Important Questions for CBSE Class 9 Social Science Chapter 6 Peasants and Farmers
Very Short Answer Type Questions (1 Mark each)
Question.1 Who was Captain Swing ? [CBSE 2015]
Answer. It was a mythic name used by the poor labourers to threaten the rich landlords who were replacing workers for machines.
Question.2 What was common land ?
Answer. It was the land to which all villagers had an access.
Question.3 “For the poor, the common land was essential for survival.” Justify.
Answer. It supplemented their meagre income, sustained their cattle, and helped them tide over bad times when crops failed.
Question.4″ In some parts of England, the economy of open field and common lands had started changing from about 16th century. Mention any two factors responsible for this change.
- Increase in the price of wool.
- Increase in population.
Question.5 What was enclosure system ? [CBSE 2015]
Answer. Under the enclosure system, the common land which was the property of the whole village was being enclosed by rich landlords. The common land was enclosed by building hedges around the land to separate it from that of others.
Question.6 How did the industrialisation encourage the enclosure system in England? Give two points.
- Industries needed more raw materials and were paying high price to the farmers for their produce. This encouraged the farmers to grow more, and to increase enclosures.
- Men from rural areas migrated to towns in search of jobs. To survive, they had to buy food grains from the market. As the urban population grew, the market for the foodgrains expanded. This also encouraged the farmers for enclosures.
Question.7 How was American landscape of 18th century different from that of 20th century ?
Answer. Most of the landscape was under the control of locals whereas in the 20th century the landscape was under the White Americans.
Question.8 What was the impact of White settler movement towards the west on the American Indians ?
- They were driven away from their land.
- They were massacred and many of their villages burnt.
Question.9 Name any two machines which were responsible for the dramatic wheat production in USA.
Answer. Reaper and walking plough.
Question.10 What was the importance of new machines for the big farmers ?
- The new machines allowed these big farmers to rapidly clear large tracts, break up the soil, remove the grass and prepare the ground for cultivation.
- The work could be done quickly and with a minimal number of hands.
Question.11 How was the introduction of machines responsible for the Great Depression of 1930’s ?
Answer. Production had expanded so rapidly during the First World War and post ¬war years that that there was a large surplus. Unsold stocks piled up, storehouses overflowed with grain, and vast amounts of corn and wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This created the grounds for the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s that ruined wheat farmers everywhere.
Question.12 What was the Dust Bowl tragedy? [CBSE2015]
Answer. It was a tragedy which occurred in the 1930s in USA. Due to overutilisation of the Prairies black blizzards became a common phenomena.
Question.13 Name any two commercial crops which were grown by the Indian farmers in the early 19th century.
Answer. Indigo and opium.
Question.14 Name any two commercial crops which the English East Company was buying from China for sale in England.[CBSE2015]
Answer. Tea and silk.
Question.15 The Confucian rulers of China were not willing to allow the entry of foreign goods in China.’ Give reasons.
- The Confucian rulers of China were suspicious of all foreign merchants.
- They feared that the merchants would meddle in the local politics, and disrupt their authority.
Question.16 What was the impact of opium trade on China ?
- The traders started meddling in local politics.
- The Chinese became an addict to opium. People of all classes started liking drugs.
Question.17 Which European country introduced opium into China? When was it introduced ?
Answer. The Portuguese had introduced opium into China. It was introduced in the early 16th century.
Question.18 Why did the East India Company persuade the Indian farmers to grow opium ?
Answer. So that the Company can export the opium to China.
Question.19 How were the unwilling cultivators’ made to produce opium ?
Answer. The unwilling cultivators were made to produce opium through a system of advances.
Question.20 Name any two Indian states which were producing opium for the East India Company.
Answer. Bengal and Bihar produced opium for the East India Company.
Question.21 Mention the factors responsible for the Dust Bowl tragedy.
- Less rain than normal.
- Over ploughing of the Prairies.
Question.22 Mention any two methods used by the Britishers to increase the land revenue.
- A regular system of land revenue was established.
- Revenue rates were increased.
