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Class 9 History Chapter 6 Extra Questions and Answers Peasants and Farmers
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer History Chapter 6 Very Short Answers Type
What were the various activities the villagers involved in on the commons?
Here they pastured their cows and grazed their sheep, collected firewood for fire and berries and fruit for food. They fished in the rivers and ponds, and hunted rabbit in common forests.
Give one reason why rich farmers in the sixteenth century wanted to expand wool production.
The price of wool went up in the world market in the sixteenth century. So, rich farmers wanted to expand wool production to earn profits.
Who created the early enclosures?
Individual landlords created the early enclosures.
When was the enclosure movement in full swing?
After the mid-eighteenth century, the enclosure movement was in full swing.
How were the new enclosures different from the old?
The old enclosures that happened in the sixteenth century, promoted sheep farming whereas the new ones took place in the late eighteenth century for grain production.
From which period did the English population expand rapidly?
From the mid-eighteenth century, the English population expanded rapidly.
What disrupted trade and the import of food grains from Europe?
French War with England by the end of the eighteenth century disrupted trade and the import of food grain from Europe.
How did enclosures empower the richer landowners?
Enclosures enabled the richer landowners to expand the land under their control and produce more for the market.
What did the landowners do to increase their profits?
They cut the amount they had to pay on their workers by employing them only during harvest time.
Who was the American leader under whom maximum expansion of wheat cultivation took place?
Under the leadership of the US President Wilson, maximum expansion of wheat cultivation took place in the country.
When did the white Americans begin to move westward?
They began to move westward after the American War of Independence from 1775 to 1783 and the formation of the United States of America.
Where did the white settlers live in when they began clearing the grasslands?
They lived in sod houses.
Who invented the first mechanical reaper?
Cyrus McCromick invented the first mechanical reaper.
What was the scythe used for before the mid-nineteenth century?
Before the mid-nineteenth century, the scythe was used for mowing grass.
How was the mechanical reaper an effective implement in comparison to cradles and sickles?
This machine could cut in one day as much as five men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles.
Which were two major commercial crops in the early nineteenth century?
In the early nineteenth century, indigo and opium were two major commercial crops.
Why the Manchus suspicious of foreign merchants?
They feared that foreign merchants would meddle in local politics and disrupt their authority.
What was opium known primarily for?
Opium was known primarily for its mechanical properties and used in miniuscule quantities for certain types of medicines.
Name countries involved in triangular trade.
England, China and India.
What was the government’s opium revenue?
The colonial government in India wanted to produce opium at a cheap rate and sell it at a high price to opium agents in Calcutta. This difference between the buying and selling price was its opium revenue.
Where did the agriculture revolution first occur?
It occurred in England in 1830.
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer History Chapter 6 Short Answers Type
What were the effects of Agricultural Revolution on different sections of people in English countryside?
The Agricultural Revolution began in Great Britain around the turn of the eighteenth century. It impacted different sections of people in the following ways:
- The richer farmers expanded grain productions, sold this grain in the world market, made profits and became powerful.
- The poor became poorer. They left their villages in large numbers in search of jobs. Big farmers didn’t need them any more because they had purchased new implements like threshing machines.
- Women could no longer collect their firewood from the forests, or graze their cattle on the commons after these areas were enclosed. In nutshell, we can say that Agricultural Revolution in England empowered the rich farmers but worsened the condition of the poor.
Mention the reasons why rich farmers in the sixteenth century began dividing and enclosing common land?
‘The economy of open fields and common lands started changing in some parts of England from about the sixteenth century’. Explain.
- It was the time when price of wool went up in the world market. This encouraged rich farmers to expand wool production to earn profits.
- They were eager to improve their sheep breeds and ensure good feed for them. They were keen on controlling large areas of land in compact blocks to allow improved breeding.
- So, they began dividing and enclosing common land and building hedges around their holdings to separate their property from that of others. They drove out villagers who had small cottages on the commons.
Which factor makes the period after the 1780s different from any earlier period in English history?
In earlier times, rapid population growth was often followed by a period of food shortages. Food grain production in the past had not expanded as rapidly as the population. In the nineteenth century this did not happen in England. Grain production grew as quickly as population. Even though the population increased rapidly, in 1868 England was producing about 80 per cent of the food it consumed. The rest was imported.
How did enclosures affect the relations between the labourers and the landowners?
Before enclosures, it was common for labourers to live with landowners. They ate at the master’s table and helped their master through the year, doing a variety of odd jobs. By 1800 this practice was disappearing.
Labourers were being paid wages and employed only during harvest time. As landowners tried to increase their profits, they cut the amount they had to spend on their workmen. Work became insecure, employment uncertain, income unstable. For a very large part of the year the poor had no work.
What did various Native American groups do to make their living?
