Class 8 History Chapter 6 Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners Important Questions

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 6 Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners Important Questions cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising the questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 6 Important Questions PDF

Very Short Answer Type Questions

1: Give two reasons why Indian textiles were renowned all over the world.
Answer: Their fine quality and beautiful craftsmanship made them renowned all over the world.

2: Why were printed Indian cotton textiles I popular in England?
Answer: Printed Indian cotton textiles were popular in England for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and relative cheapness.

3: During which period patola weaving was famous?
Answer: It was famous during the mid-19th century.

4: Name the origin of the word calico.
Answer: Calicut.

5: Name the important centres of jamdani weaving.
Answer: Dacca in Bengal and Lucknow in the United Provinces (U.P.).

6: Name two places where chintz were produced during the mid-19th century.
Answer: Masulipatnam and Andhra Pradesh.

7: How did European trading companies purchase cotton and silk textiles in India?
Answer: European trading companies purchased cotton and silk textiles in India by importing silver.

8: Name the household spinning instrument.
Answer: Charkha and takli.

9: What did Mahatma Gandhi urge people during the national movement?
Answer: During the national movement Mahatma Gandhi urged people to boycott imported textiles and use hand-spun and hand-woven cloth.

10: What became a symbol of nationalism?
Answer: Khadi became a symbol of nationalism.

11: How did growth of cotton mills in the country prove to be a boon for the poor peasants, artisans and agricultural labourers?
Answer: They got work in the mills.

12: How did Indian cotton factories prove to be helpful during the First World War?
Answer: They began to produce cloth for military supplies.

13: Why was Tipu’s sword so special?
Answer: Tipu’s sword was made of Wootz steel. Wootz steel when made into swords produced a very sharp edge that could easily rip through the opponent’s armour.

14: Why was the Wootz steel making process completely lost by the mid- 19th century?

Answer: There are two reasons for it:
(a) The sword and armour making industry died with the conquest of India by the British.
(b) Imports of iron and steel from England displaced the iron and steel produced by craftsmen in India.

15: What were the furnaces made of?
Answer: The furnaces were made of clay and sun-dried bricks.

16: Why were bellows used?
Answer: Bellows were used to keep the charcoal burning.

17: What were piece goods?
Answer: Piece goods were usually woven cloth pieces that were 20 yards long and 1 yard wide.

18. What is jamdani?

Answer: Jamdani is a fine muslin on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread is used.

19. What is bandanna?

Answer: The word “bandanna” refers to any brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or head. The term is derived from the word “bandhna” (Hindi for tying) which refers to a variety of brightly coloured cloth produced through a method of tying and dying.

20. Who are the Agarias?

Answer: The Agarias are an Indian community of iron smelters.

Short Answer Type Questions

1: How were Indian textiles viewed in the world market?

Answer: India was the largest producer of cotton textiles in the world before the British conquered Bengal around 1750. Indian textiles had long been renowned both for their fine quality and exquisite craftsmanship. They were extensively traded in Southeast Asia (Java, Sumatra and Penang) and West and Central Asia. From the 16th century European trading companies began buying Indian textiles for sale in Europe.

2: How did the inventions of Spinning Jenny and Steam Engine revolutionise cotton textile weaving in England?

Answer: Textile industries had just emerged in England in the early 18th century.
So, it was difficult for the English producers to compete with Indian textiles. This competition with Indian textiles led to a search for technological innovation in England. In 1764, the Spinning Jenny was invented by John Kaye which increased the productivity of the traditional spindles.
Then came the steam engine. It was invented by Richard Arkwright in 1786. These two inventions revolutionised cotton textile weaving in England. Cloth could now be woven in immense quantities and cheaply too.

3: Give a description of the four regions where textile production was concentrated in the early 19th century.

Answer: Textile production was concentrated in the following four regions in the early 19th century:
(a) Bengal was one of the most important centres. Located along the numerous rivers in the delta, the production centres in Bengal could easily transport goods to distant places.
(b) Dacca in Eastern Bengal, present- day Bangladesh, was the foremost textile centre in the 18th century. It was famous for its mulmut and jamdani weaving.
(c) Textile production was concentrated along the Coromandal coast stretching from Madras to northern Andhra Pradesh.
(d) On the western coast there were important weaving centres in Gujarat.

4: Who were the weavers? Name some communities famous for weaving.

