NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Humanities History Chapter 11 Theme 11: Paths To Modernisation are provided here with simple step-by-step explanations. These solutions for Theme 11: Paths To Modernisation are extremely popular among class 11 Humanities students for History Theme 11: Paths To Modernisation Solutions come handy for quickly completing your homework and preparing for exams. All questions and answers from the NCERT Book of class 11 Humanities History Chapter 11 are provided here for you for free. You will also love the ad-free experience on Meritnation’s NCERT Solutions. All NCERT Solutions for class 11 Humanities History are prepared by experts and are 100% accurate.

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Question 1:

What were the major developments before the Meiji restoration that made it possible for Japan to modernise rapidly?


Japan till early 16th century faced severe administrative crisis.  The real authority had passed into the hands of the Shogun. Daimyos or provincial lords lived in the capital of Edo, ignoring their responsibility of the domains. Moreover, there was increasing power of the Samurais, the elite warrior class. However, it was only in the 16th century, that few changes in the administrative structure were made.  These helped to lay the foundation of future developments for Japan. These changes have been drafted below:

1) To reduce the chances of rebellions and protests, the peasantry was disarmed and only the Samurai was allowed to carry swords.

2) For better administration of the domains, the Daimyos were ordered to live in their respective domain's capitals.

3) To ensure a stable revenue base, proper land surveys were conducted

The above mentioned changes were able to bring forth several positive impacts for Japan. These in turn later facilitated the process of Japan’s modernisation in the following manner.

1) As the Daimyos took charge of their respective capitals, these grew and developed as the centres of commercial economy.

2) Efforts were made to reduce import by establishing silk industries.

3) With economic expansion, cultural changes also became distinct. Merchants patronised theatre and arts. Reading also became highly popular.

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Question 2:

Discuss how daily life was transformed as Japan developed?


The Meiji Restoration of 1868 proved to a boon for Japan, as it introduced a phase of progress and modernisation. It also transformed the daily life of the people in the following ways.

1) Large ancestral families with a patriarch at its head gave way to nuclear families with the husband as breadwinner, the wife as homemaker.

2) As families started building new households, demand for both houses and goods increased. Large ancestral homes were replaced by houses provided by builders. These were easily accessible at a down payment of 200 yens and 12 yens per month for 10 years. Domestic goods like rice-cookers flooded the market.

3) Gender equality and cosmopolitan culture came into play. ‘Moga', an abbreviation started to be used for modern girls in Japan. It was representative of the coming together the ideas of cosmopolitan culture and gender equality. Women started taking up new jobs and enjoyed a new respect in the society. A brilliant example is Matsui Sumako, who became famous as a national star in Japan.

4) Several changes took place in the field of entertainment too. The first radio station in Japan opened in 1925. Movies began to be made in 1899 and soon several companies began making more than hundred films each with a motive of entertainment.

5) Public transports became a part of the daily Japanese life. Electric trams and other means of public transport began to expand from 1878. This expansion resulted in the building up of departmental stores at places which these trams connected.

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Question 3:

How did the Qing dynasty try and meet the challenge posed by the Western powers?


After the opium war(1839-42), the Qing dynasty under reformers like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao initiated policies to reform the administrative system, army and the educational system. They saw a demand to transform China in order to protect it from colonisation. The following were the reforms initiated by the Qing dynasty

1. Educational Reforms : The education system and examination pattern was reformed by modernizing the existing traditional system. Provisions were also made to encourage women to appear for the different government level exams.

2. Political Reforms: The system of absolute monarchy existent in China was to be replaced by constitutional monarchy. Democracy was accepted as the new form of government.

3. Economic Reforms: The Chinese economy was strengthened by adopting capitalism as the form of the economy. This reform would encourage, China to rapidly industrialize.

4. Military Reforms: The strength and composition of the army was changed under these reforms.

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Question 4:

What were Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles?


SunYat-sen(1866-1925) is regarded as the founder of Modern China.  In order to modernise China he started a programme which he called the Three Principles. In his book Fundamentals of National Reconstruction, SunYat-sen gives an account of the following principles:

1) Nationalism: The principle of Nationalism emphasised the independence of China and upholding the indigenous civilisation on the world stage.

2) Democracy: The principle of Democracy can be understood from what Sun Yat-sen writes in his book, “ All through my revolutionary career I have held the view that China must be made a republic...If a republican government is adopted, there will be no contention. A constitution must be adopted to ensure good government."

3) Socialism: SunYat-sen writes that socialism is the only way to end all economic disparities prevalent in the Chinese society. Equalising landholding and capital will be important instruments to achieve a society based on equal distribution of wealth.

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Question 5:

Did Japan’s policy of rapid industrialisation lead to wars with its neighbours and destruction of the environment?


Rapid industrialization of Japan infused ideas of creating a modern nation which would also be able to protect itself from the European colonists. Along with it came their age old craving to create a colonial empire of their own. This intention led to wars with neighbouring countries. Japan, even though a smaller country, went in war with countries like China and Russia. Not only that, Japan emerged victorious in both cases. Japan’s modern army was unmatched in war. Japan took war further and attacked the Anglo-American army during World War 2. They attacked America at Pearl Harbour, in retaliation America dropped nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This lead to utter destruction of human lives and even the environment was harmed. Even after this horrendous attack, Japan pulled a post-war “miracle” and advanced in industrial and economic growth like no other nation. The 1964 Olympics hosted in Tokyo, and the bullet train was an example of Japans ability to produce better quality products at cheaper rates. But this industrial advancement came with a cost to the environment. Cased of cadmium poisoning, mercury poisoning, deforestation and environmental pollution emerged as there was no regard for environmental preservation. With efforts of the grass-roots pressure groups the government was made to reform its ideas and look towards making policies for environmental preservation.

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Question 6:

Do you think that Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China were successful in liberating China and laying the basis for its current success?


The Communist Party of China was founded in 1921. By this time the Russian revolution had ended and China was being moulded under the Marxist ideas and ideologies. Mao Zedong at this time emerged as a major CCP leader and transformed China to what it is today.  To understand how he made it possible, we need to understand Mao’s policies. These have been discussed below.

1) Mao Zedong’s ideas were radical in nature. His revolutionary ideas were based on the peasantry. People’s communes were established where cultivation was done in commonly owned land.

2) In 1953 the government declared the launch of the Great Leap forward movement. This aimed at rapid industrialisation in China. Under the Great Leap Forward movement people both in the rural as well as the urban areas were allowed to set up furnaces in their houses and farm production was increased.

3) Mao was aware of the plight of women and made reforms to improve their conditions. . Also with time new laws of marriage were made and divorce was simplified in order to develop the women in China.

4) Mao’s aim was to create a “Socialist Man” who would love the fatherland, people, labour, science and public property. He created mass organizations for, farmers, women and students.

5) A new government was established in China in the year 1949 which was based on the principle of New Democracy. It was an alliance of all the social classes existent in  China. This government abolished all private ownership of land and private enterprises.

His ideas have been successful in removing inequality, spreading education and rising consciousness. With time, they have been able to reform the market and raise the country’s economy. Hence, we can safely assert the fact that the ideals of Mao Zedong and CCP are responsible for the current success of the country.

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