Page No. 78
Ques 1: Give two examples of different types of global exchanges which took place before the seventeenth century, choosing one example from Asia and one from the Americas.
Ans: (a) Asia: (i) The Silk Routes are an example of vibrant pre-modem trade.
(ii) These routes linked Asia with Europe and northern Africa and were used for trades in Chinese pottery and spices from India and Southeast Asia. Gold and silver came from Europe to Asia.
(iii) Christian missionaries and Muslim preachers too travelled through these routes.
Fig: Global Exchange
(b) America: Many of our common foods such as potatoes, soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes, chillies came from America’s original inhabitants i.e., the American Indians. Precious metals like silver from mines in Peru and Mexico enhanced Europe’s wealth and financed its trade with Asia. Thus, there was a global exchange before the seventeenth century.
Ques 2: Explain how the global transfer of disease in the pre-modern world helped in the colonisation of the Americas.
Ans: (i) The colonisation of Americas took place in the mid-sixteenth century.
(ii) It was primarily due to the global transfer of disease that helped in the colonisation of the Americas.
(iii) The Spaniards carried the germs of smallpox into the Americas. The local inhabitants had no immunity against these diseases due to their long isolation. Thus smallpox killed and decimated many communities and paved the way for colonisation of the Americas.
Ques 3: Write a note to explain the effects of the following:
(a) The British government’s decision to abolish the Corn Laws.
Ans. Agriculture sector faced a loss after the abolition of the Corn Laws but there was progress in the industrial sector. Thousands of workers and cultivators became unemployed as the food was being- imported cheaply into Britain. There was an increase in the consumption of food, which led the rise in the industrial sector. The problem of unemployment was resolved by workers shifting to various cities because of the availability of work in the industries. Around the world, in Eastern Europe, Russia, America and Australia, lands were cleared and food production expanded to meet the British demand.
(b) The coming of rinderpest to Africa.
Ans. In the 1880s, the Rinderpest, a cattle disease arrived in Africa. A cattle were imported from British Asia to East Africa which had rinderpest infection and soon after entering the East of Africa, the infection moved to the west like a fire in the forest. By the year 1892, it had reached till Africa’s Atlantic coast. Along its way, it killed almost 90 per cent of the cattle. As Africans were depended on it at a larger scale, it destroyed their source of livelihood. It became easier for the colonial government officials, planters and mine owners to monopolise the scarce cattle resources. It was also one of the reasons that forced Africans into the labour market. Europe took advantage of the problem, conquered and subdued Africa.
(c) The death of men of working-age in Europe because of the World War.
Ans. World War-I was mainly fought in Europe between the years 1914 to 1918. Millions of soldiers were recruited from all over the world. The scale of death and destruction - 9 million dead and 20 million injured - was unthinkable. Most of the killed and maimed were men of working age. In Europe, there was a reduce in the able-bodied workforce due to the deaths and injuries of the war. This led to the decline in the household incomes as the number of the people reduced in the family.
(d) The Great Depression on the Indian economy.
Ans. Between 1928 and 1934, there was a reduce in Indian imports and exports by nearly half. It had a major impact on the Indian economy, which led to the Great Depression. Wheat prices too fell by 50% during this time. The agricultural sector was badly hit by the Great depression compared to the urban areas, as it dominated the livelihoods in rural lands.
(e) The decision of MNCs to relocate production to Asian countries.
Ans: There was a stimulation of world trade capital flow due to the decision of MNCs to relocate production to Asian countries. This relocation was on account of the low-cost structure and lower wages in Asian countries. There was an increase in employment, which benefitted the Asian nations and also resulted in a major economic transformation.
Ques 4: Give two examples from history to show the impact of technology on food availability.
Ans: (i) Railways, lighter wagons and larger ships helped move food more cheaply and quickly from faraway farms to final markets.
(ii) Earlier in the trade of meat, animals were shipped live from America to Europe and then slaughtered. This had drawbacks such as more space on the ship for animals, death of animals on the way, unfit meat to eat. But now animals were slaughtered at the starting point and then transported as frozen meat in refrigerated ships. This reduced the cost of meat and the poor in Europe could now afford meat and add to their diet. They could also add butter and eggs to their diet.
