Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Questions and Answers Provided helps you to answer complex Questions too easily. You can use them while preparing for board exams and all of them are given by subject experts. Reading NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 6 Peasants and Farmers familiarizes you with the kind of questions appearing in the board exams. Students are advised to read these solutions on a regular basis to score well.
Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Questions and Answers History Chapter 6
Make your learning experience enjoyable by preparing from the quick links available on this page. Use the Class 9 SST History Chapter 6 NCERT Solutions and get to know different concepts involved. All the Solutions are covered as per the latest syllabus guidelines. Knowing the NCERT Class 9 History Chapter 6 Questions and Answers helps students to attempt the exam with confidence.
Peasants and Farmers NCERT Intext Questions and Answers
Look at the graph carefully. See how the price line moves up sharply in the 1790s and slumps dramatically after 1815. Can you explain why the line of the graph shows this pattern?
At this time Britain was industrialising. More and more people began to live and work in urban areas. Men from rural areas migrated to towns in search of jobs. To survive they had to buy foodgrains in the market. As the urban population grew, the market for foodgrains expanded and when demand increased rapidly, foodgrain prices rose.
By the end of the eighteenth century, France was at war with England. This disturbed trade and the import of foodgrains from Europe. Prices of foodgrains in England increased sharply. This encouraged landowners to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation.
However, after the Napoleonic wars ended in 1815, the foodgrain from Europe began flowing into England again. As a result, prices declined, and an Agricultural Depression set in. Anxious, landowners began reducing the area they cultivated and demanded that the imports of crops be stopped.
What happened to the women and children? Cow keeping, collection of firewood, gleaning, gathering of fruits and berries from the common lands was earlier mostly done by women and children. Can you suggest how enclosures must have affected the lives of women and children? Can you imagine how the disappearance of common lands might have changed the relationship between men, women and children within the family?
So long the common lands were there, women and children carried out their traditional activities mentioned in the question. But they had to stop these activities when the landlords erected enclosures. Now everything belonged to the landlords, everything had a price which they could not afford to pay.
Due to disappearance of common lands, the traditional relationships in the families would have adversely affected. The menfolk would have stressful due to being not able to feed the family preferably. The women would have taken up odd jobs to earn money. The children might have involved in stealing activities to satisfy their needs.
On the arrows in the map indicate the commodities that flowed from one country to another. See the map given below:
The British traders took opium from India to China and tea from China to England. Between India and England trade flowed both ways. By the early 19th century, exports of handlooms from India declined while the export of raw materials (silk and cotton) and foodgrains increased. From England, manufactured goods flowed into India leading to a decline of Indian artisanal production.
The commodities flowed from one country to another were:
- Opium – from India to China.
- Tea and Silk – from China to England.
- Sugar cane, cotton, jute, wheat and other crops – from India to England.
- Manufactured goods – from England to India.
Imagine that you were asked by the emperor of China to prepare a leaflet for young people about the harmful effects of opium. Find out about the effect of opium on the human body. Design your leaflet and give it an eye-catching title.
Do it yourself.
History Class 9 Chapter 6 NCERT Textbook Questions and Answers
Explain briefly what the open field system meant to rural people in eighteenth century England. Look at the system from the point of view of:
(a) A rich farmer
(b) A labourer
(c) A peasant woman
(a) A rich farmer – The open field system was not beneficial for the rich farmers because it hindered their agricultural activities. They simply wanted to expand their land holding by enclosing the open land. Their wish was fulfilled when enclosing of open fields started in the eighteenth century to increase grain production. Thus, enclosures filled their pockets and they became richer.
(b) A labourer- For the poor like labourers, the common land was essential for survival. Here, they pastured their cows and grazed their sheep, collected fuelwood for fire and berries and fruit for food. They fished in the rivers and ponds and hunted rabbit in common forests. In this way, the common land supplemented their meagre income, sustained their cattle and helped them tide over bad times when crops failed. When forces came up, the enclosed land became the exclusive property of one landowner. The poor could no long carry on their traditional activities. Everything belonged to the landlords, everything had a price which the poor could not afford to pay.
(c) A peasant woman – The open field system was beneficial for the peasant women. Here, they collected fuelwood for fire and berries and fruits for food. Enclosures adversely affected them. They could no longer carry on these activities.
