Page No. 102
Ques 1: Explain the following:
(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
Ans. Circumstances for the attack were as follows:
(i) The abundance of labour.
(ii) To get a job depended on friendship and kin relations.
(iii) To wait for weeks and spend nights under bridges or in night shelter, Night Refuges or Casual Wards.
(iv) Seasonality of work and no work for long periods.
(v) No welfare of the workers.
(vi) 10 per cent of the urban population was extremely poor.
(vii) Unemployment between 35 and 75 per cent.
Under the above conditions, fear of unemployment made workers, hostile to the introduction of new machinery. In the woollen industry, women used to do the hand spinning work and felt threatened with the introduction of Spinning Jenny.
(b) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
Ans. (i) In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the demand for goods had increased due to the acquisition of colonies.
(ii) The merchants could not increase production in town due to the existence of powerful urban crafts and trade guilds.
(iii) In the countryside with the disappearance of open fields and enclosure of common lands, the peasants needed an alternative source of income.
(iv) The peasants agreed to do work for merchants because they could remain in the countryside and could also cultivate their small plots of land with all the family members
(c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
Ans. The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century due to the factors as mentioned below:
(i) The European companies gradually gained power, securing a variety of concessions from local courts and monopoly rights over trade.
(ii) With the growth of colonial power, ports of Bombay and Calcutta grew.
(iii) Trade started through new ports controlled by European companies and was carried in European ships.
(iv) The above factors resulted in a decline of the old ports such as Surat. In the last years of the seventeenth century, the gross value of trade that passed through Surat fell from ₹16 million to ₹3 million by 1740.
(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
Ans: (i) After establishing political power, the East India Company could assert over monopoly Indian trade. So it took various steps to eliminate competition, control costs and ensure supplies of cotton and silk goods.
(ii) One of the steps was to appoint a paid servant called the gomastha to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth.
(iii) The weavers who had taken advances from the Company had to hand over the cloth they produced to the gomastha.
(iv) However, the gomasthas were outsiders with no long-term social link with the village. They acted arrogantly and punished weavers for delays.
Ques 2: Write True or False against each statement:
(a) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.
(b) The international market for fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.
(c) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.
(d) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity.
Ques 3: Explain what is meant by proto-industrialisation.
Ans: (i) The word ‘proto’ means the first or early form of something.
(ii) The period before building up of factories, goods were produced in England and Europe on a very large scale.
(iii) During the proto-industrialisation, handmade products were produced for the industrial market.
Ques 4: Why did some industrialists in nineteenth-century Europe prefer hand labour over machines?
Ans: Due to the following reasons -
(i) The machines needed capital investments. They were costly, difficult to repair and ineffective.
(ii) Labours were available at lower wages.
(iii) Seasonal labour was required in seasonal industries only.
(iv) The demands of the market for a specific length, variety of colours and designs could not be fulfilled by the machine-made clothes. Handmade clothes were preferred by the elite.
Ques 5: How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?
Ans: (i) Appointed paid supervisors were called Gomasthas. They also collected examined cloth quality of the weavers and collected supplies.
(ii) They also checked on the weavers from dealing with other buyers through a system of advances and loans.
Ques 6: Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an encyclopaedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.
Ans: During the 17th and 18th century, there was a trade-in textile production among the merchants and the rural people. A garment maker would buy wool from a wool stapler, then it would be taken to the spinners, and later to the yarn weavers and for the final product, it would be taken to fuller and dyers. The finishing centre for the goods was London. This phase in British manufacturing history is known as proto-industrialisation. In this phase, the factories were only a network of commercial exchange and not an essential part of the industry.
Cotton came up as the first symbol of the new era of factories. During the late 19th century, its production increased rapidly. Imports of raw cotton sky-rocketed from 2.5 million pounds in 1760 to 22 million pounds in 1787. The reason behind this was the invention of the cotton mill and new machines and better management.
Fig: Cotton industry
One of the new inventions during that time was the Spinning jenny. Most inventions in the textile production sector were met with disregards and hatred by the workers because machines implied less hand labour and lower employment needs. Before such inventions, cotton and silk goods were imported from India in vast numbers. There was a high demand of fine textiles of India in England. After the East India Company gained political power, they exploited the weavers and textile industry in India to its fuller potential. Manchester became the hub of cotton production. Consequently, India turned into a major buyer of British cotton goods.
During the First World War, the British were in a rush for providing for war needs. Hence, the demand for Indian textile rose again. There was a fluctuation in the demand and supply in textile production.
Ques 7: Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War?
Ans: There was an increase in industrial production during the First World War in India due to the following reasons -
(i) Britishers were involved in the production and supply of the war needs. Therefore, they stopped exporting British goods or clothes to the colonised countries like India.
(ii) India utilised that opportunity and started selling its goods, which led to the rise of industrial production in India.
(iii) Indian factory owners also played a main role in providing war supplies to the British colonial government like jute, cloth or army uniform, leather boots, and tents, horse and mule saddles, etc.
(iv) This led to the increase in production of the old industries and the increased demands of various products led to setting up of new industries.
(v) Due to the increase in production, new workers were employed and there was an increase in working hours.