NCERT Solutions For Class 8 History Social Science Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Ncert Textbook Questions Solved
Question.1. Match the following:
Fill in the blanks:
(a) Growers of woad in Europe saw …………… as a crop which would provide competition to their earnings.
(b) The demand for indigo increased in late eighteenth century Britain because of ………….
(c) The international demand for indigo was affected by the discovery of ………………
(d) The Champaran movement was against ………….
(c) synthetic dyes
Describe the main features of the Permanent Settlement.
The main features of the Permanent settlements were:
(i) The amount of revenue was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased in ever in future.
(ii) It was felt that this would ensure a regular flow of revenue into the Company’s coffers and at the same time encourage the zamindars to invest in improving the land.
(iii) Since the revenue demand of the state would not be increased, the zamindar would benefit from increased production from the land.
(iv) Under this system revenue had been fixed so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay.
(v) Even when the income of zamindars increased with the expansion of cultivation, the company had no chance of gain because it could not increase a revenue demand that had been fixed permanently.
(vi) The system proved oppressive for the cultivators.
How was the Mahalwari System different from the permanent settlement?
(i) Under the Permanent Settlement the rates of revenue was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased ever in future. But in Mahalwari System it was decided that the rate of revenue would be revised periodically, not permanently fixed.
(ii) Under the Permanent Settlement, the zamindars were given the charge of collecting revenue from the peasants and paying it to the Company. But in the Mahalwari System this charge was given to the village headmen.
Give two problems which arose with the new Munro system of fixing revenue.
(i) Revenue officials fixed a very high revenue demand and peasants were unable to pay it.
(ii) Ryots fled the countryside and villages became deserted in many regions.
Why were ryots reluctant to grow indigo?
The planters usually forced the ryots to sign a contract. Those who signed the contract got cash advances from the planters at low rates of interest to produce indigo. But the loan committed the ryot to cultivating indigo on at least 25% of the area under his holding. The planter provided the seed and the drill, while cultivators prepared the soil, sowed the seed and looked after the crop. When the crop was delivered to the planter after the harvest, the ryots got another new loan. In this way, they were trapped in the cycle of loan from which it was difficult to come out. Soon, they realised that this was a harsh system. They did hard labour day and night and got a very low price for the indigo they produced.
Other reason was that the planters usually pressurised the ryots to cultivate indigo on the best soils. But the ryots preferred to grow rice on these soils. Indigo had deep roots and it exhausted the soil rapidly. After an indigo harvest the land could not be used for rice cultivation.
What were the circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of indigo production in Bengal?
The ryots in Bengal got fed up with the coercive methods the planters used with them and finally refused to grow indigo. They became violent. They not only refused to pay rents to the planters, but also attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bows and arrows. Meanwhile the local zamindars and village headmen also began to favour the indigo ryots. They mobililsed the indigo peasants and fought pitched battles with the lathiyals, the lathi- wielding strong men maintained by the planters. In other places even the zamindars went around villages urging the ryots to resist the planters. Worried by the rebellion, the government brought in the military to protect the planters from assault, and set up the Indigo commission to enquire into the system of indigo production. The commission held the planters guilty and criticised them for the coercive method they used with indigo cultivators. It declared that indigo production was not profitable for ryots. The commission asked the ryots to fulfil their existing contracts but also told them that they could refuse to produce indigo in future. After this revolt, indigo production collapsed in Bengal.
Find out more about the Champaran movement and Mahatma Gandhi’s role in it.
Students are suggested to visit their library and collect information about it.
Look into the history of either tea or coffee plantations in India. See how the life of workers in these plantations was similar to or different from that of workers in indigo plantations.
Students may collect information about it from library.
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Exercise Questions
Choose the correct option:
(i) One-third of the population was wiped out from Bengal because
(a) a terrible famine occurred there
(b) a civil war broke out
(c) an epidemic broke out
(d) none of the above
(ii) The Mahalwari System was devised by
(a) Charles Cornwallis
(b) Robert Clive
(c) Holt Mackenzie
(d) James Mill
(iii)The ryots were
(iv) The Indigo Commission was set up to enquire into the system of indigo production. Whom did the Commission hold guilty?
(a) The ryots
(b) The government
(c) The planters
(d) Both (a) and (b)
(v) After the indigo production collapsed in Bengal, the planters shifted their operation to
(i) (a), (ii) (c), (iii) (a), (iv) (c), (v) (b)
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence.
(i) Indigo cultivation was done under two main systems known as ………… and
(ii) By the terms of the Permanent Settlement, the rajas and taluqdars were recognized as ……………
(iii) ………………. developed Ryotwari System which gradually extended all over south India.
(iv) The indigo villages were usually around indigo factories owned by ……………….
(v) The planters at times pressurised the village headmen to sign the …………… on behalf of the ryots.
(i) nij, ryots
(iii) Thomas Munro
State whether each of the following statements is True or False.
(i) Indigo could be cultivated only on fertile lands.
(ii) Indigo was easily available in Europe.
(iii) Thomas Munro was the Governor of Bengal during 1819-26.