Answer: Weavers often belonged to communities that specialised in weaving. Their skills were passed on from one generation to the next.
List of some communities famous for weaving includes:
(a) the tanti weavers of Bengal.
(b) the julahas or momin weavers of north India.
(c) sale and kaikollar and devangs of South India.

5: Describe the process of cloth making.

Answer: The process of cloth making consists of two stages:

  • The first stage of production was spinning, Le. work done mostly by women. The charkha and the takli were household spinning instruments. The thread was spun on the charkha and rolled on the takli
  • When the spinning was over the thread was woven into cloth by the weaver.
    In most communities weaving was a task done by men. For coloured textiles, the thread was dyed by the dyer, called rangrez. For painted cloth the weavers needed the help of specialist block printers called chhipigars.

6: Handloom production did not completely die in India. Why?

Answer: This was because some types of cloths could not be supplied by machines. Just take the examples of saris with intricate borders and cloths with traditional woven patterns. Machines could not produce them. These had a wide demand not only amongst the rich but also amongst the middle classes. Moreover, the textile manufacturers in Britain could not produce the very coarse cloths used by the poor people in India.

In the late 19th century, Sholapur and Madurai grew as important new centres of weaving. During the national movement, Gandhiji urged people to use hand-spun and handwoven cloth Khadi which gradually became a symbol of nationalism.

7: Give a brief description of growth of cotton mills in India.

Answer: The first cotton mill in India was set up as a spinning mill in Bombay in 1854. By 1900, over 84 mills started operating in Bombay.
Mills were set up in other cities too. The first mill in Ahmedabad was started in 1861. A year later a mill was established in Kanpur, in the United Provinces. Growth of cotton mills led to a demand for labour. As a result, thousands of poor peasants, artisans and agricultural labourers moved to cities to work in the mills.

8: Who are the Agarias? Why did they leave their village?

Answer: The Agarias are a community of iron smelters. They are specialised in the craft of iron smelting.
In the late 19th century a series of famines devastated the dry tracts of India. In central India, many of the Agaria iron smelters stopped work, deserted their villages and migrated, looking for some other work to survive the hard times. A large number of them never worked their furnaces again.

9. What kinds of cloth had a large market in Europe?

Cotton and silk textiles had a huge market in Europe. Indian textiles were by far the most popular, both for their fine quality and exquisite craftsmanship. Different varieties of Indian textiles were sold in the Western markets; for example, chintz, cossaes or khassa,bandanna and jamdani. From the 1680s, there started a craze for printed Indian cotton textiles in England and Europe, mainly for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and relative cheapness.

Long Answer Type Questions

1: Write a few lines on each of the following:
(a) Patola weave 
(b) Jamdani weave 
(c) Chintz

Answer: (a) Patola weave- It came into existence in the mid-19th century. It was woven in Surat, Ahmedabad and Patan. It was highly valued in Indonesia. It became a part of the local weaving tradition there.

(b) Jamdani weave- It grew in the early 20th century. Jamdani is a fine muslin on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread was used. The most important centres of jamdani weaving were Dacca in Bengal and Lucknow in the United Provinces.

(c) Chintz- The term chintz is derived from the Hindi word chhint, a cloth with small and colourful flowery designs. It was produced in Masulipatnam and Andhra Pradesh in the mid-19th century. It was in great demand in England and Europe.

2: How did Iron and Steel factories come up in India?

Answer: Jamsetji Tata had decided to spend a large part of his fortune to build a big iron and steel industry in India. But this could not be done without identifying the sources of fine quality iron ore. For this reason his son, Dorabji Tata along with Charles Weld, an American geologist, began travelling in Chhattisgarh in search of iron ore deposits. It was the year 1904.One day, after travelling for many hours in the forests, Weld and Dorabji came upon a small village where they met the Agarias, who were carrying basket loads of iron ore. When asked where they had found the iron ore, the Agarias pointed to hill in the distance, Weld and Dorabji rushed to the hill. On exploring the hill the geologist declared that they had at last found what they had been looking for.

But there was a problem. The region was dry and the Tatas had to search for a more suitable place to set up their factory.
A few years later a large area of forest was cleared on the banks of the river Subarnarekha to set up the factory and an industrial township, i.e. Jamshedpur. Here, there was water near iron ore deposits. The Tata Iron and Steel Company, popularly known as TISCO began producing steel in 1912.

