Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonialism And The Countryside

Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonialism And The Countryside The answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Assam Board HS 2nd Year History Chapter 12 Colonialism And The Countryside Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonialism And The Countryside

Join Telegram channel

Also, you can read the SCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per SCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonialism And The Countryside Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Colonialism And The Countryside

Chapter – 12


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. What was Damin-i-Koh? 

Ans: In 1832, the British had given a land to the Santhals in the foot- hills of Rajmahal. This land was demarcated as Damin-i-Koh. It was declared as the land of the Santhals. The Santhals could live on this land. They could also practise plough agriculture. They could become settled peasants. 

Q.2. How did the Jotedars resist Zamindars? Give any two points. Why did they do so? 

Ans : i) The Jotedars resisted fiercely the efforts of Zamindars to increase the jama of the village. 

ii) They prevented the officials of the Zamindars from performing their duties. They strengthened themselves by mobilising ryots who were dependent on them. 

The Jotedars opposed the Zamindars to enhance their influence and control in the village. They had a considerable control over a large number of villagers. 

Q.3. Who introduced the permanent settlement in Bengal and when? 

Ans: The permanent settlement was introduced in Bengal in 1793 by Lord Charles Cornwallis. 

Q.4. Tell four appendices included in Fifth Report. 

Ans : i) Statistical tables on revenue returns. 

ii) Petitions of Zamindars and ryots. 

iii) Reports of collectors of different districts. 

iv) Notes on the judicial and revenue administration of Madras and Bengal written by officials. 

Q.5. What were the duties of a paharia chiefs? 

Ans : a) The pahari chiefs settled disputes and led their tribes into battle. 

b) They also helped to maintain tribal unity. 

Q.6. What was the Ryotwari system? 

Ans : a) In the Ryotwari system, the peasant was recognised as the owner of his plot of land subject to the payment of land revenue. 

b) Land revenue was fixed for a period of 20 to 30 years at a time. 

Q.7. What was the Regulating Act? 

Ans: It was an act passed by the British Parliament in 1773 to regulate the activities of the East India Company. 

Q.8. What is meant by the term Fifth Report? Why is it significant? 

Ans: As per acts enacted by British Parliament in the late 18th century committees were appointed to enquire into the affairs and administration of the company. The Fifth Report was the fifth of a series of such reports. 

It is significant because it became a basis of intense parliamentary debates in Britain, on the nature of East India Company’s rule in India. 

Q.9. Who was Francis Buchanan? 

Ans: Francis Buchanan was physician who came to India and served in Bengal Medical Service (From 1794 to 1815). For a few years he was surgeon to the Governor General of India, Lord Wellesley.

Q.10. When did East India Company acquire the Diwani of Bengal? 

Ans : East India Company acquire the Diwani of Bengal in 1765. 

Q.11. Who were classified as Zamindars in Bengal? 

Ans : Rajas and taluqdars of Bengal. 

B. Textual Questions & Answers:

Q.1. Why was the jotedar a powerful figure in many areas of rural Bengal? 

Ans: The jotedars were powerful because they owned vast acres of land. They also controlled local trade as well as money lending, exercising immense Power over the poor cultivators. Moreover unlike the Zamindars, they lived in the village and could exercise direct control. They often came into conflict with the Zamindars, They lived in the village and could exercise direct control. They often came in to conflict with the Zamindar. When the Zamindars estates were auctioned the jotedars were the first to purchase them.

Q.2. How did Zamindars manage to retain Control over their Zamindaris? 

Ans: Faced with an exorbitantly high revenue demand and constant threat and fear of auction of their estates, Zamindars devised ways/ Strategies to retain control over their Zamindaris. Among the ways were- 

Fictitious sale, for example, Raja Burdwan transferred some of his Zamindaries to his mother, since the company had decreed that Property of women would not be taken over. Still another examples was in 1793 and 1801, 15% of the purchase of the four auctioned big Zamindaris were fictitious. The agents revenue demand of the company was deliberately withheld, and when the estate was auctioned. The Zamindar’s men purchased the property out bidding other purchasers. 

