NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Humanities History Chapter 9 Theme 9: The Industrial Revolution are provided here with simple step-by-step explanations. These solutions for Theme 9: The Industrial Revolution are extremely popular among Class 11 Humanities students for History Theme 9: The Industrial Revolution 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 9 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 Class 11 Humanities History are prepared by experts and are 100% accurate.

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Question 1:

How did Britain's involvement in wars from 1793 to 1815 affect British industries?


During 1760 to 1815, Britain remained engaged in numerous wars with Europe, North America and India. The basic rationale behind such wars was to expand the British colonial rule and draw out resources to feed the domestic industries of Britain. However, an overview of this period states that Britain's involvement of wars had adversely affected its industrialisation process. Following are the ways in which the British industries got affected due to Britain's involvement in wars from 1793 to 1815:

1) During this time, the capital borrowed with the motive of industrialisation was rather ploughed in the defence and expansion of the army. This led to a shortfall in the availability of investment for Britain's industries.

2) On the other hand, the factory workers and the farm labourers were moved out of the industries and were made to join the army.

3) At the same time, the war expenses were financed by raising tax rates. As agreed by numerous historians, approximately 35% of the war cost was met via taxes. This left people with a meagre amount of disposable cash and consequently, it led to drastic reduction in the  demand for goods in the economy.

4) Wars also led to an acute crisis for necessary goods. This further pushed up the prices of such goods, further worsening the economic situation.

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Question 2:

What were the relative advantages of canal and railway transportation?


With the development of industrialisation, England felt the need for an improved transportation system. An effective link of transportation could ensure hassle-free movement of goods and labour and establishment of canal and rail network provided the framework to achieve the same. The advantages of both these modes of transportation have been enlisted below.

1) The presence of a canal by the coal mine eased the transportation of coal to the industries and cities. This convenient transport of coal from the source to the destination due to the presence of a canal enhanced the value of a coal mine.

2) The places where two or more canals met developed as important trading spots. Overtime, these spots grew as marketing centres that further developed as hustling and bustling new towns. One such town was Birmingham that developed to its position of prominence from a small trading centre because of its position, which was at the heart of a canal system.

The big landowners of that time were quick to understand the worth of building canals by their lands. This led to the construction of approximately 4000 miles of canal network between the years 1796 to 1856. However, soon this phase of 'canal mania' was replaced by the 'rail mania'.  The reasons that led to the establishment of approximately 17000 miles of railway tracks within a span of 17 years (1830–1847) have been drafted below.

1) Railways proved to be a faster mode of transportation.  It was beneficial for the transportation of perishable goods from one corner of the country to the other.

2) Railways could carry much heavier commodities as compared to the canals.

3) Unlike the canals, which made transportation of goods in adverse climatic condition impossible, railways functioned efficiently all year around. This made the railways a much more reliable way of carrying goods.

Thus, it will not be wrong to state that the railways had relatively more advantages as compared to the canals. Railways were more efficient and reliable mode of transportation. However, both these modes together marked a shift from a rudimentary mode of transportation to a highly advanced transportation mode that served as the backbone of England's industrialisation process.

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Question 3:

What were the interesting features of the 'inventions' of this period?


The transformation of England from an agricultural country to its establishment as the workshop of the world was possible due to several inventions and technological developments. It is estimated that around 26000 inventions were made in the 18th century. Some important features of the inventions of this period are as follows:

1) Furnaces in the industries were usually dependent on the use of charcoal, the availability of which was scarce.  The invention of blast furnaces, which used coke, helped to reduce this dependency. In comparison to charcoal, coke produced much higher temperatures for the extraction of iron. This iron also permitted finer and larger castings than before.

2) With the invention of different machines, new products could be produced. These products soon flooded the English market. For instance, puddling furnaces and rolling mill made the production of broader range of iron products such as iron pipes and chairs, possible.

3) New inventions successfully reduced the gap between two units in a mill. This was a common problem in the cotton textile mill, where the weaver could start working only when the yarn had arrived from the spinners. With the invention of machines like the spinning jenny and flying shuttle loom, both the weaver and the spinner could work simultaneously.

4) New technology enabled increased production of goods in industries as compared to what was done earlier in smaller units. It is estimated that the British iron industry quadrupled its output between 1800 and 1830.

5) The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of the factory system. In factories, workers were required to do one specific task rather than conducting several activities or the entire production job. This job specialization of the labourers along with strict quality control by managers of the factories facilitated the production of high quality goods.

6) Before Industrial Revolution, hydraulic power was the most important source of energy. However, the use of hydraulic power remained limited due to factors like climate and speed of water. The invention of steam power provided an alternative source of energy that was effective, cheap and reliable. The high pressure created by steam at high  temperature could be used to run heavy.machines

7) The invention of steam power facilitated the establishment of railway engines. Railways reduced the time taken to travel from one place to another and helped in transportation of heavy goods throughout the year.

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Question 4:

Indicate how the supply of raw materials affected the nature of British industrialisation.


