Class 12 History Chapter 14 Colonial Cities

Class 12 History Chapter 14 Colonial Cities 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 14 Colonial Cities Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 14 Colonial Cities

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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 14 Colonial Cities Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Write a Short Essay on the Following

Q.6. How were Urban centres transformed during the eighteenth century? 

Ans : Transformation of Urban centre during the eighteenth century With political and commercial relighments, all town ment into decline and new towns develops. The Mughal power was declining rapidly after the death of Aurnagzeb. This political change led to demise of towns associated with Mughal rules for next more than 100 and 150 years. The Mughal capital Agra, Fatehpur sikri, Delhi etc. last political authority. New provincial starts develops. The growth of new regional power was reflecting in the increasing significance of regional capital such as Lucknow of Awadh, Hyderabad of Hyderabad state, Srirangpatnam and Poona along with Nagpur, Baroda and Tanjore etc. 

become very famous due to their new administrative character and other developments. Traders, administrators, artisan and other migrated from the Mughal centre new capitals of newly emerging provincial or a small state. People of different profession and taste went their in search of work and patronage. Continuous warfare between the new kingdoms meant that mercenaries too found ready employment there. Some local notables and officials associated with Mughal rule in North India also used this opportunity to create new Urban settlements such as the Qasbah and ganj. However, the effects of political decentralisation were uneven. 

In same places there was renewed economic activity, in other places war, plunder and political uncertainty led to economic decline. In sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries new European merchants, Sodagars reached from different direction in India. Changes in the network of trade reflected in the history of urban centres. The European commercial companies had set up base in different places early during the Mughal Era, the portuguese in Panaji in 1510, the Dutch in Masulipatnam in 1605, the British in Madras in 1639 and the French in Pondicherry (present day puducherry) in 1673. 

With the expansion of commercial activity, towns grew around these trading centres. By the end of the eighteenth century the land based empires in Asia were replaced by the powerful sea-based European empires. Forces of international trade, mercantilism and capitalism now came to define the nature of society. From the mid-eighteenth century. There was a new phase of change. Commercial centres such as Surat, Masulipatnam and Dhaka, which has grown in the seventeenth century, declined when trade shifted to other places. 

As the British gradually acquired political control after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and the trade of the English East India Company expanded, colonial port cities such as Madras, calcutta and Bombay rapidly emerged as the new economic capitals. They also became centres of colonial administration and political power. New buildings and institutions developed, and urban spaces were ordered in new ways. New occupations developed and people flocked to these colonial cities. By about 1800 they were the biggest cities in India in terms of population. 

Q.7. What were the new kinds of public places that emerged in the colonial city? What functions did they serve? 

Ans : Economic activity near the river or sea in colonial cities led to the development of docks and ghats. Godowns mercantile offices, insurance agencies of banking establishments were set up along the shore. Further inland were set up the chief administrative offices of the company e.g. the writer’s Building in Calcutta. Racially exclusive clubs, racecourses and theatres were also built for the entertainment of the Europeans. Rich Indian agents and middleman built temples to establish their status in society. Other public places that emerged were forts, educational institutions and religious structures. These public place served the needs of defence, administration, commerce and entertainment. They also represented ideas such as nationalism, religious glory and imperial power. 

Q.8. What were the concerns that influenced town planning in the nineteenth century? 

Ans : Town planning under the British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. India was inspired by purely imperial concern to impress their superiority, authority and power. These imperial concerns took precedence and acquired different forms in the three colonial cities. Madras, Calcutta and Bombay. The predominant concern was defence, establishing trading interests and establishing British racial The British concern of protecting and securing trade interset from other European rival’s e.g. the french in Madras or Sirajudaulah in Bengal led to fortification of trading post- Fort St. George in Madras, and Fort William in Calcutta. 

Over time these Forts became nucleus of white town and distinct white enclaves. The Black Town or native areas in contrast developed outside the fort. It was marked by crowding, laid out in straight lines, and resembled traditional Indian town with living quarters built around its temple and bazaars, and caste specific neighbourhood. In the name of security old Black Town was demolished to create open space. Originally cleared as line of fire, the open ground was later maintained as green area. Once the British became established in their power- civil lines, cantonments, garden houses were set up. The difference and distance between ‘Black’ and ‘white’ areas symbolised British exclusively so they always remained alien rulers. 

They made conscious attempts to create distance. The second concern ensued from protection from epidemics e.g. calcutta. The racial divide was reinforced by the new divide of healthy and unhealthy. Densely populated areas bustos were seen as insanitary. The British feared spread of epidemics from living conditions and spread of disease. The British feared spread of epidemics from ‘Black areas’ to white areas. Official intervention in the 1860 s and 1870 s on the notion of public health led to clearing of many bazaars, ghats, burial grounds, and tanneries. The labouring poor-hawkers, workers, unemployed were pushed to the outskirts of the town. Underground piped water supplies, sewerage and drainage systems were put in place. 

Sanitary vigilance thus became another way of regulating Indian towns. Yet another concern was imperial power and authority. Buildings in cities apart from serving functional needs were meant to establish imperial power and glory. The buildings reflected the superior culture. As a group the buildings, for example, Town Hall, Elphinstone circle (Neo classical – style), Victoria Terminus (Neo Gothic) dominated the central Bombay skyline and were awe- inspiring structures. 

The British sought to legitimise their authority and in their distinctiveness from traditional Indian style they were statements British glory, racial superiority and authority. 

Q.9. To what extent were social relations transformed in the new cities? 

