Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Extra Questions

Class 8 History Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside Extra Questions and Answers are provided here. These Extra Questions with solution are prepared by our team of expert teachers who are teaching in CBSE schools for years. Extra questions for Class 8 History Chapter 3 will help you to properly understand a particular concept of the chapter.

Ruling the Countryside Class 8 History Extra Questions and Answers

Very Short Answer Type Question

1. Who and when did the Permanent Settlement introduced in Bengal?

Answer: The Permanent Settlement was introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.

2. What role did women play in the cultivation of indigo?

Answer: Women usually carried the indigo plant to the vats.

3. Who were the gomasthas?

Answer: Gomasthas were the agents of planters.

4. Who was William Morris?

Answer: William Morris, a famous poet and artist of nineteenth-century Britain.

5. Who created Kalamkari print?

Answer: Weavers of Andhra Pradesh in India created Kalamkari print.

6. What are the two main system of indigo cultivation in India?

Answer: There were two main systems of indigo cultivation – nij and ryoti.

7. Who were the lathiyals?

Answer: Lathiyals were the lathi-wielding strongmen maintained by the planters.

8. Where did the English cultivate indigo?

Answer: The English cultivated indigo in Jamaica.

9. Where did the Portuguese begin cultivating indigo?

Answer: The Portuguese began cultivating indigo in in Brazil.

10. Where did the Spanish begin cultivating indigo?

Answer: The Spanish began cultivating indigo in in Venezuela.

11. Who was the President of the Indigo Commission?

Answer: W. S. Seton Karr was the President of the Indigo Commission.

12. Who gave the extensive description of Carribean islands?

Answer: Jean Baptiste Labat wrote extensively about Carribean islands.

13. Where did the French begin cultivating indigo?

Answer: The French began cultivating indigo in St Domingue in the Caribbean islands.

14. What did the Permanent Settlement actually mean?

Answer: The amount to be paid was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased ever in future.

15. Which tragedy occurred during 1770 in Bengal?

Answer: In 1770 a terrible famine killed ten million people in Bengal. About one-third of the population was wiped out.

16. What is indigo?

Answer: Indigo is a tropical plant which was formerly widely cultivated as a source of dark blue dye.

17. Who hold the responsibility of paying the revenue in the Mahalwari Settlement?

Answer: Village headman holds the responsibility of paying the revenue in the Mahalwari Settlement.

18. What is common in the two prints—-a Kalamkari print and a Morris cotton print?

Answer: There is one thing common in the two prints: both use a rich blue colour – commonly called indigo.

19. Where did the slave revolt take place in 1791?

Answer: In the French colony of St Domingue situated in the Caribbean islands, the African slaves who worked in plantations rebelled in 1791.

20. Why did cloth dyers prefer indigo to woad?

Answer: Cloth dyers, however, preferred indigo as a dye because Indigo produced a rich blue colour, whereas the dye from woad was pale and dull.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. Why were Bengal artisans deserting villages?

Answer: Artisans were deserting villages since they were being forced to sell their goods to the Company at low prices. Peasants were unable to pay the dues that were being demanded from them.

2. What was nij cultivation?
Or
Explain nij cultivation.

Answer: Within the system of 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.

3. What problems did zamindars face under the Permanent Settlement?

Answer: The revenue that had been fixed was so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay. Anyone who failed to pay the revenue lost his zamindari. Numerous zamindaris were sold off at auctions organised by the Company.

4. What were the causes of Champaran Movement?

Answer: When Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa, a peasant from Bihar persuaded him visit Champaran and see the plight of the indigo cultivators there. Mahatma Gandhi’s visit in 1917 marked the beginning of the Champaran movement against the indigo planters.

5. By the late nineteenth century, the Company forced cultivators in various parts of India to produce which crops?

Answer: The British persuaded or forced cultivators in various parts of India to produce other crops: jute in Bengal, tea in Assam, sugarcane in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), wheat in Punjab, cotton in Maharashtra and Punjab, rice in Madras.

6. How did indigo trade attract foreign traders?

Answer: As the indigo trade grew, 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.

7. Give two problems which arose with the new Munro system of fixing revenue.

Answer: Two problems which arose with the new Munro system of fixing revenue were:

  • Driven by the desire to increase the income from land, revenue officials fixed too high a revenue demand.
  • Peasants were unable to pay, ryots fled the countryside, and villages became deserted in many regions.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. By the end of the 18th century, the demand for Indian indigo grew further. What were the reasons behind it?
Or
Why did the demand for Indian indigo increase?

Answer: By the end of the eighteenth century, the demand for Indian indigo grew further. Britain began to industrialise, and 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 for a variety of reasons. Between 1783 and 1789 the production of indigo in the world fell by half. Cloth dyers in Britain now desperately looked for new sources of indigo supply.

2. Explain how the Bengal economy landed up in a crisis under the Diwani of the Company.
Or
How did the Bengal economy fell into deep crisis?

Answer: 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 1865, 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.

3. Why was the Indigo Commission set up by the government? What were its findings and suggestions?

Answer: 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 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 produce indigo in future.

4. What were the consequences of the economic crisis that gripped Bengal?
Or
State the consequences of the economic crisis that gripped Bengal?

Answer: Consequences of the economic crisis that gripped Bengal

  • Artisans were deserting villages since they were being forced to sell their goods to the Company at low prices.
  • Peasants were unable to pay the dues that were being demanded from them.
  • Artisanal production was in decline, and agricultural cultivation showed signs of collapse.
  • Then in 1770 a terrible famine killed ten million people in Bengal. About one-third of the population was wiped out.