Several of Native American groups were nomadic, some were settled. They did a variety of work to make their living:
- Many of them lived only by hunting, gathering and fishing.
- Others cultivated com, beans, tobacoo and pumpkin.
- Still others were expert trappers through whom European traders had secured their supplies of beaver fur since the sixteenth century.
What problems were created due to the expansion of wheat agriculture in the USA?
(i) Wheat production in the USA was heightened in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But it came to an end by the mid-1920s. Production had expanded so rapidly during the war and post-war years that there was a large surplus. Store houses overflowed with grain, and vast amounts of com and wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This prepared the background for the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s that mined wheat farmers everywhere.
(ii) The expansion of wheat agriculture in the Great Plains created other problems too. In the 1930s, terrifying dust storms began to blow over the southern plains blinding and choking people. Animals died on a large scale. Sand buried fences, covered fields and coated the surfaces of rivers till the fish died.
What caused dust storms in the USA?
The American dream of a land of plenty had turned into a night mare’. Explain.
When wheat cultivation expanded dramatically in the early twentieth century, enthusiastic farmers recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors turned the soil over, and broken the sod into dust. The whole region become a dust bowl. The rains failed year after year, and temperature soared. The wind blew with high speed. But ordinary dust storms became black blizzards only because the entire landscape had been ploughed over, stripped of all grass that held it together.
Thus, the American dream of a land of plenty 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. But it didn’t happen. Rather a serious issue of ecological imbalance took place which panicked people in general.
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer History Chapter 6 Long Answers Type
Mention the contributing factors to the Agricultural Revolution in England.
During the eighteenth century, Agricultural Revolution took place when European agriculture shifted from the techniques of the past. However, British agriculture, in many ways advanced rapidly than any other European nation. There were various reasons behind it:
(i) The available farmland increased due to changes in landholding patterns spurred on by new methods of cultivation. Previously, the open-field system was prominent. This system was problematic because it allowed part of the land to remain implanted at all times in order to avoid depleting the soil.
Since growing crops removes nutrients from the soil, a field must be replenished in order to continue to yield food. Hence, farmers began to utilise barren soil by planting different crops, such as clover or turnips. These plants have roots rich in nitrogen, a necessity for replenishing soil.
(ii) The addition of fertilisers allowed an improved production rate per acre. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the colder climate had ended. The resulting mild summer months created ideal conditions for crop cultivation.
(iii) Several inventions created tools that greatly influenced the new agriculture. Jethro Tull, an English agriculturist, perfected a special horse-drawn seed drill that would allow a person to plant
seeds in neat rows rather than by simply scattering them on top of the soil. This enhanced crop production because far less seed was lost to feeding birds.
(iv) The introduction of threshing machines proved a boon for the rich farmers who bought these machines to expand production.
How were unwilling farmers made to produce opium? What consequences did they face?
Unwilling farmers were made to produce opium through a system of advances. In rural areas of Bengal and Bihar, there were large numbers of poor peasants. It was difficult for them to pay rent to the landlord or to buy food and clothing. From the 1780s, such peasants found their village headmen giving them money advances to produce opium.
When offered a loan, the cultivators were tempted to accept, hoping to meet their immediate needs and pay back the loan at a later stage. But the loan tied the peasant to the headman and through him to the government. It was the government opium agents who were advancing the money to the headmen, who in turn gave it to the cultivators.
By taking the loan, the cultivator was forced to grow opium on a specified area of land and handover the produce to the agents once the crop had been harvested. He had no option of planting the field with a crop of his choice or for selling his produce to anyone but the government agent. And he had to accept the low price offer for the produce.
Give a brief description of the westward expansion of white settlement between 1775 and 1920.
How is the Agrarian expansion closely connected to the westward movement of the white settlers?
After the American war of Independence from 1775 to 1783 and the formation of the United States of America, the Americans began to move westward. By the time Thomas Jefferson became President of the USA in 1800, over 700,000 white settlers had moved on to the Appalachian plateau through the passes. Seen from the east coast, America seemed to be a land of promise. Its wilderness could be turned into cultivated fields.
For this the American Indians needed to be driven out. In the decades after 1800 the US government committed itself to a policy of driving the American Indians westward, first beyond the river Mississippi, and then further west. The Indians resisted no doubt, but they were ultimately forced to give up this land and move westward.
As the Indians retreated, the settlers poured in. They came in successive waves. They settled on the Appalachian plateau by the first decade of the eighteenth century, and then moved into the Mississippi valley between 1820 and 1850. They cleared the land for cultivation and grew com and wheat.
In the early years, the fertile soil produced good crops. When the soil exhausted in one place, the migrants would move further west and raise new crop. It was, however, only after the 1860s that settlers swept into the Great plains across the River Mississippi. In subsequent decades this region became a major wheat producing area of America.