Ans: The new colonial cities were bewildering places for the people of India. Life in these cities seemed to be in a flux. It was a mixture of richness and poverty, prosperity and adversity. 

a) Lack of Coherence and Familiarity : The new colonial cities lacked coherence and familiarity. As the cities were big all the people did not know each other. They were detached and lacked harmonious relations. 

b) Creation of public places : The new colonial cities had many places like theatres, cinema halls and public parks. They were the source of entertainment. They also encouraged and provided opportunities for social interaction. 

c) New opportunities for women : In the new colonial cities, the were given abundant opportunities to grow and progress. So many middle-class women expressed themselves through journals, books and autobiographies. They became more visible in public, they entered new professions. They became teachers, artists and domestic and factory workers. They moved out of house hold. 

d) Separation of the place of work from the place of Residence : The new colonial cities had new facilities of transport. There were trains, buses and horse- drawn carriages for the transportation of the people. So the people could live at a distent place from the main city centre. Gradually the place of work seperated from the place of residence. The people experienced a new kind of life when they moved from their place of residence to their factory, office or any other kind of place of work. 

e) Opposition to Change In Traditional Patriarchal Norms : Social change is generally not acceptable to traditional and conservative people. So many people objected to change in traditional patriarchal norms. They feared that the education of women would turn the world upside down. They felt that education of women would threaten the very basis of Indian social order. They wanted to see women as mothers and wives. They wanted that all the women should remain confined to the household.

f) Emergence of New Social Groups and Middle classes : In the new colonial cities the people lost their old identities. They formed new social groups. Many people had left their old cities and settled in the big cities. These, people included clerks, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants. Collectively all of these formed the middle classes. They had an access to new educational institutions. They were also free to express their views on society and government. They also challenged the practice of many social customs. 

g) Emergence of Working class : The new colonial cities saw a new class. It was a class of the labouring poor. It was a class of working people. Paupers from the rural areas rushed to the cities in search of employment. They found new opportunities in the new cities. They were also allured by the new cities. They also wanted to see things that they had never seen before. But they were poor. They could not afford to live in the city as life here was very costly and expensive. So they kept their families in their villages. They worked in the city and went back to their villages. For them, life in a city was struggle because a city had uncertain jobs, expensive food and unaffordable residences. 

Map Work

Q.10. On an outline map of India, trace the major rivers and hill ranges. Plot ten cities mentioned in the chapter, including Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, and prepare a brief note on why the importance of any two cities that you have marked (one colonial and one Pre – colonial) changed in the nineteenth century. 

Ans : Major rivers and hill ranges of India: 

River : Indus, Jhelmm, Ravi, Setluj, Ganga, Yamuna, Beas, Kasi, Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri. 

Hill ranges : Himalaya, Aravali, Vindhyachal, Satpure, Kareporam. 

Cities : Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Punjab, Pondicherry, Surat, Cochin, machilipatnam, Lahore, Delhi, Patna, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Agra.

Importance of two cities : 

Pre- Colonial (Delhi) : Delhi was capital of Mughal emperor since the days of Shahjahan and it remained centre of Mughal estate upto 1857. Shahjahanabad popularly and Delhi was built by Shahjahan. It was encircled by huge strong wall. This wall had certain huge gates. It had been not only a centre of political and administrative activities but it was one of the major trading and commercial centre. The people of different religion and faith had been living since Mughal period in this city. The merchants and traders use to come from different country of the world. It was fully recapture in 1857 after the revolt. The English made Delhi capital in 1911, living Calcutta. 

When India became independent our dear National Flag was unfurled by our great leader Jahwar Lal Nehru on 15 August, 1947. Now-a-days it is capital of Indian Democratic Republic, the larger democracy of the world. It is famous for its historical monuments and other religious cultural buildings and great structures. 

Colonial (Madras) : In 1639 the English constructed a trading post in Madraspatam. This settlement was locally known as chennapatnam. The company had purchased the right of settlement from the local Telugu lords, the Nayaks of Kalahasti, who were eager to support trading activity in the region. Rivalry (1746-63) with the french East India Company led the British to fortify Madras and give their representatives increased political and administrative functions. With the defeat of the French in 1761, Madras become more secure and began to grow into an important commercial town. It was here that the superiority of the British and the subordinate position of the Indian merchants was most apparent.

Class 12 History Chapter 14 Map 1

C. Passage Based Question & Answers :

Read the following excerpt and answer the questions that follow: 


By the early nineteenth century the British felt that permanent and public rules had to be formulated for regulating all aspects of social life. Even the construction of private buildings and public roads ought to conform to standardised rules that were clearly codified. In his Minute on Calcutta (1803) Wellesley wrote : 

It is a primary duty of Government to provide for the health, safety and convenience of the inhabitants of this great town, by establishing a comprehensive system for the improvement of roads, streets, public drains, and water courses, and by fixing permanent rules for the construction and distribution of the houses and public edifices, and for the regulation of nuisances of every description. 


a) How does Wellesley define the duty of the government? 

Ans: Wellesely felt that the duty of the government was threefold in nature : 

i) The government had to provide for the health, safety and convenience of the people. 

ii) For this purpose roads, streets, public drains and water supply had to be improved. 

iii) Construction of houses and public buildings had to conform to standardised rules and regulations.

iv) In order to make Calcutta a healthier place to live in more open spaces were created. Many bazaars, ghats, burial grounds and tanneries were cleared or removed.

b) What was the work done by the lottery committee? 

Ans: The Lottery committee helped to raise funds for town improvement through public lotteries. It got a new map of Calcutta made so as to get a comprehensive picture of Calcutta. 

Its major activities included building roads in the Indian part of the city and clearing the river bank of encroachments.

c) How did the threat of epidemics give an impetus to town planning in Calcutta? 

Ans : The government believed that there was a correlation between living conditions and the spread of disease. Therefore densely built-up areas like the working people’s huts or bustos were demolished. The city’s poor- workers, hawkers, artisans were forced to move to distant parts of the city.

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