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Class 5 EVS Question Answers - Documents

Q1.    Refer to Activity, Textbook page 122.
What happened to the women and children? Cow keeping, collection of firewood, gleaning, gathering of fruits and berries from the common lands was earlier mostly done by women and children.
Can you suggest how enclosures must have affected the lives of women and children? Can you imagine how the disappearance of common lands might have changed the relationship between men, women and children within the family?
Ans.    The women and children became jobless. Their life became difficult. Theirs life of must have been badly affected due to enclosures. They would have been displaced from the land. Their customary rights would have been snatched. Deprived of their rights and driven off the land, they would have been tramped in search of work.


Q2.    Refer to Activity, Textbook page 123.
Read Sources C and D and answer the following:

  • What is the peasant trying to say in Source C?
  • What is John Middleton arguing?
  • Re-read from section 1.1 to 1.4 and summarise the two sides of the argument for and against open fields. Which argument do you sympathise with?

Ans.

  • The peasant is trying to say that injustice is being done with the poor. The government should pass laws that must give redress. Laws should be made easily accessible to everyone including the poor.
  • John Middleton is in favour of enclosures. He says that now everyone is bound to some rules. No one can make any changes in soil or prices. Everyone is equal. Everyone has to do his/her share of work.
  • I sympathise with the argument for open fields. So long there were open fields, peasants had no problems. They used to pasture their cows and graze their sheep in the open land. For the poor, open land was essential for survival. But the system enclosures filled their life with miseries.

Q3.    Refer to Activity, Textbook page 134.
Imagine that you are the leader of a group of farmers protesting against having to grow opium. You have been granted a meeting with the local official of the East India Company. How would the conversation proceed? Divide the class into the two groups and act out the conversation you would have.
Ans.    For self-attempt.

NCERT textbook Questions solved

Activities
Q1.    Draw a timeline from 1650 to 1930 showing the significant agricultural changes which you have read about in this chapter.
Ans. 

Class 5 EVS Question Answers - Documents 

Q2.        Fill in the following table with the events outlined in this chapter. Remember, there could be more than one change in a country.
Ans.

Class 5 EVS Question Answers - Documents

Questions
Q1.    Explain briefly what the open field system meant to rural people in eighteenth century England. Look at the system from the point of view of:

  • A rich farmer
  • A labourer
  • A peasant woman

Ans.

  • A rich farmer: The open field system provided an opportunity to the rich farmers to enclose the best pastures for their own cattle. In the 16th century, the price of wool went up in the world market. Hence, rich farmers planned to expand wool production by improving their sheep breeds and ensuring good feed for them. Soon they started controlling large areas of land in compact blocks to allow improved breeding. They enclosed common land and built hedges around their holdings to separate their property from that of others. They drove out villagers from the commons. They also prevented them from entering the enclosed fields.
  • A labourer: For labourers, open fields were essential for their survival. Here they pastured their cows and grazed their sheep, collected fuelwood for fire and berries and fruits for food. They fished in the rivers and ponds, and hunted rabbits in common forests. It supplemented their meagre income, sustained their cattle, and helped them tide over bad times when crops failed.
  • A peasant woman: Peasant women used the open fields for grazing their cattle, gathering fruits and fuelwood.

Q2.    Explain briefly the factors which led to the enclosures in England.
Ans.    The factors which led to the enclosures in England are given below:
(i)    In the 16th century, the price of wool went up in the world market. This encouraged the rich farmers to expand wool production to earn profits. For this, they began to enclose common land where they could easily improve their sheep breeds and ensure good feed for them.
(ii)    From the mid-eighteenth century, the population of England expanded rapidly. This meant an increased demand for foodgrains to feed the growing population. This encouraged landowners to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation.
(iii)    By the end of the 18th century, France was at war with England. This            disrupted trade and the import of foodgrains from Europe. Prices of foodgrains  in England soared high, encouraging landowners to enclose lands for grain cultivation.
(iv)    The growing industrialisation and urbanisation of England too, became a factor for enclosing more and more open lands.
(v)    Enclosures were essential to make long-term investments on land and plan crop rotations to improve the soil.

