Farman: A royal edict or royal order which has been issued by the king or emperor.

Qazi: A judge in the Mughal period for Mughals. During the British period also the criminal courts were under a Qazi and a Mufti.

Mufti: A jurist of Muslim community who is responsible for expounding the law that the Qazi would administer.

Dharmashastras: Sanskrit texts which prescribe social rules and codes of behavior composed from C (Century) 500 BCE (before Christ Era) onwards.

NCERT Textbook Exercise Questions (Important only)

Q.1: Match the following:

(1) Diwani (a) Tipu Sultan

(2) “Tiger of Mysore” (b) Right to Collect Land Revenue

(3) Faujdari Adalat (c) Sepoy

(4) Rani Channamma (d) Criminal Court

(5) Sipahi (e) Led an anti British Movement in Kitoor

Ans: (1)-b (2)-a (3)-d (4)-e (5)-c

Q.2: Fill in the blanks:

a) The British conquest in began with the battle of ________.

b) Haidar Ali & Tipu Sultan were the rulers of _________.

c) Dalhousie implemented the Doctrine of _________.

d) Maratha kingdoms were located mainly in the _________part of India.

Ans: (a) Plassey (b) Mysore (c) Lapse (d) Southern

Q.3: State whether true or false:

a) The Mughal Empire became stronger in the eighteenth century.

b) The English East India Company was the only European Company that traded with India.

c) Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the ruler of Punjab.

d) The British did not introduce administrative changes in the territories they conquered.

Ans: (a) False (b) False (c) True (d) False

Q.4: What attracted European trading companies to India?

Ans: European trading companies were attracted to India because of a number of reasons:

1) Trading with India was highly profitable and fruitful to the businessmen in Europe.

2) The European trading companies purchased goods at cheaper and sold them in Europe at the higher prices.

3) The fine qualities of cotton and silk produced in India had a big market in Europe.

4) Indian spices like – pepper, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon were in great demand in Europe.

So it is because of these reasons which made India a place of attraction for many European trading companies.

Q.5: What were the areas of conflict between the Bengal Nawabs and the East India Company?

Ans: In the 18th century, after the death of Aurangzeb, the Bengal Nawabs asserted their power and autonomy as other regional powers were doing at that time. These Nawabs refused to grant the company further concessions, rather demanded large tributes from the company for giving them right to trade. These Nawabs also denied to give them any right to mint coins and stopped it from extending its fortifications. The Nawabs accused the company for depriving from huge amounts of revenue and undermining the authority of the Nawab.

The company on the other hand, was refusing to pay taxes and writing disrespectful letters and trying to humiliate the Nawab and his officials. The company also declared that the unjust demands of the local officials were ruining the trade, which could flourish only if the duties were removed.

Q.6: How did the assumption of Diwani benefit the East India Company?

Ans: The Diwani right to the East India Company benefitted it in several ways like –

1. The Diwani allowed the company to use the vast revenue resources of Bengal.

2. Earlier the company had to buy most of the goods in India in exchange of gold and silver which, they imported from Britain. After the assumption of Diwani the company started to purchase the goods in India with these revenues, as a result of which the outflow of gold and silver from Britain entirely stopped.

3. Now the revenues from India could be used to purchase cotton & silk textiles and also meet various expenses including maintaining the troops, meet the cost of building the company fort and offices at Calcutta.

Q.7: Explain the “Subsidiary Alliance”?

Ans: After the battle of Plassey in 1757, the battle of Buxar in 1764 and gaining the Diwani of Bengal, the company began to expand its rule in many parts of India. For that it had devised several plans, one among them was the “Subsidiary Alliance”. According to the terms of this alliance –

a) Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces.

b) They were to be protected by the company but pay for the Subsidiary Forces, that the company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of their protection.

c) If the Indian rulers failed to make payment, then that part of territory was taken away by the company as penalty.

For example the Nawab of Awadh was forced to give over half of his territory to the company in 1801 as he failed to pay for the Subsidiary forces.

Q.8: In what way was the administration of the company different from that of Indian rulers?


a) British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies. There were three Presidencies like – Bengal, Madras & Bombay whereas under the Indian rulers administration was divided into four parts – District (Zila), Paragana, Tehsil and Villages.

b) Each administrative unit was ruled by a Governor.

c) The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General, whereas under the Indian Administrative system the supreme head was King or Nawab.

d) Warren Hastings introduced the new system of justice. Each district was to have two courts- civil & criminal court.

e) The European District Collector presided over civil courts.

f) The criminal courts were still under a Qazi and a Mufti.

g) Under the Regulating Act of 1773, a new supreme court was established.

h) The main figure in an Indian District was Collector.

i) According to his title Collector, his main job was to collect the revenue and the taxes and maintain law & order in his district with the help of judges, police officers and darogas.

Q.9: Describe the changes that occurred in the composition of the company’s army.

Ans: Along with bringing some new ideas of administration and reform the company gradually introduced many changes in its army. Earlier the Mughal Army was mainly composed of the cavalry & infantry who were actually recruited from peasants and were given training in archery and sword. The Mughals never tried to modernize their army according to the changing period. Initially the East India Company adopted the same method when it began recruitment for its own army which was known as the Sepoy Army. They also modernized their army with guns and small tanks. With the change in warfare technology, requirements of infantry regiments became more important than the cavalry requirements. In the early 19th century the British began to introduce a uniform military culture in which soldiers were increasingly subjected to European – style of training, drill and discipline. These regulated their life far more than before. But this often created problems since caste and community feelings were ignored in building such a force of professional soldiers. Also the Indian soldiers were not given the salary and treatment like their British counterparts.