From the late nineteenth century, there was a dramatic expansion of wheat production in the USA to fulfil the increasing demand. By the early twentieth century the demand became even higher. In 1910, about 45 million acres of land in the USA was under wheat. Nine years later, the area had expanded to 74 million acres, an increase of about 65 per cent.
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer History Chapter 6 Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Questions
What were the reasons for the opium war?
(i) The opium cultivators were offered very low price for the produce. It was unprofitable for them to grow opium at that price. This gave birth to dissatisfaction among the cultivators.
(ii) The problem could have been partly solved by increasing the price of opium. But the government was reluctant to do so. It wanted to produce opium at a cheap rate and sell it at a high price to opium agents in Calcutta, who then shipped it to China. This difference between the buying and selling price was the government’s opium revenue.
(iii) The prices given to the opium peasants were low that by the early eighteenth century angry peasants began agitating for higher prices and refused to take advances.
In regions around Banaras (now Varanasi), cultivators began giving up opium cultivation. They produced sugar cane and potatoes instead. Many cultivators sold off their crop to travelling traders who offered higher prices.
(iv) By 1773, the British government in Bengal had established a monopoly to trade in opium. By the 1820s, the British found that opium production in their territories was rapidly declining, but the production outside the British territories (princely states) was increasing. In these regions, local traders were offering much higher prices to peasants and exporting opium to China.
(v) The British government tried to stop this illegal trade to retain its monopoly. It instructed its agents posted in princely states to confiscate all opium and destroy the crops.
This conflict between the British government, peasants and local traders is called the opium war. It continued as long as opium production lasted.
How was the advent of new technology helpful to the farmers in the USA?
The dramatic expansion of agriculture was made possible by new technology. Through the nineteenth century, as the settlers moved into new habitats and new lands, they modified their implements to meet their requirements. When they entered the mid-western prairie, the simple ploughs the farmers had used in the eastern coastal areas of the USA proved ineffective. The prairie was covered with a thick mat of grass with tough roots.
To break the sod and turn the soil over, a variety of new ploughs were devised locally. By the early twentieth century farmers in the Great Plains were breaking the ground with tractors and disk ploughs, clearing vast stretches for wheat cultivation.
Once the crop had ripened it had to be harvested. Before the 1830, the grain used to be harvested with a cradle or sickle. At harvest time, hundreds of men and women could be seen in the fields cutting the crops. 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 sickless. 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.
Thus, the new technology enabled the farmers in various ways. The new machines allowed them 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.
How was China made a country of opium addicts?
How did the English make China a country of opium addicts?
The Portuguese had introduced opium into China in the early sixteenth century. Opium was however, known primarily for its medicinal properties and used in miniuscule quantities for certain types of medicines. The Chinese were aware of the dangers of opium addiction, and the Emperor had forbidden its production and sale except for medicinal purposes.
But Western merchants in the mid-eighteenth century began an illegal trade in opium. It was unloaded in a number of seaports of south-eastern China and carried by local agents to the interiors. By the early 1820s, about 10,000 crates were being annually smuggled into China.
Fifteen years later this figure rose to 35,000 crates. Thus, the Chinese became addicted to opium. People of all classes took to the drug—shopkeepers and peddlers, officials and army men, aristocrats and paupers.
In 1839, there were about 4 million opium smokers in China. As China became a country of opium addicts, British trade in tea flourished. The returns from opium sale financed the tea purchases in China.
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer History Chapter 6 Value-based Questions (VBQs)
Why did farmers in many parts of England in about the 1660s cultivating turnip and clover?
(i) In about the 1660s, farmers in many parts of England began cultivating turnip and clover because they discovered that planting these crops improved the soil and made it more fertile. Turnip was moreover, a good fodder crop relished by cattle.
(ii) Later findings showed that these crops had the capacity to increase the nitrogen content of the soil. Nitrogen was important for crop growth. Cultivation of the same soil over a few years depleted the nitrogen in the soil and reduced its fertility.
(iii) By restoring nitrogen, turnip and clover made the soil fertile once again. We find that farmers in the early nineteenth century used much the same method to improve agriculture on a more regular basis.
Why should we respect the ecological conditions of each region? Explain by highlighting the issue of black blizzards in the USA in the 1930s.
Tractors and machines that had ploughed the earth and harvested the wheat in the countryside in the USA were clogged with dust, damaged beyond repair. The bread basket had turned into a dust bowl. The rains failed year after year and temperatures soared.
The wind blew with high speed. The dust swept in, blinding and choking people. Thus, the American dream of a land of plenty 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.
From this experience we learn that we should not overuse and over-exploit our resources because it leads to ecological damage and environmental imbalance. We must respect the ecological conditions of every region. We must respect our nature which is supreme.