This process was repeated endlessly, exhausting the state and the other bidders, So much so that at last the estate was sold at a low price back to the Zamindar. When people from outside the Zamindari bought an estate they were attacked ‘lathiyals’ of the former Zamindar.This prevented new people from taking possession. At other times ryots bound to their Zamindar by sense of loyalty, identity pride and perception of viewing him as a figure of authority and themselves as his ‘praja’ resisted entry of outsiders. 

Thus the Zamindars who managed to survive the troubles in prices of 1790s managed to retain control. Overtime with the relaxation of rules of revenue payment, though believed otherwise the Zamindars consolidated their power, and in some case their power was strengthened. It was only during the great depression of the 1930s that they finally collapsed and the Jotedars consolidated their power in the countryside. 

Q.3. How did the Paharias respond to the coming outsiders? 

Ans: The response of the paharies to the coming outsiders- Legend The paharis lived around the Rajmahal hills subsisting of forest Produce and Practicing shifting cultivation. From the forest they collected Mahna (a flower) for food, silk cacoons and resin for sale and wood for charcoal production. They considered the whole region as their send, the basis of Paharies maintain the unity of the group, settled disputes and led the tribe in battles with other tribes and plains people. 

With their base in the hills, the paharias regularly raided the plains where settled agriculturist lived. These raids were necessary for survival, Particularly in years of scarcity, they were a way of asserting power over settled communities, and they were a means of negotiating political relations with outsiders. The Zamindaris on the plains had to often purchase peace by paying a regular tribute to the hill chiefs protected the traders ensuring that their goods were not plandered by anyone. 

This negotiated peace was somewhat fragile. It broke down in the last decades of the eighteenth century when the frontiers of settled agriculture were being aggressively extended in eastern Indian. The british encouraged forest clearance, and Zamindars and jotedars turned uncultivated lands into rice fields. 

Q.4. Why did the Santhals rebel against British rule? 

Ans: The British had failed to subdue the Paharias. They could not transform the hill folk into settled agriculturists. So they turned to the Santhala who were ideal settlers. They Democrats a separated land for the Santhalas and called it as Damin-i-koh. All the Santhals lived within it. They practised plough agriculture. They became settled peasants. It resulted in expansion of cultivation area and increase in the revenue. By the 1850s the Santhalas refelled against the Zamindars, money- Lenders and the colonial state. They were not happy with all of these. 

The Colonial government had imposed heavy taxes on their land.The money-lenders charged high rates of interests on loans. If any Santhals failed to pay his debt, his land was snatched by the money-lender. Besides the Zamindars also asserted control over their land. The Santhalas rose in reflection against the british rule. They wanted to create an ideal world where they could rule themselves. So after the Santhal Revolt (1855-56), the Santhal Pargana was created taking 5500sq. miles of land from the districts of Bhagalpur the Birbhum. It was an attempt by the British Government to reconcile the situation after the Santhal Revolt. 

Q.5. What explains the anger of the Deccan ryots against the moneylenders? 

Ans: The reason behind the anger of the Deccan ryots against the money-lenders was the mounting frustration, helplessness, indebtedness of the ryot, Which were aggravated by the legally enforceable deeds and bonds which the ryot was forced to sign as per the provisions of the new government. 

Mounting indebtedness of the ryots as regards money-lenders, because of the revenue settlement and stringent laws of inforcement reached alarming proportions during cotton boom years (1860-65) as the ryot had access to limitless credit.Boom years did not bring prosperity to cotton producers, rather cotton expansion meant heavier debt. Increase in revenue demands coincided with decline in cotton exports to Britain and credit availability, for it was time to revise the first ryotwari settlement. In the revised settlement the demand was increased democratically from 50 to 100 percent. Ryots were thus faced with livelihood crisis at the time of falling prices and cotton fields disappearing. 

