processes involved in producing cotton cloth were carding, twisting, spinning and milling. Thanks to the inventions, the output of each worker increased and they could produce more cotton. They could also produce stronger threads and yarn. When Richard Arkwright invented the cotton mill, it became possible to buy, set up and maintain the mill under one roof. Earlier, cloth production used to be spread all over the countryside and then ensuring quality control was not easy. When cotton mills became a reality, supervising the production process and maintaining quality became easier.

3. Discuss some of the problems faced by Indian cotton weavers in the 19th century.

In the 19th century, the Indian cotton workers faced the following problems.

Imports from Manchester flooded the local markets and affected the demand for Indian cotton textiles. Manchester cotton goods were quite cheap and attracted more buyers and Indian cotton producers could not compete with them. Getting sufficient amount of good quality raw cotton was another problem faced by Indian weavers. Due to civil war in the US, cotton supplies from the US to the Britain had reduced. Consequently, Britain increased the import of cotton from India. This caused the price of raw cotton to shoot up. As Indian weavers had to buy cotton at exorbitant prices, weaving was not profitable. Factories in India also produced cotton textile on a large scale and it became difficult for Indian weavers to survive in this scenario.

4. Why did technological changes occur slowly in Britain in early 19th century? Explain any three reasons. (2012)

Technological changes occurred slowly in Britain due to the following reasons:

As new technology was expensive, industrialists were wary of adopting it. For example, when steam engines were invented in the beginning of the 19th century, there were no buyers for them for several years. Also, these machines often broke down and it was very expensive to repair them. Another problem was that these machines were not as efficient as their inventors claimed. They were made to produce standardized clothes on a large scale. However, the buyers demanded clothes with intricate details and custom size. Mechanical technology was not capable of producing such goods as they required human skill. Because of these reasons, the upper classes usually preferred handmade goods.

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5. Who were gomasthas? Why were they appointed? How did they treat the weavers? (2012)

Gomasthas were the paid servants appointed by the East India Company to supervise weavers. The gomasthas were appointed by the East India Company to have more direct control over the weavers and to eliminate middlemen such as traders and brokers. For example, when a weaver obtained a loan from East India Company to purchase the raw materials, they could hand over the cloth only the gomasthas. They could not sell it to other buyers. The weavers were often badly treated by the gomasthas. When there was a delay in supply, the gomasthas often beat up the weavers. Hence, every now and then there were clashes between weavers and gomasthas.

6. Describe the achievements of any three early industrialists in British India. (2013)

Some of the successful traders had the vision of developing industries in British India. For example, in Bengal, Dwarkanath Tagore established six joint stock companies in 1830s and 1840s.

In Bombay, Dinshaw Petit and Jamsetjee Tata built huge industrial empires. They accumulated their wealth by exporting goods to China and raw cotton shipments to England.

7. How did many Indian Entrepreneurs survive despite the tight economic controls imposed by the British Government? (2013)

Many Indians were involved in trade with China by procuring supplies, providing finance, and shipping consignments.

Some traders from Madras accumulated capital by trading with Burma, Middle East and East Africa. There were also some commercial groups that carried goods from one place to another and transferred funds between cities.

8. Briefly explain why there was a decline in textile exports from India in the 19th century.

In the 19th century, cotton industries developed in England and they pressurized the government to impose import duties on textiles imported from other countries so that the demand for Manchester cotton would increase. The cotton industries also persuaded East India Company to sell their goods in Indian market as well. Consequently, there was a dramatic increase in the import of Manchester cotton to India. When Manchester textiles flooded Indian market, the share of local cotton industries shrank. Since the imported cotton was cheap, our weavers could not compete with them and their export market collapsed.

The American Civil War also proved disastrous for Indian weavers. Due to the Civil War, cotton supplies from the US to Britain were cut off. This forced the British government to increase the export of raw cotton from India. As a result, the prices of raw cotton shot up and Indian weavers had to buy it at exorbitant prices.

9. Explain how advertisements created new consumers for the British products. (2014)

When Manchester industries started selling cloth in India, they put labels on the cloth bundles to make the name of the company and the place of manufacturing familiar to the buyer. For example, the ‘Made in Manchester’ label encouraged more people to buy those goods. Sometimes, these labels carried beautifully illustrated pictures of Indian gods and goddesses. Although the cloth was manufactured in England, these images made them appear familiar to Indians. Industries also printed calendars to

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Manufacturers also printed calendars to promote the sale of their goods. These calendars were hung in shops, offices and homes.

