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The French Revolution


French Society During the Eighteenth Century

During the eighteenth century the French Society was divided into three groups.
These groups were called estates. The three types of groups were - First estate,
Second estate and Third estate.

First Estate: Clergy belonged to 1st estate of then French Society. Clergy were the
group of persons who were invested with special functions in the church,e.g.
fathers, and other members of church.

Second Estate: Nobility belonged to 2nd estate of then French Society. Nobility
was hereditary and hence a person could get nobility by birth. However, new
members were also awarded nobility by monarchy after paying heavy taxes or
outstanding service to the monarchy, i.e. nobility could be purchased also.

Third Estate: The 3rd estate of then French society was further divided into three categories.
Big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers, etc. belonged to the first category of 3rd
estate. Peasants and artisans belonged to the second category. And small peasants, landless
labours and servants belonged to third category, and were considered as the lowest class in
the society. Members of the third state had to pay all types of taxes including tithes and taille.
Clergy and Nobility were privileged class. They had certain special privileges; in addition to
feudal privilege. They were exempted from paying any types of taxes. They paid feudal taxes
extracted after the members of the third estate.

Tithes: A type of tax collected by churches which was collected from peasants in the
eighteenth century French Society.

Taille: A type of direct and indirect tax which was paid to the state by members of third estate
in French Society in the eighteenth century. Taille was levied on items used for daily
consumption, such as tobacco, salt, etc.

Livre: Unit of currency of France. This was discontinued in 1794.

Louis XVI, who belonged to Bourbon family of kings, became the ruler of France in 1774. By
that time; long years of war, maintenance of the court of the immense palace of Versailles
made the treasury empty. In addition to this; helping during the war to the thirteen American
colonies to gain their independence from Britain by Louis XVI raised the debt of treasury to
more than 2 billion livers. Lenders to the state also started charging 10 percent of interest on
credit to the state; this further worsened the situation of the society. Thus, in order to maintain
those expenses, state was forced to increase taxes which increased the anger among the
members of the third estate.

On the whole, members belonging to third estate were oppressed class and had to bear all
the burden of all types of taxes.

The Struggle to Survive

Increase of population from 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789, increased the demand of
food grains. Poor production of food grains, frequent draught or hail, diseases, epidemics,
further worsened the situation. This resulted in increase in the price of bread which was staple
diet of majority. Wages of worker did not keep the pace with price rise. This increased the gap
between poor and rich. These things led to subsistence crisis for the majority as poor were
not able to meet the required price to purchase even bread.

A Growing Middle Class Envisages an End to Privileges to Certain Class

In the eighteenth century, many persons who belonged to third estate and earned their wealth
through overseas trade and manufacturing goods, were termed as middle class. It was a new
social group, which also comprised of court officials, lawyers and administrative officials.
Peasants, labours, had been participating in revolts against increase in taxes and food
scarcity for long time, but because of lack of means and concrete programmes they did not
bring any change to the society. Thus bringing the change about the social and economic
order in the society was left to the middle class. People of the middle class were also
oppressed at that time, as they had to pay taxes and meet the demands of clergy and nobility.

People of Middle class were educated and believed that no privilege should be given by birth,
rather position of a person in society should be merit based. Philosophers, such as John
Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau were envisaging a society based on freedom, equal laws
and opportunity for all. The freedom of thirteen colonies in USA from Britain based on such
ideas; strengthened the thoughts of then philosophers who mainly belonged to middle class.
The ideas of guarantee of individual rights became one of the important examples among the
political thinkers and then philosophers of France.

Refuting the doctrine of divine and absolute right of the monarch was the main idea of Locke
which was made public in his Two Treaties of Government. Rousseau proposed the idea to
form a government based on a social contract between people and their representatives.
Montesquieu gave the idea of division of power within the government among the legislative,
the executive and the judiciary in his The Spirit of the Laws.

These ideas of then philosophers and political thinkers began to spread far and wide among
people. People started discussions to bring the change in society as well as government
based on those ideas. Such discussions began to take place in salons, coffee house, etc.
Many books were published based on those new ideas. Some persons used to read those
books and newspaper aloud among people at public places so that those who could not write
or read could also become aware of them.

Spreading of ideas of freedom and news of further plans of Louis XVI to increase the rate of
taxes and imposition of some other new taxes increased the anger among people. This
resulted protest against the government, its system and privileged class in the form of revolt.

French Revolution

The Outbreak of the Revolution

In order to pass the proposal to raise taxes Louis XVI called an assembly of the Estates
General. On 5 May 1789, 300 representatives from each of the first and second estate and
600 from the third estate, a total 1200 representatives, gathered in a splendid hall for the
assembly. Representatives of first and second estates were seated in two rows while
representatives of third estate had to stand at the back. Representatives of third estate were
educated and more prosperous and they believed to represent the whole people of France.
Peasants and labours were not allowed in that assembly; however about 40000 letters
regarding their grievances were carried by representatives of third estate.

According to principle of the monarch each estate had one vote. Louis XVI wanted to apply
the same practice this time also. But representatives of third estate did not agree on this, they
wanted voting assembly as a whole and wanted each of the representatives to have only one
vote. Louis XVI rejected this new proposal. As a result, all the representatives of the third
estate walked out of the assembly in protest.

On 20th of the June they gathered in an indoor tennis court in Versailles, where they declared
them as National Assembly and took an oath not to disburse till the new drafting of a
constitution of France under the leadership of Merabeau and Abbe Sieyes. Merabeau
belonged to noble family and Abbe Sieyes was a priest to the church. Inspite of that they
believed in the need of a privilege free society. There, they delivered powerful speeches
regarding the need of new constitution and equal opportunity to all.

That very year harvest was badly affected because of severe winter. This increased the price
of bread. Hoarding of supply by bakers made the situation more critical. One day after long
hours in queues, anger broken into women and they stormed the bakery. At the same time
troops moved to Paris to suppress the turmoil. In retaliation, crowd destroyed the Bastille.

A rumor spread that an order had been given to troops to destroy the crops. Because of fear,
peasants attacked the chateaux and looted the hoarded grains. Records of manorial dues
were sat on fire. Many people were killed in this agitation. Many noblemen and clergy fled to
neighbouring countries to save their life.

King Louis XVI finally surrendered against agitation and accepted the recognition of National
Assembly and agreed that his power would be checked by constitution. On the 4th of the
August 1789 the feudal system of obligations, taxes, privileges to the nobility and clergy were
abolished and lands owned by churches were confiscated. This gave an asset of worth about
2 billion livres to the government.

France Became a Constitutional Monarchy

The draft of the constitution was completed in 1791. Powers were spread among legislative,
executive and judiciary instead of king. This made France a constitutional monarchy.
There were two types of citizens according to constitution : active citizen and passive citizen.

Persons who paid the tax at least equal to wages of 3 days of a labour were categorized as
active citizens and who did not, were categorized as passive citizens. Only active citizens
above the age of 25 had right to vote. Women were not given the right to vote.

Active citizens had to elect electors. Electors had to elect National Assembly and Judiciary
from among them. National Assembly had control over king and group of ministers. But king
still had the power of royal veto and the ability to select ministers.

Qualification for member of elector and National Assembly: A person who belonged to
bracket of highest taxpayers and above the age of 25 could be chosen as elector and
member of National Assembly.

Constitution began with a Declaration of Rights to Man and Citizen.

Right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law, were declared as
natural and inalienable rights. Every citizen had these rights by birth and no one could be
deprived of them. State had duty to protect natural and inalienable rights.

Symbols of Rights to Man and Citizen:

There were many person did not know the reading or writing in eighteenth century in France.
Thus many symbols were used frequently to explain about the rights to man and citizen, so
that illiterate person could understand them easily.

France Abolishes Monarchy and Becomes a Republic

Developments in France set the emperors of neighbouring countries in worry as they got
feared of inevitable similar revolution there also. Louis XVI negotiated with the emperors of
neighbouring countries in order to put down the events that had been taking place in France.
He did that in order to regain power. But, in April 1792 National Assembly voted to declare war
against Prussia and Austria. They considered the war as people against monarchy in all over

Thousands of volunteers took part in the war. They sang a patriotic song before going to the
war from Marseilles, and the song got the name as Marseillaise after that. Marseillaise is
now the National Anthem of France.
France had to face heavy loss because of war which brought many types of crisis among the
people of France. Many people were thinking that constitution of 1791 gave the power to only
richer class and many political clubs started to discuss about government policies and they
started planning of their own form of government.

Jacobins was the most successful club among them. It was named after the convent of St
Jacob in Paris. Maximilian Robespierre emerged as the leader of Jacobins.

Jacobins comprised of women, small peasants, labours, artisans, such as shoemaker, pastry
cooks, watch makers, etc. They started wearing long striped trousers so that they could look
different from those who wore knee breaches (persons belonging to fashionable society).
They also wore a red cap also which was the symbol of liberty. They began to be called sans-
culottes which means those without knee breaches. However, women were not allowed to
do so.

In summer of 1792, Jacobins attacked the Palace of Tuileries and captured the king for
several hours. In this attack most of the guards of king were killed.

After that election was held, the newly elected assembly was called the Convention. In the
election all men above the age of 21 got the right to vote; regardless of wealth. On 21st of the
September 1792 monarchy was abolished and France was declared a republic.

Later king Louis XVI and the queen Marie Antoinette were sentenced to death. They were
executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde.

French Revolution

The Reign of Terror (From 1793 to 1794)

The period from 1793 to 1794 is known as the Reign of Terror. Maximilian Robespierre
sentenced to death all those persons who he considered as enemies of the republic, whether
they were ex-noble, clergy, and members of any political parties; including Jacobins. The
execution were completed after trial by revolutionary tribunal. At that time Robespierre
followed a policy of severe control and punishment.

Guillotine, a device, named after inventor Dr. Guillotin, was used to behead a person at that
time. It consists of two poles and a blade. Guilty persons were beheaded using guillotine.

Government led by Robespierre issued many laws among which ceiling maximum wages and
price and rationing were main. Foods, such as meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were
forced to sell their grains on fixed price in cities. Citizens were forced to eat equality bread,
white flour which was costlier was forbidden. Use of Citoyen and Citoyenne for men and
women citizen started instead of the traditional Sir (Monsieur) and Madam (Madame).
Churches were shut down and their buildings were converted into offices and barracks.
Practice of equality was sought everywhere.

Because of forcible implementation of laws, even supporters of Robespierre started the

demand for change. Finally, Robespierre arrested and guillotined in July 1794. Reign of Terror
ended with the end of Robespierre.

A Directory Rules France

After the fall of Jacobins a new constitution was introduced and power was again seized by
wealthier middle class. According to new constitution;

Non propertied section of the society had no right to vote.

Two elected legislative councils would run the government.

Two elected legislative councils would appoint an executive committee of five

members, called Directory which would finally run the government.

Directory could be dismissed by the majority vote of councils.

These new provisions were brought to prevent the concentration of power in one-man
executive; as happened in the reign of Jacobins.

The clash between Directory and member of councils led to political instability, which opened
the door of military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon Bonaparte became the emperor
of France in 1804.


In spite of revolution, women did not get right to vote and their position in the society
remained unchanged. To get their notable position in society, about 16 women clubs were
started in different cities in France. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women was
the most famous among them. Their main demands were to enjoy the same political rights as
men. The constitution of 1791 made them disappointed as they were pushed to the category
of passive citizen in that.
Most of the women were deprived of education. Daughters of nobles or wealthier persons of
third estate could study in convent. After that they were married by their families even against
their will. Women who belonged to third estate had to work hard. They sold flowers, fruits,
vegetables and employed as servant in house hold. After work they had to cook and look after
for their families. During the Reign of Terror womens clubs were closed and many women
were put in jail.

In due course of time, revolutionary government came and introduced laws to improve the
lives of women. For example - Many state schools were created, schooling was made
compulsory for all girls, marriage against the will of girl was prohibited, divorce was made
legal and could be applied for by both women and men, they could train for jobs, could run
businesses, could become artists. But to get the voting rights women had to struggle for about
next two hundred years in many countries including France. Finally, women got right to vote in
the year of 1946 in France.

The Abolition of Slavery

In the system of slavery, people were forced to work, treated as properties and hence sold,
bought and forced to work against their will. The trade of slave started in seventeenth century.
French merchants bought slave mainly from Africa. The branded and shackled slave were
then packed tightly into ships and after two to three month of voyages they were sold in the
Caribbean to plantation owners. The extensive demand of sugar, coffee and indigo in
European market was fulfilled by the exploitation of slaves as labours. Many port cities like
Bordeaux and Nates got economic prosperity by the trade of slaves and many of the
merchants were increasing their wealth by trade of slavery.

However, the slavery began to be criticized in France. But even National Assembly could not
pass any law to end of slavery in the fear of repercussion from businessmen who were mainly
in slave trade.

By coming in power, Jacobins abolished the system of slavery in the French colonies, which
was one of the greatest social reforms in their reign. But Napoleon again introduced the
slavery system. And finally slavery was abolished in French colonies in 1848.


The French Revolution is a watershed development in the modern history. French Revolution
not only had a long lasting impact on the French society but also on the whole world. The
modern ideas of popular democracy had its roots in France. Similarly, the idea of nation
states; as we know them; began with French Revolution. The national movements in various
colonies; including India, Indo-China and South Africa were greatly influenced by the
developments in French Revolution.

French Revolution

NCERT Solution

Question 1: Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary

protest in France.

Answer: Following are some of the causes which had a cumulative effect to result
in revolution in France:

a. The war with Britain for an independent America: This war led to
mounting debt on the French monarchy. This necessitated imposition
of new taxes on the public.

b. Privilege based on birth: People got privileges and position based

on their lineage and not on their merit. This led to resentment among
common people.

c. Concentration of power among the privileged: People belonging

to the first and second estate had all the power and money. Masses
were at the mercy of this privileged class.

d. Subsistence Crisis: Rising population and less grain production

resulted in demand supply gap of bread, which was the staple diet.
Wages did not keep pace with rising prices. It was becoming difficult
for people.

e. Growing Middle Class: Because of increased overseas trade a new

class emerged. This class was wealthy not because of birth but
because of its ability to utilize opportunities. People of the middle
class started raising their voice for an end to privileges based on

All of this led to a general sense of resentment among people. Certain thinkers of
the period spread awareness through various media. Some from the privileged
classes also advocated a switch to democracy. So, finally there was revolution in

Question 2: Which groups of French society benefited from the revolution? Which groups
were forced to relinquish power? Which sections of society would have been disappointed
with the outcome of the revolution?
Answer: Peasants and artisans of French society benefited from the revolution. Clergy,
nobles and church had to relinquish power. It is obvious that those who had to forego power
and privileges would have been disappointed. People from the first and the second estate
must have been a disappointed lot.

