When and Where
Q18. Who are calligraphists? How were they important in the
early nineteenth century?
Ans. Calligraphists are those who are specialized in
the art of beautiful handwriting. In the early years of the
nineteenth century documents were carefully copied out and beautifully written
Q19. Mention one important source used by historians in writing
about the last 250 years of Indian history.
What sources do historians use in writing about the last 250
years of Indian history?
important source is the official records of the British administration. Other
sources include diaries of people, accounts of pilgrims and travellers,
autobiographies of important personalities, and popular booklets that were sold
in the local bazaars.
Q20. What do official records not tell? How do we come to know
What official records do not tell? From where do we get such
Official records do not always help us understand what other people in the
country felt, and what lay behind their actions. For that we have diaries of people,
accounts of pilgrims and travellers, autobiographies of important
personalities, and popular booklets that were sold in the local bazaars.
Q21. Why did the British preserve official documents?
The British believed that the act of writing was important. Every instruction,
plan, policy decision, agreement, investigation had to be clearly written up.
Once this was done, things could be properly studied and debated. This conviction
produced an administrative culture of memos, notings and reports.
Q22. By what criteria do we choose a set of dates as important?
Ans. The dates we select, the dates around which we
compose our story of the past, are not important on their own. They become
vital because we focus on a particular set of events as important. If our focus
of study changes, if we begin to look at new issues, a new set of dates will
Q23. Why do we try and divide history into different periods?
We do so in an attempt to capture the characteristics of a time, its central
features as they appear to us. So the terms through which we
periodise – that is, demarcate the difference between periods – become
important. They reflect our ideas about the past. They show how we see the
significance of the change from one period to the next.
Q24. How did the British conquer India and establish their rule?
Ans. British came to conquer the country and establish
their rule, subjugating local nawabs and rajas. For this, they established control
over the economy and society, collected revenue to meet all their expenses, bought
the goods they wanted at low prices, produced crops they needed for export.
They also brought changes about in values and tastes, customs and practices.
Q25. How did the invention of the printing press help in
spreading news and information?
the early years of the nineteenth century documents were carefully copied out
and beautifully written by calligraphists. By the middle of the nineteenth
century, with the spread of printing, multiple copies of these records were
printed as proceedings of each government department. As
printing spread, newspapers were published and issues were debated in public.
Leaders and reformers wrote to spread their ideas, poets and novelists wrote to
express their feelings.
Q26. What did the British do to preserve important official
documents and letters?
Why did the British set up record rooms attached to all
Ans. The British also felt that all important
documents and letters needed to be carefully preserved. So they set up record
rooms attached to all administrative institutions. The village tahsildar’s
office, the collectorate, the commissioner’s office, the provincial secretariats,
the lawcourts – all had their record rooms. Specialised institutions like
archives and museums were also established to preserve important records.
Q27. James Rennel was supporter of British Rule in India.
Ans. Rennel was asked by Robert Clive to produce maps
of Hindustan. An enthusiastic supporter of British conquest of India, Rennel
saw preparation of maps as essential to the process of domination. He had
produced the first map in 1782. The frontispiece to the first
map tries to suggest that Indians willingly gave over their ancient texts to
Britannia – the symbol of British power – as if asking her to become the protector
of Indian culture.