Monday 5 November 2018


(Questions and Answers)


Q1: Explain what is meant by proto-industrialisation?


1. Proto-industrialisation refers to that phase of industrialization which existed in Britain before the growth of factories using mechanical power.

2. Industries during this phase were run with the help of human labour.

3. The proto-industrialisation system was controlled by the merchants.

4. Goods were produced by a vast number of producers working within their family farms and not in the factories.

Q2: In the proto-industrialisation period, why was it difficult for new merchants to set up business in towns?
Why did the merchants move to the countryside to set up their business?

Answer: It was difficult for merchants to set up their business in towns because:

1. Urban crafts and trade guild associations were powerful in the towns. They restricted the entry of new people into the trade.

2. Rulers granted different guilds the monopoly rights to produce and trade in specific products.

So the new merchants turned to the countryside.

Q3: Why did the poor peasants and artisans agree to work for merchants?

1. The merchants provided advances to the peasants to produce goods for them.

2. By working for the Merchants, peasants could remain in the countryside and continue to cultivate their small plots.

3. Income from proto-industrial production supplemented their shrinking income from cultivation.

4. It also allowed them a fuller use of their family labour resources.

Q4: The production of cotton boomed in the late nineteenth century in Britain. Give reasons. 
Which industry was the first to develop in the era of factory production? Discuss the reasons for the growth of this industry.

Answer: Cotton textile industry was the first to develop in the era of factory production.
The following reasons led to the growth of this industry:

1. A series of inventions in the 18th century improved each step of the production process i.e. carding, twisting, spinning and rolling.

2. They increased productivity. Stronger threads and yarns were produced with the help of machines.

3. Costly new machines could be purchased, set up and maintained in the mill.

4. All the processes were brought together under one roof and management within the mill. This allowed more careful supervision of the production process, a watch over quality and the regulation of labour.

Q5: How rapid was the process of industrialization?
Describe the growth of industrialization process.

1. The most dynamic industries in Britain were cotton and metals. In the first phase of industrialization up to the 1840s, cotton industry developed and after that the iron and steel industry led the way with the expansion of railways etc.

2. New industries could not easily displace the traditional industries. Only 20 per cent of the total workforce was employed in advanced industry and 80 per cent were engaged in traditional industries.

3. Ordinary and small innovations were the basis of growth in many non-mechanized sections such as food processing, building, pottery etc.

4. Technological changes occurred slowly as the new technology was expensive and was not as effective as their inventors and manufacturers claimed.

Q6: ‘New technology did not spread dramatically across the industrial landscape’. Why?
Why was the new technology slow to be accepted by the industrialists?

Answer: Technological changes occurred slowly due to the following reasons:

1. New technology was expensive whereas the hand labour was abundant and thus cheap.

2. The machines often broke down and repair was costly.

3. The machines were not found to be as effective as their inventors and manufacturers claimed.

4. The fear of unemployment made workers hostile to the introduction of new technology.

Q7: Why did some industrialists in the 19m century Europe prefer hand labour over machines?

1. In Victorian Britain there was no shortage of labour and as such wages were low.

2. Industrialists did not want to introduce machines because it required large capital investment.

3. In many industries like breweries, gas work etc., the demand for labour was seasonal. in these industries, industrialists usually preferred hand labour, employing workers for the season.

4.  Intricate designs and specific shapes required human skill and not the machines. For eg. in mid 19th century Britain, 500 varieties of hammers, 45 kinds of axes were produced with the human skill and not the mechanical technology.

5. Most of the upper classes like the aristocrats and the bourgeoisie preferred things produced by hand.

6. Handmade products symbolized refinement and class. They were better finished, individually produced and carefully designed. Machine-made goods were for export to the colonies.

Q8: Describe the life of workers in England during the late 19th century.

Answer: The abundance of labour in the market affected the lives of workers in the following ways:

1. There were limited job opportunities. Many job seekers had to wait weeks spending nights under bridges or in night shelters. Those who had social connections got the jobs first.

2. Seasonality of work in many industries meant prolonged periods without work. During the off-season, some returned to the countryside while the others looked for odd jobs which were difficult to find.

3. Rising prices badly affected the workers. The real value of what the workers earned fell significantly.

4. The fear of unemployment made workers hostile to the introduction of new machines.

5. After the 18403, building activities in cities opened up greater employment opportunities.

Spinning Jenny
credits: Mdd (Wikimedia)

Q9: Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny. Give reasons.

1. Spinning Jenny invented by James Hargreaves speeded up the spinning process and reduced labour's demand.

2. Women workers were surviving or; hand spinning.

3. The fear of unemployment made them hostile to the introduction of new technology. So, they began to attack the new machine — Spinning Jenny.

Q10: How did the East India company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk from Indian weavers? 

Answer: To procure regular supplies of cotton and silk from Indian weavers, the East India Company took the following steps:

1. The company secured the monopoly rights over trade and eliminated the existing traders and brokers to establish direct control over the weavers.

