Detailed, Step-by-Step NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonial Cities: Urbanisation, Planning and Architecture Questions and Answers were solved by Expert Teachers as per NCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines covering each topic in chapter to ensure complete preparation.
Colonial Cities: Urbanisation, Planning and Architecture NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 12
Colonial Cities: Urbanisation, Planning and Architecture Questions and Answers Class 12 History Chapter 12
To what extent are census data useful in reconstructing patterns of urbanisation in thecplonial context?
A careful study of census revealed some fascinating trends of urbanisation in 19th century.” Support the statement with facts. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
A careful study of the data gathered through the census helps a lot in understanding the trend of urbanisation. It can be examined as under:
- The process of urbanisation was sluggish in India after 1800.
- In the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century, the proportion of the urban population to the total population of India was very low and stagnant.
- Between 1900 and 1940 C.E., there was a 13% increase in the urban population whereas during the same period, there was a 10% increase in the population of the whole country.
- The data helps us in the enumeration of people according to their age, sex, caste, religion and occupation.
- The British lived in the White areas whereas the Indian lived in the Black areas. The white areas stood for cleanliness and hygiene. On the other hand, the black areas signified chaos, anarchy, filth and disease.
What do the terms “White” and “Black” Town signify ?
The British had white skin so they were often called the ‘white’. They suffered from the white man’s burden and considered themselves as superior to others. On the other hand, the blacks had brown or black skin. So, they were called the “black’, such as the Indians or Africans. Thus, white signified the superiority over the black.
According to the British, the black areas symbolised chaos and anarchy, filth and disease. On the other hand, the white area stood for cleanliness and hygiene. In black areas, epidemics like cholera and plague often spread. So, the British took stringent measures to ensure sanitation and public health.
They wanted to prevent diseases of the black areas. So, they ensured underground piped water supply. They also introduced sewerage and drainage system. In other words, the British paid a lot of attention towards sanitary vigilance. Thus, white towns were those parts of the colonial towns where the white people lived.
The cantonment areas were also developed at safe places. They had wide roads, barracks, churches and parade ground. Besides, they had big bungalows and gardens. In fact, the White Town symbolised settled city life. But in the black towns, the Indians lived who were said to be unorganised and a source of filth and disease.
How did prominent Indian merchants establish themselves in the colonial city ?
The important Indian traders settled in colonial cities like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. They were the most rich as they served as agents or middlemen. They built large traditional courtyard houses in the Black Town. They also bought up large tracts of land in these cities. They made investments for the future and wanted to impress their English masters by giving lavish parties during festivals. They also built temples to establish their status and prestige in the society.
What were the motivating factors of town planning of Calcutta (Bengal) ? Describe the process of town planning of Calcutta under the reign of Lord Wellesley.
Examine how the concerns of defence and health gave shape to Calcutta.
Right from the early days of their rule in Bengal, the British took the task of town planning of Calcutta in their own hands. Following were the motivating factors behind it:
(i) The first factor was defence. In 1756 C.E., Calcutta was attacked by the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj- ud-Daulah. He captured the small fort, which was built by the British traders as their depot for goods. The traders of East India Company were not happy with the sovereignty of the Nawab. They neither wanted to pay the custom duty nor did they wanted to operate according to the terms given by the Nawab. On the other hand, Siraj-ud-Daulah wanted to assert his authority.
(ii) The battle of Plassey was fought in 1757 and Siraj ud-Daulah was defeated in it. Then, Siraj ud- Daulah the East India Company decided to build a new fort, which could not be easily attacked.
Town Planning : Calcutta was grown from the three villages of Sutnati, Kolkata and Govindapur. First of all, the Company cleared the land in the southern most village of Govindapur and ordered the traders and weavers to move out who resided over there. Around newly built Fort William, a vast open space was left, which locally came to be known as garer-math or Maidan. The main objective of keeping open spaces was that if enemy army advances towards the Fort then it could come to a straight line of fire.
Once, the British consolidated their power at Calcutta then they started moving out of the Fort and began building residences along the periphery of the maidan. In this way the British settlements in Calcutta came into being. The maidan or vast open space became a landmark. It was the first significant measure in the town planning of Calcutta.
Town Planning under Lord Wellesley : Lord Wellesley became the Governor-General in 1798. He built a palace for himself called the ‘Government House’. This building was a symbol of British authority. When Wellesley arrived at Calcutta, he became very much concerned about the condition of the Indian part of the city—the excessive vegetation, the crowding, the dirty tanks, the smells and poor drainage.
