Class 12 History Chapter 9 Peasant Zamindars And The State

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Class 12 History Chapter 9 Peasant Zamindars And The State 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 9 Peasant Zamindars And The State Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 9 Peasant Zamindars And The State

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 9 Peasant Zamindars And The State Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Peasant, Zamindars And The State

Chapter – 9


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. Explain the meaning of the Madrasa. 

Ans : Madarsa was a school where education was imparted to Muslim students. It was generally located in a mosque where some Mulla or Qazi used to teach the pupils. 

Q.2. Explain the meaning of the term “patta.” 

Ans : The formers were given land to cultivate during the Sher Shah Suri’s reign. The area sown, the types of crops cultivated, and the amount each peasant had to pay was written down on paper called “patta”. 

Q.3. Explain the meaning of the “Toman”. 

Ans: Toman was a unit of army. The number of soldiers in a toman was ten thousands. Changez Khan was the first ruler, who organised his army on the decimal basis.

Q.4. Explain the meaning of the term “Amir-i-azam.” 

Ans : The lord achieving the highest rank (or mansal) was known as Amir-i-azam. Raja Man Singh and Mirza Koka were Amir-i-azams. 

Q.5. Write some features of Dahsala system. 

Ans : Dahsala system was introduce by Akbar in 1580 in place of Karori system.

Under this system on the basis of actual land production and keeping in view the land yield and prevailing local prizes a readymade index of all items of production way prepared on the basis of average cost and production, received on the official record last ten years.

In the Dahsala system one-third of the gotton average amounts or average production 1/3 of the total way fixed as state revenue share. 

Q.6. Mention briefly three factors which had been accounted for the constant expansion of agriculture in medieval India. 

Ans : The abundance of land, available labour and the mobility of peasants were three factors that accounted for the constant expansion of agriculture.

Q.7. Name the two types of peasants that existed in medieval time. What is the main difference between them? 

Ans : a) The two types of peasants were Khudkashta and Pahi-Kashta. 

b) The former cultivated land in the villages where they lived. But the latter were non-resident cultivators. This was either out of choice because revenue terms were more favourable in other villages or because of compulsion. For example economic distress caused due to famine. 

Q.8. Name the factors that led to the expansion of agriculture. 

Ans : Abundance of land, availability of labour and the mobility of peasants were responsible for expansion of agriculture.

Q.9. What were the most frequently cultivated crops? 

Ans : The primary purpose of agriculture was to meet the food requirements of people hence the most frequently cultivated crops were rice, wheat and millets. 

Q.10. What was milkiyat? 

Ans : Milkiyat was extensive personal lands help by Zamindars. It was used for cultivation for the private use of Zamindars. It was cultivated often with the help of servile or hired labour. They were free to sell, mortgage these lands at will. 

Q.11. Tell any two functions of a village panchayat during the Mughal period. 

Ans : The two important function of a village panchayat were : 

1) To ensure that caste boundaries among the people of various communities living in the village were upheld.

ii) To levy fines and inflict more serious forms of punishment like expulsion from the community. 

B. Textual Questions & Answers: 

Q.1. What are the problems in using the Ain as a source for reconstructing agrarian history? How do historians deal with this situation? 

Ans: The Ain-i-Akbari has provided invaluable information for reconstructing the agrarian history of the Mughals. But the Ain has its own limitations. Numerous errors in totalling have been detected. These are however minor and do not detract from the overall quantitative accuracy of the manuals. Another limitations is the skewed nature of the data. Data was not collected uniformly from all provinces for example information regarding the caste composition of the Zamindars is not available for Bengal and Orissa. Though the fiīscal data from the subhas is very detailed yet important parameters like wages and prices from these subhas has not been properly documented. 

Moreover the detailed list of prices and wages found in the Ain have been acquired from data pertaining to the capital agra and its surroundings. It is therefore of limited value for the rest of the country. Historians have dealt with the situation by supplementing the account of the Ain by information got from the provinces. These include detailed seventeenth-eighteenth century revenue records from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. These have been also supplemented by the records of the East India Company. 

Q.2. To what extent is it possible to characterise agricultural production in the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries as subsistence agriculture? Give reasons for your answer. 

Ans: During the Mughal period, the primary purpose of agriculture was feed the people. So most of the peasants grew basic staples such as rice, wHeat and millets. They heavily depended on Monsoon which was intrinsically the back-bone of Indian agriculture. An additional water was required to irrigate the fields. So they developed artificial systems of irrigation. In the northern India, the state undertook the digging of new canals (nahar or nala) and the repair of old canals like Shah-nahar in Punjab. Besides the farmers used those technologies which harnessed animal power. The agriculture moved around two major seasonal cycles. 

The Kharif was sown in the autumn season. The Rabi was sown in the spring season. All the farmers produced a minimum of two crops in a year. A few others even grew three crops. Thus agriculture was not only for subsistence. It was to earn profit or more money. The use of term Jins-i-Kamil meant perfect crops. Most of the peasants grew which brought in more revenue. They considered cotton and sugarcane an excellent crops to earn profit. Thus subsistence and commercial production were closely linked to an average peasant. 