Short type Questions with their Answers

Q.1: How were the regional kingdoms set up after Aurangzeb’s death?

Ans: After his death in 1707, several Mughal governors (Subadars) and big Zamindars began asserting their authority and setting up regional kingdoms.

Q.2: Which new power began emerging on the political scene after the fall of Mughals?

Ans: By the second half of the 18th century, a new power began emerging on political horizon. This power was the British.

Q.3: How could mercantile company make profits?


Ø Mercantile trading companies in those days made profits primarily by excluding competition.

 They could buy cheap & sell dear.

Q.4: What led to intense conflicts of the companies with local rulers?


Ø The effort to fortify settlements and carry on profitable trades led to intense conflicts with local rulers.

 The company found it difficult to separate trade from politics.

Q.5: When and where was the first English factory set up?

Ans: The first English factory was set up on the banks of the river Hugli in 1651. This was the base from which the company’s traders who were known at that time as ‘factors’ operated.

Q.6: Name the village which the company got from the Mughal officials.

Ans: Name of one village was Kalikata, which later grew into the city of Calcutta or Kolkata as it is known today.

Q.7: Who was the last Mughal powerful ruler?

Ans: Aurangzeb was the last Mughal powerful ruler.

Q.8: Why could Delhi not function as an effective center?

Ans: As we know that Aurangzeb was the last powerful Mughal ruler but after his death there was no such effective Mughal ruler to rule the country. So, Zamindars started to rule the country but they didn’t give such importance to Delhi. The Zamindars wanted to make their own profit. They did not want Delhi as the capital of their kingdom. When Aurangzeb died in 1707, then Subadars and big Zamindars began to assert their authority and establishing regional kingdoms. So, Delhi could no longer function as an effective center.

Q.9: Did you know how Plassey got its name?

Ans: Plassey is an anglicized pronunciation of Palashi. The place derived its name from the Palash tree known for its beautiful red flowers that yield Gulal, the powder used in the festival of Holi.

Long type Questions with their Answers

Q.1: Explain major features of the Doctrine of Lapse.

Ans: The major features of the Doctrine of Lapse are:

 The Doctrine of Lapse was devised by Lord Dalhousie who was the Governor General of India from 1848 to 1856. According to this doctrine – if an Indian ruler died without a male heir his kingdom would ‘lapse’. It would become a part of company territory.

 The company annexed several kingdoms simply by applying this doctrine.

 These kingdoms included Satara (1848), Sambalpur (1850), Udaipur (1852), Nagpur (1853) and Jhansi (1854).

 At last the company also annexed Awadh in 1856. This time the British argued that they were ‘obliged by duty’ to take over Awadh in order to free the people from the misgovernment of Nawab.

 Enraged by the humiliating way in which the Nawab was deposed, the people of Awadh joined the great revolt that broke out in 1857.

Q.2: Why was there a competition amongst the European companies and what was the result?

Ans: There was a competition amongst the European companies because all of them wanted to gain control over India which was well-known for its spices and other goods. Indian was known as the ‘Land of Spices’. Indian spices like – pepper, cloves, cardamom & cinnamon were ion great demand in European market. The fine qualities of cotton and silk produced in India had a big market in Europe. The European companies used to purchase these things at a very low price in India and sold them at a huge profit in the European market.

The problem was that all the companies were interested in buying the same things. So the only way the trading company could flourish was by eliminating rival competitors. The competition and the urge to secure markets therefore led to fierce battles between the trading companies. Throughout the 17th & 18th centuries they regularly sank each other’s ships, blockaded routes and prevented rival ships from moving with the supplies of goods. They had to carry their trades with arms and fortify their trading posts.

Q.3: Why did the British find it difficult to separate trade from politics?

Ans: There was already an intense competition amongst the European companies who were trading in India. This led to fierce battles amongst them. Throughout the 17th & 18th centuries they were regularly engaged in sinking each other’s ships, blockaded routes and prevented rival ships from moving with the supplies of goods. They had to carry their trades with arms and fortify their trading posts. This effort to fortify settlements and carry on profitable trade also led to intense conflicts with local rulers. Therefore the company found it difficult to separate trade from politics.

Q.4: Why did the company official win the Battle of Plassey & how?

Ans: In 1757, Robert Clive led the company’s army against Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah of Bengal at Plassey. Mir Zafar was the commander-in-chief of Siraj-ud-daulah’s army who was secretly promised by the company officials that if he supports the British and loses the battle against the British then he would be made the future Nawab of Bengal. After this Mir Zafar deceived Siraj-ud-daulah and never ordered his army to fight and thus deliberately lost the battle. The Battle of Plassey is considered to be very important in the History of India since this was the first major victory of the British in India which made them much more superior than before.

Q.5: What is the meaning of ‘Nabob’?

Ans: ‘Nabobs’ were the people who managed to return with huge money and wealth to their own countries from India and led a lavish life. Nabob is an anglicized pronunciation of the Indian word Nawab. Nabobs were considered as the social climbers in the British society and were often ridiculed or made fun in plays and cartoons.

Q.6: What is the policy of ‘Paramountcy’?

Ans: Under Lord Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India, the policy of Paramountcy was started. According to this policy, the authority of the company was paramount or supreme and therefore its power was greater than the power of Indian states. According to this policy, the British could annex or capture any Indian kingdom.

Q.7: What were the policies used for expressions?

Ans: The policies used for expressions during the British period were –

(i) Policy of Non-Intersection.

(ii) Policy of Paramountcy.

(iii) Doctrine of Lapse.

(iv) Direct Annexation.