The British were worried by these conditions because they believed that the poisonous gases hum pools of stagnant water and marshlands were the main cause of most of the diseases. Even the tropical climate of India was seen as unhealthy and enervating. There was one way of making the city healthier and that was creating open places in the city. Wellesley issued an administrative order in 1803 on the need for town planning.
Many committees were set up for this purpose. A number of bazaars, ghats, tanneries and cremation grounds were cleared. From then, the idea of public health became an idea, which was used in projects of town planning and town clearance.
Give a brief description of buildings made in a neo-Gothic and Indo-Saracenic styles during the colonial period. Also describe the main features of these styles.
What are the different colonial architectural styles that can be seen in Bombay City ?
Explain any two broad architectural styles used by the British for the public buildings in the colonial cities, with examples. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
(i) Neo-Gothic Style : The buildings constructed in the neo-Gothic architectural style had high-pitched roofs, pointed arches and extensive decoration. This style was adopted in the construction of the churches in northern Europe during the medieval period. It was again revived in England in the mid 19th century. It was the time when the Bombay government was building its infrastructure. In Bombay, many buildings like the Secretariat, the High Court and the University of Bombay were built in this style.
Few Indians also gave money for buildings made in this style. For example, Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Readymoney donated money to build the University Hall. He was a rich Parsi merchant. In the same way, Premchand Roychand funded the making of the University Library clock tower. This tower was named after his mother as Rajabai Tower. Indian merchants also liked the neo-Gothic style because they believed that the building styles of British were also progressive, like their ideas and it would help make Bombay into a modern city.
But the most spectacular and bewitching example of the neo-Gothic Style is the Victoria Terminus, the station and head quarters of the Railway Company. The British invested a lot of money in the design and construction of railway stations in cities because they were proud of themselves that they had built an All-India railway network. Central Bombay was dominated by a group of these buildings. Their uniform neo-Gothic Style gave a special character to the city.
(ii) Indo-Saracenic Style : A new hybrid architectural style was developed in the beginning of the 20th century, which was a mixture of the Indian style with European style. This style was given the name of Indo-Saracenic style. The word ‘Indo’ was a short form of ‘Hindu’ and the word ‘Sarecen’ was used by Europeans to designate Muslims.
This style was inspired by the medieval buildings in India with their domes, chhatris, jalis, arches, etc. By integrating Indian style with European style, British wanted to express that they are the legitimate and natural rulers of India. In 1911, the Gateway of India was built to welcome the King George V and Queen Mary to India. It is the most famous example of the traditional Gujarati style. The famous industrialist Jamsedji Tata built the hotel Taj Mahal in a similar style.
How were urban centres transformed during the eighteenth I century ? Explain the changes reflected in the history of urban centres in India during the 18th eentury with special I reference to network of trade. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
In the 18th century, many old towns declined and were replaced by new towns which soon emerged and developed. As there was a gradual erosion in the power of the Mughals, it caused an eclipse of various cities associated with their rule. Delhi and Agra, which were the capitals during the Mughal rule, lost their political authority and grandeur.
(i) Emergence of New Regional Powers : During the 18th century, many new regional capitals emerged and soon gained importance. Such powers were Lucknow, Hyderabad, Seringapatam, Poona, Nagpur, Baroda and Thanjavur. Those traders, artisans and administrators who earlier lived in the Mughal centres of power now left these places and migrated to new capitals in search of work and patronage. Many mercenaries also came to these new cities in search of employment.
(ii) Creation of New Urban Settlements : Many officials and local notables lived in the Mughal cities. They created their new urban settlements such as the ‘Qasbah’ and ‘Ganj’. However, there was an uneven growth of cities. Some places flourished because of their economic activities but some faced economic decline due to war, plunder and political instability.
(iii) Growth of Trading Centres : The emergence of urban centres brought many changes in the network of trade. For example, the Portuguese settled in Panaji in 1510 and the Dutch in Masulipatnam in 1605. The British came in Madras in 1639 and the French took hold of Pondicherry in 1673. It led to an expansion of economic and commercial activity. So, many towns grew around these trading centres. By the end of the eighteenth century, the land-based empires in Asia were replaced by the powerful sea-based European empires. It ushered in International trade, mercantilism and capitalism in the society.
(iv) Emergence of Colonial Port-Cities : In the mid-eighteenth century, the commercial centres like Dhaka and Masulipatnam lost their importance. With the British becoming more powerful after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the trade shifted to cities like Madras, Calcutta and Bombay, which emerged as new economic capitals due to the trade activities of East India Company. So, these cities also became centres of colonial, political and administrative power. By the end of 1800, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay had become the biggest cities in India.
What were the new kinds of public places that emerged in the colonial city ? What functions did they serve ?
