Early Stages of Collective Action: WBBSE Class 10 History notes

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Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of Chapter 4 “Early Stages of Collective Action: Characteristics and Analysis” of the West Bengal Board (WBBSE) Class 10 (Madhyamik) History (Social Science) textbook. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.

queen Victoria, illustrating the chapter Early Stages of Collective Action: Characteristics & Analysis of WBBSE class 10

Summary: After the battles of Plassey (1757) and Buxar (1857), the Revolt of 1857 was the next major expression of discontent (1764). There was a feeling of rebellion because of the British policy of annexation, the years of economic exploitation by the East India Company, and the complaints of Indian sepoys. Most of the uprising took place in the cities of Delhi, Kanpur, Awadh, Barrackpore, Meerut, Lucknow, Muradabad, Bareilly, Bundelkhand, Allahabad, Jhansi, Shahjanpur, Fatehpur, Benaras, Arrah, Rohilkhand, and Gaya. Most European historians note that it was an uprising of Indian soldiers. Since the uprising only affected a localised region of India, it cannot be considered an all-out war for independence. However, India’s nationalists celebrate this as the beginning of India’s long road to independence.

The failure of the 1857 Revolt was due to a lack of leadership and organisation. Tantia Topi, Laxmi Bai, and Nana Saheb were the only rebel leaders who had military experience. The mutiny ultimately failed due to a lack of popular support and the indifference of Indian rulers. The Revolt caused the British to change how they treated the Indian subcontinent. With the passing of the Government of India Act in 1858, the English East India Company no longer had a monopoly on Indian affairs, and the subcontinent was officially added to the British Empire. 

Around the same time, Rammohan Roy’s allies volunteered to organise political groups. The original organisation, known as the “Bangabhasha Prakashika Sabha,” was established in 1836. Petitions and memorial writings were sent to the government. In July 1838, a group called the “Landholders’ Society” was formed. This was the first organised political action. It was set up to coordinate opposition to unfair government policies.

It was on the issues of Civil Service and the Press Act that the Indian Association (1876) led the first all-India agitation in 1877–78. Calcutta (now Kolkata) played host to two separate “National Conferences” in 1883 and 1885. Nabagopal Mitra was the man behind planning the Hindu Mela. This brand-new theatre company was outspokenly hostile to the British. Dinabandhu Mitra’s “Nil Darpan” exposed the ruthless tyranny of indigo planters, which ultimately resulted in Lytton’s Dramatic Performance Act being passed in 1876. Literature from India’s 19th century helped spark a sense of national pride. Writers like Bankim Chandra, Vivekananda, and Rabindranath spread messages of nationalism throughout their works. The work of Bankim Chandra, particularly the poem “Anandamath,” was crucial in raising the level of national consciousness. The song “Bande Mataram,” which appears in his book “Anandamath,” is now the official national anthem. 

As Indian nationalism rose, the image of Bharat Mata came to symbolise Indian pride and national identity. Rabindranath’s novel Gora is where his vision of nationalism found its most articulate form, while Vivekananda’s “Bartaman Bharat” expresses profound thoughts on the Indian nation. The final paragraph is an open letter to all Indians, calling on them to realise their true national identity as Indians.

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Very short answer type questions and answers

1. In which year did the Sepoy Mutiny break out? 

Answer:The Sepoy Mutiny broke out in the year 1857.

2.  Who introduced the Doctrine of Lapse? 

Answer: The Doctrine of lapse was introduced by Lord Dalhousie.

3. Who was the first Viceroy and last Governor-General of India? 

Answer: Lord Canning was the first Viceroy and last Governor-General of India. 

4. When the Revolt of 1857 began, who was the governor general?

Answer: When the Revolt of 1857 started, Lord Canning was the Governor-General.

5. The rebellion of Mangal Pandey took place where, and in what year?

Answer: The rebellion of Mangal Pandey took place in Barrackpore Cantonment in 1857.

6. Who were the leaders of the Revolt of 1857? 

Answer: The leaders of the Revolt of 1857 were Rani Laxmi Bai, Tantia Topi, Begum Hazrat Mahal, and Nana Saheb.

7. Who was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II? 

Answer: Nana Saheb was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II.

8. Who was proclaimed the emperor of Hindustan by the mutineers?

Answer: Bahadur Shah II was crowned emperor of Hindustan by the mutineers.

9. Who was the last Mughal emperor?

Answer: Bahadur Shah II was the last Mughal emperor. 

10.  In which year was the Queen’s Proclamation issued? 

Answer: Queen’s Proclamation was issued in the year 1858. 