The insensitiveness of the money-lenders, His refusal to extend loans, on the contrary demand for repayment of outstanding debts made the ryots position impossible. Breakdown of customary norms which defined fair interest i.e., interest charge could not become more than the principal heightened the situation. The money-lenders devious deceitful manipulative ways, forging of accounts to circumvent the “Limitation low” (1859) the loan bond signed between money-lenders and ryots had validity for only 3years. The money lenders manipulated the low by getting a new bond signed from the ryot .Where original loan and accumulated balance was entered as principal on which new set of interest charges were calculated. 

The money-lenders short changed the ryot by refusing to give receipts when loans were repaid. Taking advantage of the illiterate ryot they entered fictitious figures in bonds, acquired peasant harvest at low prices and ultimately took over the peasant property. Enranged peasant was left with little choice, to survive he needed the loans. The bonds and deeds were legally enforceable. No doubt the money-lender was an accomplice but the real culprit were the British revenue system and rules. The poor peasant associated his misery with the bond and deeds, which the money-lenders skillfully manipulated as per their convenience. 

Write a Short Essay on the Following:

Q.6. Why were many Zamindaris auctioned after the permanent Settlement? 

Ans : Many Zamindaris were auctioned because the Zamindars failed to pay the revenue demand on time. This was because the initial demands were very high. Moreover this high demand was imposed at a time when prices of agricultural produce were depressed making it difficult for the ryot to pay their dues to the Zamindar. Thirdly revenue had to be paid punctually regardless of the harvest. According to the sunset law if the Zamindar did not pay by sunset of the specified date his estate was likely be auctioned. Initially the permanent settlement limited the power of the Zamindar to exploit the peasantry and also reduced his powers. 

His troops were disbanded, custom duties were abolished and their power to mete out local justice was curbed. This made it difficult for him to assert his power over the peasants and jotedars to ensure timely payment. Rent collection remained a perennial problem. Sometimes the ryots and jotedars deliberately delayed payment to get the Zamindar into trouble. This delayed the Zamindar’s payment to the state and often led to his Zamindari being auction. 

Q.7. In what way was the livelihood of the paharias different from that of the Santhals? 

Ans: The paharias lived around the Rajmahal hills. They were hostile and apprehensive towards the government officials. They were not willing to talk to outside travellers.

Livelihood of the Hill-Folk : The paharias earned their livelihood by adopting the following professions. 

a) They practiced shifting cultivation. 

b) They grew a variety of pulses and millets. 

c) They collected mahua (a flower) for food. 

d) They reared silk-worms and collected silk cocoons and resin for sale. 

e) They collected wood for charcoal production. 

f) They used the patches of grass on the land as pasture for the cattle. 

g) They hunted wild animals. 

h) They also raided the plains where the settled agriculture alists lived. 

i) They resisted the intrusion of outsiders, If ever they allowed them, they negotiated political relations with them. They got a regular tribute form the Zamindars. 

j) They accepted toll from the traders. In return, they protected the traders. They also ensured that their goods were not plundered by anyone. 

Livelihood of the Santhals : The Santhals had come into Bangal around the 1780 s. They earned their livelihood by adopting the following jobs- 

a) They cleared forests and cut down timber. 

b) They ploughed lands and grew rice and cotton. 

c) They expanded cultivation and increased the inflow of revenue in the coffers of the East India Company. 

d) They cultivated many commercial crops for the market. 

e) They cultivated dealt with traders and money lenders. 

Q.8. How did the American Civil War affect the lives of ryots in India? 

Ans: The American Civil War broke out in 1861, a wave of punie spread through cotton circles in Britain. Raw Cotton imports from American fell to less than three percent of the normal, from over 2,00,000 bales (of 400 Ibs each) in 1861 to 55,000 bales in 1862. Before the 1860s three-fourths of raw cotton imports into Britain came from America. British cotton manufactures had for long been worried about this dependence on America supplies. What would happen if this source was cut off? Troubled by this question, they eagerly looked for alternative sources of supply. 

In 1857, the cotton Supply Association was founded in Britain, and in 1859 the Manchester Cotton company was formed. Their objective was “to encourage cotton production in every part of the world suited for its growth” India was seen as a country that could supply cotton to lancashire if the American supply dried up. It possessed suitable soil, a climate favourable to cotton cultivation, and cheap labour. Frantic messages were sent to india and elsewhere to increase cotton exports to Britain. In Bombay, cotton merchants visited encourage cultivation. As cotton prices soared export merchants in Bombay were keep to secure as much cotton as possible to meet the British demand. 