Question 3: Describe the legacy of the French Revolution for the peoples of the world during
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Answer: The ideas of liberty and democratic rights were the most important legacy of the
French Revolution. These spread from France to the rest of Europe during the nineteenth
century, where feudal systems were abolished. Further these ideas spread to different
colonies of the European nations. Colonised people interpreted and moulded these ideas
according to respective needs. This was probably like seed for an end of colonization in many
countries. By the mid of 20th century major part of the world adopted democracy as the
preferred mode of rule and the French Revolution can be termed as the initiation point for this

Question 4: Draw up a list of democratic rights we enjoy today whose origins could be traced
to the French Revolution.

Answer: The following fundamental rights, given in the Indian constitution can be traced to
the French Revolution:

The right to equality

The right to freedom of speech and expression

The right to freedom from exploitation

The right to constitutional remedies

Question 5: Would you agree with the view that the message of universal rights was beset
with contradictions? Explain.

Answer: The major contradiction in the message of universal rights as per the French
Constitution of 1791 was the total ignorance of women. All rights were given to men. Apart
from that the presence of huge number of people as passive citizens, without voting rights,
was like not putting into practice what you preach. In other words it can be said that although
the declaration of universal rights was a good starting point but it left much to be desired.

Question 6: How would you explain the rise of Napoleon?

Answer: After France became a republic in 1792, the then ruler, Robespeirre, gave more
privileges to the wealthier section of society. Further, he was a sort of autocrat himself. This
led to reign of terror for the following many years. After Robespeirres rule came to an end a
directory was formed to avoid concentration of power in one individual. Members of the
directory often fought among themselves leading to total chaos and political instability. This
created a political vaccum in France. This was a conducive situation and Napoleon Bonaparte
took the reign of power as a military dictator.

Socialism in Europe

Liberals, Radicals and Conservatives

Liberals: Liberals wanted a change in the society. They wanted toleration towards all
religions. They opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers. They wanted to safeguard
the rights of individuals. They favoured a representative, elected parliamentary government.
Such a government should be subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained and independent
judiciary. However, some of the liberal ideas were not democratic. They did not believe in
universal adult franchise and wanted the voting rights only for men with property.

Radicals: Radicals also wanted a change in the society. The radicals were in favour of
womens suffragate movement. They opposed the privileges of wealthy landowners and
factory owners. They were not against private property but opposed the concentration of
property in a few hands.

Conservatives: The conservatives preferred the status quo. However, their attitudes
changed after the French Revolution. They were in favour of gradual change; with some
preservation of old institutions.

Industrial Society and Social Change

Industrialization resulted in a large number of people working in factories. Work hours were
usually long and the workers were getting poor wages. Unemployment was quite common. As
towns were growing rapidly, there were problems of housing and sanitation.

Many among the liberals and radicals were property owners and employers. They wanted the
benefit of industrialization to reach the workforce. They believed that healthy and educated
citizens would be more productive for the economy. Some liberals and radicals wanted
revolutions which could end all kind of governments established in Europe in 1815.
The Coming of Socialism to Europe

Socialism was a radical idea which was based on abolition of private properties and projected
a dream of classless society. Socialists saw private property as the root of all social ills. They
argued that the capitalists were only concerned about their profit and not with the welfare of

Some socialists believed in the idea of cooperatives. Some other socialists believed that the
governments should encourage cooperatives because it was not possible to build large-scale
cooperatives by individual initiatives.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) argued that workers should make a cooperative society in which
collective ownership of land and factories would be promoted. According to Marx, it was the
way to get rid of ills of capitalism. Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) also added other ideas to the
concept of socialism.

Support for Socialism

Socialist ideas spread through Europe by the 1870s. An international body; called Second
International was formed to coordinate these efforts.

Workers in England and Germany began forming associations so that they could fight for
better living and working conditions. They also set up funds to help members in times of
distress. They demanded reduced working hours and the voting rights. These associations
worked closely with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany and helped it in winning
the parliamentary seats. Similarly, a Labour Party was formed in Britain and a Socialist Party
was formed in France by 1905. However, till 1914, the socialists did not succeed in forming a
government in Europe.


The fall of monarchy in February 1917 and the subsequent events of October are normally
called the Russian Revolution.

The Russian Empire in 1914

In 1914, Russia and its empire was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II. The Russian empire included
modern-day Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, parts of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. It
stretched to the Pacific and comprised modern day Central Asian states, as well as Georgia,
Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Orthodox Christianity was the majority religion in Russia but Catholics, Protestants, Muslims
and Buddhists also lived in the Russian Empire.

Economy and Society

At the beginning of the twentieth century, about 85% of the Russian empires population was
dependent on agriculture. Industry was found in some pockets; like St. Petersburg and
Moscow. Much of the production was done by craftsmen but large factories also existed. Most
of the factories were set up in the 1890s. This was the period when Russias railway network
was extended and foreign investment in industry increased.

Most of the industry was owned by private individuals. The government kept an eye on large
factories to ensure minimum wages and limited working hours. But rules were broken with
impunity. Workers sometimes had to work up to 15 hours. Accommodation for workers could
be in rooms or dormitories.

Workers: The workers were divided into different social groups. Some of them had strong
links with their ancestral villages. Some others had permanently settled in the cities. Workers
were divided by skill and metalworkers were on top of this hierarchy. Workers dress and
manners also manifested such divisions.

In spite of divisions, the workers often united to strike work whenever there was some issue
related to dismissals or work conditions. Such strikes frequently took place in the textiles
industry during 1896-1897, and in the metal industry during 1902.

Peasants: In villages, the peasants cultivated most of the land, but large properties were
owned by the nobility, the crown and the Orthodox Church.

Barring a few exceptions, the peasants had no respect for the nobility. Nobles enjoyed their
power and position because of their services to the Tsar. The peasants of Russia wanted the
land of the nobles to be given to them. They often refused to pay rent and even murdered
landlords. Such incidents occurred on a large scale in south Russia in 1902. And in 1905,
such incidents happened all over Russia.

Russian peasants pooled their land together periodically. Their commune (mir) divided the
land according to the needs of individual families. Thus, they had a long tradition of working in
close association.

Socialism in Russia

Some Russian socialists felt that the Russian peasant tradition of sharing the land according
to commune (mir) made them natural socialists. They felt that peasants, rather than workers,
would be the main force behind the revolution. They felt that Russia could become socialist
more quickly than other countries.

Socialists were active in the countryside through the late nineteenth century. The Socialist
Revolutionary Party was formed in 1900. This party demanded that land of the nobles should
be transferred to peasants.

Social Democrats did not agree with Socialist Revolutionaries about peasants rights. Lenin
thought that peasants were not one united group and hence they could all be part of a
socialist movement.

Lenin thought that the party should be disciplined and should control the number and quality
of its members. Others (Mensheviks) thought that the party should be open to all; as in

A Turbulent Time: The 1905 Revolution

The Tsar was not answerable to parliament. The liberals in Russia; along with the Social
Democrats and Socialist Revolutionaries; worked with peasants and workers during the
revolution of 1905 to demand a constitution. They were also supported in the empire by
nationalists and by jadidists (in Muslim dominated areas). The jadidists wanted modernized
Islam in their lives.

1904 was a bad year for Russian workers. Prices of essential goods arose so quickly that real
wages declined by 20 percent. The membership of workers associations increased
dramatically. The Assembly of Russian Workers was formed in 1904. When four of its
members were dismissed at the Putilov Iron Works, there was a call for industrial action. Over
110,000 workers in St. Petersburg went on strike within a few days. They were demanding an
eight hour work-schedule, increase in wages and improved working conditions.

BLOODY SUNDAY: Father Gapon led the procession of workers. When the procession
reached the Winter Palace, it was attacked by the police and the Cossacks. Over 100 workers
were killed and 300 injured. This incident is known as Bloody Sunday. It started a serried of
events which came to be known as the 1905 Revolution.
Strikes took place all over the country. Student bodies staged walkouts and universities were
closed down. Lawyers, doctors, engineers and other middle-class workers formed the Union
of Unions. They demanded a constituent assembly.

CREATION OF DUMA: The Tsar allowed the creation of an elected consultative Parliament
(Duma). Most of the committees and unions which were formed during this period were
declared illegal after 1905 and hence many of them continued to work unofficially.

The Tsar imposed several restrictions on political activity. The first Duma was dismissed within
75 day and the re-elected second Duma was dismissed within three months. The Tsar then
changed the voting laws and the third Duma was packed with conservative politicians.

The First World War and the Russian Empire

The War was initially popular and people rallied around Tsar Nicholas II. But the Tsar refused
to consult the main parties in the Duma; when the war continued. This led to reduced support
for the Tsar.

Defeat of Russian Army: The War on the eastern front was different from the War on the
western front. The armies fought from trenches along the eastern France; in the west. On the
other hand, the armies moved a good deal on the east and fought battles. Casualties were
high on the eastern front. Russias armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914
and 1916. By 1917, over 7 million people died in the battle.

The retreating Russian army destroyed crops and buildings. The destruction of crops and
buildings resulted in 3 million refugees in Russia. This development tarnished the image of
the Tsar. Soldiers did not wish to fight such a war.

Effect on Industry: Industry was also badly affected by the war. German control of the Baltic
Sea resulted in supplies being cut off to Russia. Due to this, industrial equipments
disintegrated more rapidly in Russia than anywhere else in Europe. Railway lines began to
break down by 1916. There was shortage of labour because the able-bodied men had been
called for the war duty. This led to small workshops being shut and resulted in shortage of
essential items. Large supplies of grains were sent to feed the army. Riots at bread shops
were a common sight by the winter of 1916.
In the winter of 1917, conditions in the capital, Petrograd, were grim. Food shortages were
severe in the workers quarters. The winter was very cold; accompanied by frost and heavy

February Revolution:

On 22 February, a lockout took place at a factory on the right bank of the Neva river. On the
next day, workers in fifty factories went on strike to show solidarity. Women led the way to
strikes in many factories.

The demonstrators crossed from the factory quarters to the centre of the capital; the Nevskii
Prospekt. The movement was not being actively organized by any political party. The
government imposed a curfew and the demonstrators dispersed by the evening. But they
came back on the 24th and 25th. Cavalry and police were called to keep a watch on the

The government suspended the Duma on 25th February. Demonstrators returned in larger
number to the streets of the left bank on the 26th February. The Police Headquarters were
ransacked on 27th February.

The government once again called out the cavalry to control the situation. But the cavalry
refused to fire on the demonstrators. An officer of a regiment was shot at and three other
regiments mutinied to join the striking workers.

By the evening of 27th February, soldiers and striking workers gathered to form a soviet or
council in the same building as the Duma met. This was the Petrograd Soviet.

A delegation went to see the Tsar on 28th February. The Tsar abdicated on 2nd March; on the
advice of the military.

A provisional government was formed by the Soviet Leaders and the Duma leaders. Thus the
February Revolution of 1917 brought down the monarchy in Russia.

After February

The Provisional Government took steps towards an elected government. Restrictions on

public meetings and associations were removed. Soviets were set up everywhere, though no
common system of election was followed.

Return of Lenin: The Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned from exile in April 1917. He
made three demands which were known as April Theses. He declared an end to the war,
transfer of land to the peasants and nationalization of banks. He proposed renaming of the
Bolshevik Party as the Communist Party; to indicate its new radical aims.

Most others in the Bolshevik Party thought that the time was not ripe for socialist revolution.
They wanted the Provisional Government to continue for some time. But various
developments in the subsequent months changed their mindset.

The workers movement spread through the summer. Trade unions grew in number; in
industrial areas. Soldiers committees were formed in the army. In the month of June, about
500 Soviets sent representatives to an All Russian Congress of Soviets.

The provisional government viewed these developments are an erosion in its powers and as
growing influence of Bolshevik. The Provisional Government decided to take stern measures.
The demonstrations by the Bolsheviks in July 1917 were sternly repressed. Many Bolshevik
leaders had to go hiding. Many of them fled as well.

The peasants and their Socialist Revolutionary leaders demanded a redistribution of land.
The peasants seized land between July and September 1917.

October Revolution

Lenin was apprehensive of imposition of dictatorship by the Provisional Government. On 16

October 1917, he convinced the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a
socialist seizure of power. A Military Revolutionary Committee was appointed by the Soviet
under Leon Trotskii to organize the seizure.

The uprising began on 24 October. Prime Minister Kerenskii had sensed trouble and hence
left the city to summon troops. In the morning, military men loyal to the government seized the
buildings of two Bolshevik newspapers. Pro-government troops were sent to take over the
telephone and telegraph offices and protect the Winter Palace.

The Military Revolutionary Committee moved swiftly and ordered its supporters to seize
government offices and arrest ministers. Later in the day, the ship Aurora shelled the Winter
Palace. Various other vessels sailed down the Neva and took over various military points. The
city was under the Committees control by night and the ministers had surrendered. At a
meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviets in Petrograd, the Bolshevik action was
approved by the majority. By December, the Bolsheviks controlled the Moscow-Petrograd
What Changed after October?

Most of the industry and banks were nationalized in November 1917. The
government took over ownership and management.

Land was declared social property. Peasants were allowed to seize the land of the

In cities, large houses were partitioned as per family requirements.

Old titles of aristocracy were banned.

A clothing competition was held in 1918; to design new uniforms for the army and

The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik). Elections for
the Constituent Assembly were held in November 1917. The Bolsheviks failed to get majority
after this election. The Assembly rejected Bolshevik measures and Lenin dismissed the
Assembly in January 1918. Lenin thought that the All Russian Congress of Soviets was more
democratic than the Assembly because the Assembly was elected under uncertain conditions.

In March 1918, the Bolsheviks made peace with Germany at Brest Litovsk; in spite of
opposition by their political allies. In subsequent years, the Bolsheviks became the only party
to participate in the elections to the All Russian Congress of Soviets. The All Russian
Congress of Soviets became the parliament of the country.

