Question 1. Explain the following:
(i) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
(ii) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(iii) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
(iv) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
Answer 1 (i) The uncertainty of jobs (fear of unemployment) made workers hostile to the introduction of new technology. So when the Spinning Jenny was introduced in the woollen industry, women who survived on hand spinning started attacking the new machines and this conflict over the introduction of the jenny continued for a long time.
(ii) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began moving to the countryside because they could not expand production within towns. This was because urban crafts and trade guilds were powerful there. These were associations of producers that trained craftspeople, maintained control over production, regulated competition and prices and restricted the entry of new people into the trade. Rulers granted different guilds the monopoly right to produce and trade in specific products. It was difficult for new merchants to set up business in towns. Therefore, they took help of peasants and artisans in the countryside.
(iii) The port of Surat was an important pre-colonial port. It connected India to the Gulf and Red Sea Ports. A vibrant sea trade was operated through this port. A variety of Indian merchants and bankers were involved in this network of export trade. But by the 1750s this network, controlled by Indian merchants, was breaking down. The European companies gradually gained power. They secured a variety of concessions from local courts and finally gained monopoly right to trade. This resulted in the decline of the Surat Port.
(iv) The Company tried to eliminate the traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade and established a direct control over the weavers. It appointed paid servants called the gomasthas to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth. These gomasthas gave loans to the weavers to purchase the raw material for their productions. Once they took loans, they had to hand over the cloth they produced to the gomasthas only. They could not take it to any other trader.
Question 2. Write True or False against each statement:
(i) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.
(ii) The international market for fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.
(iii) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.
(iv) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity.
Answer 2 (i) True
Question 3. Explain what is meant by proto-industrialisation.
Answer 3 Even before factories began to be set up in England and Europe, there was large-scale industrial production for an international market. This was not based on factories. Rather this was based on cottage industries. This period was referred to as proto-industrialisation by the historians.
Question 1. Why did some industrialists in nineteenth-century Europe prefer hand labour over machines?
Answer 1 Some industrialists were reluctant to introduce new machines and preferred hand labour over machines because
(i) There was no shortage of human labour during nineteenth century Europe. Poor peasants moved to the cities in huge numbers in search of work.
(ii) In many industries such as gas works and breweries the demand for labour was seasonal. So industrialists usually preferred hand labour, employing workers for the season.
(iii) A range of products could be produced only with hand labour. Machines were oriented to producing uniforms, standardised goods for a mass market. But the demand in the market was often for goods with intricate designs and specific shapes. These things could be produced only manually.
(iv) The upper classes consisted of the aristocrats and bourgeoisie preferred things produced by hand.
(v) Handmade products came to symbolise refinement and class. They were better finished and carefully designed.
(vi) Maintaining modern industries was an expensive affair. The wear and tear of machines was costly. They were not as effective as they were declared by their inventors and manufacturers. Hence, industrialists were cautious about using them.
Question 2 How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?
Answer 2 On getting the political power, the East India Company established a monopoly right to trade and developed a system of management and control that would eliminate competition, control costs, and ensure regular supplies of cotton and silk goods. The Company took several measures in this connection:
(i) To eliminate the traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade, the Company established a direct control over the weavers. It appointed paid servants called the gomasthas to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth.
(ii) It prevented Company weavers from dealing with other buyers. The Company introduced the system of advances. Once an order was placed, the weavers were given loans to purchase the raw material for their production. Those who took loans, had no choice but to hand over the cloth to the gomastha. This prevented the weavers from going to any other trader. They were bound to weave only for the Company.
(iii) The weavers lost the space to bargain for prices and sell to different buyers. The price they received from the Company was low, and the loans they had accepted tied them to the Company. All the above facts made it easy for the East India company to procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers.
Question 3 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.
Answer 3 During 1730s England set up the earliest factories. But the number of factories multiplied only during the late 18th century. Cotton was the symbol of this era for its production which boomed in the late 19th century. In 1760s 2.5 million pounds of raw cotton was imported in Britain to feed its cotton industry, which soared to 22 million pounds by 1787. A number of changes in the process of production took place with the invention of new technology. Cotton mills were developed which made it possible to bring together all the process and management under one roof. It improved the quality and made the production faster. In the early 19th century, factories became an intimate part of England. Now attention was paid to the mills forgetting the bylanes and the workshops.
Question 4. Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War?
Answer 4 Till the First World War, industrial growth was slow in India. The war created a dramatically new situation.
(i) With British mills busy with war production to meet the needs of the army, Manchester imports into India declined. Suddenly, Indian mills had a vast home market to supply.
(ii) As the war prolonged, Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs such as jute bags, cloth for army uniform, tents and leather boots, horse and mule saddles and a host of other items.
(iii) New factories were set up and old ones ran multiple shifts.
(iv) Many new workers were employed and everyone was made to work longer hours. Thus over the war years industrial production boomed in India.