Advent of the Europeans Into India: SEBA Class 9 History

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Here are the notes/solutions/answers to the questions for social science (history) chapter 1 Advent of the Europeans into India of class 9 for students studying under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA). These notes, however, should be seen only as references and nothing more.

INTRODUCTION: From time immemorial India had extensive trade relation both maritime and overland with Europe. The productions and manufactures of India were in great demand in western countries. European nations like Greece, Rome etc. had an extensive trade relationship with India through Red Sea, Persia and Afghanistan till the end of the sixth century. But the old trade routes were closed in the seventh century when the Arabs conquered many countries and the bulk of the Indian trade was monopolised by the Arabs. But with the capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453 AD) as a consequence of the Crusades which had started in twelfth century AD, the overland route was closed. The European nations felt the necessity of an alternative route to India which would be safe from the attack of the Turks.

The Portuguese were the pioneers in finding new routes. They being indomitable adventurer sailors started navigation in the unknown sea to discover a new sea route to India. The Portuguese sailor Bartolomeu Diaz could reach the Cape of Good Hope, situated at the southernmost corner of South Africa, in 1487 A.D. It was only after ten years that another sailor Vasco-da Gama, following Bartholomeu Diaz, arrived at Cali cut port in India in 1498 A.D. Thus the long-sought sea-route was discovered between India and western countries. This new communication ushered a new era not only in the history of India but of the whole world.

Very short/short answer questions

1. Who was the first Portuguese sailor to discover the sea route between India and the west? When and where in India did he arrive for the first time?

Answer: The first Portuguese sailor to discover the sea route between India and the west is Vasco da Gama.  He arrived at the port of  Calicut of South India in 1498 A.D. for the first time.

2. Who was the English sailor able to move around the Earth through the sea route?

Answer: The English sailor who was able to move around the Earth through the sea route was Francis Drake.

3. Who was the English sailor who entered India for the first time with a petition letter and when?

Answer: The English sailor who entered India for the first time with a petition letter was John Mildenhall in the year 1599 A.D.

4. When and where did the East India Company initially establish?

Answer. The East India Company was initially established in 1600 A.D. in England.

5. Write two objectives of East India Company to permanently rule India?

Answer: The two objectives of East India Company to permanently rule in India was trade and ambition for political power.

6. When and where in India was the first trade centre of the English established?

Answer: The first trade centre of the English was established in 1611 A.D. at Masulipatam in the Sultanat of Golkunda.

7. What is Fort William?

Answer: The Calcutta Trade Centre was renamed as Fort William in honour of William III, the King of England.

8. Which were the two main divisions of the British administrative period of dependent India?

Answer: The first is from the downfall of the Mughal empire to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 and the second is from 1858 to 1947.

9. Who, when and with objective was the ‘Govt. of India Act’ enacted?

Answer: The Govt. of India Act was enacted in the British Parliament in 1935.  The objective was to declare the formation of Federal states in India and to make provision to form elected government in the provinces, thus giving more power to the Indians.

10. When and with what objective was the ‘Indian Council Act’ enacted?

Answer: Indian Council Act was enacted in 1861.  The objective was to make the educated Indians familiar with the new administrative structure divided into Central administration and Provincial administration.

Short / Long Answers

1. What were the efforts made by the British to establish trade relation with India?  Analyze the steps why which they succeeded. 

Answer: The efforts made by the British to establish trade relation with India were:

i. The British came to India and established East India Company to trade with Indian rulers.
ii. Emperor Jahangir granted permission to the English merchants to establish factories at Surat, though no-trade contracts were signed.
iii. The English merchants continued their endeavours for trade with Indian at different places.
iv. Though the first and foremost objective of the East India Company traded, they had ambitions for political powers.
v. The Company took advantage of the growing enmity and weakness among the Indian ruling class and tried to establish English rule in India.
vi. The East India Company officers in order to build a colonial empire devised schemes of expelling other European companies from India. Thus, gradually building up a colony of British imperialism throughout India.
vii. With the succeeding governor rule, the British East India Company got the legal sanction as the ruling power.
viii. The emperor introduced Dual Government in Bengal by conferring upon the company the right of Diwani (collection of revenue)and the responsibility of civil, criminal and police administration.

2. How did the East India Company establish Three Trade centres at three important places in India? 

Answer: The company founded a trade centre at Masulipatam, in 1611 taking permission from the Sultan of Golkunda. The Company built its second trade centre at Armagaon, in 1636. In 1639, it made a treaty with the King of Chandragiri to shift the Armagaon Trade Centre to a nearby place of Madras and renamed it as Fort St George. In 1690 a company officer named Job Charnock acquired the zamindari right of over three villages namely Kali Ghata (Kolkata), Sutanutee and Gobindapur, through a treaty with the Nawab of Bengal in return of the payment Rs 1200 per annum and started a trade centre. The three villages united together later on originated the town of Calcutta. The Calcutta Trade Centre was renamed as Fort William in honour of William III, the King of England.

3. Who was the most remarkable person of the East India Company to pave the way for the establishment of British imperialism in India. Write with four arguments about his strategies to lay the foundation of the British empire.

Answer: Robert Clive was the most remarkable person of the East India Company to pave the way for the establishment of British imperialism in India.