Russia became a one-party state. Trade unions were kept under party control. The secret
police punished those who criticized the Bolsheviks. Many writers and artists; who had earlier
rallied behind the party felt disillusioned, because of censorship being imposed by the

The Civil War

After the land distribution order by the Bolsheviks, the Russian army began to break up. Most
of the soldiers had come from farming background and hence wanted to go home for the
redistribution of land.

Non-Bolshevik socialists, liberals and supporters of autocracy protested the Bolshevik

uprising. Their leaders moved to south Russia. They organized troops to fight the Bolsheviks
(the reds).
The greens (Socialist Revolutionaries) and whites (pro-Tsarists) controlled most of the
Russian empire during 1918 and 1919. They were backed by French, American, British and
Japanese troops. These forces were worried at the growth of socialism in Russia. A civil war
ensued between these forces and the Bolsheviks.

Supporters of private property; among whites; took harsh steps with peasants who had
seized land. But such actions led to a loss of popular support for the non-Bolsheviks.

The Bolsheviks took control of most of the former Russian empire by January 1920. The
succeeded because of cooperation with non-Russian nationalities and Muslim jadidists.

But the cooperation did not work where Russian colonists themselves turned Bolshevik. In
Khiva (Central Asia), Bolshevik colonists brutally massacred local nationalists in the name of
defending socialism.

Finally, in December 1922, the Soviet Union (USSR) was formed from the Russian empire.
Most non-Russian nationalities were given political autonomy in this union to prevent
oppression by the Russian colonists. But various unpopular policies of the Bolsheviks meant
that the attempts to win over different nationalities were only partially successful.

Making a Socialist Society

Planned Economy: A process of centralised planning was introduced by the Bolshevik. The
officials planned for the development of the economy and made the Five Year Plans.
Industrial growth was the target of the first two Plans (1927-32 and 1933-38). Industrial
production increased during this period and new industrial cities came up.

But rapid construction led to poor working conditions. Workers quarters were built in
haphazard manner; without giving proper attention to certain facilities. Toilets and other
conveniences were often made across the street from the living quarter. It often made for
miserable life in the bitterly cold weather.

Schools were established for workers children and an extended schooling system was
developed for factory workers and peasants. Crches were made in factories for the benefit of
women workers. Cheap healthcare was provided by the government.

Stalinism and Collectivisation

The early years of the Planned Economy proved to be disasters for the collectivization of
agriculture. There was acute problem of grain supplies in the towns in 1927-28. The prices
were fixed by the government but the peasants refused to sell grains to government buyers at
these prices.

This was the time when Stalin was the head of the party. He introduced firm emergency
measures. In 1928, he sent party members to the grain-producing areas. They supervised
enforced collections of grains. Kulaks (well to do peasants) were raided. But these steps
could not solve the grain crisis.

Stalins collectivization programme was then started. From 1929, all peasants were forced to
cultivate in collective farms (kolhoz). The bulk of land and implements were transferred to the
ownership of collective farm.

Enraged peasants resisted such attempts and destroyed their livestock. Those who resisted
the attempts of collectivization were severely punished. Many were deported and exiled. After
large-scale protests, some peasants were allowed to work on their independent farms, but the
government was not sympathetic to them.

But collectivization did not produce the desired results. Bad harvests of 1930-1933 led to one
of the most devastating famines in Soviet history. Over 4 million died in that famine.

Many within the Party who criticized Stalins policies were charged with conspiracy against
socialism. By 1939, over 2 milion were in prisons or in labour camps. A large number were
forced to make false confessions and were executed.


The possibility of a workers state fired peoples imagination across the world, but most of the
existing socialist parties in Europe did not wholly support the policies in Russia. Communist
parties were formed in many countries. By the time, the Second World War began, USSR was
considered to be the global face of socialism.

By the 1950s, many within the country began to acknowledge the fact that everything was not
right in Russia. Although USSR had become a global industrial power; but basic freedoms
were denied to the people. Many countries adapted to some ideals of socialism, but each
country interpreted them in their own ways.

Socialism in Europe

NCERT Solution
Question 1: What were the social, economic and political conditions in Russia
before 1905?

Answer: A large section of the Russian population was dependent on agriculture.

Some industries had developed in selected pockets. The Russian empire was
under the autocratic rule of the Tsar. The workers were divided in different social
groups, but often united to strike work in factories. The peasants had a long
tradition of working in commune.

Question 2: In what ways was the working population in Russia different from
other countries in Europe, before 1917?

Answer: Compared to other parts of Europe, a larger portion of the Russian

population was engaged in farming. Workers in the industry had already begun to
organize themselves to stop work in factories. Farmers had a long tradition of
working collectively on farms.

Question 3: Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917?

Answer: The Tsar first dismissed the initial two Dumas and then packed the parliament with
the conservatives. During the First World War, the Tsar took decision without consulting the
Duma. Large scale casualties of Russian soldiers in the war further alienated the people from
the Tsar. Burning of crops and buildings by the retreating Russian armies created huge
shortage of food in Russia. All of these led to the collapse of the Tsarist autocracy in 1917.

Question 4: Make two lists: one with the main events and the effects of the February
Revolution and the other with the main events and effects of the October Revolution. Write a
paragraph on who was involved in each, who were the leaders and what was the impact of
each on Soviet history.

Answer: February Revolution

On 22 February: A lockout at a factory.

Demonstrators thronged the centre of the capital, and curfew was imposed.

25th February: Suspension of Duma.

27th February: Formation of Soviet.

2nd March: Tsar leaves power and provisional government formed.

The February Revolution ended the autocratic Tsarist rule in Russia and paved the way for an
elected government. There was no leader of this movement.
October Revolution:

16th October: Formation of Military Revolutionary Committee

24th October: Pro-government troops called in to deal with the situation.

Military Revolutionary Committee controls the city by night and ministers surrender.

The Bolshevik take control of the power.

The October Revolution was led by Lenin. This event paved the way for complete control of
the Bolsheviks over Russia and the beginning of a single-party rule.

Question 5: What were the main changes brought about by the Bolsheviks immediately after
the October Revolution?

Answer: Major changes after the October Revolution:

Most of the industry and banks were nationalized in November 1917. The
government took over ownership and management.

Land was declared social property. Peasants were allowed to seize the land of the

In cities, large houses were partitioned as per family requirements.

Old titles of aristocracy were banned.

Question 6: Write a few lines to show what you know about;

a. Kulaks

Answer: The wealthy landowners were called the kulaks. Stalin was suspicious
of them for hoarding. During collectivization of farming, the kulaks were raided
and their lands were seized.

b. The Duma

Answer: The Russian parliament is called the Duma. The first Duma was
constituted in 1905.

c. Women workers between 1900 and 1930

Answer: Participation of women workers was quite significant in Russia. About

one-third industrial workers were women. Especially during the war years, the
number of women workers increased because the able-bodied men were called
for wartime duties.
d. The Liberals

Answer: Liberals wanted a change in the society. They wanted toleration

towards all religions. They opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers.
They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals. They favoured a
representative, elected parliamentary government. Such a government should
be subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained and independent judiciary.
However, some of the liberal ideas were not democratic. They did not believe in
universal adult franchise and wanted the voting rights only for men with

e. Stalins collectivization programme

Answer: Stalin believed that collectivization of agriculture would help in

improving grains supplies in Russia. He began collectivization in 1929. All
peasants were forced to cultivate in collective farms (kolhoz). The bulk of land
and implements were transferred to the ownership of collective farm. Many
peasants protested such attempts and destroyed livestock to show their anger.
Collectivization did not bring the desired results in the food supply situation
turned even worse in subsequent years.

Nazism and Rise of Hitler


Birth of the Weimar Republic

Germany was a powerful empire in the early years of the twentieth century. It fought the First
World War (1914-1918) alongside the Austrian empire and against the Allies (England, France
and Russia). The Allies were strengthened by the US entry in 1917 and won the war in
November 1918.

The defeat of the Imperial Germany paved the way for democratic republic in Germany. The
parliamentary parties met at the National Assembly at Weimar and established a democratic
constitution with a federal structure. Universal suffrage was allowed for electing the Deputies
to the German Parliament (Reichstag).

Versailles Treaty: But after the First World War, Germany was forced to accept certain terms
which hurt the pride of the German people. As per the peace treaty signed at Versailles,
Germany lost its overseas colonies, a tenth of its population, 13% of its territories, 75% of its
iron and 26% of its coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania. To weaken its power, the
Allied Powers demilitarized Germany. The War Guilt Clause forced Germany to pay
compensation amounting to 6 billion. The resource rich Rhineland was occupied by the
Allied armies for much of the 1920s. Because of these developments, many Germans were
not happy with the Weimar Republic.
The Effects of the War

Europe had turned into a continent of debtors from being a continent of creditors, after the
war. The Weimar Republic was forced to pay for the sins of the old empire. The supporters of
the Weimar Republic became easy targets of the attacks by the conservatives.

Glorification of Soldiers: After the First World War, the soldiers came to be placed above
civilians all over Europe. Politicians and the media glorified the life of a soldier. Aggressive
war propaganda and national honour became the theme of public debate. Democracy was a
nascent idea which could not survive the war-ravaged Europe.

Political Radicalism and Economic Crises

This was the time when the Spartacist League revolution began to rise on the pattern of
Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. There was a charged political atmosphere in Berlin and there
were demands for Soviet style governance.

The socialists, democrats and the Catholics met in Weimar to give shape to the democratic
republic. The uprising of the Spartacist was crushed with the help of war veteran
organizations called Free Corps. The Spartacist later founded the Communist Party of

The economic crisis of 1923 further heightened the political radicalization in Germany.
Germany had to pay war reparations in gold which led to depletion of gold reserve. When
Germany refused to pay in 1923, the French occupied its leading industrial area Ruhr; to
claim their coal.

Germany responded with passive resistance and printed paper currency recklessly. Increased
circulation of currency led to hyperinflation in Germany. Price rise was phenomenal.

Finally, America decided to bail out Germany from this mess. America introduced the Dawes
Plan. According to this plan, the terms of reparations were reworked to ease the financial
burden on Germany.

The Years of Depression

Some stability could be seen between 1924 and 1928. But that stability was short-lived
because the industrial recovery in Germany was dependent on short-term loans. A large
portion of those loans came from the USA. This support was withdrawn after the infamous
Wall Street crash.
The Wall Street Exchange crashed in 1929 and people sold their shares in a mad spree. This
was the beginning of the Great Depression. The effects of this recession in the US economy
were felt all over the world.

The German economy was the worst hit by Great Depression. By 1932, industrial production
became 40% of what it was in 1929. Number of unemployed touched a high of 6 million.
Unemployment also led to an increase in criminal activities.

Fragile Republic: The Weimar Republic was politically fragile as well. Its constitution had
some inherent defects and hence the Weimar Republic was prone to be unstable and
vulnerable to dictatorship. The provision of proportional representation meant that majority by
a single party was impossible and coalition government was the norm. Article 48 gave the
President the powers to impose emergency to suspend civil rights and to rule by decree. The
average life span of a cabinet was just 239 days and emergency was declared many times.
People were losing confidence in the republic.

Hitlers Rise to Power

Hitler was born in 1889 in Austria and spent his youth in poverty. He served in the army during
the First World War where he rose through the ranks. He was furious at various sanctions
imposed on Germany through the Versailles Treaty. In 1919, he joined a small group called
the German Workers Party. Subsequently, Hitler took over the organization and renamed it
the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party. This came to be known as the Nazi Party.

In 1923, Hitler made an unsuccessful bid to capture power at Berlin. He was arrested, tried for
treason and later released. Till early 1930, the Nazis could not mobilize popular support. The
Nazi Party got about 2.6% votes in 1928 but emerged as the largest party; with 37% votes; in

Oratory Skills of Hitler: Hitler was a powerful orator. He could sway the masses with his
powerful words. He promised to build a strong nation and restore the dignity of German
people. He promised all around development and employment to youth.

Hitler understood the significance of rituals and spectacle in mass mobilization. He used the
Swastika symbol, red banners, pamphlets and ritualized rounds of applause to great effect
during his massive rallies.

Hitler was projected as a messiah; who could free people from their distress. For people who
were shattered by acute economic and political crises; Hitler provided a ray of hope.
Destruction of Democracy

On 30 January 1933, Hitler was offered the Chancellorship by President Hindenburg. It was
the highest position in the cabinet of ministers. After acquiring power, Hitler began to
dismantle the structures of democratic rule.

A mysterious fire broke out in the German Parliament in February and it gave an excuse to
Hitler to assume all the powers. A Fire Decree was announced on 28 February 1933. Under
the Decree, various civic rights were suspended.

After that, Hitler turned on to his archenemies, the Communists. Most of the Communists
were packed off to the newly established concentration camps.

The famous Enabling Act was passed on 3 March 1933. This Act gave all powers to Hitler and
established dictatorship in Germany. All political parties and trade unions were banned;
leaving the monopoly to the Nazi Party. The state acquired complete control over the
economy, media, army and judiciary.

Special surveillance and security forces were created to control and order the society. The
regular police in green uniform and the SA or the Storm Troopers were the existing police
forces. Additional police forces were also raised; viz., the Gestapo (secret state police), the
SS (the protection squad), criminal police and the Security Service (SD).

These police forces enjoyed extra-constitutional powers. People could be detained in

Gestapo torture chambers, rounded up and sent to concentration camps, deported at will or
arrested without any legal procedures.


The responsibility of economic recovery was given to the economist Hjalmar Schacht. He
initiated a state-funded work-creation programme to ensure full production and full
employment. The famous Autobahn and Volkswagen were the results of this period. The
economy was on the road to prosperity.

Hitler got quick successes in foreign policy as well. In 1933, he pulled out of the League of
Nations. He reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936 and integrated Austria and Germany in 1938.
After that, he went on to wrest German-speaking Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia and
usurped the entire country. England gave unspoken support to Hitler in these endeavours.

Expansion Spree: Hitler was convinced that expansion of territory was a surefire way to
acquire resources and more resources would help tide the economic crisis. Germany invaded
Poland in September 1939 and this event started a war with France and England. A Tripartite
Pact was signed between Germany, Italy and Japan in 1940. This fact strengthened Hitlers
claim to international power. In a large part of Europe, puppet regimes (which were supportive
of Nazi Germany) were installed. By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the zenith of his power.

