NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 6 Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 6 Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners are given below. These solutions contain answers to all the exercise questions given in the History textbook (Our Pasts III). All our solutions are updated as per the latest CBSE Syllabus and Guidelines. These solutions will also help you to score higher marks with the help of well-illustrated answers. All the questions and answers of Class 8 History Chapter 6 are provided here in PDF format.

Class 8 History Chapter 6 Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners NCERT Solutions

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Exercise Questions

Question 1: What kinds of cloth had a large market in Europe?

Answer: 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.

Question 2: 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.

Question 3: What is bandanna?

Answer: ‘Bandanna’ refers to brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or head. Originally referring to the hindi word, “bandhna” which means tying, it is a type of cloth produced through a method of tying and dying.

Question 4: Who are the Agarias?

Answer: The Agarias are an Indian community of iron smelters. In the late nineteenth century, after a series of famines, a lot of Agarias deserted their villages and never worked as smelters again.

Question 5: Fill in the blanks:

(a) The word chintz comes from the word ____________.

Answer: chhint.

(b) Tipu’s sword was made of ________ steel.

Answer: (b) Wootz

(c) India’s textile exports declined in the __________ century.

Answer: (c) nineteenth

Question 6: How do the names of different textiles tell us about their histories?

Answer: The different textiles like ‘muslin’, ‘chintz’, ‘calico’ and ‘bandanna’ have a history to their names:

Muslin – The cloth was named after the European traders who saw five types of cotton textiles carried by the Arab traders in Mosul. They named all woven textiles as ‘muslin’ after that.

Chintz – This name is derived from a Hindi name called ‘Chhint’ which is a small piece of cloth with floral designs.

Calico – Portuguese came to Calicut first in search of spices. However, the cotton textile they took back from Calicut to Spain was called Calico.

Bandanna – The term was derived from the Hindi word ‘Bandhna’. It is a scarf with prints. It is made for head or neck.

Question 7: Why did the wool and silk producers in England protest against the import of Indian textiles in the early Eighteenth century?

Answer: The wool and silk producers in England protested against the import of Indian textiles in the early eighteenth century because they found themselves unable to compete with the Indian textiles that were available in fine quality and at low prices in the market. The English wool and silk producers wanted a ban on Indian textiles to secure their business in England.

Question 8: How did the development of cotton industries in Britain affect textile producers in India?

Answer: There were several challenges for textile produces in India:

(i) They had to compete with English cotton industries both in England and in India

(ii) British cotton industries expanded, which led to the shrinkage of Indian textile producers.

(iii) Thousands of Indian textile producers were out of employment because the British took over the market with their industries.

Question 9: Why did the Indian iron smelting industry decline in the nineteenth century?

Answer: The Indian iron smelting industry decline in the nineteenth century due to the following reasons:

  • Imposition of new forest laws prevented people from entering the reserved forests. Due to this, Indian smelters were unable to get wood for charcoal and iron ore. Hence, many smelters abandoned their work and looked for some other jobs.
  • Iron smelters were asked to pay high taxes to the forest authorities for every furnace they used. This reduced their income.
  • By the late nineteenth century, iron and steel was being imported from Britain. Ironsmiths in India began using the imported iron. This inevitably lowered the demand for iron produced by local smelters.
  • By the early twentieth century, smelters faced competition from the iron and steel industries that began to be set up in the country.

Question 10: What problems did the Indian textile industry face in the early years of its development?

Answer: The development of cotton industries in Britain affected textile producers in India in the following ways:

(i) Indian textiles now had to compete with British textiles in the European and American markets. Exporting textiles to England also became increasingly difficult since very high duties were imposed on Indian textiles imported into Britain.

(ii) By the beginning of the nineteenth century, English made cotton textiles successfully ousted Indian goods from their traditional markets in Africa, America and Europe.

(iii) Thousands of weavers in India were now thrown out of employment.

(iv) Bengal weavers were the worst hit. English and European companies stopped buying Indian goods and their agents no longer gave out advances to weavers to secure supplies. Distressed weavers wrote petitions to the government to help them.

(v) By the 1880s, two-thirds of all the cotton clothes worn by Indians were made of cloth produced in Britain. This affected not only specialist weavers but also spinners. Thousands of rural women who made a living by spinning cotton thread were rendered jobless.

Question 11: 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.

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