Long Answer Questions - Peasants and Farmer Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: Long Answer Questions - Peasants and Farmer Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

The document Long Answer Questions - Peasants and Farmer Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

Q.1. Why did the farmers feel the need to introduce mechanisation in agriculture during the Napoleonic wars?

Ans. During the Napoleonic wars, prices of foodgrains were high and farmers expanded production vigorously. Fearing a shortage of labour, they began buying the new threshing machines that had come into the market. They complained of the insolvency of labourers, their drinking habits and the difficulty of making them work. The machines, they thought, would help them reduce their dependence on labourers.

Q.2. Discuss the factors that precipitated the Agricultural Depression. What were the consequences of this Depression? How was the Captain Swing Movement related to this Depression?

Ans. After the Napoleonic wars had ended, thousands of soldiers returned to the villages. They needed alternative jobs to survive. But this was a time when grain from Europe began flowing into England, prices declined and an Agricultural Depression set in. Anxious landowners began reducing the area they cultivated and demanded that the exports of crops be stopped. They tried to cut wages and the number of workmen they employed. The unemployed poor tramped from village to village, and those with uncertain jobs lived in fear of a loss of their livelihood. The Captain Swing riots spread in the countryside at this time. For the poor, the threshing machines had become sign of bad times.

Q.3. Discuss the westward expansion of the white settlers in America.

Ans. The story of agrarian expansion is closely connected to the westward movement of the white settlers who took over the land. After the American War of Independence from 1775 to 1783and the formation of the United States of America, the white Americans began to move westward. By the time Thomas Jefferson became the President of the USA in 1800, over 700,000 white settlers had moved into Appalachian plateau through the passes.

Q.4. What were the problems associated with wheat expansion in USA? Discuss with special reference to mechanisation and ‘dust bowl’.

Ans. In the late 19th century, there was a great expansion of wheat cultivation in the USA. With an increase in population, demand for wheat was rising. The expansion was made possible by new technology. Implements and tools were modified to suit their needs. Now farmers were using tractors and disk ploughs to clear land for cultivalion. Mechanical reapers were used to reap and cut harvest. By the early 20th century, combined harvesters were being used to cut grain. Now with power-driven machinery large tracts of land could be ploughed, seeded, harvested within a short time.

But there were problems. Poor farmers were hard hit. They could not buy these machines. The bank offered loans but most and them could not repay these loans. Many of them left their farms in search of a job. In addition, terrifying dust storms began to blow, blinding the people, choking the cattle, covering fields, rivers, machines with dust. This was because the entire area had been ploughed and stripped of grass whose roots could have bounded the soil.

Q.5. Why were the farmers of Bengal unwilling to grow opium in their farms? (CBSE 2010)

Ans.
(1) The Indian farmers were reluctant to grow opium in their farms because it had to be grown on the best land, near the villages and it had to be well manured.
(2) This land was usually used for growing pulses. If opium was grown on less fertile land and yield would not be good in quality and quantity.
(3) Cultivation of opium was difficult and time-consuming. As a result, the cultivators would not have time to look after their other produce.
(4) The farmers had to pay rent for the land. This rent was quite high.
(5) Finally the prices paid by the government were very low and brought no profit to the farmer.

Q.6. Which system was introduced by the British to make the unwilling cultivators produce opium? How did this system work? Discuss with special reference to it being a drawback for the peasants.

Ans. The unwilling cultivators were made to produce opium by the British through a system of advances. In the rural areas of Bengal and Bihar, there were a large number of poor peasants. They never had enough to survive. It was difficult for them to pay rent to the landlord or to buy food and clothing. The government's opium agents advanced money to them through the headmen of their village. They felt tempted to accept it, hoping to meet their immediate needs and pay back the loan at a later date. But the loan tied the peasant to the headmen and through him to the government. By taking the loan the cultivator was forced to grow opium on a specified area of land and hand over the produce to the agents once the crop had been harvested.

Q.7. ‘After the 1930s, the Americans realised that they had to respect the ecological conditions of each region.’ How did they learn this lesson?

Ans. The early 1930s were years of persistent drought. The rains failed year after year and temperatures soared. The wind blew with ferocious speed. The ordinary storms became black blizzards. This was due to the fact that the entire landscape had been ploughed over, stripped of all grass that held it together. Farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation; tractors had turned the soil over and broken the soil into dust. The whole region had become a dust bowl. After the 1930s, they realised that they had to respect the ecological conditions of each region.