Soviet Hegemony over Eastern Europe: Now Hitler moved to achieve his long-term aim,
i.e. of conquering the Eastern Europe. Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941 which
proved to be a historic blunder. With this step, the western front of Germany was exposed to
British aerial bombing and the eastern front was exposed to the powerful Soviet armies. The
German Army was handed a crushing defeat by the Soviet Army and the Soviet forces finally
reached the heart of Berlin. This established the Soviet hegemony over the entire Eastern
Europe for half a century thereafter.

US involvement in War: The USA did not want to face all the economic problems which were
caused by the First World War. Hence, the USA was unwilling to get involved in the Second
World War. But Japans advances in the east, its support to Hitler and bombing at the US
base at Pearl Harbor, forced the US to enter the Second World War. The US dropped the
atom bomb on Hiroshima in Japan and the war ended in May 1945 with Hitlers defeat.

Nazism and Rise of Hitler


The Nazi Worldview

The Nazi ideology did not believe in equality among people but only in a racial hierarchy.
According to this, the Nordic German Aryans were at the top and the Jews were at the
bottom. All other coloured people were placed in between. Hitler interpreted the ideas of
Darwin and Spencer to suit his own views. While Darwin and Spencer proposed the idea of
Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest, Hitler wanted human intervention to ensure the
elimination of other races. According to him, such races were not fit for survival and should be
eliminated to make place for the purest race; the Nordic German Aryans.

Hitlers ideology was also related to the geopolitical concept of Lebensraum, or living space.
He believed in acquiring new territories to spread the race of the Nordic German Aryans.

Establishment of the Racial State

The Nazis quickly began to implement their dream of creating an exclusive racial community
of pure Germans. They did this by physically eliminating all those who were seen as
undesirable in the extended empire. The pure and healthy Nordic Aryans were seen as the
only desirable race. Many Germans who were considered undesirable were killed under the
Euthanasia Programme. Even the mentally or physically unfit were killed under this

The Jews, the Russians and the Poles; all of them were widely persecuted. After the German
occupation of Poland and parts of Russia, the captured civilians were forced to work as slave
labour. Most of them died because of hard work and starvation.

Stereotyping the Jews: There had been a long tradition of Christian hostility towards the
Jews. They had been stereotyped as killers of Christ and usurpers. Until medieval times, the
Jews were barred from owning land. Trade and money-lending was their only means for
survival. Periodic organized violence and expulsion from land were often used for persecuting
the Jews.

The Nazis wanted a complete elimination of the Jews. From 1933 to 1938, the Jews were
compelled to leave the country through different means of terror and segregation. In the next
phase (1939-1945), there was an aim of concentrating them in certain areas and eventually
killing them in gas chambers.

The Racial Utopia

After German occupation, Poland was divided up and much of north-western Poland was
annexed to Germany. Poles were forced to leave their homes and properties behind. They
were to be occupied by ethnic Germans brought in from occupied Europe.

The Poles were sent to the other part which was called the General Government. Members of
the Polish intelligentsia were killed so the Polish could be kept intellectually and spiritually
servile. Some of the largest ghettos and gas chambers were also present in the General
Government. Thus, it also served as the killing field for the Jews.

Youth in the Nazi Germany

Hitler felt that by teaching the Nazi ideology to children, a strong Nazi society could be
established. All schools were cleansed and purified to propagate the Nazi ideals. The
teachers who were Jews or seen as politically unreliable were dismissed. German and Jew
children were segregated and the undesirable children; Jews, physically handicapped and
Gypsies; were thrown out of school. Finally in the 1940s, they were taken to the gas
School textbooks were re-written so that the Good German children could be brainwashed
through a prolonged period of ideological training. Racial science was introduced in the
curriculum to justify the Nazi ideas of race.

Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler. The sport of
Boxing was promoted to instill mental strength among students.

Youth organisations were given the responsibility of educating the German youth in the spirit
of National Socialism. Ten year olds had to enter Jungvolk. At 14 years of age, all boys had to
join the Nazi youth organization; Hitler Youth. After a long and rigorous training in the Nazi
ideology, they had to join the Labour Service; usually at the age of 18. After that, they had to
serve in the armed forces and enter one of the Nazi organizations.

The Nazi Cult of Motherhood

The boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel hearted. The girls were told that
they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children. The girls had to
maintain the purity of the race and hence had to distance themselves from the undesirables.

Women who bore racially undesirable children were punished. On the other hand, women
who bore racially desirable children were awarded. They were given special treatment in
hospitals and also got concessions in shops, theatres and railways. Honor Crosses were
awarded to encourage women to produce more children. A bronze cross was given for four
children, silver cross for six and golden cross for eight or more. The Aryan woman who
deviated from the prescribed code of conduct was publicly condemned and severely

The Art of Propaganda

The Nazi regime used the language and media with great effect. They coined various
deceiving terms to be used for killing or murder. Photographs, films, radio, posters, catchy
slogans, etc. were used to propagate the Nazi ideology. Those opposed to the Nazis and the
Jews were stereotyped through various campaigns.

Many people began to see the world through Nazi perspective. There was widespread hatred
against the Jews. People believed that Nazism would bring prosperity and improve general
But many others organized active resistance to Nazism, braving police repression and death.
But a large majority of the German population was composed of passive onlookers. They
were too scared to act, to differ, to protest.

Knowledge about the Holocaust

Information about Nazi atrocities had trickled out of Germany during the last years of the
regime. But it was only after the end of the war that the world came to realize the horrors
suffered by the Jews and other undesirables. Many Jews wrote their memories in diaries and
notebooks, and created archives.

When the Nazi leadership could see that they were fighting a losing battle, they distributed
petrol to its functionaries to destroy all incriminating evidences.

Nazism and Rise of Hitler


NCERT Solution

Question 1: Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.

Answer: The Weimar Republic was politically fragile. Its constitution had some inherent
defects and hence the Weimar Republic was prone to be unstable and vulnerable to
dictatorship. The provision of proportional representation meant that majority by a single party
was impossible and coalition government was the norm. Article 48 gave the President the
powers to impose emergency to suspend civil rights and to rule by decree. The average life
span of a cabinet was just 239 days and emergency was declared many times. People were
losing confidence in the republic.

Question 2: Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.

Answer: Most of the German were not happy with the way the Weimar Republic meekly
surrendered to the clauses of the Versailles Treaty. Heavy burden of war-time reparations led
to all around poverty and economic hardships for people. Hitler projected himself as the
messiah who could cure all the ills of Germany. He used oratory skills and symbolism to great
effect. These were the reasons of growing popularity of Nazism in Germany by 1930.

Question 3: What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?

Answer: Nazi thinking was synonymous with Hitlers thinking. It believed in policy of
expansion to bring more resources under its control; to ensure economic development. It
believed in stifling the protesting voices. It also believed that the Nordic German Aryans were
the only superior race and only they had the right to live in the German empire.

Question 4: Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.

Answer: The Nazi used the media and language with great care and to great effect. They
used films, radio, banners, posters and rituals to propagate hatred against the Jews.
Moreover, the long tradition of stereotyping the Jews helped the Nazis in increasing a feeling
of hatred against the Jews.

Question 5: Explain what role women had in Nazi society. Return to Chapter 1 on the French
Revolution. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the role of women in the two

Answer: Women did not play an active role in the Nazi society. Hitler believed that a womans
duty was to bear racially pure children and to do her domestic duties. On the other hand,
women played good role in the French Revolution. Many women led the suffragate movement
to ensure voting rights for women. It can be said that while women played an active role in the
French Revolution, they were the passive spectators in the Nazi society.

Question 6: In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people?

Answer: Hitler felt that by teaching the Nazi ideology to children, a strong Nazi society could
be established. In order to do so, schools were first cleansed by removing Jew and other
undesirable teachers. Schools were converted into all-German school. Children were
brainwashed with the Nazi ideology. There was a system of taking adolescents into the Nazi
organization so that they could be mentally trained in Nazi ideologies. The youth had to serve
in the youth organization of the Nazi party.

Forest Society and Colonialism


Diversity in forests has been disappearing very quickly. During the period of industrialization
(between 1700 and 1995), 13.9 million square km of forest was cleared for industrial uses,
cultivation, pasture and fuelwood. This turns out to be 9.3% of the total area of the world.
Disappearance of forests is called deforestation. The process of deforestation began many
centuries ago, but became more systematic and extensive during the colonial period.

About one-sixth of Indias landmass was under cultivation in 1600. At present, almost half of
the landmass in India has come under cultivation.

Effect of Colonial Rule on Forest Cover

Colonizers all over the world thought that uncultivated land should be taken over so that that
could be used for more commercial purposes. The production of commercial crops like jute,
sugar, wheat and cotton increased during this period. This happened because of increasing
demand from a growing population in Europe. Foodgrain was required to feed the growing
population and raw materials were needed for the growing industries. the cultivated area
increased by 6.7 million hectares between 1880 and 1920 in India.

The oak forests were disappearing in England by the early twentieth century. This created
scarcity for the ship building industry in Britain. Ships were quite important for military power
of the British. They found good source of wood for shipbuilding in the Indian forests. This
began cutting of trees on a large scale in the Indian forests.

The spread of railways from the 1850s created new demand for timber. Timber was required
for making sleepers for the railway line. Each mile of railway track needed 1,760 to 2,000
sleepers. About 25,500 km of track had been laid by 1890. It is obvious that a large number of
trees were felled to meet this demand.


The British also introduced large plantations for growing tea, coffee and rubber. European
planters were given vast areas of land at cheap rates so that they could develop plantations.
The area was cleared of forests to make way for tea or coffee.

To properly control and manage the forest resources in India, the British appointed a German
expert, Dietrich Brandis, as the first Inspector General of Forests in India. Brandis introduced
a new system and began to train people in conservation of forest resources. The Indian
Forest Service was set up in 1864 and the Indian Forest Act was introduced in 1865.

Grazing, felling of trees and any use of forest produce was made illegal and punishable
offence. In the name of scientific forestry, they replaced natural vegetation with single type of
trees like sal or eucalyptus. The modern conservationists tell this system as monoculture and
argue that it is not good for the environment.

The Indian Forest Act was amended twice, once in 1878 and then in 1927. The 1878 Act
divided forests into three categories: reserved, protected and village forests. They used to
take food, medicines, firewood and many other raw materials from forests. The new laws
made their life miserable. They could not longer take their herds for grazing nor collect
firewood. They were now forced to steal wood from the forests. But there always was the risk
of being caught and harassed by the forest guards.

How did Forest Rules Affect Cultivation?

Shifting cultivation has been prevalent among many tribal communities in India. This is a type
of subsistence farming in which a small patch of land is cleared by slashing and burning the
vegetation. Ash is then mixed with the soil and crops are grown. The patch of land is utilised
for a couple of years and is then left fallow for 10 to 12 years.

The colonial officials regarded this practice as harmful for the forests. They were afraid that an
accidental fire could destroy valuable timber. Moreover, the shifting cultivators were difficult to
control in revenue collection. The government hence banned shifting cultivation.

This affected many families. Many people were forced to work in low paying jobs, some were
forced to migrate to cities in search of job. However, some people tried to resist the new laws
through small and large rebellions.

Who could Hunt?

Many tribal people used to hunt some animals; like deer and partridges; for food. Hunting was
banned and anyone caught hunting was punished. But the Indian Rajas and the British
officials continue to hunt large and ferocious animals. They thought that killing the ferocious
animals would help in making the life much safer. Moreover, hunting of tiger or lion was
considered to be a sign of bravery and valour. Many rajas and British officials used to display
the skin and heads of animals as prized possession.

Forest Society and Colonialism


New Trades, New Employments and New Services

The new trade was mainly controlled by the British people with some participation of Indian
merchants. For the forest dwellers no significant opportunities emerged. Many people from
Jharkhand, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh were forced to work in tea gardens of Assam and West
Bengal. But the working condition in the tea gardens was very bad. People were given low
wages and there was no permission to come back to their home villages in between. Many
nomadic tribes who had earlier been engaged in trade of forest produce continued to do so.

The People of Bastar: Bastar is located in the southernmost part of Chhattisgarh and
borders Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra. Many tribal communities; like Maria and
Muria Gonds, Dhruwas, Bhatras and Halbas; live in this area. They speak different languages
but share common customs and beliefs. These tribal people had always been dependent on
forests and had developed the practice of keeping the forest in high reverence.

The Fears of the People

When about two-thirds of the forest was made into reserve forest and shifting cultivation,
hunting and collection of forest produce was stopped, it disturbed the people of Bastar. Some
villagers were allowed to stay in the reserved forests. But they had to work for free for the
forest department. The work included cutting and transporting trees and protecting the forest
from fires. Such villages came to be known as forest villages.

But most of the people were forced to leave their villages. Their problem was further
aggravated by the famines of 1899-1900 and 1907-08. People began to group together. The
Dhurwas were the people to take initiative. There was no single leader but Gunda Dhur from
village Nethanar was an important figure in that rebellion. The rebellion began in 1910 and
every village contributed towards the rebellion expenses. The rebels looted the bazaars,
houses of officials and traders. They burnt schools and police stations.

The British sent troops to suppress the rebellion. Negotiations by adivasi leaders failed and
the British surrounded their camps and fired upon them. Most of the villages became deserted
as people too refuge in the jungles. It took three months (February-May) to control the

Work on reservation of forest was suspended for the time being. The area to be reserved to
reduced to about half of what was earlier planned. This was a major victory for the rebels.

Java is in Indonesia and it used to be a Dutch colony. This was the place where the new
forest management policy was initiated by the colonial rulers.

The Woodcutters of Java

The Kalangs of Java were a community of skilled forest cutters and shifting cultivators. Their
expertise was valuable for the kings; for building palaces. Their importance can be gauged
from the fact that when the Mataram kingdom of Java split in 1755, the 6,000 Kalang families
were equally divided between the two kingdoms.

When the Dutch began to gain control over the forests in the eighteenth century, they also
tried to take the Kalangs under their control. They resisted by attacking the Dutch fort in 1770
but their rebellion was suppressed.

Dutch Scientific Forestry

New forest laws were introduced by the Dutch. Villagers access to the forests was restricted.
Permission was given to cut wood only for specific purposes; like making boats and houses.
Grazing was banned in young stands. Wood could not be transported and travelling on forest
road by horse cart or cattle was also banned.