Q3.    Why were threshing machines opposed by the poor in England?
Ans.    Threshing machines were opposed by the poor in England due to the following reasons:
(i)        The introduction of threshing machines encouraged landowners to reduce their dependence on labourers. Now landowners tried to cut wages and the number of workmen they employed. This aggravated the miseries of the  poor.
(ii)    Unemployment spread among the poor. They tramped from village to village, and those with uncertain jobs lived in fear of a loss of their livelihood.
(iii)    For the poor, the threshing machines had become a sign of bad times.

Q4.    Who was Captain Swing? What did the name symbolise or represent?
Ans.    Captain Swing was a mythic name used in threatening letters written to English landlords against the use of threshing machines and their reluctance to employ labourers.
The name of Captain Swing spread panic among the landowners. Many of them destroyed their threshing machines fearing attacks by armed bands at night.

Q5.    What was the impact of the westward expansion of settlers in the USA?
Ans.(i) The White settlers got settled on the Appalachian plateau by driving away the American Indians. Then they moved into the Mississippi valley between 1820 and 1850. They slashed and burnt forests, pulled out the stumps, cleared the land for cultivation and built log cabins in the forest clearings. Then they cleared larger areas and erected fences around the fields. They ploughed the land and sowed corn and wheat and harvested good crops.
(ii)    After 1860s, the White settlers swept into the great plains across the river Mississippi. In subsequent decades, this region became a major wheat-producing area of America.
(iii)    From the late 19th century, there was a dramatic expansion of wheat-production in the USA. The urban population in the USA was growing and the export market was becoming even bigger. As the demand increased, wheat prices rose, encouraging farmers to produce more and more wheat. During the First World War, the world market boomed. Russian suppliers of wheat were cut off and the USA had to feed Europe. US President Wilson called upon farmers to respond to the need of the hour.
(iv)    The westward expansion of the White settlers paved the way for the development of new technologies which made the process of cultivation very effective and time-saving.
(v)    By the early 20th century, farmers in the great plains were breaking the ground with the help of the new technologies like tractors and disc ploughs, clearing vast stretches for wheat-production.
(vi)    The USA began to dominate the world market in agricultural produce and came to be known as the ‘bread basket of the world’.

Q6.    What were the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machines in the USA?
Ans.    Advantages: Various mechanical harvesting machines were proved to be a boon for the  USA. It was the time when the prices of wheat were high and the demand seemed limitless. The new machines allowed big farmers to rapidly clear large tracts, break up the soil, remove the grass and prepare the ground for cultivation. With the help of these machines the work could be done quickly and with a minimal number of hands. With power-driven machinery, four men could plough, seed and harvest 2,000 to 4,000 acres of wheat in a season.
Disadvantages: These machines were proved to be a curse for the poor farmers because they brought misery in their life. Many of them bought these machines, imagining that wheat prices would remain high and profits would flow in. If they had no money, the banks offered loans. Those, who borrowed, found it difficult to pay back their debts. Many of them deserted their farms and looked for jobs elsewhere.
But jobs were difficult to find. Mechanisation had reduced the need for labour. And the boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries seemed to have come to an end by the mid-1920s. After that most farmers faced trouble. Production had expanded so rapidly during the war and post-war years that there was a large surplus which were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This became the cause of the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s.

Q7.    What lessons can we draw from the conversion of the countryside in the USA from a bread-basket to a dust bowl?
Ans.    The expansion of wheat agriculture in the great plains created grave problems. In the 1930s, terrifying dust-storms began to blow over the southern plains. Black blizzards rolled in, very often 7,000 to 8,000 feet high, rising like monstrous waves of muddy water. This happened because the entire landscape had been ploughed over, stripped of all grass that held it together. When wheat cultivation had expanded dramatically in the early 20th century, zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil over, and broken the soil into dust. The whole region had become a dust bowl.
We can draw the following lessons from this incident:
(i)    We must respect the ecological conditions of each region.
(ii)    We should control our desire to win over the nature. Such a desire can never be fulfilled. But, in course of our frantic effort to fulfil such a desire, we can play havoc with the nature by creating ecological imbalance.
(iii)    Whatever development we want to bring, must be eco-friendly.
(iv)    We must not forget that, by imbalancing ecological conditions, we endanger our own life.

