NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science History Chapter 5 Print Culture and the Modern World

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    Q Give reasons for the statement: ‘Woodblock print only came to Europe after 1295’.

    Ans In the aftermath of 1295, the Italian explorer Marco Polo returned from his long stay in China. At the same time, he brought back the knowledge of Woodblock printing to Europe. In this way, the concept of Woodblock printing became popular in Europe.

    Q Give reasons for the statement: “The Roman Catholic Church began keeping an Index of Prohibited Books from the mid-sixteenth century.”

    Ans From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, the Roman Catholic Church was confronted with severe problems. Some people started to write books that construed the god and the creation of the almighty in their own ways. Consequently, the Roman Catholic Church clamped down on the public demonstrations. The Church confiscated those spurious books and attacked people who disseminated heretical ideas. At the same time, the Church preserved the record of such banned books. It was called the Index of Prohibited Books.

    Q Write a note on Erasmus’s idea of a printed book.

    Ans Erasmus was a Latin scholar and a Catholic reformer. He strongly objected to the printing of books. To his opinion, most printed books were slanderous, irreligious and provoking. With the subsequent expansion of printing, ideas of enlightened thinkers attracted the mass and they started to see the world through the lens of logic. These printed books were spreading heretical ideas that opposed the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. According to Erasmus, such printed books debased the values of hand-written manuscripts.

    Q Write briefly on the Vernacular Press Act.

    Ans Proposed by the Viceroy of India, Lord Lytton (1876-80), the Vernacular Press Act was passed in 1878. It was modeled on the Irish Press Laws. Due to the prevalence of this Act, the government wielded control over the vernacular press. The government possessed the right to censor reports and editorials of the vernacular press. If report was found to be seditious, the newspaper was warned. However, if the newspaper shunned the warning and continued the activity, then the press would be confiscated.

    Q Give reasons for the statement: ‘Gandhi said the fight for Swaraj is a fight for liberty of speech, liberty of the press, and freedom of association’.

    Ans According to Mahatma Gandhi, liberty of speech, liberty of the press and freedom of association were the potential vehicles of expressing and comprehending the public opinion. Therefore, he stated confidently that the fight for Swaraj was the battle for liberty of speech, liberty of the press and freedom of association.

    Q Why did some people in eighteenth century Europe think that print culture would bring enlightenment and end despotism?

    Ans In 18th century, many people felt that print culture would definitely bring enlightenment and cease despotism. The reasons are enumerated as follows:

    • 1. Dissemination of new ideas: After the advent of the print culture, the notions of scientists and philosophers reached the mass at large. Ancient and medieval scientific texts were collated and published. This phase signaled the growth of enlightenment and fanned the flames of print revolution.
    • 2. Books as means of progress: By the close of the eighteenth century, books became the medium of progress and enlightenment. They started to spread new ideas and opinions that enthralled the audience. People became voracious readers and they began to see the world through the prism of logic and rationality.
    • 3. Writings of scholars: The writings of eminent thinkers and philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Paine and Voltaire were also widely printed and circulated. Their writings became popular among the mass at large. Thus, their notions about science, rationality and reasoning entered the corpus of literature.
    • 4. Scientific discoveries: The cartographers began to curate authentic maps and scientific diagrams. These maps and scientific illustrations were widely printed. They could influence a much wider circle of scientifically minded readers.
    • 5. A new culture of dialogue and debate: The printing press was deemed to be the potential medium of progress and enlightenment. The press engendered strong public opinions and ideas. Many historians opined that the print culture spawned conditions for the growth of enlightenment and the cessation of despotism in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789.
    • 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.
    • 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)

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