Before the beginning of industrialization, England imported bulk of cotton textile from India. For this import, England had to pay high amounts to India. The initiation of England's industrial era changed this equation forever. With the establishment of industries in England, it became capable to spin and weave its own cloth; however, it faced the problem of raw materials. To seek its own interest, England changed the terms of trade with its colonies. Its colonies such as India now became only raw material-producing countries for their colonizer.  England would buy cotton from India at low cost, weave them into finished textile in factories back home and then export back the finished product to its colonies. This trading relation proved to be highly profitable for England as it successfully sustained the process of colonisation and also provided a channel for easy flow of raw material and ready market for its finished goods.

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Question 5:

How were the lives of different classes of British women affected by the Industrial Revolution?


The Industrial Revolution in England was a potent factor that reshaped family relations, gender equation and position of women in society. Frederick Engels, writing in the late 19th century, thought that the Industrial Revolution increased women’s participation in labour outside the home and claimed that this change was emancipating. However, the story was not the same for all classes of women. The changes affected different classes of women in different ways. For some, the Industrial Revolution guaranteed mobility and independence but for most, it brought forth a life of hardship.

Poor women working in the factories suffered immensely.  Women had to work in the filthiest atmosphere for extremely long durations. For such hard labour, they were paid a meagre sum of money, usually much lesser than what was being paid to their male counterparts. Apart from the hard toil in the factories, women also had the responsibility of their households; raising the family and taking care of the household were the responsibilities of the women.

Condition of the women working in the mines was the worst. Females submitted to work in places where no man or even a lad could be got to labor in. Women worked up to their knees in water in passages eighteen inches high or less. They carried hundreds of pounds of coal in baskets suspended from their foreheads or pulled carts of coal.

Many poor women also took up the job of housemaids. There too, they had to work for more than 16 hours, and there was no job security. If they fell ill or were pregnant, they were immediately dismissed.

In contrast to this, the middle or rich class women enjoyed most benefits that the Industrial Revolution had to offer. The best and finest of goods were available to them. Maids were available for conducting the household chores. The development in the means of transport made their lives more comfortable. References also state that few women stepped out of their houses and began to work as typists and secretaries under the government, thus establishing their individual identity.

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Question 6:

Compare the effects of the coming of the railways in different countries in the world.


“Railroads are more than tracks and trains; they are a whole new way of life, the forerunners of a new civilization”, writes Headrick, D. R. in his work, 'The Railroads of India'. This statement can well be understood if we study the inception of railways in Britain, a colonizer nation and India, a colonised country. Though the motives for the establishment in the two nations were different, its impact on the economy, society and polity was immense for both the categories of nations.
The establishment of railways in England was initiated to support the increasing demands of industrialisation in the country. Railways could link the factories and mines to the ports, thus facilitating the quick transport of raw materials to the industries and finished goods from the industries to the ports for export. Carrying of bulky goods was no more a problem with the railways coming to function.  Other than just transporting goods, railways also served to achieve the following benefits for Britain:

1) The 'railway mania' of the 19th century provided employment opportunities for many. Every aspect of the railways such as production of parts of the engines and bogeys, the laying down of tracks and efficient running and maintenance of the railways generated employment for the population.

2) The railway links helped in bringing new varieties of products to the market, thus increasing the variety of available goods and commodities for its population. Fish became a staple diet for maximum population, with the connection of the coastal areas being established to the cities and towns.

3) With the tremendous success and profit earned in the railway sector, more people started investing in stocks of the railways. This gave a further boost to the British economy.

4) The thick network of railways helped to connect different parts of the country, which made the movement of labour easier. People could now move out to other parts of the country in search of jobs.

5) One of the most important aspects of the development of railways in England was that it served to establish the strong pedestal of colonialism for England. The railway lines helped to bring the cheap raw materials of the colonised countries to the industries and send the complete textiles from the textiles to the port for export to the colonies.

Now that we have seen how the railways benefitted Britain, we shift our attention to the impact of railways in India, a colony of Britain. The construction of railways in India was started by the British in the 19th century to facilitate the export of raw materials and create a ready market for British goods. Construction of railways in India was aimed for the economic advancement of England and not India.
Several western thinkers believed that the railways could bring Industrial Revolution to India but nothing of that sort took place. It rather facilitated further drain of Indian resources and provided no better opportunities for natives.
The following points will provide a glimpse of the scenario:

1) Indians hardly had any shares of the railways as they could be traded only in London. According to the available data, only 500 out of 50000 shareholders of Indian rail road were Indians. This proves that railways did not provide any economic boost for India.

2) There were hardly any Indian workers who were involved in the railway construction process. Engineers, foremen and other skilled workers were all brought in from England. The salaries, medical expenses and other allowances of these officers were borne by India.

3) Unlike in England, railways in India did not foster industrialisation. All necessary raw materials like iron goods, rolling stocks, locomotives, etc were imported from Britain. At times, even coal was imported from Britain.

Even though the railways catered to British interests, it was a boon in disguise for India. It enabled to connect different parts of the country. National newspapers could now be transported to different parts of the country, making possible the spread of nationalist fervour quickly. The railway bogies, where people of different groups had to sit together, broke the stereotypes of castes and classes.

Thus, we can conclude that the impact of railways was very different for the colonial power and the colonised nation. On one hand, where it helped in placing Britain as a superpower on the global front, on the other hand, it made India an economy more dependent on England.

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