Q.8. ‘The history of opium production in India was linked up with the story of British trade with China.’ Elaborate.

Ans. The history of opium production in India was linked up with the story of British trade with China. The English East India Company was buying tea and silk from China for sale in England. As tea became a popular English drink, tea trade became more and more important. This created a problem. England at this time was producing nothing that could easily be sold in China. How to finance the tea trade?

They searched for such a commodity. The Portuguese had introduced opium into China. Western merchants began an illegal trade in opium. While the English cultivated a taste for Chinese tea, the Chinese became addicted to opium.

Q.9. Discuss the reasons for the Opium Wars (1837-42).
 Ans.
In 1839, the Chinese Emperor sent Lin-Ze-xu to Canton as a Special Commissioner with instructions to stop the opium trade. After he arrived in Canton in the spring of 1839, Lin arrested 1,600 men involved in the trade and confiscated 11,000 pounds of opium. He forced the factories to hand over their stocks of opium, burnt 20,000 crates of opium and blew the ashes to the wind.
When he announced that Canton was closed to foreign trade Britain declared war. Defeated in the Opium War (1837–42) the Chinese were forced to accept the humiliating terms of the subsequent treaties, legalising opium trade and opening up China to foreign merchants.

Q.10. ‘The conflict between the British government, peasants and local traders continued as long as opium production lasted.’ Elaborate.
 Ans.
By 1773, the British Government in Bengal had established a monopoly to trade in opium. No one else was legally permitted to trade in the product. By the 1820s, the British taxed opium production in their territories to make it declining, but it was increasing outside British territories, specially in central India and Rajasthan within princely states, which are not under direct British control. The British tried to stop it. It instructed its agents in princely states to confiscate all opium and destroy the crops. This conflict between the British Government, peasants and local traders continued as long as opium production lasted.

Q.11. Discuss the following :
 (a) how the grasslands were converted into the bread basket of America?
 (b) problems faced and consequences that followed.

Ans. (a) In the late 19th century, there was great expansion of wheat cultivation in USA. The export market was becoming bigger, coupled with the increase in urban population. The demand for wheat was rising. Prices touched the sky which encouraged farmers to grow more. The construction of railway lines made transportation of wheat easier and faster from the wheat growing areas to the east coast for export. During the First World War, the world market was at a high. Russian wheat supplies were cut off. The USA was left as the only supplier to Europe. In the first decade of the 19th century there was about 45 million acres of land in the USA under wheat cultivation. In the next ten years the area increased to 74 million acres. The major increase was in the Great Plains where new areas were being ploughed to increase production. This expansion was made possible by new technology. Implements and tools were modified and redesigned to suit their needs. Now, by the early 20th century, farmers in the Great Plains were using tractors and disk plough to clear land for wheat cultivation. Mechanical reapers were used to reap and cut the harvest. By the early 20th century, combined harvesters were being used to cut grain. Now with power-driven machinery large tracts of land could be ploughed, seeded and harvested within a short time.

(b) But there were problems. The poor farmers were hard hit. They could not buy these machines. The banks offered loans but most of them could not repay these loans. Many of them left their farms and went away in search of jobs. Mechanisation had reduced the need for labour. Jobs were very scarce. By the mid-1920s the Agricultural Boom came to an end. Most farmers were faced with problems. As production was at a high there were surplus wheat stocks everywhere. Markets were flooded with corn and wheat. Prices fell and export markets collapsed. This became a cause of the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s. This depression ruined farmers everywhere. In addition, terrifying duststorms began to blow over the southern plains. People were blinded and cattle choked, fields, rivers and implements covered with dust. This was because the entire area had been ploughed and stripped of grass whose roots had bound the soil. The entire region was transformed from the Bread Basket to the Dust Bowl.

Q.12. Explain the factors which led to the enclosures in England? [2011 (T-2)]
 OR
 What was the Enclosure System? Mention any two factors which encouraged the  Enclosure system. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The sixteenth century enclosures were prompted by sheep farming. The late 18th century enclosure movement was for more and more grain production.
(i) Between 1750 and 1900, the English population expanded rapidly – from 7 million in 1750 to 21 million in 1850 and 30 million in 1900. This meant an increased demand for foodgrains to feed the population.
(ii) Britain was fast industrialising. There was mass migration of people from villages to towns to work in factories. To survive they had to buy foodgrains in the market. As the urban population multiplied, the market for foodgrains expanded and foodgrain prices rose. Thus farmers were encouraged to grow more and more crops. Hence, the enclosure movement.
(iii) By the close of the 18th century, France was at war with England. This disrupted trade and the import of foodgrains from Europe. Prices of foodgrains soared encouraging landowners to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation.
(iv) As profits multiplied the landowners pressurised the Parliament to pass the Enclosure Acts.