2. It appointed a paid servant called the gomasthas to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth.

3. The company made advance payments to the weavers to purchase raw material for their production.

4. These weavers had to hand over the cloth they produced to the Gomastha. They could not take the product to any other market.

Q11: Why were there clashes between weavers and gomasthas?

Answer: There were clashes between weavers and gomasthas because:

1. The gomasthas were outsiders and had no social link with the village. They acted arrogantly, marched into the village with sepoys and peons, punished weavers for the delay in supply.

2. The weavers could not sell their cloth to other buyers as they were tied up to the company due to loans.

3. They had to accept the price offered by the company which was miserably low.

Q12: Why was it difficult for the Indian weavers to compete with British cotton goods?

Answer: It was difficult for the Indian weavers to compete with British cotton goods because:

1. British cotton goods were produced by machines at lower costs.

2. They were cheaper than the Indian cotton goods.

3. Indian weavers could not get sufficient supply of raw cotton of good quality.

Q13: Why did the raw cotton exports from India increase? What was its result?

1. When the American Civil war broke out and cotton supplies from the US were cut off, Britain started importing raw cotton from India.

2. Weavers in India could not get raw cotton in required supply.

3. They were forced to buy raw cotton at high prices.

4. So weaving was no longer profitable for the Indian weavers.

Q14: Who had set up the industries in India? Where did the capital come from?
Dwarka Nath Tagore

1. In India, Industries were set up in different regions by rich businessmen.

2. Some of these businessmen had helped the British in the trade with China. So, they had earned through trade and had visions of developing industrial enterprises in India. For example Dwarkanath Tagore in Bengal, Dinshaw Petit in Bombay.

3. The capital was also accumulated through other trade networks. For eg. trade with Burma, the Middle East and East Africa.

4. Some commercial groups operated within India and earned money which they later invested in setting up factories.

5. Till the First World War, European Managing Agencies controlled a large sector of Indian industries.

Q15: Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War (1914-1918)?

Answer: Industrial production in India increased during the first world war because:

1. British mills were busy producing war materials for the British army. So the Manchester imports into India declined.

2. Indian mills had a vast home market to supply. As the war prolonged, Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs: jute bags, cloth for army uniforms etc.

3. New factories were set up and old factories ran multiple shifts to meet the increasing demand.

4. Many new workers were employed and everyone was made to work longer hours. Thus, industrial production boomed during the first world war.

Q16: Why did the economy of Britain crumble after the war?

1. After the war, Manchester could never recapture its old position in the Indian market.

2. Britain was unable to modernize and compete with the US, Germany and Japan.

3. Cotton production collapsed and exports of cotton cloth from Britain fell dramatically

4. Local industrialists in the colonies gradually consolidated their position.
   Thus, the economy of Britain crumbled after the first world war.

Q17: ‘Small scale industries continued to predominate in India.” Discuss.

Answer: Factory industries grew steadily after the war, large-scale industries formed only a small segment of the economy. The following are the reasons for the predominance of small-scale industries:

1. Many technological changes and several small innovations helped weavers to improve their productivity and compete with the mill sector. Small-scale industries adopted the new technology only if it helped them to improve production and was not expensive. For example the Fly Shuttle.

2. The demand for the finer varieties bought by the rich class was stable. Mills could not imitate specialized weaves like Baluchari or Banarsi sarees etc.

Q18: How do advertisements help to create new consumers in the market?
What is the role of advertisements in the marketing of goods?

Answer:  Advertisements help to create new consumers in the following ways:

1. They make the product appear desirable and necessary.

2. They try to shape the minds of people and create new needs.

3. They appear in newspapers, magazines, hoardings etc. and have been playing an important role in expanding the markets for products and in shaping a new consumer culture.

Q19: Briefly describe the different ways used by the British industrialists to advertise their products in India.

1. Manchester industrialists had put labels ‘Made in Manchester’ on their products.

2. Images of Indian Gods and Goddesses regularly appeared on these labels.

3. By the late 19th century, manufacturers were printing calendars to popularize their products.

4. Figures of important persons, emperors and nawabs were also used in different advertisements and calendars.

☛See also:
History - CH2 - The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China

History - CH3 - Nationalism in India
History - CH3 - Nationalism In India (VSQA)

Chapter 4 - The Making of a Global World (Important Terms To Remember)
Chapter 4 - The Making of a Global World (Very Short QA)
Chapter 4 - The Making of a Global World (Short Q & A)

History - Ch7 Print Culture and the Modern World (MCQs)
History - The age of Industrialisation (Q & A)
History - The Age of Industrialisation (MCQs)
History - The Age Of Industrialisation (Q & A-2)

Modern Indian History(GK Quiz-8) 
History - Rise of Nationalism in Europe (Important Terms)
History - Rise of Nationalism in Europe (MCQs)
History - Rise of Nationalism in Europe (Online Quiz)