(iv) The Permanent Settlement created many problems.
(v) The Bengal economy boomed after the Company was appointed as Diwan of that province.
Answer. (i) True, (ii) False, (iii) False, (iv) True, (v) False.
Match the items given in Column A correctly with those given in Column B.
(i) (e), (ii) (f), (iii) (b), (iv) (a), (v) (c), (vi) (d).
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Very Short Answer Questions
Why were Bengal artisans deserting villages?
Bengal artisans were deserting villages because they were being pressurised to sell their goods to the Company at low prices.
Name the Governor-General of India when the Permanent Settlement was introduced.
What did the Permanent Settlement actually mean?
The amount of revenue the peasants were expected to pay was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased ever in future.
What problems did zamindars face under the Permanent Settlement?
As the revenue had been fixed at very high rate, zamindars found it difficult to pay. Anyone who failed to pay the revenue lost his zamindari.
Who was William Morris?
He was a famous poet and artist of 19th century Britain. He designed a floral cotton print known as Morris cotton print.
Who created Kalamkari print?
The weavers of Andhra Pradesh created Kalamkari print.
What is common in the two prints – a Kalamkari print and a Morris cotton print?
Both use a rich blue colour commonly known as indigo.
What is indigo?
It is a plant that produces rich blue colour used as a dye.
Why did cloth dyers prefer indigo to woad?
Cloth dyers preferred indigo as a dye because it produced a rich blue colour, whereas the dye from woad was pale and dull.
Where did the French begin cultivating indigo?
The French began cultivating indigo in St Domingue in the Caribbean islands.
Where did the English cultivate indigo?
The English cultivated indigo in Jamaica.
What did nij cultivation require?
It required many ploughs and bullocks.
What was big problem for the planters?
They were not in position to invest on purchase and maintenance of ploughs.
What role did women play in the cultivation of indigo?
They carried the indigo plant to vats.
What did indigo workers do in waist- deep water?
They beat the indigo solution.
Who were the gomasthas?
They were the agents of planters.
Who were the lathiyals?
They were the lathi-wielding strong men maintained by the planters.
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Short Answer Type Questions
How did the Bengal economy fall into a deep crisis?
After the Company became the Diwan of Bengal it began its efforts to increase the revenue as much as it could and buy fine cotton and silk cloth as cheaply as possible. Within five years the value of goods bought by the Company in Bengal doubled. Before 1765, the Company had purchased goods in India by importing gold and silver from Britain. Now the revenue collected in Bengal could finance the purchase of goods for export. This caused huge loss of revenue for Bengal which paralysed its economy.
What were the consequences of the economic crisis that gripped Bengal?
The consequences of the economic crisis that gripped Bengal were as given below:
(a) Artisans began to leave villages since they were being forced to sell their goods to the Company at low prices.
(b) Peasants were unable to pay the dues that were being demanded from them.
(c) Artisanal production was in decline and agricultural cultivation showed signs of collapse.
(cf) The most terrible consequence came to be seen in 1770 when a terrible famine hit Bengal killing ten million people. About one- third of the population was wiped out.
Give a brief description of the Mahalwari System.
The Mahalwari System was devised by an Englishman called Holt Mackenzie which came into effect in 1822. He felt that the village was an important social institution in north Indian society that needed to be preserved. Under his directions collectors went from village to village inspecting the land, measuring the field and recording the customs and rights of different groups. The estimated revenue of each plot within a village was added up to calculate the revenue that each village, i.e. mahal had to pay. This demand was to be revised periodically. The village headman was given the charge of collecting the revenue and paying it to the Company.
What was the Munro system? or what was Ryotwari system?
In the British territories in the south a new system was devised that came to be known as the Ryotwari system. It was tried on a small-scale by Captain Alexander Read. Afterwards, Thomas Munro, who was the Governor of Madras, developed this system which gradually extended all over south India.
In the south there were no traditional zamindars. Hence, the settlement was made directly with the cultivators or ryots who had tilled the land for generations. Their fields were separately surveyed before the revenue assessment was made.
By the end of the 18th century, the demand for Indian indigo grew further. What were the reasons behind it?
This was the time when Britain began industrialise. As a result its cotton production expanded dramatically, creating an enormous new demand for cloth dyes. While the demand for indigo increased, its existing supplies from the West Indies and America collapsed. Between 1783 and 1789 the production of indigo in the world fell by half. Cloth dyers in Britain now began to look for new sources of indigo supply.
How did indigo trade attract foreign traders?
Indigo trade flourished during the last decades of the 18th century. As a result commercial agents and officials of the Company began investing in indigo production. Over the years many Company officials left their jobs to look after their indigo business. Attracted by the prospect of high profits numerous Scotsmen and Englishmen came to India and became planters. Those who had no money to produce indigo could get loans from the Company and the banks that were coming up at that time.
How was indigo cultivated under the ryoti system?
Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the lyots (cultivators) to sign a contract or an agreement also known as satta. At times they pressurised the village headmen to-sign the contract on behalf of the ryots. Those who sign the contract got cash advances from the planters at low rates of interest to produce indigo. But the loan committed the ryot to cultivating indigo on at least 25% of the area under his holding. The planter provided the seed and the drill, while the cultivators prepared the soil, sowed the seed and looked after the crop. When the crop was delivered to the planter after the harvest, a new loan was given to the ryot and the cycle started all over again.
Why did the indigo cultivators decide to rebel? How did they show their anger?
The condition under which the indigo cultivators had to work was intensely oppressive. Finally they decided not to grow indigo. They became united and rebelled. They showed their anger in the following ways:
(a) They refused to pay rents to the planters, and attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bows and arrows.
(b) Women turned up to fight with pots, pans and kitchen equipments.
(c) The Gomasthas, agents of planters, were beaten up, when they came collect rent.
Why was the Indigo Commission set up by the government? What were its findings and suggestions?
The government set up the Indigo Commission to enquire into the system of indigo production. The Commission held the planters guilty and criticised them for the coercive methods they used with indigo cultivators. It declared that indigo production was not profitable for ryots.
The Commission asked the ryots to fulfil their existing contracts but also told them that they could refuse to grow indigo in future.
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Long Answer Type Questions
What were the terms of the Permanent Settlement? What problems did it pose ?
By the terms of the Permanent Settlement, the rajas and taluqdars were recognized as zamindars. They were asked to collect rent from the peasants and pay revenue to the Company. The amount to be paid was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased ever in future.
But this settlement created problems. The Company officials thought this would ensure a regular flow of revenue into the Company’ coffers and at the same time encourage the zamindars to invest in improving the land. But soon it was discovered that zamindars were not investing in the improvement of land. The revenue had been fixed so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay. Anyone who failed to pay the revenue lost his zamindari.
By the first decade of the 19th century, the prices in the market rose and cultivation slowly expanded. This meant an increase in the income of the zamindars but no gain for the Company since it had fixed the revenue demand permanently.
Still the zamindars did not show interest in improving thq land.. In villages the system proved oppressive for the cultivators. The rent they paid to the zamindars was high and their right on the land was insecure. They had to take loan from the moneylenders in order to pay the rent. When they failed to pay the rent, they were evicted from the land they had cultivated for generations.
What was nij cultivation? What were the problems with it?
Why were planters reluctant to expand the area under nij cultivation till the late 19th century?’
Under nij cultivation, the planter produced indigo in lands that he directly controlled. He either bought the land or rented it from other zamindars and produced indigo by directly employing hired labourers. Nij cultivation had its drawbacks:
(a) The planters found it difficult to expand the area under nij cultivation. Indigo could be cultivated only on fertile lands and these were already densely populated. Hence, the planters attempted to lease in the land around the indigo factory and evict the peasants from the area. But this always led to conflicts and tension.
(b) Labour force was not easily available. A large plantation required a vast number of hands to operate. And labour was needed precisely at a time when peasants were usually busy with their rice cultivation.
(c) Nij cultivation on a large scale also required many ploughs and bullocks. Investing on purchase and maintenance of ploughs was a big problem. Nor could supplies be early got from the peasants since their ploughs and bullocks were busy on their rice fields, again exactly at the time that the indigo planters needed them.
The planters were therefore reluctant to expand the area under nij cultivation till the late 19 th centuiy.
Describe different stages of the production of indigo.
After the harvest, the indigo plant was taken to the vats in the indigo factory. Three or four vats were needed to manufacture the dye. Each vat had a separate function. The leaves stripped off the indigo plant were first soaked in warm water in a vat, also known as fermenting or steeper vat, for several hours. When the plants fermented, the liquid began to boil and bubble. Now the rotten leaves were taken out and the liquid drained into another vat that was placed just below the first vat.
In the second vat, also known as the beater vat, the solution was continuously stirred and beaten with paddles. When the liquid gradually turned green and then blue, lime water was added to the vat. Gradually the indigo separated out in flakes, a muddy sediment settled at the bottom of the vat and a clear liquid rose to the surface.
This liquid was drained off and the sediment, i.e. indigo pulp transferred to another vat, also known as the settling vat, and then pressed and dried for sale.
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Source-Based Question
Read the folloiving extract (Source 1) taken from NCERT textbook and answer the questions that follow:
(i) Who were the under-tenants?
(ii) How did H.T. Colebrook describe the conditions of these under-tenants in Bengal ?
(i) In many villages of Bengal, some of the powerful ryots did not cultivate, instead gave out their lands to others known as the under-tenants.
(ii) The under-tenants had to pay high rents in kind. They were depressed by usurious returns for the cattle, seed and subsistence, advanced to them by their iyots. This trapped them in debt which they never paid. Their dissatisfaction did not allow them to work in spirit.
Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Picture-Based Questions
Observe the given picture taken from NCERT textbook and answer the questions that follow:
(i) What do you see in the above picture?
(ii) Who came here and for what purpose?
(i) A weekly market in Murshidabad, Bengal.
(ii) Peasants and artisans from rural areas regularly came to these weekly markets also known as haats to sell their goods and buy what they needed.