Q8.    Write a paragraph on why the British insisted on farmers growing opium in India.
Ans.    The British insisted on farmers growing opium in India in order to balance their trade with China from where they bought tea and silk for sale in England. The British could buy tea only by paying in silver coins or bullion. This meant an outflow of treasure from England. This created widespead anxiety among the British who believed that a loss of treasure would impoverish the nation and deplete its wealth. Merchants therefore looked for ways to stop this loss of silver. Opium was the only commodity which the British could sell in China and persuade the Chinese to buy. Hence, it became essential to grow more and more opium in India. They persuaded Indian farmers to grow opium which they took from India to China and tea from China to England.

Q9.    Why were Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium?
Ans.    There were several reasons behind it:
(i)    The crop had to be grown on the best land, on fields that lay near villages and were well-manured. On this land peasants usually produced pulses. If they planted opium on this land, pulses could not be grown there, or they would have to be grown on inferior land, where harvests were poorer and uncertain.
(ii)    There were many cultivators who had no land of their own. To cultivate, they had to pay rent and lease land from landlords. And the rent-charged on good lands near villages was very high.
(iii)    The cultivation of opium was a difficult process. The plant was delicate, and cultivators had to spend long hours nurturing it. This meant that they did not have enough time to care for other crops.
(iv)    The price the government paid to the cultivators for the opium they produced was very low.

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FAQs on Class 5 EVS Question Answers - Documents

1. What are NCERT books?
Ans. NCERT books refer to the textbooks published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India. These books are designed according to the syllabus prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and are widely used by students from Class 1 to Class 12.
2. How can NCERT books help in exam preparation?
Ans. NCERT books are considered essential for exam preparation due to the following reasons: - They provide a comprehensive understanding of the concepts and topics covered in the syllabus. - The language used in these books is simple and easy to understand. - NCERT books contain a variety of questions at the end of each chapter, including multiple-choice questions, long answer type questions, and short answer type questions. These questions help students practice and evaluate their understanding of the topics. - The solutions to the questions are provided in the same book, which facilitates self-study and helps students in self-assessment. - NCERT books are recommended by experts and teachers as they cover the entire syllabus in a systematic manner.
3. Are NCERT books enough to crack the exam?
Ans. While NCERT books are an excellent resource for exam preparation, solely relying on them may not be sufficient to crack the exam. Here are a few points to consider: - NCERT books provide a strong foundation and understanding of the concepts, but they may not cover all the topics or provide in-depth knowledge required for competitive exams. - Students should supplement their preparation with additional reference books, practice papers, and online resources to gain a competitive edge. - Solving previous years' question papers and mock tests will help students understand the exam pattern and identify their strengths and weaknesses. - Seeking guidance from teachers, joining coaching classes, or forming study groups can provide additional support and insights for exam preparation.
4. Are NCERT books available in multiple languages?
Ans. Yes, NCERT books are available in multiple languages apart from English. The textbooks are published in Hindi and Urdu for the Hindi-speaking regions, and in regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, etc., for respective states. This ensures that students across the country can access quality education in their preferred language.
5. Are NCERT books useful for competitive exams other than the CBSE board exams?
Ans. Yes, NCERT books are useful for competitive exams other than the CBSE board exams. Many competitive exams, such as the UPSC Civil Services Examination, State Public Service Commission exams, and various entrance exams for engineering and medical courses, often have a significant portion of their syllabus aligned with NCERT books. Therefore, studying NCERT books can provide a strong foundation for such exams, along with additional reference materials specific to the exam requirements.
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