NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2 - From Trade to Territory

Chapter 2 - From Trade to Territory

Question and Answers
Question 1: What attracted European trading companies to India?
Answer: The European trading companies were attracted to India because of the fine quality of cotton and silk produced in India and Indian spices such as pepper, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.

Question 2: What were the areas of conflict between the Nawab of Bengal and the East India Company?
Answer:
• The conflict between the Bengal nawabs and the East India Company intensified in the early 18th century. The nawabs of Bengal (Murshid Quli Khan, Alivardi Khan and Sirajuddaulah) were strong rulers.
• They denied the Company any right to mint coins and stopped it from extending its fortifications.
• They refused to grant the company concessions and demanded large tributes to the Company's right to trade.
• Accusing the company of deceit, they claimed that the Company was depriving the Bengal government of huge amounts of revenue and undermining the authority of Nawabs.
• The Company on its part said that the unjust demands of the local officials were ruining their trade. To expand their trade, they had to rebuild their forts.

Question 3: How did the assumption of Diwani benefit the East India Company?
Answer:
• In 1765, the Mughal emperor appointed the company as the Diwan of the provinces of Bengal. 
• The Diwani allowed the company to use the vast revenue resources of Bengal. 
• This solved a major problem of the company. 
• From the early 18th century its trade with India had expanded.  
• After the assumption of Diwani, gold was not imported from Britain and revenues from India were enough to finance Company expenses. 
• These revenues were used to purchase cotton and silk textiles in India and to maintain Company troops and meet the cost of building the Company forts and offices at Calcutta.

Question 4: Explain the system of Subsidiary Alliance.
Answer:
• According to this Alliance, Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces.
• They were to be protected by the Company, but had to pay for the ‘subsidiary forces’ that the Company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of this protection.
• If the Indian rulers failed to pay the Subsidiary forces, then a part of their territory was taken away as penalty by the British.

Question 5: In what way was the administration of the company different from that of Indian rulers?
Answer: The administration of the Company was different from that of the Indian rulers in the following ways:
• Indian rulers divided its administrative units as districts, Paraganas and Tehsils. The Company was divided into administrative units called Presidencies - Bengal, Madras, and Bombay.
• Each presidency was ruled by a Governor. Districts were ruled by the collectors.
• The supreme head of the administration of the Company was the Governor - General. In India, the head of the administration was king.
• The main role of the Collector in Indian district was to collect revenue and taxes and maintain law and order in his districts with the help of judges, police officers, and Darogas. He became the new centre of power during the British raj.

Question 6: Describe the changes that occurred in the composition of the company’s army.
Answer: The changes that occurred in the composition of the company’s army are as follows:
• The company began recruitment for its own army, which came to be known as the Sepoy army which was similar to the Mughal army.
• As warfare technology changed from the 1820s, the Cavalry requirements of the company’s army declined.
• The soldiers of the company’s army had to keep pace with changing military requirements and its infantry regiments now became more important.
• In the early 19th century, the British began to develop a uniform military culture.

Question 7: What administrative reforms were brought in the sphere of justice?
Answer:
• Before the reforms were brought, there were Maulvis and Hindu pandits who interpreted Indian laws for the European district collectors who presided over civil courts.
• The criminal courts were still under a qazi and a mufti.
• The Brahmin pandits usually gave different interpretations of local laws but there was no uniformity in them.
• To bring about uniformity, in 1775 eleven pandits were asked to compile a digest of Hindu laws.
• N B Halhed translated this digest into English.  
• By 1778, a code of Muslim laws was also compiled for the benefit of European judges.
• Under the Regulating Act of 1773, a new supreme Court was established, while a court of appeal - the Sadar Nizamat Adalat - was also set up at Calcutta. 

Question 8: After the British conquest of Bengal, Calcutta grew from a small village to a big city. Find out about the culture, architecture and the life of Europeans and Indians of the city during the colonial period.
Answer:
• The colonial city of Calcutta was a centre of administration, a port and a European residential enclave. 
• The Europeans were living in high amenity in well-serviced areas. 
• On the other hand, the natives were living in unplanned, congested areas. 
• The Europeans enjoyed clubs, large homes, race, golf, domestic facilities including water and electricity supplies. 
• Calcutta developed as the cultural city of dramas, theatres, music and religious festivals. 
• Moreover, the city was developed as an example of architecture along with the best cuisine.

Question 9: Give a brief description of all the three Anglo - Maratha wars. Also write the consequences.
Answer:
• The Company waged a series of wars against the Marathas in order to crush Maratha power.
• In the first war there was no clear victory, hence it ended in 1782 with the Treaty of Salbai.
• The second Anglo - Maratha War began in 1803 and ended in 1805. This war was fought on different fronts resulting in the British gaining Orissa and the territories north of the Yamuna river including Agra and Delhi.
• The third Anglo - Maratha War of 1817 - 1819 crushed Maratha power. The Peshwa was removed. The Company now had complete control over the territories south of the Vindhyas.

Question 10: What were the grievances of the Company regarding the nawabs of Bengal?
Answer:
• The Company declared that the unjust demands of the local officials  were ruining the trade of the Company.  
• Trade could flourish only if the duties were removed.  
• It was also convinced that to expand trade it had to enlarge its  settlements, buy up villages and rebuild its forts.

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