Wood was cut on large scale to meet the demand for railways and shipping. In 1882 the
number of sleepers exported from Java alone was 280,000.

Rent was introduced on villagers who cultivated in the forest. Some villages were exempted in
lieu of providing free labour and buffalo for cutting and transporting the wood. This was known
as the blandongdiensten system.

Samins Challenge

Around 1890, Surontiko Samin of Randublatung village, a teak forest village, began
questioning state ownership of the forest. He began to convince his folks about the wrong
policies of the colonial rulers. Many families joined that rebellion. People protested by lying
down on their land when the Dutch came to survey it. Many others refused to pay taxes or
fines or do work.

War and Deforestation

The two World Wars had major impacts on forests. More trees were cut to meet the wartime
needs of Britain.

In Java, the Dutch followed scorched earth policy just before the Japanese occupation of the
region. They destroyed sawmills and burnt huge piles of giant teak logs. The Japanese
continued the exploitation of forests. They forced forest villagers to cut down forests. For
many villagers, it was an opportunity to expand cultivated area.

Forest Society and Colonialism


NCERT Solution

Question 1: Discuss how the changes in forest management in the colonial period
affected the following groups of people:

(a) Shifting cultivators

Answer: New forest laws banned shifting cultivation. For shifting cultivators, it was
devastating because there was a problem for their survival. Many of them were
forced to migrate to take up some other occupations. Many others were forced to
work in the tea plantations.

(b) Nomadic and pastoralist communities

Answer: Grazing of animals was banned under the new forest laws. It made the
life of pastoralist communities difficult. Herds of animals were their only source of
livelihood. The nomadic communities were declared as criminal communities. This
made their life miserable because they could no longer move freely.

(c) Firms trading in timber/forest produce

Answer: Because of huge demand of timber, it was boon for the timber merchants. They
must have seen good growth in their incomes.

(d) Plantation owners

Answer: Land was given at cheaper rates to the plantation owners. Labour was also made
available to them at very low wages. Moreover, new policies were made which prevented the
workers from going back to their home villages. It was a win-win situation for the plantation

(e) Kings/British officials engaged in shikar

Answer: Killing of ferocious animals; like tiger or wolves was monetarily rewarded. Moreover,
hunting was viewed as a sign of bravely and valour. The Kings and British officials must have
enjoyed the new found honour in the society.

Question 2: What are the similarities between colonial management of the forests in Bastar
and in Java?

Answer: There were certain similarities in the colonial management of forests in Bastar and
Java. In both the cases, the traditional rights of forest dwellers were taken away and they
were forced to work for their colonial masters. Large scale deforestation took place and felled
trees were replaced with monocultural plantations.

Question 3: Between 1880 and 1920, forest cover in the Indian subcontinent declined by 9.7
million hectares, from 108.6 million hectares to 98.9 million hectares. Discuss the role of the
following factors in this decline:

a. Railways

Answer: There was huge demand of sleepers from the railways. In those days
sleepers were made from wood. Expansion of the railway network resulted in
large scale deforestation.

b. Shipbuilding

Answer: Shipbuilding was an important industry because ships were integral

part of the military power of the British. When the number of oak trees sharply
reduced in Britain, Indian forests provided good source of supply. Thus,
shipbuilding also contributed towards large scale deforestation in India.

c. Agricultural expansion

Answer: The growing European population meant an increased demand for

foodgrains. This resulted in expansion of cultivated land in India. More land was
cleared of forests to make way for cultivation.

d. Commercial farming

Answer: There was increased demand for various raw materials; like cotton,
indigo for the expanding industries in Britain. This resulted in large scale
commercial farming in India. This could also become possible by clearing

e. Tea/coffee plantations

Answer: Demand for tea and coffee also increased in Britain. The climate of
northeastern India and the eastern coast was perfect for plantations. Large
areas of forests were cleared for making way for plantations. The British
plantation owners were given land on very cheap rates.
f. Adivasis and other peasant users

Answer: Adivasis had always been the protectors of forests and hence they
had no role in deforestation. However, some peasants may have utilised the
opportunity to expand the cultivated land; as had happened in Java. Moreover,
the significant increase in cultivated land also indicates towards clearing of
forests for farming.

Question 4: Why are forests affected by wars?

Answer: The two World Wars had major impacts on forests. More trees were cut to meet the
wartime needs of Britain.

In Java, the Dutch followed scorched earth policy just before the Japanese occupation of the
region. They destroyed sawmills and burnt huge piles of giant teak logs. The Japanese
continued the exploitation of forests. They forced forest villagers to cut down forests. For
many villagers, it was an opportunity to expand cultivated area.

Pastoralists in Modern World


Gujjar Bakarwals: Gujjar Bakarwals live in the mountains of Jammu & Kashmir. They herd
goat and sheep. They migrated to this region in the nineteenth century and established in this
area. They move between their winter and summer grazing grounds every year. During winter
the high mountains are covered with snow. During this season, they move to the low hills of
the Shiwalik. By the end of April, they begin their march towards higher mountains.

Gaddi: The Gaddi shepherds live in Himachal Pradesh. They also spend winter in the low
hills of the Shiwalik. By April, they move towards north to spend summers in Lahul and Spiti.

Gujjar: The Gujjar cattle herders live in Garhwal and Kumaon. During winter, they come down
to the dry forests of the bhabar. During summer, they go up to the high meadows, the
bugyals. Many of them migrated from Jammu to the hills of UP in the nineteenth century.

Bhotiyas, Sherpas and Kinnauris are some other pastoral communities of the Himalayas
which also follow the cyclical movement between and summer and winter pastures.

Dhangars: Dhangars were important pastoral community of Maharashtra. Their population

was estimated to be 467,000 during the early twentieth century. Most of them were
shepherds, but some were blanket weavers and some others were buffalo herders. During
monsoon, the Dhangars used to stay in the central plateau of Maharashtra. Apart from
herding their animals, they also used to grow bajra. By October, they used to harvest their
bajra and started their march to west to reach Konkan.

They were welcomed by the Konkani peasants. Dhangar flocks fed on the stubble and
manured the fields with their dung. They also took rice from the Konkani farmers and took the
rice to the plateau where grain was scarce.

Gollas: The Gollas lived in the plateaus of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They were cattle

Kurumas and Kurubas: The Kurumas and Kurubas also lived in Karnataka and Andhra
Pradesh. They reared sheep and goats and sold blankets. They used to live near the forest
and cultivated on small patches of land. They were also engaged in petty trades.

For the pastoralists of the central plateau, it was the alteration of monsoon and dry season
which governed their seasonal migration. They used to move to the coastal areas during dry
seasons, and go back to the central plateaus during monsoon.

Banjaras: The Banjaras lived in villages of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh and Maharashtra. They used to move long distances in search of good pastureland.
They sold plough cattle and other items in exchange for grain and fodder.

Raikas: The Raikas lived in the deserts of Rajasthan. During the monsoons, the Raikas of
Barmer, Jaisalemer, Jodhpur and Bikaner used to stay in their home villages because pasture
was available. By October, they used to move in search of other pasture and water. They
returned again in the next monsoon. The Maru (a group of Raikas) herded camels and
another group reared sheep and goat.

The life of these pastoral groups was affected by various factors. The length of their stay in a
particular area depended on the availability of pasture and water. They needed to have good
knowledge of geography and meteorology to plan their movement. They also had to establish
relationship with farmers on the way for mutual benefit.

Colonial Rule and Pastoral Life

The life of pastoralists changed dramatically under the colonial rule.

The colonial rulers wanted to transform all grazing lands into cultivated farms. This was
necessary to increase land revenue. Additionally, increasing the cultivated land was
necessary for increasing the production of jute, cotton and wheat which were required in

Waste Land Rules: Waste Land Rules were enacted in different parts of the country from the
mid-nineteenth century. Under these rules, uncultivated lands were taken over and given to
select individuals. These individuals were encouraged to settle on these lands and were
granted various concessions. Some of them were made headmen of villages in the newly
cleared areas.

The expansion of cultivated land resulted in significant reduction in grazing grounds. This
created huge problem for the pastoralists.

Forest Act

New Forest Acts were enacted by the mid-nineteenth century. Under these Acts, many forests
were declared Reserved. Pastoralists were not allowed in the reserved forests. Some other
forests were classified as Protected. The pastoralists got some grazing rights in the
protected forests but their movements were highly restricted.

These Forest Acts changed the lives of pastoralists. They could not enter many areas and
entry to some other areas was restricted. So instead of following the seasonal cycle, they
were forced to follow the new Forest Acts; which disturbed their traditional ways of life.

Criminal Tribes Act: The nomadic people were viewed with suspicion by the colonial rulers.
The Criminal Tribes Act was passed in 1871. Many communities of craftsmen, traders and
pastoralists were classified as Criminal Tribes under this Act. They were forced to live in
notified villages only and the police officials kept a watch on them.

The colonial government looked for every possible source of taxation; in order to increase its
revenue income. Tax was imposed on land, on canal water, on salt, on trade goods, and even
on animals.

Grazing Tax: Grazing tax was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century, in most of the
pastoral tracts of India. Tax was calculated on the basis of per head of cattle. The tax rate
went up rapidly and the tax collection system was made more efficient.
The right to collect the tax was auctioned to contractors between 1850s and 1880s. These
contractors tried to extract as high a tax as possible to recover their investment. By 1880s, the
government began to directly collect taxes from the pastoralists.

Pastoralists in Modern World


Changes in the Lives of Pastoralists

The availability of pastureland decreased drastically. This resulted in continuous intensive

grazing of the remaining pasture. Unlike in the past, the lack of seasonal movement of
pastoralists did not allow time for the natural restoration of vegetation growth. This created
shortage of forage for animals and the animal stock deteriorated. Most of the cattle died due
to shortage of fodder.

How Did the Pastoralists Cope with these Changes?

Some of the pastoralists reduced the number of cattle in their herds. Some others discovered
new pastures. For example; when the Raikas could no longer move into Sindh after the
partition of 1947; they began to migrate to Haryana in search of new pastures.

Some rich pastoralists began to buy land to settle down and gave up their nomadic life. While
some of them became peasants, some others took to more extensive trading.

But the poor pastoralists had to borrow from moneylenders in order to survive. Most of them
finally lost their cattle and sheep and became labourers. They began to work in fields or in
small towns.


Over half of the worlds pastoral population lives in Africa. Even today, more than 22 million
Africans depend on some form of pastoral activity. Bedouins, Berbers, Maasai, Somali, Boran
and Turkana are some of the pastoral communities of Africa. Most of them live in the semi-
arid grasslands or arid deserts. They raise cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys; and
they sell milk, meat, animal skin and wool. Some also earn through trade and transport. Some
others combine pastoral activity with agriculture. Many others do a variety of odd jobs to
supplement their earnings.

Maasai: The Maasai are cattle herders and they mainly live in east Africa. 300,000 Maasai
live in Kenya and about 150,000 live in Tanzania.
Where have the Grazing Lands Gone?

Before the colonial rule, the Maasailand stretched over a vast area from north Kenya to the
steppes of northern Tanzania. The European colonial powers began the slicing up of Africa in
order to get control of the African continent during the late nineteenth century. The
Maasailand was cut into half in 1885. An international boundary separated the British Kenya
and German Tanganyika. During the First World War, the British took the control of

Due to these developments, the Maasai lost more than 60% of their pastureland from the pre-
colonial period. They were now confined to an arid zone with poor pastures and uncertain

From the late nineteenth century, the local peasant communities were encouraged by the
British government to expand cultivation. While the Maasai used to dominate their agricultural
neighbours before the colonial rule, the situation had changed now.

Large areas of grazing land were also turned into game reserves, e.g. the Maasai Mara and
Samburu National Park in Kenya and Serengeti Park in Tanzania. The Maasai could no longer
hunt nor graze their animals in these areas.

Kokoland Herders: The Kokoland herders traditionally moved between Kokoland and
Ovamboland in Namibia. They sold skin, meat and other items in neighbouring markets. The
new system of territorial boundaries restricted their movements and stopped their activities.

The Borders are Closed

With the redrawing of borders, the movement of all the pastoralist communities was severely
restricted. They were required to get special permits in order to move. Getting a permit was
often difficult. People were severely punished for violating the rules. They were also not
allowed to enter the markets in white areas. They were viewed as savage and dangerous by
the Europeans and hence every effort was taken to minimize the contact with them.

When Pastures Dry

Before the colonial rule, seasonal movement was a time-tested way to tide over the periods of
drought in a particular area. Since the movement was restricted, so a large number of Maasai
cattle died because of starvation and disease in the years of drought. In 1930, the Maasai in
Kenya possessed 720,000 cattle, 820,000 sheep and 171,000 donkeys. Within just two years
of severe drought (1933 and 1934) more than half of the cattle in Maasai Reserve died.

Not All were Equally Affected

During pre-colonial period; the Maasai society was divided into two social groups, viz. elders
and warriors. The elders formed the ruling group. They met in periodic councils to decide on
the affairs of the community and settle disputes. The warriors consisted of younger people
who were mainly responsible for the protection of the tribe. They also organized cattle raids.
Since cattle were the wealth hence raiding was an important aspect of their life.

The British introduced a series of measures to administer the affairs of the Maasai. Chiefs
were appointed for different sub-groups of Maasai. The chiefs were made responsible for the
affairs of the tribe. Several restrictions were imposed on raiding and warfare. This led to
erosion of authority for both elders and warriors.

A chief appointed by the colonial government often accumulated wealth over time. They could
now buy animals, goods and land. They also lent money to the needy. Many of them began
living in towns and involved themselves in trade. Thus the chiefs became more powerful.

The poor pastoralists did not have resource to tide over the bad times. Many of them had to
migrate to towns in search of livelihood. Most of them continued to do odd jobs. Some lucky
ones could get regular work in road or building construction.

Thus, a new distinction between the wealthy and the poor developed in the Maasai

Pastoralists in Modern World


NCERT Solution

Question 1 Explain why nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another.
What are the advantages to the environment of this continuous movement?

