NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 4 Forest Society and Colonialism

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If you’re looking for a way to improve your grades and score high on exams, then using NCERT solutions is a great method. NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 4 Forest Society and Colonialism will help you identify, analyze, and rectify the mistakes you make in class. This way, you can learn from your mistakes and avoid making them in the future. Using NCERT solutions will help you better understand the concepts you’re learning in class.

Class 9 History NCERT Solutions help you get a deeper understanding of various topics. They provide detailed explanations for all the questions in the NCERT textbook. Our solutions are designed to help you understand the concepts better and improve your grades. Plus, they’re free!

Chapter 4 Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 History NCERT Solutions

1. Discuss how the changes in forest management in the colonial period affected the following groups of people:
Shifting cultivators
Nomadic and pastoralist communities
Firms trading in timber/forest produce
Plantation owners
Kings/British officials engaged in shikar (hunting)


Shifting cultivators: The colonial rulers banned shifting cultivation as it is regarded as harmful for forests and also made difficult for the government to calculate taxes. As a result, a number of communities were forced to leave the forests. Some had to join alternate occupations in the cities, while some rose in rebellion against colonial authority.

Nomadic and pastoralist communities: Nomadic and pastroralist groups suffered greatly because some forests were designated and protected by the British. Their access to the forests was limited as a result. Their herds were forbidden from grazing in the forests and they could not collect forest produce such as fruits, roots, fuel, wood and herbs. They also had to stop hunting and fishing in forest areas.

Firms trading in timber/forest produce: Firms trading in timber products were given the sole trading rights to trade in the forest products of particular areas. They made huge profits and became richer. The entire timber and forest trade passed on to them. They became powerful and began to cut down trees indiscriminately.

Plantation owners: Plantation owners found that more and more forest land could be cleared for plantations. The British had made it very clear that their system of forestry would be scientific forestry, i.e., plantations. Plantation owners began to reap profits as the British government gave large areas of forest land to European planters.

Kings/British officials engaged in hunting: The kings/British officials engaged in shikar found that now the villagers were prohibited from entering the forests. They had the forest and wild animals to themselves. Hunting animals became a big sport for them. Thus hunting increased to such an extent that various species became almost extinct.

2. What are the similarities between colonial management of the forests in Bastar and in Java?


The similarities in the colonial management of forests in Bastar and Java are:

Both were colonies ruled by foreign powers.
In both the regions, a proper system of forest management was established by the colonial masters. Scientific forestry was started and forests were controlled.
The local people from villages were not permitted to collect any forest produce. Large parts of forest cover were reserved where the villagers were not allowed to stay.
The livelihood of the local people was threatened by the colonial policies. Hence, they organised themselves to resist colonial intrusion.

3. Between 1880 and 1920 forests cover in the Indian subcontinent declined by 9.7 million hectares, from 108.6 million hectares to 98.9 million hectares. Discuss the role of the following factors in this decline:
Agricultural expansion
Commercial farming
Tea/Coffee plantations
Adivasis and other peasants users


Railways: The British introduced the railways to easily transport goods from one place to another. The first railway line was laid down in 1853 in India. Wood was required as fuel to run steam engines as well as to build railway sleepers. Only a mile of railway track required about 2,000 sleepers. The expansion of railway lines required wood which led to depletion of forests.

Shipbuilding: Trade was mostly carried out by sea routes. For building ships, wood was needed on a large scale. In Britain, the oak forests were declining. This created a problem of timber supply for the Royal Navy. In 1820s, timber search teams were sent to India for exploring the forest resources. The British provided for large scale cutting of trees in India so that timber could be exported to England.

Agricultural expansion: Large areas under forest cover were put under cultivation by the British. This would bring more revenue to the British through agricultural incomes. Between 1880 and 1920, the cultivated area increased by about 6.7 million hectares. Also, the British promoted the cultivation on large plantations. Plantations required large forest areas to be converted into cultivable lands.

Commercial farming: Earlier, the forests were used as resources for sustaining life. The British cleared large forests for growing commercial crops. The British traded in tea, sugar, coffee, jute, rubber and cotton, which were in huge demand in Europe. These crops were also important raw materials which were required in British industries.

Tea/Coffee plantations: Plantation agriculture was introduced by the British in India by clearing forest areas, where different types of plants naturally thrived. Plantations required one crop to be planted systematically over a large area of land. Over time, the British earned high profits from these plantations. To provide accommodation for these labourers, forests had to be cut down.

Adivasis and other peasant users: The British government imposed certain forest laws in India but, adivasis and farmers disobeyed these laws through several means. They continued to use forest resources and took their cattle for grazing. The women continued to collect firewood. If caught, they bribed the police guards and forest officials. The local traders returned huge favours to the forest guards to continue cutting trees illegally.

4. Why are forests affected by wars?


The wars affected the forests in the following ways:

During the World Wars, Britain was ruthless in cutting down forests in India for war needs. The Dutch destroyed sawmills and teak logs in Java to keep Japan from profiting from the forest industry. By destroying and cutting down forests blindly, forests get depleted quickly and are slow to grow back.

A scorched earth policy was enforced by the Dutch in Java during World War II. They destroyed sawmills and burned enormous piles of giant teak logs to prevent the Japanese from obtaining it.

A lot of villagers expanded their cultivation in the forests during the war years. In India, they needed more land to increase their agricultural productivity, which brought them into conflict with the forest departments.

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