Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners
Activity (Page 69)
Why do you think the Act was called the Calico Act ? What does the name tell us about the kind of textiles the Act wanted to ban ?
- The Act was called the Calico Act because this Act banned cotton textiles which was generally called Calico in Europe.
- Indian cotton textiles.
Activity (Page 72)
Read sources 1 and 2 (given on Textbook Pg. 71, 72). What reasons do the petition writers give for their condition of starvation ?
- They are weavers and do not know any other business.
- Their ancestors and they used to receive advances from the company, which have been stopped. The aurangs have been abolished.
- The weavers do not call at the house for buying yam.
- If the yarn is sent to the market, it is still not sold even at one-fourth of the old prices. Activity (Page 75)
Activity (page 75)
Why would the iron and steel making industry be affected by the defeat of the nawabs and rajas ?
This was because, the nawabs and rajas used swords and armour. So, the swords and armour making industry died with the conquest of India by the British and imports of iron and steel from England displaced the iron and steel produced by craftspeople in India.
Let’s Imagine (Page 79)
Imagine you are a textile weaver in late nineteenth century India. Textiles produced in Indian factories are flooding the market. How would you have adjusted to the situation ?
I would have adjusted to the situation in the following ways :
- 1 would have begun to produce that types of cloths which could not be supplied by machines.
- I would produce saris with intricate borders, cloths with traditional woven patterns.These would have a wide demand amongst the rich and middle classes.
- I would also produce the very coarse cloths used by the poor people in India.
Exercise Questions and Answers
What kinds of cloth had a large market in Europe ?
What is Jamdani ?
Jamdani is a fine muslin on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread was used.
What is bandanna ?
The word bandanna was meant by any brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or head.
Who are the Agaria ?
The Agaria refers to a community of iron smelters. They were specialised in the craft of iron smelting.
Fill in the blanks :
(a) The word chintz comes from the word ______.
(b) Tipu’s sword was made of ______ steel.
(c) India’s textile exports declined in the ______ century.
How do the names of different textiles tells us about their histories ?
Muslin : European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth from India carried by Arab merchants in Mosul in present day Iraq. So, they began referring to all finely woven textiles as “muslin”.
Calico : When the Portuguese first came to India in search of spices, they landed in Calicut on the Kerala coast in South-West India. The cotton textiles which they took back to Europe, along with the spices, came to be called “Calico” which was derived from Calicut. Subsequently, Calico became the general name for all cotton textiles.
Chintz : It was derived from the Hindi word “Chhint”.
Bandanna : This term also derived from Hindi word “bandhna”, i.e., tying.
Why did the wool and silk producers in England protest against the import of Indian textiles in the early eighteenth century ?
At this time textile industries had just begun to develop in England. Unable to compete with Indian textiles, English producers wanted a secure market within the country by preventing the entry of Indian textiles.
So, by the early eighteenth century, worried by the popularity of Indian textiles, wool and silk makers in England began protesting against the import of Indian textiles. In 1720, the British government enacted a legislation banning the use of printed cotton textiles — chintz. The Act was known as the “Calico Act”.
How did the development of cotton industries in Britain affect textile producers in India ?
The development of cotton industries in Britain affected textile producers in India in several ways :
- Indian textiles now had to compete with British textiles in the European and American markets.
- Exporting textiles to England also became increasingly difficult since very high duties were imposed on Indian textiles imported into Britain.
Why did the Indian iron smelting industry decline in the nineteenth century ?
This has the following reasons :
(1) The new forest laws were enacted. When the colonial government prevented people from entering the reserved forests, it became difficult for the iron smelters to find wood for charcoal and to get iron ore.
(2) In some areas, the government did grant access to the forest. But the iron smelters had to pay a very high tax to the forest department for every furnace they used.
(3) By the late nineteenth century, iron and steel was being imported from Britain. This inevitably lowered the demand for iron produced by local smelters.
(4) By the early twentieth century, the artisans producing iron and steel faced a new competition.
What problems did the Indian textile industry face in the early years of its development ?
- It fpund difficult to compete with the cheap textiles imported from Britain.
- In most countries, government supported industrialisation by imposing heavy duties on imports. This eliminated competition and protected infant industries. The colonial government in India usually refused such protection to local industries.
What helped TISCO expand steel production during the First World War ?
- As the First World War broke out in 1914, steel produced in Britain now had to meet the demands of war in Europe. So, import of British steel into India declined dramatically.
- Indian railways also turned to TISCO for supply of rails. As the war dragged on for several years.
- TISCO had to produce shells and carriage wheels, for the war.
- By 1919, the colonial government was buying 90% of the steel manufactured by TISCO. Over time TISCO became the biggest steel industry within the British rule.
Find out about the history of any craft around the area you live. You may wish to know about the community of craftsmen, the changes in the techniques the use and the markets they supply. How have these changed in the past 50 years ?
(1) I found out about the history of carpets around my area.
The origin of carpet weaving in our area is very ancient. This can be traced back to the Buddhist and Mauryan times.
(2) The carpet weaving craft is practiced by Mushhar and shepherds which are semi- nomadic.
(3) Generally traditional and strong influence of Tibetan and Persian Art is seen in the designs. The images of Hindus Gods and deities, natural scenarios of the hills and geometrical motifs etc. are included.
(4) The techniques of weaving have been changed to a great extent. Now electrical appliances are also used in this process. Its market has also expanded over the time.
However, due to spread of education, many people have shifted to other jobs. Currently, many women from other communities have also taken to carpet weaving. Thus, it is expanding in our area.
On Map of India, locate the centres of different crafts today. Find out when these centres came up.