Explain briefly the factors which led to the enclosures in England.
The factors which led to the enclosures in England are given below:
(i) In the sixteenth century, the price of wool went up in the world market. This encouraged rich farmers to expand wool production to earn profits. Hence, they began dividing and enclosing common land and building hedges around their holdings to separate their property from that of others.
(ii) From the mid-eighteenth century, the English population expanded rapidly. This meant an increased demand for foodgrains to feed the population. So, unlike the sixteenth century enclosures that promoted sheep rearing , the land being enclosed in the late eighteenth century was for grain production.
(iii) Britain at this time was industrialising. More and more people began to live and work in urban areas. Men from rural areas migrated to towns in search of jobs. To survive they had to buy foodgrains in the market which promoted enclosures to increase grain production.
(iv) By the end of the eighteenth century, France was at war with England. This disrupted trade and the import of foodgrains from Europe. Prices of foodgrains in England soared high, encouraging landowners to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation.
Why were threshing machines opposed by the poor in England?
Before the introduction of threshing machines in England, the poor labourers had no dearth of work on the land of the rich farmers. To earn livelihood was not a tough job for them. During the Napoleonic wars when the rich farmers introduced the threshing machines, their life became miserable. The new technology reduced the demand for labour, as a result of which unemployment increased among the labourers. They wandered from village to village and those with uncertain jobs lived in fear of a loss of their livelihood. For them the threshing machines had become a sign of bad times. So, they opposed these machines and started destroying them and threatening the rich farmers to stop using them.
Who was Captain Swing? What did the name symbolise or represent?
Captain Swing was a mythical name which the poor labourers in rural England used in the threatening letters written by them to the rich farmers telling them to stop using threshing machines or face the consequences. The rich farmers had introduced threshing machines, due to which demand for labour decreased which caused the labourers to become agitated. The name Captain Swing symbolised or represented the anger of the poor labourers in rural England who wanted to resume their work on the land of the rich farmers. This was possible only when there were no threshing machines.
What was the impact of the westward expansion of settlers in the USA?
(i) With the westward expansion of the white settlers in the USA the landscape of the country got transformed radically. White Americans had moved westward and established control up to the west coast, displacing local tribes and carving out the entire landscape into different agricultural belts.
(ii) The USA came to dominate the world market in agricultural produce. The local American Indians were cleared from the land inspite of their resistance.
(iii) As the Indians retreated, the white settlers poured in. They settled on the Appalachian plateau by the first decade of the eighteenth century, and then moved into the Mississippi valley between 1820 and 1850.
(iv) They cleared the land for cultivation and built log cabins in the forest clearings. Then they cleared larger areas and enclosed them to grow wheat.
(v) When the soil got exhausted in one place, the settlers moved further west and raised a new crop. After the 1860s, they swept into the Great Plains across the River Mississippi. Thus, gradually they took over the whole of America.
What were the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machine in the USA?
(i) The new machines helped in breaking the ground with tractors and disk ploughs, clearing vast stretches for wheat cultivation.
(ii) Before the 1830s, the grain used to be harvested with a cradle or sickle. At harvest time, hundreds of men and women could be seen in the fields cutting the crop. In 1831, Cyrus McCormick invented the first mechanical reaper, which could cut in one day as much as five men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles.
(iii) By the early twentieth century, most farmers were using combined harvesters to cut grain. With one of these machines, 500 acres of wheat could be harvested in two weeks.
(iv) The new machines allowed by farmers to rapidly clear large tracts, break up the soil, remove the grass and prepare the ground for cultivation.
(v) The work could be done quickly and with a minimal number of hands. With power-driven machinery, four men could plough, seed and harvest 2,000 to 4,000 acres of wheat in a season. Thus, the new machines were a boon for big farmers.
(i) These machines brought misery to the poorer farmers. Many of them bought these machines, thinking that wheat prices would remain high and profits would flow in. But this did not happen.As a result, they left their farms and looked for jobs elsewhere. But jobs were difficult to find.
(ii) Mechanisation reduced the need for labour. So, unemployment spread on a large scale. And the boom of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries end by the mid 1920s. After that, most farmers faced trouble.