Q.3. Describe the role played by women in agricultural production. 

Ans: In India women performed certain specified roles in agriculture. They sowed, weeded, threshed and winnowed the harvest. With the growth of nucleated villages and expansion in individuated peasant farming, which characterised medieval Indian agriculture, the basis of production was the labour and resources of the entire household. Naturally, a gendered segregation between the home (for women) and the world (for men) was not possible in this context. Nonetheless biases related to women’s biological functions did continue. Menstruating women, for instance, were not allowed to touch the plough or the potter’s wheel in Western India, or enter the groves where betel-leaves (paan) were grown in Bengal. 

Artisanal tasks such as spinning yarn, sifting and kneading clay for pottery, and embroidery were among the many aspects of production dependent on female labour. The more commercialised the product, the greater the demand on women’s labour to produce it. In fact, peasant and artisan women worked not only in the fields, but even went to the houses of their employers or to markets if necessary. 

Q.4. Discuss, with examples, the significance of monetary transactions during the period under consideration. 

Ans: Some of the Mughal policies helped in the growth of monetary transactions which in turn led to the diversification of trade and commercialisation of the economy. Salaries of standing army as well as many of the administrative personnel were paid in cash. Under the zabti system land revenue was assessed and required to be paid in cash. Even when peasants were given other options of choosing other methods of assessment 20% of the rural produce was marketed leading to growth of grain markets or qasbas or small towns. 

Village artisans e.g, 18th century records tell us blacksmiths, carpenters even goldsmiths were compensated by Zamindars by small daily allowance or ‘diet money.’ This reflects cash transactions even at the micro level. Mughal Empire was among the large territorial empires in Asia, that managed to consolidate power and resources during the 16th and 17th centuries. The political integration and establishment of law and order, minting of coins of high purity and standard weight helped greater geographical diversity of India’s trade. Apart from expansion there was expansion in commodity composition e.g. textiles, raw silks, indigo, salt petre, spices were in great demand in European Countries. 

Favourable balance of trade resulted in inflow of huge amounts of bullion. This inflow intern resulted in remarkable stability in availability and circulation of silver supiya. Giovanni Careri, an Italian Traveller in the late 17th century, has given a graphic account of geographic diversity and expansion in commodity composition of India’s trade. Movement of goods was also facilitated by the growth of financial system e.g., hundis, i.e. letter of credit payable after a period of time at a discount and ‘shroffs’ or money changers. These systems enabled easy transaction of money, from one part of the country to another. 

Q.5. Examine the evidence that suggests that land revenue was important for the Mughal fiscal system. 

Ans: The mainstay of the Mughal economy was the revenue acquired from land. This was used to pay salaries and defray various administrative expenses. Its importance can be seen by the fact that an elaborate administrative apparatus was created to ensure control over agricultural production and to collect revenue from the length and breadth of the empire. This apparatus included revenue officials and record keepers. The Mughal state first acquired specific information regarding the extent of agricultural lands and their produce before fixing the burden of taxes. 

Land revenue arrangements consisted of two stages-assessment (Jama) and actual collection (hasil). Cultivators were given the choice to pay in cash or kind though the state preferred cash while fixing the land revenue, attempts were made to maximise profits. Both cultivated and cultivable lands were measured in each province. Efforts to measure lands continued under subsequent emperors like Aurangzeb. Yet not all areas could be measured successfully as huge areas of India were covered with forests. 

Write a Short Essay on the Following

Q.6. To what extent do you think caste was a factor in influencing social economic relations in agrarian society? 

Ans: Caste has greatly influenced social and the people in an agrarian society. Because of caste-based inequalities of distinctions, we find many heterogeneous groups in society. Many of those who tilled the land, worked as menials or agricultural labourers (majurs). As they did menial jobs in society, they were relegated to poverty. They had the lowest position in the caste hierarchy as they lacked resources. Such caste based distinction and inequalities were also found in the Muslim communities. The Muslims who did menial jobs were called halalkorans (scavengers). So they lived outside the boundaries of the village. Similarly the mallahzadas (sons of boatmen) lived liked slaves in Bihar. 

Thus there was a direct correlation between caste, poverty and social status at the lower level. But at the intermediate level, these co- relations were not so market. In the 17th century Marwar, Rajputs were considered as important as the Jats, though these Jats had a lower status in the caste hierarchy. On the other hand, the Gauravas, who cultivated land near Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, sought Rajput status in the 17th century. Similarly Ahirs, Gujjars and Malis rose in the caste hierarchy because they earned huge profits because of horticulture and cattle- rearing. In the end, we can say that caste is a great determining factor in both social and economic relations.

Q.7. How were the lives of forest dwellers transformed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? 

Ans: Transformation in the lives of forest dwellers (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) : In India there were huge swathes of forest-dense forest (jangal) or scrubland (kharbandi) existed all over eastern India, Central India, northern India (including the Terai on the Indo-Nepal border), Jharkhand, and in peninsular India down the Western Ghats and the Deccan plateau. Though it is nearly impossible to set an all India average of the forest cover for this period, informed conjectures based on contemporary sources suggest an average of 40 percent. Forest dwellers were termed jangli in contemporary texts. 