5. What was the “Blue Rebellion”?

Answer: In March 1859 thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow indigo. This was known as the ‘Blue rebellion’. As the rebellion spread, ryots refused to pay rents to the planters, and attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bows and arrows. Women turned up to fight with pots, pans and kitchen implements. Those who worked for the planters were socially boycotted, and the gomasthas – agents of planters – who came to collect rent were beaten up. Ryots swore they would no longer take advances to sow indigo nor be bullied by the planters’ lathiyals.

7. What was the Munro system?
Or
What was Ryotwari system?
Or
What are the main aspects of Ryotwari system?
Or
Describe the Munro system.

Answer: The new system that was devised came to be known as the ryotwar (or ryotwari). It was tried on a small scale by Captain Alexander Read in some of the areas that were taken over by the Company after the wars with Tipu Sultan. Subsequently developed by Thomas Munro, this system was gradually extended all over south India. Read and Munro felt that in the south there were no traditional zamindars. The settlement, they argued, had to be made directly with the cultivators (ryots) who had tilled the land for generations. Their fields had to be carefully and separately surveyed before the revenue assessment was made.

8. How was indigo cultivated under the ryoti system?

Answer: Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots to sign a contract, an agreement (satta). At times they pressurised the village headmen to sign the contract on behalf of the ryots. 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 per cent 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.

9. Give a brief description of the Mahalwari System.
Or
Brief notes on the Mahalwari System.
Or
Describe mahalwari system.

Answer: In the North Western Provinces of the Bengal Presidency, an Englishman called Holt Mackenzie devised the new system which came into effect in 1822. He felt that the village was an important social institution in north Indian society and needed to be preserved. Under his directions, collectors went from village to village, inspecting the land, measuring the fields, 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 (mahal) had to pay. This demand was to be revised periodically, not permanently fixed. The charge of collecting the revenue and paying it to the Company was given to the village headman. This system came to be known as the mahalwari settlement.

10. What were the problems faced by the planters in the NIJ system?
Or
What were the problems with nij cultivation?
Or
Why were planters reluctant to expand the area under nij cultivation till the late 19th century?’

Answer: The problems faced by the planters in the nij system were:

  • The planters found it difficult to expand the area under nij cultivation. Indigo could be cultivated only on fertile lands, and these were all already densely populated. Only small plots scattered over the landscape could be acquired. Planters needed large areas in compact blocks to cultivate indigo in plantations.
  • Nor was labour easy to mobilise. 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.
  • Nij cultivation on a large scale also required many ploughs and bullocks. Investing on purchase and maintenance of ploughs was a big problem.

11. Why did the indigo cultivators decide to rebel? How did they show their anger?
Or
Why did the indigo cultivators decide to rebel?
Or
Why did the indigo peasants decide they would no longer remain silent?

Answer: 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:

  • Ryots refused to pay rents to the planters, and attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bows and arrows.
  • Women turned up to fight with pots, pans and kitchen implements.
  • Those who worked for the planters were socially boycotted, and the gomasthas – agents of planters – who came to collect rent were beaten up.
  • Ryots swore they would no longer take advances to sow indigo nor be bullied by the planters’ lathiyals.

12. What problems did Permanent Settlement pose?
Answer:

  • Company officials soon discovered that the zamindars were in fact not investing in the improvement of land. The revenue that had been fixed was so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay.
  • By the first decade of the nineteenth century the situation changed. 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 could not increase a revenue demand that had been fixed permanently.
  • Some had lost their lands in the earlier years of the settlement; others now saw the possibility of earning without the trouble and risk of investment. As long as the zamindars could give out the land to tenants and get rent, they were not interested in improving the land.

13. Describe different stages of the production of indigo.
Or
How was indigo produced?

Answer: After 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 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 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. The liquid was drained off and the sediment – the indigo pulp – transferred to another vat (known as the settling vat), and then pressed and dried for sale.

14. Describe the main features of the Permanent Settlement.
Or
What were the terms of the Permanent Settlement?

Answer: Main features of the Permanent Settlement

  • The Company finally introduced the Permanent Settlement in 1793.
  • By the terms of the 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.
  • 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.
  • Since the revenue demand of the state would not be increased, the zamindar would benefit from increased production from the land.

15. Why were ryots reluctant to grow indigo?

Answer: Ryots were reluctant to grow indigo because of the following reasons.

  • Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots to sign a contract, an agreement (satta).
  • 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 per cent of the area under his holding.
  • 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.
  • The price they got for the indigo they produced was very low and the cycle of loans never ended.
  • The planters usually insisted that indigo be cultivated on the best soils in which peasants preferred to cultivate rice.
  • Indigo, moreover, had deep roots and it exhausted the soil rapidly. After an indigo harvest the land could not be sown with rice.

16. What were the circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of indigo production in Bengal?

Answer: The circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of indigo production in Bengal were:

  • The indigo ryots felt that they had the support of the local zamindars and village headmen in their rebellion against the planters.
  • The indigo peasants also imagined that the British government would support them in their struggle against the planters.
  • The ryots saw the tour of the Lieutenant Governor as a sign of government sympathy for their plight.
  • The magistrate Ashley Eden issued a notice stating that ryots would not be compelled to accept indigo contracts.
  • As the rebellion spread, intellectuals from Calcutta rushed to the indigo districts. They wrote of the misery of the ryots, the tyranny of the planters, and the horrors of the indigo system.
  • Worried by the rebellion, 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 produce indigo in future.
  • After the revolt, indigo production collapsed in Bengal.
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