11. When did the rule of the East India Company in India come to an end? 

Answer: The rule of the East India Company in India came to an end in 1858. 

12. Who was the Queen of England at the time of the transfer of power in India? 

Answer: Victoria was the Queen of England at the time of the transfer of power in India.

13. When was the Landholders’ Society established? 

Answer: The Landholders’ Society was established in 1838.

14. When was the Indian Association established? 

Answer: The Indian Association was established on July 26, 1876. 

15. When was the Vernacular Press Act passed? 

Answer: The Vernacular Press Act was passed in the year 1878.

16. Who painted the famous image of ‘Bharat Mata’? 

Answer: Abanindranath Tagore painted the famous image of ‘Bharat Mata’.

Short answer type questions and answers

1. Who was Mangal Pandey? Why was he hanged? 

Answer: Mangal Pandey served as a sepoy in the Bengal regiment. In the Sepoy Mutiny, he died first among the martyrs. On March 29, 1857, at Barrackpore, he was arrested for shooting at a European officer and later hanged.

2. Which event ended East India Company rule in India?

Answer: The East India Company’s hegemony in India ended with the passage of the Act for the Better Government of India. The Act was enacted on August 12th, 1858, by the British Parliament.

3. What was the Queen’s Proclamation of 1858’s main goal?

Answer: The East India Company’s rule in India was overthrown in the Queen’s Proclamation of 1858, and the British Crown assumed responsibility for governing the country. In a proclamation issued on November 1, 1858 in the name of Queen Victoria, Early Canning made the announcement at a “Durbar” held in Allahabad. Upon taking office, the new British government issued a proclamation detailing its guiding principles and policies.

4. What guarantee did the Queen’s Proclamation provide for the rulers of the Indian states?

Answer: The Queen assured the Indian state monarchs in her proclamation that their territories would not be annexed by the British empire, that the Indian monarchs would be granted the right of adoption, and that the British Government would not expand further into India.

5. What part did the Indian Association play in the fight over the Ilbert Bill?

Answer: Surendranath Banerjee’s Indian Association, established in 1876, was instrumental in the fight against the Illbert Bill. The group coordinated events and protests in favour of the bill. Protests against the Ilbert Bill were organised by the country’s European population. S N Banerjee and Lalmohan Ghose, two prominent figures in the Indian Association, led counter campaigns. The Indian Association successfully sparked a level of public outcry that was unprecedented at the time.

6. What is the significance of Bartaman Bharat by Vivekananda?

Answer: Vivekananda’s “Bartaman Bharat” reveals his passionate views on India and political issues. The final paragraph is an open letter to every Indian, calling on them to realise their true national identity lies in their Indian heritage.

7. What impact did Bankim Chandra have on nationalism in the nineteenth century?

Answer: Bankim Chandra was instrumental in raising Indians’ sense of national pride. The term “Real Father of Indian Nationalism” accurately describes him. He regarded patriotism as the supreme virtue and often spoke about it or wrote about it. His book, “Anandamath,” is credited with popularising the now-hymnal “Bande Mataram.” The Anandamath is where the idea of “Bharat Mata” first appeared. The Indians were moved to give their lives for the freedom of their homeland because of this. 

8. How did the book “Anandamath” arouse a sense of nationalism?

Answer:  Bankim Chandra in his novel ‘Anandamath’ upheld patriotism as the highest political virtue. The famous song ‘Bande Ma ram’ which features in his novel ‘Anandamath’, became the national hymn. The concept of Bharatmata emerged from the ‘Anandamath’. It inspired the Indians to sacrifice their lives for the emancipation of their motherland

Long answer type questions and answers

1. Analyze the political influences that led to the Revolt of 1857.

Answer: There were a number of political factors that led to the Great Revolt of 1857, including: i. Lord Dalhousie’s annexationist policy was largely to blame for the uprising’s beginning.

ii. His policy of annexation was heavy-handed and unyielding. His Doctrine of Lapse went against Hindu rituals and tradition. Anger was widespread after the annexation of cities like Jhansi, Jaipur, Sambalpur, Nagpur, Satara, etc. under the Doctrine of Lapse.

iii. The Sepoys were agitated by the annexation of Awadh on the grounds of maladministration.

iv. Dalhousie took away Nana Saheb’s inherited pension, despite the fact that he was Baji Rao II’s adopted son.

v. Dalhousie removed Bahadur Shah Zafar from his position as emperor and had him leave the Red Fort in Delhi. The Muslim population in India was particularly hurt by this.

vi. Native leaders and princes who had been fired were waiting for their chance to exact vengeance. As a result, Lord Dalhousie’s imperialist policy stoked discontent among India’s states.