The Indians found the new colonial cities as bewildering. They were amazed at the new transport facilities such as horse-drawn carriages, trams and buses. These transport facilities enabled the people to live at a distance from the city centre. They lived at some other place and served at some other place.
Emergence of new public places : The new colonial cities saw the creation of new public places like the theatres, cinema-halls, gardens and public parks. Besides there were clubs and Garden Houses.
Functions : These public places were very exciting and were an important source of entertainment. They also increased social interaction due to which people were able to express their opinions on society and government. They could also question the practice of social customs.
What were the concerns that influenced town planning in the nineteenth century ?
After the Revolt of 1857, the British nurtured various concerns and worries regarding town-planning, which is evident from the following points:
Constant fear of rebellion : Having faced the Revolt of 1857, the white men in India had a constant fear of rebellion from the Indians. So, they wanted to live in more secure and segregated enclaves. To ensure their defence, they wanted to live away from the native people from whom they faced the threat of rebellion. So, they cleared many agricultural fields and pasture lands and set up urban spaces called the Civil Lines. The Englishmen lived in these Civil Lines and also set up cantonment areas for the stationing of the armed forces.
Safe enclaves : The British considered the Civil Lines and cantonment as safe enclaves as they ensured better defence. These areas were separate from the Indian towns. They had broad streets and also big bungalows amidst large gardens. They also had a Church. The Cantonment areas had barracks and parade ground. So, all these places — Civil Lines as well as cantonment—were a model of ordered urban life. They were also a safe place for all the Europeans.
Development of white towns : The British were also concerned about epidemics like cholera and plague, which often spread in India, killing thousands of people. So, they demarcated both Black and White areas. The black areas symbolised only chaos and anarchy. They stood for filth and disease. The British always feared that disease would spread froimthe Black to the White areas. So, they developed White Towns for themselves. These towns signified hygiene and cleanliness. The British took stringent administrative measures to ensure sanitation of these areas. They also regulated the building activity. They also made arrangements for the underground piped water supply. They cared a lot for sewerage and drainage systems. In fact, they kept an utmost sanitary vigilance.
To what extent were social relations transformed in the new cities ?
Explain the changes that came about in the social life in the new cities under colonial rule.(CB.S.E Sample Paper 2011)
Describe the social changes brought about in the new colonial cities. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
“The colonial cities offered new opportunities to women during the 19th century”. Support the statement with facts. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
The new colonial cities were the bewildering places for the people of India. Life in these cities seemed to be in a flux. It was a mixture of richness and poverty, prosperity and adversity.
(i) Separation of the place of work from the place of residence : The new colonial cities had new facilities of transport. There were trains, buses and horse-drawn carriages for the transportation of the people. So, people could live at a distant place from the main city centre. Gradually, the place of work separated from the place of residence. The people experienced a new kind of life when they moved from their place of residence to their factory, office or any other kind of place of work.
(ii) Lack of coherence and familiarity : The new colonial cities lacked coherence and familiarity. As the cities were big; all the people did not know each other. They were detached and lacked harmonious relations.
(iii) Creation of public places: The new colonial cities had many public places, like theatres, cinema- halls and public parks. They were the source of entertainment that encouraged and provided opportunities for social interaction.
(iv) Emergence of new social groups and middle classes : In the new colonial cities, people lost their old identities. They formed new social groups. Many people had left their old cities and settled in the big cities. These people included clerks, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants. Collectively all of these formed the middle classes. They had an access to new educational institutions and were also free to express their views on society and government. They also challenged the practice of many social customs.
(v) New opportunities for women : In the new colonial cities, the women were given abundant opportunities to grow and progress. So, many middle- class women expressed themselves through journals, books and autobiographies. They became more visible in public. They entered new professions and became teachers, artists and domestic and factory workers. They moved out of household.
(vi) Opposition to change in traditional patriarchal norms : Social change is generally not acceptable to traditional and conservative people. So, many people objected to change in the traditional patriarchal norms. They feared that the education of women would turn the world upside down. They felt that the education of women would threaten the very basis of Indian social order. They wanted to see women as mothers and wives and wanted that all the women should remain confined to the household.
(vii) Emergence of working class : The new colonial cities saw a new class. It was a class of the labouring poor and of working people. Paupers from the rural areas rushed to the cities in search of employment. They found new opportunities in new cities. They were also allured by the new city life and wanted to see things that they had never seen before.
But they were poor and could not afford to live in the city as life here was very costly and expensive. So, they kept their families in their villages. They worked in the city and went back to their villages. For them, life in the city was a struggle because a city had uncertain jobs, expensive food and unaffordable residences.