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Chapter 4 The Age of Industrialisation Class 10 History NCERT Solutions
Write in Brief
1. Explain the following:
a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
b) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
a) The Spinning Jenny suppressed the labor productivity of women workers in Britain by speeding up the spinning process. It reduced demand for their work, making it easier for British manufacturers to replace hand spinning with mechanized spindles. With the new machine, there is a valid fear of unemployment among the women working in the wool industry.
(b) • In the seventeenth century, merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages because the demand for goods increased with the expansion of world trade. In addition, there was also an increase of demand as a result of acquiring colonies. The town producers failed to produce the required quantity.
• A guild of traders was a powerful entity in this medieval society. They controlled the market, raw materials, employees, and also the production of goods in the towns. This created problem for merchants who wanted to increase production by employing more men.
• The rulers granted different guilds the monopoly right to produce and trade in specific products. It was therefore hard for new merchants to set up business in towns. So they turned to the countryside and began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(c) The European companies gradually gained power, securing a variety of concessions from local courts and monopoly rights over trade. With the growth of colonial power, the ports of Bombay and Calcutta grew. Trade started through new ports controlled by European companies and was carried in European ships.
(d) • The East India Company controlled the Indian trade after establishing political power. They took many steps of control to eliminate competition, control costs and ensure supplies of cotton and silk goods.
• They appointed a paid servant called the gomastha to oversee weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth.
• The weavers who had taken advances from the Company had to hand over the cloth they produced to the gomastha.
• However, the gomasthas were outsiders with no long-term social link with the village. They acted arrogantly and punished weavers for delays.
2. Write True or False against each statement:
(a) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.
(b) The international market for fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.
(c) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.
(d) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity.
3. Explain what is meant by proto-industrialization.
Proto-industrialisation was the first phase of industrialization in which large-scale production was carried out for the international market. It was not based on the factory system but on decentralised units. Most of the goods on this period were hand-made by trained crafts-persons. They offered a unique and original option for international customers.
4. Why did some industrialists in nineteenth-century Europe prefer hand labour over machines?
• There was not a shortage of human labour. Many poor peasants and labourers migrated to the cities in search of work. Hence, there was plenty of labour and the wages paid to them were low. So, the industrialists did not face the problems of labour shortage or high wage costs. They did not want to introduce machines that would require large capital investment.
• In most industries, the labour demand was usually seasonal and included book-binding, printing and repairing of ships. The owners of such industries preferred to employ a large number of labourers at particular seasons.
• Many products could be produced only with the use of manual labour. Machines could be used to manufacture uniform and standardised goods for huge markets. The demand for certain goods was not that high. It was therefore, imperative to use hand labour for production.
• The upper classes, the aristocrats and the elite preferred things made by hand. Handmade products were especially made which symbolised elegance and luxury. They were carefully designed and intricately made which were different from machine oriented products.
5. How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?
The East India Company adopted various steps to ensure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles:
• They established political power to assert a monopoly on the right to trade.
• This company tried to eliminate the existing traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade and establish direct control over the weavers. It appointed paid servants called the ‘Gomasthas’, to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth.
• The company implemented a system to prevent the weavers from dealing with other buyers. Once an order was placed, the order would be processed and the weaver would have to hand over finished cloth to only Gomasthas. They could not take it to any other trader.
• The company developed a system of management and control that would eliminate competition, control cost and ensure a regular supply of cotton and silk goods. This system forced the sale at a price dictated by the company. By giving the weavers loans they were linked to the company.
6. Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an encyclopedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.
Britain and the History of Cotton
In the 17th and 18th centuries, there was a trade-in textile production among the merchants and the rural people. A garment maker would buy wool from a wool stapler, then it would be taken to the spinners, and later to the yarn weavers, for it to be used for cloth. The finishing factory for the goods was in London. This phase in British manufacturing history is known as proto-industrialization. In this phase, the factories were only an integral part of commercial exchange, not essential to the industry.
The first symbol of the new era of factories was cotton. Its production increased rapidly during the late 19th century, leading to a rise in imports from 2.5 million pounds in 1760 to 22 million pounds in 1787. The reason behind this was the invention of new machines and better management.
One of the new inventions during that time was the Spinning Jenny. Cotton and silk goods were imported from India in vast numbers before such inventions. Most inventions in the textile production sector were met with disregard and hatred by those working in the industry because machines implied less hand labour and lower employment needs. The need for fine textiles from India attracted many traders, and the East India Company exploited the Indian textile industry when it gained power. Today, Manchester is a major cotton production center in northwest England. Consequently, India is a major buyer of British cotton goods.
During the First World War, British cotton factories were too busy providing for war needs. This created a surge in demand for Indian textiles. The history of cotton in Britain is replete with such fluctuations of demand and supply.
7. Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War?
There was an increase in industrial production during the First World War in India due to the following reasons:
• The First World War broke out in 1914 and before the war, industrial growth in India was slow. The outbreak of war created new demands and necessities. Most of the British mills directed production towards meeting the needs of the British armies. Consequently, British imports into India declined.
• The Indian industries had a chance to produce goods for domestic consumption. Moreover, the British mills were unable to cater to the war needs of the British.
• During the war, India’s factories were encouraged to supply materials. This increased local production of tents, boots and other supplies that made it easier for soldiers.
• As a result, many new factories were set up in which a large labour force was employed. There was a substantial increase in industrial production in India during the war.