Four arguments about his strategies to lay the foundation of the British empire were:

i. Robert Clive acquired the art of diplomatic skill to build up a colonial empire in India within a short time.
ii. He devised schemes of expelling other European companies from India in the interest of his own company.
iii. He tried to win over the native kings to his side either by war or friendship. The Nawab of Bengal, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Nawab of Oudh, Kings of Rajputana, etc all made friendship with the company and had to surrender their authority.
iv. The defeat of Siraj-ud-daulah the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa by deceit in the battle of Plassey led to the foundation of the British Empire in India which paved the way for the establishment of British imperialism.

4. Write the causes for the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny. 

Answer: The causes of the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny were:

i. The atmosphere for the rebellion was created by the unrest of the royal class and people.
ii. The name of the Mughal Emperor was scraped away from the coins of the Company in 1835.
iii. English was introduced in the administration replacing royal Persian. This increased discontent and dissatisfaction in the mind of the Indians.
iv. The reactionary administration of Lord Dalhousie doubly increased the disgruntlement of the mind of the Indians of all religions.

5. Mention four important results of the Sepoy Mutiny.

Answer: The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 brought about a remarkable change in the outlook of the British Government towards India requiring the introduction of certain new rules and Acts in Indian Administration to satisfy the agitated Indians. There were both Constitutional and social changes.

Constitutional changes

i. A sharp abhorring towards the English East India Company was created in the minds of the people of England.
ii. Transferring all responsibilities of Indian administration to the English Government by passing the Government of India Act in 1858. The Board of Control and Court of Directors which were linked with India during the Company’s rule lost their authority.

Social changes

i. Medieval static state prevailing in the Indian Society was over and they showed interests towards modern western culture.
ii. A sense of unity infused in the minds of the Indians.

6. Mention four administrative changes brought through the” Govt. of India Act.

Answer: The four administrative changes brought through the “Govt. of India Act” were:

i. The Act entrusted the British Government with the power of ruling India directly.
ii. All the responsibilities and powers relating to the administration of India were conferred upon a member of the British Ministry. 
iii. The Minister directly associated with the administration of India came to be known as the ‘Secretary of State of India’.
iv. The Governor General was retained as the supreme head of Indian administration but was also given the title of Viceroy, means representative of the Crown.

7. Write about two main reforms of Lord Canning.

Answer: The main two reforms of Lord Canning were:

i. He tried to remove the disparity and suspicion rooted in the minds of Indian subjects and native rulers.
ii. To bring equality in economic aspects, he reassured to abandon the Doctrine of Lapse and not to expand the British Empire in India in the future by showing generosity towards the native rulers.

8. Write two merits and two demerits of the “Indian Council Act.”

Answer: Two merits of the Indian Council Act were:

Central Administration: The Act directed of formation of Legislative Assemblies (Councils) at the Centre and States, distributing powers between Central and State Legislative Assemblies based on the principle of decentralization of power.  It gave Indians the power to take part in the legislative function in the highest administrative unit.
Provincial Administration: It aimed at making the state governments powerful by incorporating the provision of distribution of power between the centre and state.

Two demerits of the Indian Council Act were:

Central Administration: The representatives may not be considered as the representatives of the Indians in its true sense because they were representatives of high origin and elite landlords.
Provincial Administration: It provided some legal powers to the newly formed Provincial Legislative Council but this power was just limited. The Act endowed the Governor General of Bengal with unlimited powers.

9. Discuss the changes occurred through the Local Self Government during the British period.

Answer: The changes occurred through the Local Self Government during the British period were:

i. It paved the way for local self-government in India.
ii. It gave the provinces the responsibility over the departments of education, health, registration, prison, police, etc.
iii. Rules were framed to provide a stipulated amount of funding to the provinces for their internal requirements of the departments.
iv. The Provincial Government had to make a fund through taxes imposed locally.

10. How were the Indians included in the Civil services?  Discuss the growth of these services.

Answer: During the rule of the East India Company, Civil Service posts in India were filled up only by the English. According to the provisions of the Charter Act of 1793, the highest post of Indian administration was reserved only to the covenanted servicemen of the company. The Charter Act of 1833, concurred to the recruitment of the Indians to the high posts of the administration. The posts Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector were created in 1833 and 1843 respectively and it was decided that Indians would be fit for both the posts. The Act of 1853, gave directions to hold competitive examinations for Civil Service and also allowing the Indians to sit in the examination. In 1866, the upper age limit of a candidate to appear in Civil Service Examination was reduced to 21 years. 

The British Government made a law regarding Indian Civil Service during the term of Lord Lytton.  By this law, one-sixth member of Indian Civil Administration which were reserved for the covenanted British persons were now to be filled up by the nominated Indians of the local governments. The Montegue- Chelmsford Report declared the policy of the government to hold the Civil Service Examination in England and India simultaneously. The Lee Commission formed in1923, proposed the formation of the Civil Service Commission in India immediately and to raise the number of Indians to the post of Civil Service by fifty per cent within fifteen years. India abolished the old system of recruitment to the Civil Services after her Independence.

11. Mention three differences of the Civil Services of British occupied India and Independent India.

Answer: Three differences of the Civil Services of British occupied India and Independent India are:

i. A system was introduced to hold open competitive examination in all India level in independent India whereas in Civil Services of British only selected handful could appear.
ii. The Union Public Service Commission and in the state level, State Public Service Commissions have been formed in Independent India whereas in Civil Services of British occupied India there were three divisions –Imperial Indian Civil Service, Provincial Civil Service and Sub-ordinate Civil Service.
iii. The Civil Services Examination was held in India in Independent India whereas the examinations of British occupied India were held in England and India.

Get the notes of other chapters of Class 9 under Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA)


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