Short Answer Type Questions (3 Marks)
Question.1 Explain the major features of the â€˜Open Field’ system which was prevailing in England in the eighteenth, and the early nineteenth century. [CBSE March 2012]
- Before the 18th century in large parts of England, the countryside was open. Peasants cultivated on strips of land around the village they lived in.
- At the beginning of each year, strips of varying quality were allocated to each villager.
- Beyond these strips of cultivation, lay the common land. All villagers had an access to the commons.
- For the poor, the common land was essential for survival. It supplemented meagre income, sustained their cattle, and helped them tide over bad times, when crops failed.
Question.2 â€˜Between 1750 and 1900 England’s population multiplied four times.’ Explain its impact on the enclosures.
- More population means more demand for foodgrains. So this encouraged the landlords to enclose more land.
- Due to increase in population, the market for foodgrains expanded, and when demand increased rapidly, food grain prices rose. This increased the profit margin which encouraged the landlords to enclose more open fields.
- Due to increase in the demand for foodgrains, rich farmers started using machinery. This also encouraged enclosures.
- As the urban population was dependent on the rural population for foodgrains, so there was expansion of foodgrain market in the urban areas also.
Question.3 How was the Enclosure movement of the 16th century different from that of 18th century? [CBSE 2013]
Question.4 Why were Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium ? Explain. [CBSE 2013 March,2015]
- The crop had to be grown on the best land on fields that lay near villages,
and were well manured. On this land, peasants usually produced pulses. If they planted opium on this land then
pulses could not be grown there or they would have to be grown on inferior land where harvests were poorer and uncertain. and were well manured. On this land, peasants usually produced pulses. If they planted opium on this land then pulses could not be grown there or they would have to be grown on inferior land where harvests were poorer and uncertain.
- Many cultivators owned no land. To cultivate, they had to pay rent and lease land from landlords. And the rent charged on good lands near villages was very high.
- The cultivation of opium was a difficult process. The plant was delicate and cultivators had to spend
long hours nurturing it. This meant that they did not have enough time to care for other crops.
- The price the government paid to the cultivators for the opium they . produced was very low. It was unprofitable for cultivators to grow opium at that price.
Question.5 Why did the demand of food- grains increased in England from the mid-eighteenth century?
- Increase in population: From the mid-eighteenth century, the English population expanded rapidly. Between 1750 and 1900, it multiplied over four times, mounting from 7 million in 1750 to 21 million
in 1850 and 30 million in 1900.
- Impact of industrialisation :
Moreover, Britain at this time was industrialising. More and more people began to live and work in urban areas. Men from rural areas migrated to towns in search of jobs. To survive they had to buy foodgrains in the market. As the urban population grew, the market for foodgrains expanded, and when demand increased rapidly, foodgrain prices rose.
- Wars : By the end of the eighteenth century, France was at war with England. This disrupted trade and the import of foodgrains from Europe. So this created a imbalance between demand and supply.
Question.6 “The coming of modern agriculture in England thus meant many different changes.”Explain.
- The open fields disappeared, and the customary rights of peasants were undermined.
- The richer farmers expanded grain production, sold this grain in the world market, made profits, and became powerful.
- The poor left their villages in large numbers. Some went from the Midlands to the Southern counties where jobs were available, others to the cities.
- The income of labourers became unstable, their jobs insecure, their livelihood precarious.
Long Answer Type Questions (5 Marks)
Question.1 What was the impact of enclosures on the poor farmers ? [CBSE March 2012]
How were the poor affected by the enclosure movement ? [CBSE March 2011,2012] Or
Mention any four features of enclosure system prevailing in England.
- Before the enclosures: Before the late 18th century the countryside in Britain was open. i.e. it was not partitioned into enclosed lands privately owned by landlords.
- New fences: When fences came up, the enclosed land became the exclusive property of landowners. The poor could no longer collect their firewood from the forests, or graze their cattle on the commons.
- Restrictions: The new enclosed system put up various restrictions on the poor. They could no longer collect apples and berries, or hunt small animals for meat. Nor could they gather the stalks that lay on the fields after the crops were harvested.
- Displacement of poor: In places, where enclosures happened on an extensive scale, particularly the Midlands and the countries around- the poor were displaced from the land. They found their customary rights gradually disappearing.
