The Age of Industrialization
Explain the following :
(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
(b) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
(a) Spinning Jenny speeded up the spinning process and reduced the labour demand. When the machine was introduced in the woollen industry in Britain, women who survived on hand spinning began attacking the new machines because of the fear of unemployment.
(b) With the expansion of world trade and the acquisition of colonies in different parts of the world, the demand for goods began growing. Since production in towns and cities was controlled by powerful guilds, so merchants began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(c) Before the 1750s a vibrant trade was carried out through the port of Surat. As the European companies gradually gained power and got monopoly of trade, they began to trade in European ships from the new ports of Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). This resulted in a decline of the port of Surat.
(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth. These gomasthas were just opposite to the earlier supply merchants. Since gomasthas had no long-term social link with the village, they acted arrogantly, marched into villages with sepoys and peons, and punished weavers for delays in supply.
Write True or False against each statement:
(a) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.
(b) The international market for the fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.
(c) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.
(d) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity.
Explain what is meantby proto-industrialisation.
Proto-industrialisation means the early phase of industrialisation in which goods were produced on a large scale for an international market not at factories but in decentralised units.
Why did some industrialists in nineteenth century in Europe prefer hand labour over machines?
(a) New technology was expensive and industrialists were cautious about using it.
(b) Machines often broke down and repair was costly.
(c) There was no shortage of human labour as poor peasants and workers moved to the cities in large numbers in search of work. Wages were low.
(d) In seasonal industries where production fluctuated with season, industrialists usually preferred hand labour, employing workers for the season.
(e) There was demand for goods with intricate designs and specific shapes. This required human skill, not mechanical technology.
How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?
(a) The East India Company establish had direct control over cotton textile industry by eliminating the existing traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade and appointing a paid servant called the ‘gomastha’ for supeNision of weavers, collecting supplies and examining the quality of cloth.
(b) The Company prevented its weavers from dealing with other buyers by giving them advances or loans for purchasing the raw material for their production.
(c) As loans flowed in and the demand for fine textiles expanded, weavers eagerly took the advances and started producing cloth for the Company. Thus, the East India Company eliminated competition, controlled costs and ensured regular supplies of cotton goods.
Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an encyclopaedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.
To be attempted by the students themselves.
Why did industrial production in India increase . during the First World War?
(a) Manchester imports into India declined as British mills were busy with war production to meet the needs of army. Suddenly, Indian mills had a vast home market to supply.
(b) Due to prolongation of the war Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs like jute bags, cloth for army uniforms, tents and leather boots, horse and mule saddles, etc.
(c) New factories were set up and old ones ran in shifts to increase their production.
(d) Many new workers were employed and everyone was made to work longer hours.