Q Explain what is meant by protoindustrialisation.

Ans The term ‘proto’ refers to the first or nascent form of something. By the term ‘proto-industrialisation’, we mean the period in which the European countries produced goods for the foreign markets on a wider scale. This phase started before the development of factories in the European countries. In the proto-industrial period, hand-made products were made for the international market.

Q Why did some industrialists in nineteenth century Europe prefer hand labour over machines ?

Ans In the nineteenth-century Europe, some British industrialists prioritised hand labour instead of machine labour. The points are enumerated as follows:

  • 1. The prices of new technologies and machines were exorbitantly high. Therefore, the industrialists and the producers did not to use them.
  • 2. Machines often brok e down and their repair was very expensive.
  • 3. Poor peasants and artisans flocked to the cities in quest for employment. Therefore, the supply of workers outweighed the demand. The workers were available at a cheap rate.
  • 4. Market demand of variety of designs and colour could not be satisfied by the machine-made products. The hand-made labour was effective in this regard.

Q How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?

  • Ans 1. After establishing political power in India, the East India Company tried to acquire right to cotton textile and silk goods trade. It also started to procure regular supplies of these goods from Indian weavers.
  • 2. This could be achieved by them after taking a series of steps. First, they established their management and a direct control over the weavers by hiring their paid servants called Gomasthas.
  • 3. Gomasthas super vised weavers, examined the quality of goods and ensured regular supplies.
  • 4. Second, the Company prevented weavers from dealing with their buyers by giving them ‘advances’ against purchase orders. Thus, the weavers after taking loans could not sell their cloth to any other trader and had to work under the Company’s Gomasthas.

Q Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War?

  • Ans India witnessed increased industrial production during the First World War due to following reasons :
  • 1. British industries became busy in producing and supplying war needs. Hence, they stopped exporting British goods or clothes for colonial markets like that in India.
  • 2. It was a good opportunity for Indian industries to fill in empty Indian markets with their products. Therefore, industrial production in India increased.
  • 3. Also the British colonial gover nment asked Indian factories to supply the war needs like jute bags, cloth or army uniforms, tents and leather boots, horse and mule saddles, etc.
  • 4. The increased demands of variety of products led to the setting up of new factories and old ones increased their production.
  • 5. Many new workers were employed and everyone was made to work longer hours.
  • These were the various reasons responsible for the boom in the industrial production in India during the First World War.

Q Explain the following:

  • 1. Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
  • 2. In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
  • 3. The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
  • 4. The East India Company appointed Gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
  • Ans 1. Women workers in Britain launched an attack on the Spinning Jenny because it could spin many spindles with one wheel. As a matter of fact, the rate of productivity augmented and the phase of women employment in this field decreased at a rapid pace. This event angered the women and they attacked the Spinning Jenny.
  • 2. The trade and commerce guilds regulated market, raw material units and production of goods in the towns. This augmented the problems of the merchants who aimed to increase the rate of production by inducting more employees. Therefore, they turned to peasants and artisans who were domiciled in villages.
  • 3. By the end of the eighteenth century, the port of Bombay was established by the European colonies. The imperialist powers wanted to control the sea trade of export and they did not want to use the old port of Surat. Therefore, the sea trade from the Surat port declined.
  • 4. Indian weavers not only produced clothes for the East India Company, but they also produced the same quality of cloth for the European companies and local Indian merchants. The East India Company aimed to wield control over the cloth production. As a matter of fact, the Gomasthas were appointed to supervise the weavers and gave them loan in advance to buy raw materials.

Q Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an encyclopaedia on history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.

Ans In this segment, I intend to write an article for an encyclopedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Britain had successfully regulated and dominated the trade in cotton (raw material), cotton fabrics of coarser or line quality. Britain had set up markets throughout the colonies for selling the Manchester and Liverpool made cotton textiles that were relatively cheaper than hand-made cotton textile of colonised countries. By using an imperialist tool, Britain had found ways to garner huge amount of profit from the trade in cotton. Due to an ardent process of colonisation. Indian weavers became indebted to the East India Company. At the same time, the Gomasthas compounded the problems of Indian weavers. With the advent of Industrialisation in England, the cotton textiles mills and factories permeated the country. Therefore, England carved a unique space in the global economic history for more than five centuries due to the presence of cotton trade.

Q Write True or False against each statement.

  • Ans 1. At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total work force in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector. (False)
  • 2. The inter national market for line textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century. (True)
  • 3. The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India. (False)
  • 4. The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity. (True)