2. What were the economic factors that led to the Revolt of 1857?

Answer: The economic causes for the Great Revolt of 1857 were: 

i. One of the main reasons for the Sepoy Mutiny was the English East India Company’s economic exploitation of India for a century prior to the Great Revolt of 1857. After losing the Battle of Plassey, the English began to steal India’s wealth and ship it back to England.

ii. The company was given Diwani rights in 1765, and it later implemented new land revenue policies like the Permanent Settlement, Ryotwari Settlement, and Mahalwari Settlement. Farms were destroyed and peasant families were made to suffer as a result of all of this.

iii. Taxes became too onerous for farmers and other rural “have nots,” leading to a rebellion. The new revenue policies of the company also spelled doom for the long-standing zamindari families.

v. Many people in rural areas went hungry as their living conditions deteriorated further. 

vi. As a result of pressure from British industrialists, the British government destroyed India’s post-Revolutionary economy, particularly its textile production. 

3. What were the social causes of the Revolt of 1857?

Answer: The following are some of the social causes that led to the Revolt:

i. The cultural gap between the British colonial administration and its Indian subjects widened to the point where Indians felt like strangers in their own land.

ii. The British looked down upon the Indians in every institution they controlled, including classrooms, workplaces, courtrooms, and more. 

iii. The Indians’ traditional worldview meant that they were fundamentally incapable of accepting White British rule over their homeland. 

iv. Since the British were to blame for the fall of the Mughal Empire, the Muslims had a reservation against them. 

v. The orthodox Hindus were unhappy with the British because of the way the colonials had done away with practices like Sati and allowed widows to remarry.

vi. The acts of torture committed by high-ranking British officials and the official’s racial bias against his own people made life intolerable for native Indians. 

4. What was the immediate reason behind the Revolt of 1857?

Answer: The Enfield Rifle’s introduction was the primary cause of the Indian Sepoys’ growing hostility toward the British. In order to maintain the bullets’ effectiveness, the British army’s Enfield Rifle required a special kind of grease-smeared paper cartridge. It was necessary to bite off the cartridge’s outer cover before loading it into the rifle. Since the Sepoys had reason to think that pig and cow fat were used to make the grease used in the paper, they were hesitant to do this. Hindus hold cows in high regard, and Muslims believe pigs to be unclean. The Sepoys believed that the attempt to convert them to Christianity was a ruse as a result. The Revolt got started as a result of this acting as a spark.

5. Describe the reasons why the Revolt of 1857 failed.

Answer: Despite having nationwide support, the Revolt of 1857 was ultimately unsuccessful. Some of the reasons for this are as follows: 

i. The uprising was not coordinated across the entirety of India but rather occurred in pockets. Consequently, it was simple for the British government to put down the uprising.

ii. The Sikh and Gorkha communities sided with the British government and assisted in crushing the Revolt.

iii. The uprising was not coordinated nationally because no one person was in charge of it. This led to the gradual disintegration of the revolt as leaders in various areas pursued their own goals.

iv. Princely states like Kashmir, Rampur, etc., supported the British during the 1857 uprising. 

v. When the revolt broke out, the kings of Scindia and Rajput did not side with the rebels and instead took a neutral stance. British efforts to put down the Revolt were aided by this.

vi. In comparison to the sepoys, the British army had superior weapons and artillery. They also had superior naval power to the Indians. To bolster their forces, they imported soldiers and weapons from the United Kingdom, Persia, and Malaysia. 

6. Can the Indian Rebellion of 1857 be considered the First War of Indian Independence?

Answer: The Revolt of 1857 has been interpreted differently by various historians. Many Indian nationalist scholars, including V D Savarkar and Ashok Mehta, consider the 1857 Revolt to be the First War of Indian Independence. They claim that the people who participated in the revolt were full of patriotism. In the 1857 uprising, Hindus and Muslims, peasants and zamindars, all fought together against the foreign rulers. The goal of any uprising of this magnitude is to remove foreign rule over the country, so it is easy to assume that this conflict was fought for freedom. However, Dr. R C Majumdar argues that the so-called first National War of Independence was neither the first nor a War of Independence, but rather a limited political and military rising. He claims that the uprising was confined to a small region of India that included only Awadh, Bihar, Delhi, East Punjab, and Maharashtra. Prior to the outbreak of the revolt, the sepoys had no predetermined plan and programme, and they were not united behind the common goal of achieving India’s independence. However, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of these two positions.