3. How do the names of different textiles tell us about their histories?

Answer: By tracing the origins of the names of different textiles, one can find out a lot about their histories. Take the case of muslin—a word that refers to any finely woven textile. This word is a derivative of the city of Mosul (in present-day Iraq). It was here that the European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth from India, which was brought over from India by Arab merchants. Another example is calico—the general name for all cotton textiles. This word is derived from the word Calicut, a city on the coast of Kerala. When the Portuguese first came to India, they landed in Calicut, and the cotton textiles that they took along with them to Europe came to be called calico. Chintz, a printed cotton cloth, is a term that is derived from the Hindi word chhint—a cloth with small and colourful flowery designs. Bandanna, which refers to any brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or head, is a term that leads one to the Hindi word for tying, that is, bandhna—a variety of brightly coloured cloth produced through a method of tying and dying. The widespread use of such words shows how popular Indian textiles had become in different parts of the world.

4. Why did the wool and silk producers in England protest against the import of Indian textiles in the early eighteenth century?

Answer: Indian textiles had long been renowned, both for their fine quality and exquisite craftsmanship. They were extensively traded in Southeast Asia and West and Central Asia. From the sixteenth century, European trading companies began buying Indian textiles for sale in Europe. There was quite a craze for Indian cotton textiles in England and Europe, mainly for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and relative cheapness.

By the early eighteenth century, worried by the popularity of Indian textiles, the wool and silk makers in England began protesting against the import of Indian cotton textiles. At this time, the textile industries had just begun to develop in England. Unable to compete with Indian textiles, English producers wanted a secure market within the country by preventing the entry of Indian textiles.

5. How did the development of cotton industries in Britain affect textile producers in India?

Answer: Effects of the development of cotton industries in Britain on the textile producers in India:

(i) Competition − Indian textiles had to compete with British textiles in European and American markets.

(ii) High duties − Exporting textiles to England became increasingly difficult due to the very high duties imposed on Indian textiles imported into Britain.

(iii) Capture of foreign markets − By the beginning of the nineteenth century, English-made cotton textiles ousted Indian textiles from their traditional markets, thereby throwing thousands of Indian weavers out of employment. The English and European companies stopped buying Indian textiles and their agents no longer gave out advances to weavers to secure supplies.

(iv) Capture of the Indian market − By the 1830s, British cotton cloth flooded Indian markets. By the 1880s, two-third of all cotton clothes worn by Indians were made of cloth produced in Britain. This greatly affected both the weavers and the spinners.

Thus, Indian textiles declined in the nineteenth century, and thousands of Indian weavers and spinners lost their livelihood.

6. Why did the Indian iron smelting industry decline in the nineteenth century?

Answer: The Indian iron smelting industry declined in the nineteenth century for the following reasons.

(a) The forest laws implemented by the colonial administration prevented the free movement of people in reserved forests. Charcoal—an essential ingredient in the iron smelting process—could therefore not be obtained easily.

(b) When in some areas the government did grant access to the forests, the iron smelters were in return required to pay a very high amount in tax to the forest department for every furnace they used. This reduced their income.

(c) By the late nineteenth century, iron and steel was being imported from Britain. Ironsmiths began using the imported iron to manufacture utensils and implements. This reduced the demand for iron produced by local smelters.

(d) In the late nineteenth century, a series of famines devastated the dry tracts of India. As a result, many of the local smelters stopped work, deserted their villages, and migrated, looking for some other work to survive the hard times.

7. What problems did the Indian textile industry face in the early years of its development?

Answer: In the first few decades of its existence, the Indian textile industry faced certain problems. One such problem was that of competition from imported goods. Being in its early years of development, the Indian textile industry found it difficult to compete with the cheap textiles imported from Britain. Unlike other countries where governments allowed local industries to grow by imposing heavy duties on imports, the colonial government in India did not protect and support the local textile industries in any such way.

8. What helped TISCO expand steel production during the First World War?

Answer: TISCO was able to expand steel production during the First World War because the British imports of iron and steel into India declined and the market for the steel manufactured by it increased. During the war, the steel produced in Britain had to meet the demands of the war. As a result, the imports of British steel into India declined dramatically. At this time, the Indian Railways turned to TISCO for the supply of rails. As the war dragged on for several years, TISCO had to produce shells and carriage wheels for the war. To meet the demands of the war, TISCO had to expand its capacity and extend the size of its factory. By 1919, the colonial government was buying 90 per cent of the steel manufactured by TISCO.

You cannot copy content of this page