Answer: The nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another in search of
new pastures. When the grass in a particular part is exhausted and the season
becomes unconducive, the nomadic tribes move to some other area. The seasonal
movement of nomadic tribes is beneficial for the environment. It allows natural re-
growth of grass in the pastureland.
Question 2 Discuss why the colonial government in India brought in the following laws. In
each case, explain how the law changed the lives of pastoralists:

a. Waste Land rules

Answer: This law was brought to take control of the land which was not under
cultivation. The surplus land could be used to increase the area under
cultivation and also to increase land revenue. This Rule shrunk the pastureland
which was earlier available.

b. Forest Acts

Answer: These Acts were introduced to gain control of those forests which had
commercially important trees. Moreover, these acts were also utilised to collect
some revenue from the pastoralists. The movement of pastoralists was
severely restricted because of new Forest Acts. Instead of planning their
movement according to the season, the pastoralists now had to move
according to the new rules.

c. Criminal Tribes Act

Answer: This Act was introduced to force the nomadic tribes to a settled life. It
was difficult to collect taxes from the nomadic people because they did not
have permanent address. This Act tarnished the image of nomadic tribes. This
disturbed their relationship with peasants and other mainstream communities. It
also badly affected their earnings.

d. Grazing Tax

Answer: Grazing Tax was introduced in order to widen the tax net. This tax put
a new burden on the pastoralists.

Question 3 Give reasons to explain why the Maasai community lost their grazing lands.

Answer: The Maasailand was divided into British and German territories in 1885. The new
international boundary restricted the movement of the Maasai community. Moreover,
declaration of a vast tract of pastureland into game reserves also reduced the pastureland for

Question 4 There are many similarities in the way in which the modern world forced changes
in the lives of pastoral communities in India and East Africa. Write about any two examples of
changes which were similar for Indian pastoralists and the Maasai herders.

Answer: Their traditional pasturelands were taken from them in the name of declaring certain
areas as reserve forests. Second, they were forced out of many pastures in the name of
expansion of cultivation.

Peasants and Farmers



Swing Rioters: Between 1930 and 1932, many farmers in England were attacked by rioters.
The rioters destroyed threshing machines, burnt barns and haystack and sometimes burnt the
entire farmhouse. Farmers used to receive threatening letters which were signed by Captain
Swing. This was a mythical name used in the letters and the rioters came to be known as
Swing Rioters. The letters urged the farmers to stop using the new machines because the
new machines were depriving the poor peasants of job. The government took stern action
and people were rounded up on suspicion. 1,976 prisoners were tried, nine men were
hanged, 505 men were transported and 644 were put in jails.

The Time of Open fields and Commons

Before the late eighteenth century, large parts of English countryside were open. There was
no partition of land to mark the ownership. Peasants cultivated on strips of land around the
village. At the beginning of each year, each villager was allotted a number of strips to cultivate
for which the decision was taken at a public meeting. Usually a farmer was given strips of
varying quality to ensure equitable distribution of good and bad land to the farmers.

The land beyond these strips was called the common land. All villagers had access to the
commons. The commons were used as pasture and for collecting firewood and fruits. Rivers
and ponds were used by all for fishing and the common forests were used for rabbit hunting.
The common land was essential for the survival of poor.

But things began to change from about the sixteenth century. The price of wool went up in the
world market in the sixteenth century. Due to this, the rich farmers wanted to expand wool
production in order to earn profits. For improving their sheep breeds and to ensure good feed
for them, the rich farmers started taking the control of large areas of land in compact blocks.
They began to divide and enclose common land and built hedges around to demarcate their
property. The poor peasants were driven out from the enclosed fields. The enclosure
movement proceeded very slowly till the mid of the eighteenth century.

But after the mid-eighteenth century, the enclosure movement caught momentum. Between
1750 and 1850, about 6 million acres of land was enclosed. The British Parliament passed
4,000 acts to legalise these enclosures.
New Demands for Grain

The enclosures which were made in the sixteenth century were meant for sheep farming. But
those made in the late eighteenth century were for grain production. The English population
increased rapidly from the mid-eighteenth century. The population of England multiplied over
four times between 1750 and 1900. From 7 million in 1750 the population of England became
30 million in 1900. Increased population meant increased demand for foodgrains.

This was also the time when Britain was industrializing. More and more people began to
migrate to the urban areas. With an increase in urban population, the demand for foodgrain
increased and so did the prices.

At the end of the eighteenth century, England was at war with France. This war disrupted
trade and import of foodgrains from Europe. This further aggravated the price rise of
foodgrain in England. The higher prices encouraged the landowners to enlarge their
enclosures for grain cultivation. The landowners also pressurized the Parliament to pass the
Enclosure Acts.

The Age of Enclosures

Before 1780s, rapid population growth was usually followed by a period of food shortages in
England. But after that, the food production matched with population growth. In 1868, England
was producing about 80% of the food it consumed and the rest was imported.

This growth in food-grain production could be possible because of bringing new lands under
cultivation. Pasturelands, open fields, forest commons, marshes, etc. were taken over by
landlords and turned into agricultural fields.

The simple innovation used by farmers in this period was growing turnip and clover. These
crops helped in improving soil fertility; by replenishing the nitrogen in soil. Moreover, turnip
was a good fodder crop also.

Enclosures were now seen as important for making long-term investments on land and for
planning crop rotations to improve the soil. Enclosures also helped rich landowners to expand
the land under their control and produce more for the market.

What Happened To the Poor?

With the expansion of enclosures, the poor could no longer have access to the commons.
They could not collect firewood or graze their cattle, or collect apples or hunt small animals for
meat. The poor were displaced from the land. Most of the poor from the Midlands were forced
to move to southern counties in search of livelihood. The southern part was most intensely
cultivated and hence there was a great demand for agricultural labourers.

During earlier period, the labourers usually lived the landowners. They used to eat at the
masters table and helped him through the year. But this practice was disappearing by 1800.
Labourers were now being paid wages and employed only during harvest season. The
landowners also cut the wages in order to increase profitability. Thus the poor suffered from
job insecurity and unstable income.

The Introduction of Threshing Machines

During the Napoleonic Wars, prices of foodgrains were high and farmers vigorously expanded
production to grab the opportunity. This was the time, new threshing machines had come into
the market. The farmers began buying those machines, as they feared a shortage in labour.

Once the Napoleonic Wars ended, thousands of soldiers returned to the villages. They were
looking for work to survive. This was also the time when grain from Europe began coming into
England. Prices declined as a result and an Agricultural Depression set in. The landowners
reduced the cultivated area and demanded a ban on imports. They also tried to cut the
workforce and wages. The unemployed poor moved from village to village in search of job.
This was the situation which gave rise to the Swinging Riots.

Peasants and Farmers



When the commons were being enclosed in England at the end of the eighteenth century,
settled agriculture had not developed on any extensive scale in the USA. Over 800 million
acres were covered with forests and 600 million acres were covered with grasslands.

Bread Basket and Dust Bowl

Till the 1780s, white American settlements were confined to a small narrow strip along the
eastern coast. Most of the USA was inhabited by the Native Americans. Most of them were
nomadic, while some of them were settled. Hunting, gathering and fishing was the source of
livelihood for most of them. Some of them cultivated corn, beans, tobacco and pumpkin.

After the late eighteenth century, white Americans began to move westward. The displaced
local tribes and changed the entire landscape into agricultural belts. Finally, they established
control up to the west coast. By the early twentieth century, the landscape of the USA had
transformed radically. The USA began to dominate the world market in agricultural produce.

The Westward Move and Wheat Cultivation

After the American War of Independence from 1775 to 1783 and the formation of the United
States of America, the white Americans began to move westward. By 1800, over 700,000
white settlers had moved on to the Appalachian plateau.

America appeared to be a land of promise. The vast wilderness could be turned into
cultivated fields. It was a huge reservoir of timber, animal skin and minerals. But the American
Indian had to be cleared from the land to realize the dream.

The US government made of policy of driving the American Indians westward in 1800. Many
wars were aged against the Indians which resulted in large scale massacre of the Indians.
The Indians resisted but were finally forced to sign treaties. They gave up their land and
moved westward.

The white settlers came in successive waves. By the first decade of the eighteenth century,
they settled on the Appalachian plateau. Between 1820 and 1850, they moved into the
Mississippi valley. They cleared the land for cultivation, put fences around large areas and
began sowing corn and wheat.

When the soil became impoverished and exhausted in one place, the migrants moved further
west to explore new lands. After 1860s, the settlers swept into the Great Plains across
Mississippi. This region became a major wheat-producing region in America; in subsequent

The Wheat Farmers

From the late nineteenth century, the urban population in the USA was growing and the export
market was becoming even bigger. Prices increased with increase in demand. This
encouraged the farmers to produce more wheat. Expansion of railways facilitated the
transportation of grain from wheat-growing regions to the eastern coast for export.

The demand increased even higher by the early twentieth century. The world market boomed
during the First World War. This was the time when the Russian supplies of wheat were cut off
the USA had to feed Europe.
In 1910, about 45 million acres of land in the USA was under wheat. This area expanded to
74 million acres by 1919. Many big farmers controlled as much as 2,000 to 3,000 of land

The Coming of New Technology

When the farmers entered the mid-western prairie, the simple ploughs proved ineffective. The
prairie was covered with a thick mat of grass with tough roots. A variety of new ploughs were
devised by the farmers to break the sod and turn the soil over. Some of the newly-designed
ploughs were 12 feet long. Their front rested on small wheels and they were pulled by six
yokes of horses or oxens.

By the early twentieth century, tractors and disc ploughs came in use for breaking the soil.
Use of tractors helped in clearing vast stretches of land. Cyrus McCormick invented the first
mechanical reaper in 1831. The mechanical reaper could cut in one day as much as five men
could cut with cradles and 1 men with sickles. Combined harvester was being used by most
of the farmers by the early twentieth century. A combined harvester could harvest 500 acres
of wheat in two weeks.

With power-driven machinery, four men could plough, seed and harvest 2,000 to 4,000 acres
of wheat in a season. For the big farmers of the Great Plains, these machines were attractive

What Happened to the Poor?

Many poor farmers bought these machines; even by borrowing from the banks. But most of
them found difficulty in repaying the loan. Many of them deserted their farms and looked for
jobs elsewhere. But mechanization had reduced the need for labour and jobs were difficult to
find. The boom of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century came to an end by
the mid 1920s.

There was problem of unsold stocks and overflowing granaries. Vast amounts of corn and
wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This
made the ground for the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s. The Great Depression
ruined the wheat farmers everywhere.

Dust Bowl

When wheat cultivation expanded in the USA, farmers uprooted all vegetation to turn over the
soil. This created a huge dustbowl in the USA. The early 1930s saw many years of persistent
drought. The rains blew at ferocious speeds across America. The wheat-fields without the
cover of natural vegetation helped in turning the ordinary duststorms into Black Blizzards. The
Black blizzards could be as high as 7,000 to 8,000 feet high. They rose like monstrous waves
of muddy water. The black blizzards destroyed everything in their wake; the wheat fields,
houses, cattle, etc. Thousands of cattle died because of suffocation. Farm machineries were
clogged with dust to an extent that they could not be repaired. The black blizzards devastated
the wheat-fields continuously for many years in the 1930s. After the 1930s, the farmers
realized the importance of conservation of the ecosystem.

Peasants and Farmers



After the Battle of Plassey (1757), the British gradually expanded their rule in India. The
colonial rulers tried to impose a regular system of land revenue, increase revenue rates and
expand the area under cultivation. Increased rates of revenue and decreasing forest cover
created problems for the Indian farmers and pastoralists.

By the end of the century, India became a major centre for production of sugarcane, cotton,
jute, wheat and several other crops for export. More and more farmers were now producing
for feed the population of urban Europe and to supply to the mills of Lancashire and
Manchester in England.

Taste for Tea: The Trade with China

The English East India Company was buying tea and silk from China. About 15 million pounds
of tea was being imported into England in 1785.The figure had jumped to over 30 million
pounds by 1830. The quantum of the tea trade was so much that it affected the profitability of
the East India Company.

The Confucian rulers of China, the Manchus, were suspicious of all foreign merchants
because they were apprehensive of foreign merchants meddling into local politics. Hence
they were not willing to allow the entry of foreign goods. This meant an outflow of treasure
from England because tea could be bought only by making payment in silver coins or bullion.
The English traders wanted a community which could be easily sold in China so that the
import of tea could be financed in a profitable way.
Opium was introduced in China in the early sixteenth century by the Portuguese. The Chinese
Emperor had forbidden the sale and production of opium except for medicinal purpose
because the Chinese were aware of the problems of opium addiction. But Western merchants
began an illegal trade in opium in the mid-eighteenth century. Opium was unloaded in a
number of sea ports of south-eastern China and carried by local agents into the interiors. By
the early 1820s, about 10,000 creates of opium were being smuggled into China annually.
This quantity increased to over 35,000 crates within fifteen years. This speaks about the
growing addiction for opium among the Chinese.

Where did Opium come from?

After conquering Bengal, the British went on to produce opium in the lands under their control.
With the growth of market for opium in China, export from Bengal ports increased. Before
1767, no more than 500 chests were being exported from India. This quantity trebled within
four years. About a hundred years later, i.e. in 1870; about 50,000 chests were being
exported annually.

The Indian farmers were not willing to divert their best fields for opium cultivation because it
would have resulted in poor production cereals and pulses. Many cultivators did not own land.
For opium cultivation, they had to lease land from landlords and pay rent. The cultivation of
opium was a difficult process and time consuming. This would have left little time for the
farmers to care for other crops. The government paid very low price for the opium which
made it an unprofitable proposition.

How Were Unwilling Cultivators Made to Produce Opium?

The British introduced a system of advances to cajole the unwilling farmers into opium
cultivation. From the 1780s, the village headmen began giving cash advances to poor farmers
for opium production. The headmen got the money from the government agents. The farmer
could not grow any other crop after taking the advance for opium cultivation. Moreover, he
also had to accept the low price offered for the produce. The government was never keen to
increase the procurement prices. It wanted to buy very cheap and sell at high premium to the
opium agents in Calcutta. Thus, the British wanted to earn huge profit in opium trade.

This system was not in favour of farmers and hence many of them began agitating against the
system by the early eighteenth century. They also began to refuse the advances. Many
cultivators sold their crop to travelling traders who offered higher prices.
By 1773, the British government in Bengal had established a monopoly to trade in opium. No
one else was legally permitted to trade in the product. By the 1820s, the British found that
there was a drastic fall in opium production in their territories. The production of opium was
increasing outside the British territories. It was produced in Central India and Rajasthan which
were not under British control. The local traders in these regions were offering much higher
prices to peasants. Armed bands of traders used to carry the opium trade in the 1820s. The
Government instructed its agents in those princely states to confiscate all opium and destroy
the crops.