(iv) Due to increased production, there was surplus of foodgrains. Storehouses overflowed with grain, and vast amounts of com and wheat were turned into animal feed. Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed. This led to Agrarian depression that ruined wheat farmers.
(v) To expand cultivation, tractors had turned the soil over the broken the sod into dust. Over a period of time, overuse turned the whole region into a dust bowl, leading to terrifying dust storms called ‘black blizzards’ which blinded and choked the people. Animals were suffocated to death. The rivers were coated with dust till the fish died.
What lessons can we draw from the conversion of the countryside in the USA from a bread basket to a dust bowl?
Tractors and machines that had ploughed the earth and harvested the wheat in the countryside in the USA were clogged with dust, damaged beyond repair. The bread basket had turned into a dust bowl. The rains failed year after year and temperatures soared. The wind blew with high speed. The dust swept in, blinding and choking people. Thus, the American dream of a land of plenty turned into a nightmare. The settlers had thought that they could conquer the entire landscape, turn all land over to growing crops that could yield profits. From this experience we learn that we should not overuse and over-exploit our resources because it leads to ecological damage and environmental imbalance. We must respect the ecological conditions of every region. We must respect our nature which is supreme.
Write a paragraph on why the British insisted on farmers growing opium in India.
In the late eighteenth century, the English East India Company was buying tea and silk from China for sale in England. As tea became a popular English drink, the tea trade became more and more important over years, the profits of the East India Company came to depend on the tea trade. But this created a problem. England at this time produced nothing that could be easily sold in China. The Chinese were suspicious of all foreign merchants and foreign goods.
In such a situation, it was difficult for western merchants to finance the tea trade. If they bought tea by paying in silver coins or bullion, there would be overflow of treasure from England. So, merchants looked for other ways. They searched for a commodity they could sell in China, something they could persuade the Chinese to buy. Opium was such a commodity. They thought that the profit from the opium trade could be used to buy tea and silk from China. So, they started illegal trade in opium with Chinese merchants. To get opium they turned to Indian farmers and insisted them to grow this commodity.
Why were Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium?
There were a variety of reasons behind this:
(i) The crop (poppy) had to be grown on the best land, on fields that lay near villages and were well manured. On this land peasants usually produced pulses. If they planted opium on this land, then pulses could not be grown there, or they would have to be grown on inferior land where harvests were poorer and uncertain.
(ii) Many cultivators owned no land. To cultivate, they had to pay rent and lease land from landlords. And the rent charged on good lands near villages was very high.
(iii) The cultivation of opium was a difficult process. The plant was delicate and cultivators had to spend long hours nurturing it. This meant that they did not have enough time to care for other crops.
(iv) The price the government paid to the cultivators for the opium they produced was very low. It was unprofitable for cultivators to grow opium at that price.
Class 9 History Chapter 6 NCERT Intext Activity Questions and Answers
Draw a timeline from 1650 to 1930 showing the significant agricultural changes which you have read about in this chapter.
|Year||Changes in England||Changes in the USA|
|(i)||1650||Enclosures promoting sheep rearing started.|
|(ii)||1660s||Farmers began to grow turnip and clover to increase soil fertility.|
|(iii)||1810||Introduction of threshing machines.|
|(iv)||1830s||Captain Swing Movement began||Cyrus McCormick invented mechanical reaper.|
|(v)||1850||Six million acres enclosed for grain production|
|(vi)||1860||Agriculture started in the Great Plains.|
|(vii)||1900||Combined harvester began to be used.|
|(viii)||1910||Mechanical plough was invented.|
|(ix)||1920||74 million acres were brought under wheat cultivation.|
|(x)||1930s||Expansion of wheat agriculture created ecological problems. Drought occurred.|
Fill in the following table with the events oui d in this chapter. Remember there could be more than one change in a country
|Country||Change which occurred||Who lost||Who won|
|(a)||England||Open fields and common lands were enclosed||Poor people||Individual landlords/ rich farmers|
|(b)||America||Introduction of mechanical reaper and combined harvester made agriculture profitable.||Farm labourers||Big farmers|
|(c)||India||Introduction of opium cultivation||Indian farmers||British traders|
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