Extra Questions- Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners


Very Short Answer Type

1. Which were the two major industries focused by the British?

Textiles, Iron and steel.

2. Which place came to be known as the workshop of the world and Why?

Britain, due to mechanised production of cotton.

3. Where did the Indian textiles being traded during the 18th century?

Southeast Asia ( Java, Sumatra, Penang) and West and Central Asia.

4. What was the first technological invention in textiles?

Spinning Jenny

5. Name some of the weaver communities of India?

Tanti, Julahas, Momin, Sale, kaikollar and devangs.

Short Answer Type

1. How did the Indian textiles discovered?

European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth from India carried by Arab merchants in Mosul in present-day Iraq. So they began referring to all finely woven textiles as “muslin” – a word that acquired wide
currency. When the Portuguese first came to India in search of spices they landed in Calicut on the Kerala coast in south-west India. The cotton textiles which they took back to Europe, along with the spices, came to be called “calico” (derived from Calicut), and subsequently calico became the general name for all cotton textiles.

2. How do the weavers of different communities worked?

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. 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.

3. How did the new cotton mills come up?

The first cotton mill in India was set up as a spinning mill in Bombay in 1854. From the early nineteenth century, Bombay had grown as an important port for the export of raw cotton from India to England and China. It was close to the vast black soil tract of western India where cotton was grown. When the cotton textile mills came up they could get supplies of raw material with ease.

By 1900, over 84 mills started operating in Bombay. Many of these were established by Parsi and Gujarati
businessmen who had made their money through trade with China. 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. The first major spurt in the development of cotton factory production in India, therefore, was during the First World War when textile imports from Britain declined and Indian factories were called upon to produce cloth
for military supplies.

Long Answer Type

1. How was industrialisation in India different from that in Japan?

The history of industrialisation of Japan in the late nineteenth century presents a contrast to that of India. The colonial state in India, keen to expand the market for British goods, was unwilling to support Indian industrialists. In Japan, the state encouraged the growth of industries. The Meiji regime, which assumed power in Japan in 1868, believed that Japan needed to industrialise in order to resist Western domination. So it initiated a series
of measures to help industrialisation. Postal services, telegraph, railways, steam-powered shipping were developed. The most advanced technology from the West was imported and adapted to the needs of Japan. Foreign experts were brought to train Japanese professionals. Industrialists were provided with generous loans for investment by banks set up the government. Large industries were first started by the government and then sold off at cheap rates to business families.
In India, colonial domination created barriers to industrialisation. In Japan the fear of foreign conquest spurred industrialisation. But this also meant that the Japanese industrial development from the beginning was linked to military needs.

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