Peasants and Farmers


NCERT Solution

Question 1: 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. A rich farmer

Answer: The open field system was not beneficial for the rich farmer
because he could not have exclusive control of the commons. He
could not expand his area under cultivation beyond the strips which
were allocated at the beginning of a year.

b. A labourer

Answer: This system was beneficial for a labourer because it

provided additional sources of livelihood. The labourer could hunt
rabbits and catch fish for getting some nutritious food. The commons
provided some source of livelihood during off seasons when farm
work was not available.

c. A peasant woman

Answer: For a peasant woman, the commons provided ample space

for collecting firewood, fruits and berries.

Question 2: Explain briefly the factors which led to the enclosures in England.

Answer: The increased price of wool tempted the rich farmers to usurp the commons. They
wanted to improve their sheep breeds to earn more profits. They began making enclosures on
the commons land.

After the late eighteenth century, the population of England increased significantly. This was
also the time of industrialization. Many people migrated to towns in search of new
opportunities. All of this increased the demand for food-grains. These developments hastened
the enclosure movement in England.

Question 3: Why were threshing machines opposed by the poor in England?

Answer: Threshing machines reduced the need for manual labour. After the end of
Napoleonic Wars, many soldiers who came back to villages could not find jobs because of
threshing machines. For them, the threshing machine was a symbol of joblessness and hence
they opposed the threshing machines.

Question 4: Who was Captain Swing? What did the name symbolise or represent?

Answer: Captain Swing was a mythical person. During the riots to destroy threshing
machines and farmhouses, the letters left by the rioters carried the signature of Captain
Swing. The name symbolized the protest of poor against the rich farmers and against the new

Question 5: What was the impact of the westward expansion of settlers in the USA?

Answer: After the late eighteenth century, white Americans began to move westward. The
displaced local tribes and changed the entire landscape into agricultural belts. Finally, they
established control up to the west coast. By the early twentieth century, the landscape of the
USA had transformed radically. The USA began to dominate the world market in agricultural

Question 6: What were the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical
harvesting machines in the USA?

Answer: Combined harvester saved time and manual labour for the farmers. It helped in
managing huge farms with minimum number of workers. It improved productivity and
profitability of big farmers.

Many poor farmers fell in debt trap because they could not utilize the combined harvester to
its full potential. Many of them deserted their farmland and turned into labourers.

Question 7: What lessons can we draw from the conversion of the countryside in the USA
from a bread basket to a dust bowl?

Answer: The conversion of USA countryside from a bread basket to a dust bowl teaches the
importance of conservation of the ecosystem. Human development cannot take place at the
cost of natural environment.

Question 8: Write a paragraph on why the British insisted on farmers growing opium in India.
Answer: The British were heavily dependent on China for tea imports. Since the Chinese
authority did not allow foreign goods, so the British had to pay for tea in silver and bullions.
This had the potential danger of siphoning off the treasure of Britain. Opium could be easily
smuggled into China because of a large number of opium addicts. Profit from opium trade
could be utilised to finance the tea imports. Hence, the British insisted on farmers to grow
opium in India.

Question 9: Why were Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium?

Answer: Opium production required the use of the best lands which meant diversion of land
from cereal and pulses production. Opium cultivation was time consuming which left little time
to care for other crops. Most of the farmers did not own land and they had to lease a land for
growing opium. The British offered very low price of opium to the peasants. These are the
various reasons for Indian farmers reluctance to grow opium.

Story of Cricket

About 500 years ago, varieties of stick-and-ball games were played in England. Cricket has
evolved from those games. The word bat is an old English word which means stick or club.
Cricket evolved to be recognized as a distinct game by the seventeenth century.

Till the middle of the eighteenth century, bats were more or less similar to hockey sticks in
shape. In those days, the ball was bowled underarm, and a bent end of the bad provided the
best chance to hit the ball.

Sport is a major aspect of contemporary life. It is one of the ways by which we amuse
ourselves and compete with each other. We also express our social loyalties through a sport.
From this perspective, it is important to understand the history of cricket; especially in the
context of colonialism.

Unique Nature of Cricket

The unique nature of cricket has been shaped by the social and economic history of England
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Most Lengthy Game: Compared to other modern sports, a typical game of cricket takes a
longer time to finish. A Test Match is played for five days and it still ends in a draw. A one-day
match takes a whole day to finish. Even the shortest version; the Twenty-Twenty; takes about
four hours to finish. Most of the modern sports take around ninety minutes to finish. The
lengthy nature of cricket is because of its origin in the pre-industrialization days when the
economy was purely agrarian. During off seasons for farming; people had plenty of time to
watch a cricket match for several days.

Initially, there was no time limit for a cricket match. A Test Match lasted as long as it took a
team to bowl out the opponent team twice. People in those days had plenty of time and hence
this aspect of the game was appreciated.

Tools of Cricket

Even the tools of cricket tell about its association with the rural life in England. The bat is
made of willow which was plenty in England. Earlier, the bat was made with a single piece of
wood. Now, the blade is made of willow and its handle is made of cane. Cane was available in
plenty in the colonies. The stumps and bails are also made of wood. The ball is made of cork
and leather. This is quite different than the tools of most of the modern sports.

Size of Ground

While the length of the pitch is specified (22 yards), the size or shape of the ground is not
specified. Cricket grounds can be of different shapes and sizes in different parts of the world.
Cricket was the earliest modern team sport to be codified. The rules and regulations of cricket
evolved on their own over a period of time. During its early years, cricket was played on the
commons. The size of the commons land was variable and no boundary was present. The
length of the boundary line was decided by the umpires after taking the consensus of the
captains of the two teams.

Evolution of Laws of Cricket:

The first written Laws of Cricket were drawn up in 1744. The umpires were to be selected
from amongst the present gentlemen. Umpires were given the power to decide on all
disputes. The height of the stumps, length of the bails, weight of the ball and the length of the
pitch were mentioned in those laws.

The first cricket club was formed in Hambledon in the 1760s. The Marylebone Cricket Club
(MCC) was founded in 1787. The MCC published its first revision of the laws in 1788 and
became the guardian of crickets regulations.

Pitching the balls through air became common during the 1760s and 1770s. A departure from
underarm bowling allowed the bowlers the options of length, deception through the air and
increased pace. This also opened the possibilities for spin and swing bowling. Curved bat was
replaced with the straight bats. Arrival of straight bat also meant that instead of realizing on
brute force, the batsman had to hone his batting skills.

Once, a batsman appeared with a bat as wide as the wicket. This resulted in a law which
limited the width of the bat to four inches. The weight of the ball was limited to between 5.5 to
5.75 ounces. The third stump became common around this period. By 1780, most of major
matches lasted for three days. The first six-seam ball was also created in 1780.

Many important changes in cricket occurred during the nineteenth century. Some of such
changes are as follows:

The rule about wide balls was applied.

Exact circumference of the ball was specified.

Protective gears; like pad and helmets became available.

Boundaries (fours and sixes) were introduced.

Over-arm bowling became legal.

Cricket and Victorian England

Cricket is usually popular for being a batsmans game and most of the celebrity cricketers are
batsmen. This mindset has also come from the English society of the Victorian era. The rich
people could afford to play cricket for pleasure and they were called the amateurs. The poor
people played cricket for a living and were called the professionals. To play for the pleasure of
playing and not for money was considered an aristocratic value. The professionals were paid
by patronage or subscription or gate money. The game of cricket was like a part time
employment for the professionals during off seasons.

Gentlemen and Players:

The amateurs were called the Gentlemen while the professionals were called the Players.
There were separate entrances to the ground for the Gentlemen and the Players. Batting was
done by the Gentlemen, while bowling and fielding were done by the Players. Even today,
most of the cricket laws are in favour of batsman. It is the batsman who is given the benefit of
doubt by the umpire. The captain of the team used to be a batsman, i.e. an amateur. It was in
the 1930s that a professional became the captain of the English team for the first time; when
Len Hutton became the captain.

A Game of Colonies:
While some English team games like hockey and football are now being played all over the
world, cricket still remains a colonial game. It is limited to those countries which were once
part of the British Empire. In the colonies, cricket remained a popular sport of the white
settlers, e.g. in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and Kenya.
It also became popular among the local elites as they wanted to copy their colonial masters,
e.g. in India.

Playing and excelling in cricket became a sign of self-respect and international standing
among the natives of the colonies. When the West Indies won its first Test Series against
England in 1950, it was celebrated as a national achievement.

Cricket in India
Cricket, Race and Religion

In the colonial India, cricket was organized on the principle of race and religion. The first
recorded instance of cricket being played in India is from 1721 when it was played by English
sailors in Cambay.

Calcutta Cricket Club was the first Indian club which was established in 1792. Through the
eighteenth century, cricket in India was exclusively played by British officials in all-white clubs
and gymkhanas.

The Parsis were the first Indian community to ape the western lifestyle and they were the first
to establish an Indian cricket club. They founded the Oriental Cricket Club in Bombay in 1848.
Parsi businessmen like the Tatas and the Wadias used to sponsor the Parsi clubs. The Parsis
made their own gymkhana and finally defeated the Bombay Gymkhana in a match in 1889.

Following in the footsteps of the Parsi Gymkhana, the Hindus and the Muslims also made
their own gymkhanas in the 1890s. The British also considered India as a group of different
nations; like the Hindu nation and the Islamic nation. In order to maintain this difference on
communal lines, they easily gave permission for land for these gymkhanas.

Quadrangular Tournament:

After the formation of cricket clubs on communal lines; the Quadrangular tournament was
being organized. It was played by four teams, viz. the Europeans, the Parsis, the Hindus and
the Muslims and hence was given then name Quadrangular. Later, addition of a fifth team
changed its name to Pentagular. The fifth team was composed of people from other
communities; like the Christians. Vijay Hazare; who was a Christian played for the Rest.
Origin of Ranji Trophy:

By the late 1930s and early 1940s, journalists, cricketers and political leaders began to
criticize the racial and communal foundations of the Pentagular tournament. Even Mahatma
Gandhi was critical of such a division on communal lines. To counter this division, a rival
tournament called National Cricket Championship was started. This Championship had teams
made along regional divisions. This Championship is now known as the Ranji Trophy.

During the colonial period, cricketing contests were being organized between different
colonies of the British Empire. India played the first Test match in 1932.

De-colonisation and Sport

The ICC was called the Imperial Cricket Council even many years after the end of the colonial
period. It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965. It was still dominated
by England and Australia and they retained the veto power over its proceedings. This
situation was maintained till 1989 when other cricket playing teams asked for equal
membership. The name was changed to International Cricket Council in 1989. During the
1950s and 1960s, the white commonwealth countries; like England, Australia and New
Zealand continued to play Test cricket with South Africa; in spite of apartheid policy being
followed in that country. Other Test playing nations at that time, India, Pakistan and West
Indies boycotted South Africa during this period. The non-white cricket playing nations could
finally force the English cricket authorities to cancel a South African tour in 1970.

Innovations in Cricket:

Cricket was radically transformed in the 1970s. The first one-day international was played
between England and Australia in Melbourne in 1971. The shorter version of the game
became immensely popular and the first World Cup was organized in 1975.

Centenary of Test matches was celebrated in 1977. This was also the year in which Kerry
Packer (an Australian businessman), signed up fifty one of the worlds leading cricketers
against the wishes of the national cricket boards. He saw a huge opportunity in televised
cricket. He staged the World Series Cricket for about two years. Test matches and one-day
internationals were played in this series. Many critics scoffed at it as Packers Circus.

But the innovations brought by him made cricket more attractive to the television audience
and changed the game forever. Coloured dress, protective helmets, field restrictions, day &
night matches, etc. became part of cricket.
Cricket became a marketable game which could generate huge revenues. Cricket boards
became richer by selling television rights to television companies. The TV channels made
money by selling advertising slots. For companies, cricket provided opportunity to advertise
their products and services to a large and captive audience.

Cricketers became celebrities because of continuous television coverage. Apart from getting
better pay from their cricket boards, the cricketers also began to earn huge sums of money by
appearing in commercials.

Television coverage resulted in expansion of audience base for the game. People from small
towns and villages could see and experience the joy of cricket. Many children from the small
towns could dream of becoming cricketers, by emulating their idols.

Growing influence of India:

India, by virtue of its huge population, turned into the largest market for cricket. India became
the major contributor to the finances of the ICC. This resulted in Indias growing influence in
the world cricket body. This shift in power equations can also be gauged from the symbolic
fact that the HQ of the ICC was shifted from London to Dubai in August 2005.

The shifting of power centre in cricket is also manifested in some of the new rules which were
made to suit the playing conditions in the Indian subcontinent. For example; the doosra and
reverse swing were made legal. These are finer nuances of bowling, discovered and suitable
for the sub-continental pitches. It was accepted by all that the cricket laws could no longer be
framed only for British or Australian conditions.

Story of Cricket

NCERT Solution

Question 1: Test cricket is a unique game in many ways. Discuss some of the
ways in which it is different from other team games. How are the peculiarities of
Test cricket shaped by its historical beginnings as a village game?

Answer: Compared to other modern sports, a typical game of cricket takes a

longer time to finish. A Test Match is played for five days and it still ends in a draw.
A one-day match takes a whole day to finish. Even the shortest version; the
Twenty-Twenty; takes about four hours to finish. Most of the modern sports take
around ninety minutes to finish. The lengthy nature of cricket is because of its origin
in the pre-industrialization days when the economy was purely agrarian. During off
seasons for farming; people had plenty of time to watch a cricket match for several

Cricket grounds can be of different shapes and sizes in different parts of the world.
Cricket was the earliest modern team sport to be codified. The rules and
regulations of cricket evolved on their own over a period of time. During its early
years, cricket was played on the commons. The size of the commons land was
variable and no boundary was present. The length of the boundary line was
decided by the umpires after taking the consensus of the captains of the two teams.

Question 2: Describe one way in which in the nineteenth century, technology brought about a
change in equipment and give one example where no change in equipment took place.

Answer: Vulcanised rubber was used for making pads and gloves. The cricket bat has
remained more or less same over the years. These two examples show the effect and non-
effect of technological changes on cricket.