7. What was the Queen’s Proclamation?

Answer: In 1857, there was a massive uprising in India that rocked British rule to its core. The East India Company’s rule in India ended as a direct result of this revolt, and the British Crown subsequently assumed control of Indian administration. During a “Durbar” in Allahabad on November 1, 1858, Earl Canning made the announcement in the name of Queen Victoria. Following her accession to power, Queen Elizabeth II issued a proclamation outlining the goals and guiding principles of the new British government. 

It assured the native states and the East India Company that their territories would not be annexed by the British Empire, confirming the treaty and engagements between the two parties.

As a result of the proclamation, Indians were allowed complete freedom of religion. It guaranteed to honour the rights and dignity of indigenous princes and to treat them in accordance with India’s longstanding traditions and customs. It stated that any Indian, provided they meet the requirements, will be allowed to hold any “offices in our service.”

To those who had not been convicted of participating in the murder of British subjects, it also granted a general amnesty for all offenders of the Revolt of 1857. The British Indian Government also pledged to support the Indian people’s efforts to improve their spiritual and economic conditions.

8. What exactly was the Ilbert Bill? Who protested the bill and why?

Answer: In 1883, the libert Bill was introduced by Sir C P Ilbert, a lawmaker in Lord Ripon’s government. The prevailing system’s judicial structure was founded on discriminatory and unequal norms. A judge or magistrate in an Indian Sessions Court would have no authority over European offenders. To stop this discrimination, Ilbert proposed a law that would end the privilege Europeans had of having only judges of their own race hear their cases. It proposed granting the Indian judicial officers the authority to try both Indian and European criminals.

Those of European descent in India raised objections to the Ilbert Bill in an effort to preserve their special status. The vast majority of them held the opinion that their people were superior to the indigenous people. They also believed that the British were the only ones with any legitimate claim to India, and that the Indians had no such claim. The Calcutta High Court’s European barristers complained that it was an insult to have to defend a white defendant in front of a native magistrate.

9. Write briefly about the Bangabhasha Prakashika Sabha. 

Answer: The Bangabhasa Prakashika Sabha was established in 1836 and is considered Bengal’s first political organisation. The Sabha’s original members included such notables as Dwarkanath Tagore, Kasinath Roy, Prasanna Kumar Tagore, etc. On December 8, 1836, the first day of its first session, it convened for the first time. Gaurisankar Tarkabagish acted as session chair. This Sabha was vocal in its opposition to the tax on vacant land. Discussions initially ranged across a wide range of topics, including religion, philosophy, and others. The group also wrote petitions and memorials to the government on issues related to government policy and administration in an effort to get things fixed. It’s true that many other organisations followed the Bangabhasa Prakashika Sabha’s lead and succeeded where it had failed, so its failure shouldn’t be seen as a total loss.

10. How did the image of “Bharat Mata” inspire feelings of nationalism among Indians?

Answer: A figure or image is frequently used to symbolise a nation’s identity. It’s a step toward concretizing the public’s mental picture of the country. The 20th century saw the rise of nationalism in India, and with it came the widespread association of the image of “Bharat Mata” with Indian identity. During India’s fight for independence, the image of Bharat Mata became a symbol that stoked feelings of nationalism. Artist Abanindranath Tagore is credited with creating the iconic “Bharat Mata” image. Bharat Mata is depicted in this artwork as a stoic, serene, divine, and spiritual figure. Sister Nivedita thought the depiction was enlightened and creative, describing how the mother goddess would have white hair, a halo, sincere eyes, four arms representing divine power, a white robe, and four lotuses at her feet. The Swadeshi movement had an impact on his image. The Hindu goddess “Bharat Mata” was depicted in “Anandamath” as a four-armed figure draped in saffron robes and carrying the Vedas, sheaves of rice, a “mala,” and a white cloth. Over the years, as the image of “Bharat Mata” spread in popular prints and was painted by various artists, it took on a wide variety of styles and variations.

11. Mention Swami Vivekananda’s contribution to the growth of Indian nationalism briefly.

Answer: The greatest follower of Sri Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda, served as an unrivalled source of motivation for India’s freedom fighters. The Indian nationalists were motivated to be more courageous by his teachings. His teachings restored the Indians’ pride in their racial heritage. For the first time, the Indian intelligentsia realised they were on par with those in the West. The Indian nationalists were inspired by his spiritual call to “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached” and they continued a tenacious struggle for independence. He wrote numerous books, such as “Gyanjog,” “Karmajog,” and “Rajjog.” The “Bartaman Bharat” served as the revolutionaries and Swadeshis’ pioneers and guides. The police searched every home and discovered writings from Swami Vivekananda’s time in the revolutionary movement.

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