Q.13. 'Seen from the east coast, America seemed to be the land of promise.' Explain. [2011 (T-2)]
 Ans.
After the formation of the United States of America, the white Americans began to move westward. By 1800, over seven lakh white settlers had moved on to the Appalachian plateau through the passes. Seen from the east coast, America seemed to be a land of promise, of vast richness. Its wilderness could be turned into cultivated fields to grow crops. Forest timber could be cut for export, animals hunted for skin, rich mines in the mountains could be mined for gold and other precious minerals. To achieve this, the American Indians had to be driven further west.

Q.14. Explain any two advantages and two disadvantages of the Exclosure Movement in England. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans.

Advantages :
(i) The Enclosure movement made England self-sufficient in foodgrains. Grain production grew as quickly as population. In 1868 England produced about 80 percent of the food it consumed.
(ii) Enclosures prompted the landlords to make long-term investments on land and plan crop rotations to improve the soil. Enclosures allowed landlords to expand the land under their control and produce more for the market. Enclosures filled the pockets of landlords and made them very rich.

Disadvantages :
(i) The poor were hard hit. They could no longer collect their firewood from the forests, or graze their cattle on the commons. They could no longer gather apples, berries, or hunt animals for meat. Everything belonged to the landlords and poor were left helpless and miserable.
(ii) In areas of extensive enclosures, the poor were displaced from the land. Deprived of their customary rights, the poor people tramped in search of work. But nowhere could the poor find secure jobs. Work became insecure, employment uncertain, income unstable. For a large part of the year the poor had no work.

 Q.15. State any four major features of the 'Open Field' system which prevailed in England in
 the 18th and early 19th century. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans.

(i) Before this period, in large parts of England, the countryside was open. It was not partitioned into enclosed lands privately owned by landlords.

(ii) Peasants cultivated on strips of land around the village they lived in. Every peasant had a mix of good and bad land.

(iii) Beyond the strips of cultivation lay the common land. All villagers had access to the common. Here they pastured their cows and grazed sheep, collected food, fuel and fodder and a variety of fruits. They fished in the rivers and ponds and hunted rabbits in common forests.

(iv) For the poor, the common land was very necessary for survival. It supplemented their meagre income, sustained their cattle and helped them tide over bad times when the crops\ failed. Poor peasants led a comfortable and secure life.

Q.16. Explain two advantages and two disadvantages of mechanical harvesting machines inUSA. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans.
Advantages :
(i) In 1831, Cyrus McCormick invented the first mechanical reaper which could cut in one day as much as five men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles. With one of the combined harvesters, 500 acres of wheat could be harvested in two weeks.
(ii) The prices of wheat were high and the demand limitless. With power-driven machinery, only four men could plough, seed and harvest 2,000 to 4,000 acres of wheat in a season. This helped landlords to earn more and more profit.

Disadvantages :
(i) For the poorer farmers, machines brought misery. Many of them bought these machines with the loans offered to them. Those who borrowed, found it difficult to pay back theirm debts. Many of them deserted their farms and looked for jobs elsewhere.
(ii) Production had expanded rapidly and there was a huge surplus. Wheat prices fell andexport markets collapsed. This led to Great Agrarian Depression of 1930s.

Q.17. How was the USA converted into a dust bowl from a bread basket? Describe any four reasons. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans.
(i) The early 1930s were years of persistent drought. The rains failed year after year and temperature soared.

(ii) The wind blew with ferocious speed causing terrible dust storms.

(iii) The entire landscape had been ploughed over again and again, stripped of all grass that held it together.

(iv) Zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil cover, and broken the sod into dust. The whole region had turned into a nightmare. Thus the American dream of a plenty had turned into a nightmare.

Q.18. Why the poor of England were opposed to the threshing machines? [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The threshing machines led to riots and looting as poor of England opposed them. This directly affected their livelihood. They lost jobs and became unemployed. Work became insecure, employment uncertain and income unstable. For most of the year the poor had no work. The income of labourers became unstable, their jobs insecure, their livelihood precarious.

The document Long Answer Questions - Peasants and Farmer Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

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