Fig: Impact of Technology on Food
Ques 5: What is meant by the Bretton Woods Agreement?
Ans: (i) Its framework was agreed upon at United Nation’s Monetary and Financial Conference held in July 1944 at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, USA.
(ii) The main aim was to preserve economic stability and full employment in the industrial world.
(iii) The Bretton Woods Conference established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) to finance postwar reconstruction. The IMF and the World Bank are referred to as the Bretton Woods institutions or sometimes the Britton Woods twins.
Fig: Bretton Woods Agreement
Ques 6: Imagine that you are an indentured Indian labourer in the Caribbean. Drawing from the details in this chapter, write a letter to your family describing your life and feelings.
Ans: 4/12, Arima,
Sravesh Prakash,7, Ramgarh Colony,
I have signed a contract that I will work for five years at a plantation and then return to India. I had thought that it would help us to escape poverty and oppression of the village. But I was not informed that the journey would be this long. Here, I met people who have been abducted and treated as slaves. The living conditions at the plantations are tough. We have to work for 14 long hours and have almost no rights. Workers can’t go on leave to meet the family to nearby villages without permission. Permission is hardly given. Some have even run away from here while some find comfort in art and music. I have not decided whether to stay here like some people after the contract period is over or return home.
Ques 7: Explain the three types of movements or flows within international economic exchange. Find one example of each type of flow which involved India and Indians, and write a short account of it.
Ans: (i) Firstly, fine cotton in Europe were imported from India. British cotton manufacturer started to expand after the coming of industrialisation. Now industrialists pressurised the government to restrict the cotton imports and protect the local industries. Britain started imposing duties on the imported cloth and slowly, there was a decline in the inflow of cotton from India.
(ii) Secondly, for many decades, another important export from India was Indigo. From the 1820s, Opium shipment grew rapidly and India became the single largest exporter. Britain established its monopoly of trade by growing Indigo in India and exporting it to China, and the money earned by the sale was invested in financing its tea and other imports from China.
(iii) Flow Capital: It is the movement of money for short term or long term investments over long distance. Groups of Indian financers, traders like the Shroffs, Chettiars, etc. financed agriculture and plantations in various Asian and African countries, using their own funds on those borrowed from European banks.
(iv) 19th century saw the increase of food grains and raw material that was exported from India to Britain and the rest of the world. But the value of British imports from India was much higher compared to the value of British exports to India.
(v) Thus Britain established a ‘trade surplus’ with India and used this surplus to balance its trade debits with other countries. Due to this, India played a crucial role in the late 19th-century world economy.
Ques 8: Explain the causes of the Great Depression.
Ans: There were various factors which led to the Great Depression.
(i) The post-war global economy was weak during that time. The problem began with the agricultural overproduction, which got worse by the falling of food grain prices. Due to the fall in prices, the agricultural incomes declined.
(ii) Farmers began expanding their production and bringing, even more, produce to the markets to maintain their annual incomes.
(iii) This worsened the glut in the market, pushing down prices even further.
(iv) Most of the countries took loans from the US, but American overseas lenders were wary about the same. As they decreased the amount of loans, the countries which were economically dependent on the US loans faced an acute crisis.
(v) In Europe, it led to the failure of some major banks and the currencies collapsed. The USA import duties were doubled in order to protect its economy. All these factors played a major role in causing the Great Depression.
Ques 9: Explain what is referred to as the G-77 countries. In what ways can G-77 be seen as a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods twins?
Ans: (a) G-77 is a group of developing countries established on June 15, 1964, at the conclusion of the UNCTAD in Geneva.
(b) G-77 can be seen as a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods twin as mentioned below:
(i) The IMF and the World Bank were designed to meet the financial needs of the industrial countries.
(ii) They were not equipped to cope with the challenge of poverty etc. of the developing countries.
(iii) The former colonial powers still controlled and exploited vital natural resources of former colonies or developing countries.
(c) Thus the developing countries formed the Group of 77 to demand a new international economic order (NIEO) as mentioned below:
(i) Real control over their natural resources.
(ii) More development assistance.
(iii) Fairer prices for raw materials.
(iv) Better access for their manufactured goods in developed countries’ markets.
Thus it was a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods system and to protect the interests of the developing countries.