Question 3: Explain why cricket became popular in India and the West Indies. Can you give
reasons why it did not become popular in countries in South America?

Answer: Playing cricket was a manifestation by the elites of aping their colonial masters.
Hence, cricket became popular in British colonies; like India and the West Indies. South
America was never under the British rule and hence cricket could not become popular in
South American countries.

Question 4: Give brief explanations for the following:

a. The Parsis were the first Indian community to set up a cricket club in India.

Answer: The Parsis were rich businessmen and were the first to ape the
western lifestyle. Hence, they were the first Indian community to set up a cricket
club in India.

b. Mahatma Gandhi condemned the Pentangular tournament.

Answer: The Pentagular tournament was a contest among teams which were
formed on communal lines. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi condemned this

c. The name of the ICC was changed from the Imperial Cricket Conference to the
International Cricket Conference.

Answer: The term Imperial in the earlier version carried the connotations of
the colonial period and hegemony. When other cricket playing nations grew in
prominence, the name was changed to International Cricket Conference in

d. The shift of the ICC headquarters from London to Dubai.

Answer: The ICC headquarters were shifted from London to Dubai mainly to
shift the office to a tax-free destination. Many cricket playing nations did not
have double taxation treaty with England. So, shifting the HQs was a purely
commercial decision. Some analysts also see it as a symbolic shift of power
from Europe to Asia.

Question 5: How have advances in technology, especially television technology, affected the
development of contemporary cricket?

Answer: Cricket became a marketable game which could generate huge revenues. Cricket
boards became richer by selling television rights to television companies. The TV channels
made money by selling advertising slots. For companies, cricket provided opportunity to
advertise their products and services to a large and captive audience.

Cricketers became celebrities because of continuous television coverage. Apart from getting
better pay from their cricket boards, the cricketers also began to earn huge sums of money by
appearing in commercials.

Television coverage resulted in expansion of audience base for the game. People from small
towns and villages could see and experience the joy of cricket. Many children from the small
towns could dream of becoming cricketers, by emulating their idols.

Clothing: Social History


Before the eighteenth-century Europe, most people dressed according to their regional codes.
Their choice of clothes was limited by the types of clothes and the cost of materials that were
available in their region. Clothing styles were also regulated by class, gender or status in the

Sumptuary Laws:

During the medieval period in Europe, dress codes were sometimes imposed through actual
laws. The dress codes were spelt out in detail through these laws. People of France were
expected to strictly follow the sumptuary laws from about 1924 to the time of French
Revolution in 1789.
The sumptuary laws attempted the behavior of people who were considered as social
inferiors. They were prevented from wearing certain clothes, consuming certain foods and
beverages and hunting game in certain areas. Items of clothing were regulated not only by
income but also by social rank. Expensive materials like ermine, fur, silk, velvet and brocade
could be worn by only the royalty. However, such distinctions ceased to exist after the French

Effect of French Revolution:

During the French Revolution, members of the Jacobin clubs wore dresses without knee
breeches. The Jacobins were also called the sans culottes. People began to wear loose and
comfortable clothes. Blue, white and red were the dominant colours of dresses as these
colours symbolized the nationalism in France. Other political symbols also became a part of
the dress code; like the red cap of liberty, long trousers and the revolutionary cockade pinned
on to a hat.

Sumptuary laws were not always made to emphasise social hierarchy, rather some of them
were made to protect home production from imports. For example, velvet caps made with
French imported materials were quite popular in sixteenth-century England. A law was passed
to compel all persons over six years of age to wear woolen caps made in England; on
Sundays and holidays. This law did not apply to those at high positions. This law remained in
force for twenty six years and was very helpful in building up the English woolen industry.

Even after the end of the sumptuary laws, differences between social strata remained. But
difference in income now determined the way a person dressed. People from different
economic background developed their own clothing style based on sense of fashion, decency
and practicality.

Clothing style was also determined by gender differences. While men were expected to be
serious, strong, independent and aggressive; women were expected to be delicate, passive
and docile.

From childhood, girls were laced up and dressed in stays. Stay is a kind of support in a
womans dress to keep the upper body straight. Older girls had to wear tight fitting corsets.
Wearing a corset meant inflicting huge pain on the body. Nevertheless, corsets were worn to
maintain a slim waste which was considered ideal for women.
How Did Women React to These Norms?

Many women believed that it was their duty to remain docile and graceful as per the prevalent
social norms. They thought it as their duty to bear whatever pain and suffering they had to,
while maintaining a slim waist.

Reforms for Clothing: However, things were changing over the nineteenth century. By the
1830s, the English women began their agitation for democratic rights. When the movement
for voting rights gained momentum, many also began a campaign for dress reform. Womens
magazines described the problems associated with tight dresses and corsets.

A similar movement developed amongst the white settlers in America. Traditional feminine
clothes were criticized on various grounds. It was argued that long skirts swept the grounds
and collected filth and dirt; which was not good for hygiene. The skirts were voluminous and
restricted movement. They prevented the women at workplace. Women felt that comfortable
and convenient clothes would allow them to work and to earn.

The reformers had to face lot of ridicule and hostility in the beginning. It was argued that the
women were losing their beauty, feminity and grace by giving up traditional dresses. Many
women reformers changed back into traditional clothes as they faced persistent attacks.

However, changes were more apparent by the end of the nineteenth century. With the First
World War, many women began to work in factories. They needed comfortable clothes which
did not hamper their work in the factories. New materials for clothing came into use. This
development also changed the dresses.

New Materials

Clothes; made of flax, linen or wool were difficult to clean and hence most of the ordinary
women did not posses such clothes before the seventeenth century.

After 1600, trade with India brought Indian chintz into Europe. The Indian chintz was cheap,
beautiful and easy to maintain.

During the Industrial Revolution, in the nineteenth century, mass production of cotton textiles
began in England. This helped in making cotton clothes more affordable to a wider section of
people in Europe.

Artificial fibres came into use by the early twentieth century. Clothes made by artificial fibres
were cheaper and easier to maintain.
The Warr

The two World Wars had profound impact on womens clothing. Many European women
stopped wearing jewelry and luxurious clothes. Most of the women began to dress in similar
ways and the difference between the upper class and the lower class blurred.

During the First World War, clothes became shorter because of practical necessity. By 1917,
over 700,000 women in Britain were employed in ammunition factories. Initially, they wore a
working uniform of blouse and trousers with scarves. This dress was later replaced by khaki
overalls and caps. Sober colours replaced bright colours; as the War dragged on.

Skirts became shorter for the sake of convenience. Trousers became an important part of
Western womens clothing as they allowed greater freedom of movement. Women began to
cut their hair short so that the hairs could be easily managed.

By the twentieth century, plain and austere dress was considered as symbol of seriousness
and professionalism. The schools for children also emphasized the importance of plain
dressing. Entry of gymnastics and games in the school curriculum for women also paved the
way for comfortable and convenient clothing.

Clothing: Social History


Clothing in India

During the colonial period, the influence of westernization could be seed on clothing among
Indians; especially among the men.

The Indians responded to the western-style clothing in three different ways:

Western Dress: Many people; especially men began to incorporate some elements of
western clothing. The Parsis were among the first to adapt to western dresses. They began
wearing baggy trousers, phenta (hat); alongwith long collarless coats. Boots and walking stick
completed the look of the gentleman.

Western clothes were seen as sign of modernity and progress by some people. For some of
the dalit converts to Christianity, western dress was a sign of liberation. In this case also, it
was men who adapted to the new dresses.
Traditional Dress:Some people thought that the western culture would lead to a loss of
traditional cultural identity. Such people preferred the traditional Indian dresses.

Combination of Western and Traditional: Some people preferred to use a combination of

western and Indian dresses. Many people wore coats and hats along with the dhoti. Many
others wore pagri along with three-piece suits. Many people wore western dress at their
workplace but changed into the Indian dress at home.

Caste Conflict and Dress Change

India had its own strict social codes of food and dresses which were based on the caste
system. Some of the dresses and food were strictly forbidden for lower caste people.
Changes in clothing style often created violent social reactions because such changed
threatened the established social norms.

The Shanars were the subordinate caste in the princely state of Travancore. The Shanar men
and women were not allowed to cover their upper body. During the 1820s, the Shanar women
began to wear tailored blouse after they were influenced by the Christian missionaries. The
Nairs attacked the Shanar women in May 1822 for wearing a cloth over their upper body. The
Government of Travancore issued an order in 1829 to prevent the Shanar women from
covering their upper body. But the conflict lingered on for a long period. After many years of
conflict, the government finally passed an order which allowed the Shanar women to cover
their upper body but not in a way the upper caste Hindu women do.

British Rule and Dress Codes

Specific clothing items often convey different meanings in different cultures. This can lead to
misunderstanding and conflict. Let us take the example of turban and hat. For an Indian, pagri
was a sign of self respect and the pagri should always remain on the head to maintain that
self respect. For a British, taking off his hat to show respect for someone was part of his
culture. When an Indian did not remove his pagri in front of a British official, it was considered
as a sign of rude behavior.

Let us take the example of shoes. Indians take off their shoes when they enter a place of
worship. Many Indians also take off their shoes when they enter their homes. Same decorum
was also maintained when someone visited a person of high authority. The British followed
this practice when they visited a raja or a chieftain. But they also wanted the Indians to follow
the same practice while entering a high office. But many Indians did not obey this rule
because they felt that an office is quite different from a home or a place of worship.
Designing the National Dress

During the freedom struggle, many intellectuals began to design a national dress which could
portray a pan-Indian identity. Rabindranath Tagore suggested a combination of Hindu and
Muslim elements to design such a dress. The long buttoned coat (chapkan) was the result of
such thought process.

Jnanadanandini Devi, wife of Satyendranath Tagore returned from Bombay to Calcutta in the
late 1870s. She adopted the Parsi style of wearing the sari. She pinned the sari on the left
shoulder with a brooch and wore it with a blouse and shoes. Her style was quickly adopted by
the women of the Barhmo Samaj. This came to be known as the Brahmika sari.

The Swadeshi Movement

The Swadeshi Movement began as a mark of protest to partition of Bengal in 1905. During
the Swadeshi Movement, people were urged to boycott British goods. The use of khadi was
promoted with much vigour. Women were asked to throw their silks and glass bangles. The
changes to such calls were limited to upper class women because the poor could not afford
khadi. After about one and a half decade, even the upper class women resumed wearing the
dresses they previously wore.

Mahatma Gandhis Experiments with Clothing

Mahatma Gandhi probably used the symbol of clothing more powerfully than anyone else. All
of us are familiar with the image of Mahatma Gandhi wearing a short dhoti and nothing else.
Initially, Mahatma Gandhi thought of wearing such a dress for a short duration. But later he
was convinced of the appeal of such a powerful symbol.

Mahatma Gandhi also promoted the use of handspun khadi in order to promote the idea of
Swadeshi. He even went on to attend the Second Round Table Conference in his trademark

But since khadi was costly and difficult to maintain, it could not gain in popularity. Machine-
made clothes from Manchester were cheaper and affordable to the masses. Most of the
nationalist leaders preferred to wear traditional dhoti kurta or pyjama kurta but those dresses
were seldom made of khadi. Some of the nationalist leaders like Jinnah and B R Ambedkar
preferred western suits. For Ambedkar, wearing a suit was a sign of liberation from the age-
old repression of the dalits. The women leaders wore saris.

Clothing: Social History


NCERT Solution

Question 1: Explain the reasons for the changes in clothing patterns and materials
in the eighteenth century.

Answer: French Revolution initiated a reform towards simple dresses which were
without frills and which could be worn by the masses. Increased imports of Indian
chintz in Europe made it possible for the masses to wear clothes which were
cheaper, beautiful and easier to maintain. These were the major reasons which
changed clothing patterns and materials in the eighteenth century.

Question 2: What were the sumptuary laws in France?

Answer: The laws which laid out detailed guidelines on clothing and food to be used by
people of different classes were known as sumptuary laws.

Question 3: Give any two examples of the ways in which European dress codes were
different from Indian dress codes.

Answer: An Indian would not take off his pagri, while a European would take off his hat to
show respect to someone. An Indian would take off his shoes while entering a place of
worship, but Europeans do not do so.

Question 4: In 1805, a British official, Benjamin Heyne, listed the manufactures of Bangalore
which included the following:

a. Womens cloth of different musters and names

b. Coarse chintz

c. Muslins

d. Silk cloths

Of this list, which kind of cloth would have definitely fallen out of use in the early 1900s and

Answer: Muslins would have fallen out of use in the early 1900s because it was made by the
traditional craftsperson on handloom. Most of them could not withstand the competition from
machine-made clothes from Manchester and hence would have reduced their production.
Chintz was cheaper and hence must have remained in use. Silk had always been prized for
its fine quality and has withstood the test of time.
Question 5: Suggest reasons why women in nineteenth century India were obliged to
continue wearing traditional Indian dress even when men switched over to the more
convenient Western clothing. What does this show about the position of women in society?

Answer: The changes in womens dresses in the Western society were mainly affected by
practical considerations at the workplace. In India, majority of women still are housewives and
the percentage of working women is minuscule. During the nineteenth century, most of the
women were confined within their homes and could not get enough opportunity to interact
with the outside world. Men, on the other hand, got influenced by the developments around
them and hence adopted to western clothing. This shows that women had inferior status in
the society at that time.

Question 6: Winston Churchill described Mahatma Gandhi as a seditious Middle Temple

Lawyer now posing as a half naked fakir. What provoked such a comment and what does it
tell you about the symbolic strength of Mahatma Gandhis dress?

Answer: Winston Churchill was well aware of the powerful presence of Mahatma Gandhi. He
was also aware of the professional background of Mahatma Gandhi and that is why he used
the term Middle Temple Lawyer. The term seditious refers to the threat which Mahatma
Gandhi posed to the British Empire. Winston Churchill probably also understood the powerful
clothing symbol being used by Mahatma Gandhi.

Note: The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple,
is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar
as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. It is located
in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City
of London. (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Temple )

Question 7: Why did Mahatma Gandhis dream of clothing the nation in khadi appeal only to
some sections of Indians?

Answer: Khadi is a coarse cloth, which was costly and difficult to maintain. Mill-made clothes
were cheaper and easier to maintain. Hence, khadi could appeal only to some sections of