Topic outline

    • Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners

      Q29. Why did the wool and silk producers in England protest against the import of Indian textiles in the early eighteenth century?

      Ans. Textile industries had just begun to develop in England in the early eighteenth century. Unable to compete with Indian textiles, English producers wanted a secure market within the country by preventing the entry of Indian textiles. Therefore, they protested against the import of Indian textiles.


      Q30. What problems did the Indian textile industry face in the early years of its development?

      Ans. The textile factory industry in India faced many problems. It found it difficult to compete with the cheap textiles imported from Britain. In most countries, governments 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.

      Q31. Write a short note on growth of cotton mills in India.
      Give a brief description of growth of cotton mills in India.

      Ans. The first cotton mill in India was set up as a spinning mill in Bombay in 1854. By 1900, over 84 mills started operating in Bombay. Mills came up in other cities too. The first mill in Ahmedabad was started in 1861. A year later a mill was established in Kanpur, in the United Provinces. Growth of cotton mills led to a demand for labour. Thousands of poor peasants, artisans and agricultural labourers moved to the cities to work in the mills.


      Q32. Why was the Wootz steel making process completely lost by the mid-19th century?
      Wootz steel making process was completely lost by the mid-19th century. Give reasons.
      Wootz steel making process was completely lost by the mid-nineteenth century. Why this was so?

      Ans. Wootz steel making process was completely lost by the mid-nineteenth century because of the following reasons.

                               i.        The swords and armour making industry died with the conquest of India by the British.

                              ii.        Imports of iron and steel from England displaced the iron and steel produced by craftspeople in India.


      Q33. How did the invention of spinning jenny and steam engine revolutionised cotton textiles moving in England?

      Ans. Competition with Indian textiles led to a search for technological innovation in England. In 1764, the spinning jenny was invented by John Kaye which increased the productivity of the traditional spindles. The invention of the steam engine by Richard Arkwright in 1786 revolutionised cotton textile weaving. Cloth could now be woven in immense quantities and cheaply too.

      Q34. What helped TISCO expand steel production during the First World War?

      Ans. By the time TISCO was set up the situation was changing. In 1914 the First World War broke out. Steel produced in Britain now had to meet the demands of war in Europe. So imports of British steel into India declined dramatically and the Indian Railways 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 per cent of the steel manufactured by TISCO. Over time TISCO became the biggest steel industry within the British empire.


      Q35. Describe the process of weaving.

      Ans. Process of weaving

                                 i.        The first stage of production was spinning – a work done mostly by women. The charkha and the takli were household spinning instruments. The thread was spun on the charkha and rolled on the takli.

                                ii.        When the spinning was over the thread was woven into cloth by the weaver. In most communities weaving was a task done by men.

      For coloured textiles, the thread was dyed by the dyer, known as rangrez. For printed cloth the weavers needed the help of specialist block printers known as chhipigars.

      Q36. Describe the regions where textile production was concentrated in the early 19th century.

      Ans. Textile production was concentrated in four regions in the early nineteenth century.

                                i.        Bengal was one of the most important centres. Located along the numerous rivers in the delta, the production centres in Bengal could easily transport goods to distant places.

                               ii.        Decca in Eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh) was the foremost textile centre in the eighteenth century. It was famous for its mulmul and jamdani weaving.

                              iii.        Cluster of cotton weaving centres was concentrated along the Coromandel Coast stretching from Madras to northern Andhra Pradesh.

                              iv.        On the western coast there were important weaving centres in Gujarat.


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