- Migration: Deprived of their rights, and driven off the land, they tramped in search of work. From the Midlands, they moved to the southern countries of England. This was a region that was most intensively cultivated, and there was a great demand for agricultural labourers. But nowhere could the poor find secure jobs.
Question.2 Explain briefly the factors which led to the enclosures in England. [CBSE 2014]
- Rising Demand for Wool: In the 16th century, the demand for wool went up in the world market. This had a direct impact on the price of wool and profits. Rich farmers wanted to expand wool production to earn more profits. For this, they were eager to improve their sheep breeds. They started enclosing open fields to provide proper pastures to the sheep.
- Various Acts: The early enclosures were usually created by individual landlords. They were not supported by the state or the church. But after 1850, many Acts were passed to legalise the enclosures.
- Rapid Rise in Population: There was a rapid growth of population of England between the 18th and the 19th centuries. Between 1750 and 1900, it multiplied over four times. The increased population means more demand for foodgrains and other Products. Due to increase in population the pressure on land also increased and the people had no other option except to enclose open fields.
- Increase in Demand for Foodgrains: There was shortage of foodgrains in England due to increase in population and war with France. Price of foodgrains in England sky. Rocketed, encouraging landowners to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation.
- Use of Machinery: As the demand for foodgrains was increasing at a very fast rate, the rich people started using machines. These machines needed large farms. So the rich landlords started enclosing more and open fields.
- Long-term Investments: Enclosures were also seen as to make long-term investments on land, and plan crop rotations to improve the soil.
Question.3 â€˜From the late 19th century, there was a dramatic expansion of wheat production in the USA.’ Give four
reasons for this expansion. [CBSE March 2012] (or)
Which country was known as the bread basket of the world during nineteenth century ? Describe the factors responsible for the expansion of agriculture in the country. [CBSE March 2012]
Answer. USA was known as the bread basket of the world during the 19th century.
- The White settlers: A large number of White settlers moved towards west of America in the late 19th century,
They slashed and burnt forests, pulled out the stumps, cleared the land for cultivation, and built log cabins in the forest clearings. Then they cleared larger areas, and erected fences around , the fields. They ploughed the land and sowed com and wheat.
- The new technology: The dramatic expansion of agriculture was made possible by new technology. Stekm tractors, harvesters, reapers played very important role. To break the sod and turn the soil over, a variety of new ploughs were devised locally. In 1831, Cyrus McCormick invented the first mechanical reaper which could cut in one day as much as five men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles. By the early twentieth century, most farmers were using combined harvesters to cut grain. With one of these machines, 500 acres of wheat could be harvested in two weeks.
tractors, harvesters, reapers played very important role. To break the sod and turn the soil over, a variety of new ploughs were devised locally. In 1831, Cyrus McCormick invented the first mechanical reaper which could cut in one day as much as five men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles. By the early twentieth century, most farmers were using combined harvesters to cut grain. With one of these machines, 500 acres of wheat could be harvested in two weeks.
- High demand: From the late nineteenth century, there was a dramatic expansion of wheat production in the USA. The urban population in the USA was growing and the export market was becoming ever bigger. As the demand increased, wheat prices rose, encouraging farmers to produce wheat.
- Spread of Railway : The spread of railway to the countryside helped in linking the local market with the international market as it made it easy to transport the grain from the wheat growing regions to the eastern coast for export.
- The First World War and soaring demand: By the early twentieth century the demand became even higher, and during the First World War the world market boomed. Russian supplies of wheat were cut off and the USA had to feed Europe. US President Wilson called upon farmers to respond to the need of the time. â€˜Plant more wheat will win the war he said.
Question.4 Explain the Dust Bowl tragedy. What moral lesson we should learn – from the tragedy.
- The expansion of wheat agriculture and overgrazing of the Prairies were responsible for the Dust Bowl tragedy.
- In 1930s, terrifying dust storms began to blow over the southern plains.
- These dust storms had a great impact on the economic and social life of the people.
- The black blizzards were responsible for natural disaster in which people were blinded, cattle were suffocated to death, and machinery was damaged beyond repair.
- It was a natural as well as man-made disaster because farmers themselves were responsible for the tragedy.