So they gave advances to Urban sahukars who turn extended credit to those rural moneylenders who promised to secure the produce. When there is a boom in the market credit flows easily, for those who give out loans feel secure about recovering their money. These developments had a profound impact on the Deccan countryside. The ryots in the Deccan villages suddenly found access to seemingly limitless credit. 

They were being given Rs. 100 as advance for every acre they planted with cotton. Sahukars were more than willing to extend long term loans. While the American crisis continued, cotton production in the Bombay Deccan expanded. Between 1860 and 1864 cotton acreage dubled. By 1862 over 90 percent of cotton imports into Britain were coming from India.

Q.9. What are the problems of using official sources in writing about the history of peasants? 

Ans : The problems of using official sources in writing about the history of peasants are- 

The outbreak of the Deccan peasants riots led the Bombay government to set up an inquiry Commission to investigate the causes of the riots. The result was the Deccan Riots report which was presented before the British parliament in 1878. Thís report has undoubtedly provided historians with a wide range of sources to study the revolt. This was because the report has undoubtedly provided historians with a wide range of sources to study the revolt. This was because the Commision recorded statements of ryots, sahukars and eye witnesses, compiled data on revenue rates and collected reports sent by district collectors. But while using this source it has to be remembered that this is an official source reflecting official concerns. 

The Deccan riots commission was specifically asked out whether government revenue demand was the reason for the riots. Their conclusion was that it was not the government demand but the exploitation by the money lenders that had triggered off the revolt. This is the major draw back of using official sources because they are biased, and are more concerned with absolving the government of any blame. This bias is evident in many official colonial records. Thus while official sources give invaluable information for the reconstruction of history, they have to be read with care. The information from these sources has to be cross checked with evidence got from newspapers, unofficial reports and wherever possible and sources. 

Map Work: 

Q.10. On an outline map of the subcontinent, mark out the areas described in this chapter. Find out whether there were other areas where the permanent settlement and the ryotwari system were prevalent and plot these on the map as well. 

Ans : In the chapter the following ares have been mentioned of the subcontinent. Students marked the particularly the followings- 

a) Bengal it means West Bengal occupied by India, East Bengal, now a days Bangladesh along with certain area of Bihar, Orissa and Hilly infiniti areas of Assam also. 

b) Istanarari settlement or the permanent settlement, was mainly introduced in entire bengal. On the other hoped ryotwari system on Bombay and southern India, Deccan Maharashtra along with. 

c) Surat and some other area of Gujarat. 

d) The Britisher introduced mahalwari system in Eastern part of Punjab (now in it is part and parcel of India) 

e) Modern presidency, it means modern capital chennai and its adjourney areas. 

f) Rajmahal hills occupied by Paharias and Santhals.

g) Bombay presidency Modern Mumbai and adjoining area including Deccan Maharashtra. 

C. Passage Based Question & Answers: 

Read carefully the below-given excerpt. Answer all the questions given below. 


Buchanan wrote: They are very clever in clearing new lands, but live meanly. Their huts have no fence, and the walls are made of small sticks placed upright, close together and plastered within with clay. They are small and slovenly, and too flat- roofed, with very little arch. 


Q.1. Who was buchanan?

Ans: Francis Buchanan was an employee of the British East-India Company. He took a long journey along with a large army of people- draughtsmen, surveyors, palanquin bearers, coolies, etc. to discover the untrodden landscape and its inhabitants.

Q.2. What had been written by him about the santhals? 

Ans: Buchanan wrote about the santhals that they were very clever in clearing new lands, but they lived meanly.

Q.3. What had been written by buchanan about the nuts of the santhals? 

Ans : According to Buchnan the huts of the Santhals had no fence. The walls of the huts were made of small sticks placed upright, close together and plastered within with clay. 

Those huts were very small and slovenly. The roofs of the huts of the Santhals were flat with very little arch.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top