CBSE (NCERT) Textbook

Comprehension Check (Important Questions only)

Q.1: Who is an artisan? Why do you think the thumbs of expert artisans were chopped off?

Ans: An artisan is a person who is skilled in an applied art; a craftsman. The expert artisans of India worked so well that there was no parallel to their creation. The British feared that the goods which they were importing from their country to sell in India would not stand competition in quality with the goods produced by these expert Indian artisans. So to make them incapable of doing their work the British used to chop off the thumbs of artisans.

Working with the Text (Important Questions only)

Q.1: Do you think the Indian princes were short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1757?

Ans: Indian princes were indeed short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1757. They fought against each other and sought the help of the British. They could not see that this will eventually make the British most powerful. This happened and they had to suffer for their short-sightedness.

Q.2: How did the East India Company subdued the Indian princes?

Ans: Indian princes were divided and fought one another. Very often they sought the help of East India Company to do so. As a result they became weak. By this divide and rule policy the Company subdued them all one by one.

Q.4: In what ways did the British officers exploit Indians?

Ans: The British exploited Indians in several ways. They passed a resolution according to which an Indian could be jailed without trial in a court. British goods were imported in India tax-free. The English prospered on the company’s loot while the Indian industries began to die. Even the British Governor-General Bentinck reported to England, “The bones of cotton weavers are bleaching the plains of India.”

Q.5: Name these people.

(i) The ruler who fought pitched battles against the British and died fighting.

(ii) The person who wanted to reform the society.

(iii) The person who recommended the introduction of English education in India.

(iv) The popular leaders who led the revolt.


(i) Tipu Sultan

(ii) Raja Ram Mohan Roy

(iii) Lord Macaulay

(iv) Nana Sahib Peshwa, Kunwar Singh, Tatya Tope.

Q.6: Mention the following.

(i) Two examples of social practices prevailing then.

(ii) Two oppressive policies of the British.

(iii) Two ways in which common people suffered.

(iv) Four reasons for the discontent that led to the 1857 war of independence.


(i) Untouchability and child marriage.

(ii) (1) The British passed a resolution according to which an Indian could be jailed without trial in a court. (2) The British supported the British industries. To do so they made imports of British goods to this country tax-free as a result of which the Indian industries started to die.

(iii) (1) The British did not care about the needs and feelings of Indians. (2) The farmers were heavily taxed and the thumbs of the artisans were chopped off.

(iv) (1) Santhals had lost their lands. They became desperate and started to revolt against British and kill them as well as their supporters. (2) The salaries of the British soldiers and the Indian soldiers were not at par. This caused a lot of discontentment among the Indian soldiers. (3) Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow was bitter as she had lost her kingdom to British. (4) Many landlords were sore. They had lost their lands because of the British policies.


Additional Important Questions

Q.1: Name two things that helped the British to extend their power in 18th century.

Ans: Their superior weapons and the quarrels among Indian princes helped the British to extend their power in India in 18th century.

Q.2: What important change did Lord Macaulay bring in the education in India?

Ans: Lord Macaulay introduced English as the medium of education in India. Earlier all education in India were imparted through the mediums of Persian and Sanskrit.

Q.3: How did the British cripple the Indian industry?

Ans: The intention of the British was to make maximum profits. So the English goods were imported duty-free to India while the Indian goods were heavily taxed. Consequently, the goods manufactured in India could not stand competition and began to die. Not only this, the British used to cut the thumbs of expert Indian artisans so that