10. Why was it difficult to get jobs in Indian factories and mills even when so many of them had come up in the 19th century? (2015)

Although more factories and mills came up in the 19th century, it was still difficult to get a job because the number of job seekers was always higher than the number of jobs available. Also, since the agricultural sector was not performing well in those years, thousands of unemployed rural youths migrated to cities in search of jobs in the newly built factories and mills. It was not possible for someone to approach a factory asking for work. Industries usually employed jobbers to recruit new people. These were old and trusted workers who got workers from their own village, helped them settle in the cities and ensured them jobs. Gradually these jobbers would control the lives of workers by demanding various favours from them. In this scenario, it was not easy for someone who is not connected to a jobber to find a job.

11. How was foreign trade from India conducted before the age of machine industries? Explain. (2015)

Before the age of industrialization, Indian textiles such as silk and cotton dominated international markets. While many countries produced coarse cotton, finer varieties came from India. Merchants from Persia and Armenia took these goods to Afghanistan, Eastern Persia and Central Asia. Through the passes of North-West frontier, camels carried bales of fine textiles on their back. Sea trade was also common. Surat connected India to the Gulf. Hooghly in Bengal had trade links with South East Asian ports.

12. Briefly explain how Dwarkanath Tagore contributed to the industrial development in India. (2015)

Before he became an industrial investor, Dwarkanath Tagore made his fortune in the China trade. In the 1830s and 1840s, he set up 6 joint-stock companies. Unfortunately, the business crises of the 1840s caused his enterprises to fail. However, towards the end of the 19th century, many of the Chinese traders became successful again.

Dwarkanath Tagore supported industrialization and westernization because he believed that India could develop only through these means. He invested in plantations, mining, shipping, banking and insurance.

13. Why were there frequent clashes between gomasthas and weavers in the villages? (2012)

The gomasthas were paid employees whose job was to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth. Clashes frequently occurred between them because gomasthas often ill-treated weavers. Merchants who supplied cotton usually lived within the same villages as weavers and had a close relationship with them. The gomasthas, on the other hand, were outsiders and had no social link with the village. When there was a delay in supplying the cloth, the gomasthas often flogged the weavers with the help of peons and sepoys. Also, since the weavers had accepted loans from the East India Company, they lost the freedom to bargain for better prices or to sell to different buyers. Worse still, the company offered them ridiculously low prices.

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15. How did the handloom sector score over machine made goods and face the competition? (2013)

The handloom sector had some advantages over machine made goods. Technology did play an important part in this. By the second half of the 20th century, weavers started using the fly shuttle. This increased their productivity, sped up production and reduced labour requirements. By 1941, in many regions of India, about 80% of the handlooms had fly shuttles.

Another advantage that they possessed was the demand for finer varieties of clothes. The rich continued to buy them. Even famines did not affect the sale of Banarasi or Baluchari sarees.

Even famines did not affect the sale of Banarsi or Baluchari sarees. Mills could not produce sarees with beautifully woven borders or the famous handkerchiefs or lungis of Madras. Therefore, the handloom sector flourished even when machine clothes became available.

16. Explain the process of industrialization in Britain during the 19th century. (2014)

The most dynamic British industries of the 19th century were cotton and metals. Until 1840s, cotton was the leading sector. Afterwards, steel and iron industries started leading the way. As the railways expanded in England and their colonies in the second half of the 19th century, the demand for iron and steel also increased. However, the new industries could not replace the traditional industries. At the end of the 19th century, only about 20% of the total workforce was employed by technologically advanced industrial sectors. Small innovations set the pace of change in non-mechanized sectors such as food processing, pottery, building, tanning, glass work, and furniture making. Technology took a long time to develop. It was expensive and when machines broke down, it cost a lot of money to repair them. Hence, merchants and industrialists were wary of using it.

17. How did advertisements become a vehicle of the Swadeshi movement?

When Indian manufacturers advertised their products, they stressed on the idea was it was Indian. The message was loud and clear. If people cared for their nation, they had to buy only Indian products. Thus advertisements promoted the Swadeshi movement.

Class X History

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