- The farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil over, berating the sod into dust.
Moral Lesson: We should respect ecological conditions of each region and should avoid overutilisation of natural resources.
Question.5 Why the British insisted on growing opium in India? [CBSE 2015]
What’ problems were caused by East India company’s dependence on tea trade? [CBSE 2014]
- In the late 18th century, the English East India Company was buying tea and silk from China for sale in England.
- As tea was gaining popularity in England, its demand rose from 15 million pounds to 30 million pounds.
- England at that time produced nothing that could be easily sold in China.
- This means an outflow of treasure from England to China.
- Merchants wanted to balance their trade. ‘
- So they searched for a commodity they could sell in China.
- Opium was such a commodity which had a demand in China, as it was used in medicines.
- So to balance their trade and to earn huge profits, they persuaded Indian farmers to grow opium so that the British traders could sell it in China.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (Hots) Questions/Application Based Questions
Question.l Explain the circumstances that lead to the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930’s.
- The high demand for wheat encouraged the farmers to adopt new technology and new machines.
- The new machines allowed the big farmers to increase the production at a very fast rate.
- After that, most farmers faced trouble. Production had expanded so rapidly during the war and post-war years that there was a large surplus.
- Unsold stocks piled up, storehouses overflowed with grain, and vast amounts of corn and wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed.
Question.2 â€˜The new technology introduced in agriculture in the 19th century created the grounds for the Great Agrarian Depression of 1930s.’ Justify by giving examples.
Answer. Mechanization had reduced the need for labour. And the boom of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries seemed to have come to an end by the mid 1920s. After that, most farmers faced trouble. Production had expanded so rapidly during the war and post-war years, that there was a large surplus. Unsold stocks piled up, storehouses overflowed with grain, and vast amounts of com and wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This created the grounds for the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s that ruined wheat farmers everywhere.
Question.3 “There is one dramatic fact that makes the period after the 1780s different from any earlier period in English history. In earlier times, rapid population growth was most often followed by a period of food shortages. But this did not happen in the 19th century.”Mention any four factors responsible for this.
- By bringing new lands under cultivation.
- By carving open fields.
- By cutting forests to use the land for cultivation.
- By turning marshes into agricultural fields.
Question.4 How is the story of modernisation of agriculture in England different from? America? Mention three points of each.
Question.1 Suppose you are England farmer of the 17th century. Which method you have used to increase agricultural production? How is it different from the modern method?
Answer. By growing turnip and clover .These days farmers use fertilisers to increase agricultural production.
Question.2 Suppose you are Chinese Emperor of the 19*”century. Why would you not allow the illegal opium trade into your country?
Answer. Because there is danger that people may become addict.
Question.3 Why Were threshing machines opposed by the poor in England? Give two reasons.
- Because due to machines rich farmers were enclosing more and more open fields.
- Due to machines the poor were losing their jobs.
Question.4 Do you think introduction of machines should be always opposed. Give reason.
Answer. No, because machines increase the production and save time.
Question.5 Explain the social and economic impacts of enclosure system.
- The system of enclosures increased the wedge between the rich and the poor.
- All the villagers had access to the commons. Here they pastured their cows and grazed their sheep.
- For the poor, the common land was essential for survival. It supplemented their meagre income, sustained their cattle and helped them tide over bad times when crops failed.
Question.6 Do you think human beings need to respect the ecological conditions of each region? Explain with the help of Dust Bowl Tragedy.
Answer. There is no doubt that human needs to respect the ecological conditions of each region because if environment is not taken care of, it can lead to a disaster.
- Before the arrival of white settlers most of the landscape of America was under forest cover or Prairies.
- The new arrivals i.e. white settlers started converting these Prairies or forest into cultivable fields.
- When wheat cultivation had expanded dramatically in the early twentieth century, zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil over, and broken the sod into dust. When the wind blew with ferocious speed the whole region became a dust bowl. The American dream of a land of plenty had turned into a nightmare.
- The settlers had thought that they could conquer the entire landscape, turn all land over to growing crops that could yield profits. After the 1930s, they realized that they had to respect the ecological conditions of each region.