Being jangli, however, did not mean an absence of “Civilisation”, as popular usage of the term today seems to connote. Rather, the term described those whose livelihood came from the gathering of forest produce, hunting and shifting agriculture. Different activities were largely season specific. Among the Bhils, for example, spring was reserved for collecting forest produce, summer for fishing, the monsoon months for cultivation, and autumn and winter for hunting. Such a sequence presumed and perpetuated mobility, which was a distinctive feature of tribes inhabiting in these forests. For the state, the forest was a subversive place-a place refuge (mawas) for troublemakers. Once again, we turn to Babur who says that jungles provided a good defence “behind which the people of the pargana become stubbornly rebellious and pay no taxes.” 

External forces entered the forest in different ways. For instance, the state required elephants for the army. So the peshkash levied from forest people often included a supply of elephants. In the Mughal political ideology, the hunt symbolised the overwhelming concern of the state to ensure justice to all its subjects, rich and poor. Regular hunting expeditions, so court historian tell us, enabled the emperor to travel across the extensive territories of his-empire and personally attend to the grievances of its inhabitants. 

The hunt was a subject frequently painted by court artists. The painter resorted to the device of inserting a small scene somewhere in the picture that functioned as a symbols of a harmonious region. The people from different areas outside of forest region entered for their economic self motifs. For examples, some people tried to clean forest and try to develop land for agriculture and to have dwelling units for agricultural settlements and different peoples definitely the tribal people took it a challenge. They fought against the outsiders but ultimately some outsiders ot success with the help of rulers or other powerful groups of the people. rade development between the hill tribes and the plains also disturbed forests settlements.

Q.8. Examine the role played by Zamindars in Mughal India.

Ans: Zamindars were a dominant section of rural society that lived off land. In addition to owning land they had hereditary rights of collecting revenue from a number of villages or his Zamindars. Their role approximated to that of intermediaries between state and the peasantry. Due to their economic, social status and political dominance clan and personalities and the face that they controlled vast resources, no imperial authority could afford to ignore them. In Mughal India Zamindars performed certain services for the state (Khidmat) e.g., they often collected revenue on behalf of the state, a service for which they were adequately compensated financially. 

They set social standards and helped expansion of agriculture by colonisation of new lands. They helped settle cultivators by providing them with the means of cultivation including cash loans. They engaged in buying and selling of Zamindaris which accelerated the process of magnetisation in the countryside. Often Zamindars sold produce of their ‘milkiyat’ lands, some even established ‘heats’ or markets where peasants would come and sell their produce. There were other Zamindars who were hereditary rulers of their respective territories. These rajas/ chieftains were also called Zamindars, but their position was superior to those Zamindars who collected revenue. Economically and militarily they formed a formidable class. 

These Zamindars generally lived off forts or ‘gilachas’ and had armed contingent comprising units of cavalry, artillery and infantry. The combined forces were considerable and according to Ain they had 3,84,558 sawars, 42,77,057 foot soldiers, 1863 elephants and 4,260 canons. But they were dispersed. Among them were those who joined Mughal imperial services, but there were others who has the obligation of rendering military service to the Mughals when called to do so. Although there is little doubt that the interests of the Zamindar along with the state were contrary to the peasant yet their relationship had an element of paternal reciprocity and patronage. 

They had close connections on caste, clan and tribal basis with the peasants settled in their Zamindari. They had considerable local information. In the large number of agrarian uprisings that erupted in north India in the 17th century, Zamindars often received support of the peasants in their struggle against the state. The Zamindars especially the class of chieftains e.g., Rajputs, Jats played an important role in Mughal expansion, and consolidation, in establishing peace and stability and undermining scope of conflict and friction. The above clearly in highlights, the relationship between Mughals and Zamindaris was based on Mughal benefit in economic and military sphere. In turn the Zamindars relationship with the peasant was though exploitative based on patronage and reciprocity. These formed the basis of agrarian relationships in Mughal India. 

Q.9. Discuss the ways in which panchayats and village headmen regulated rural society. 

Ans: The village panchayat was an assembly of elders or important people of the village. In villages where people of many castes lived, the panchayat was usually heterogeneous body. It represented all the castes and communities. Its decisions were binding on all its members. 

Role of the village headman : The panchayat was headed by muquaddam or mandal. He was usually called the headman. He was often chosen with consensus of the village elders. He remained in office till he enjoyed the confidence of the elders of the village. He supervised the village accounts. In this task, he was assisted by patwari on an accountant. He also coordinated activity to tide over natural calamities like floods. He also tried to prevent caste-based offences. 

Functions of panchayats : The main function of the panchayat was to ensure that all communities lived within caste boundaries. Secondly it has the authority to levy fines. Thirdly, it could also give more serious punishments like expulsion from the community. It acted as a deterrent to violation of caste norms. 

Jati panchayats : The Jati panchayats had a considerable influence in rural society. In Rajasthan, the Jati panchayats resolved civil disputes between members of different castes. They also mediated in disputed cases of land. They also decided if the marriage were solemnised in accordance with norms of particular castes. The decisions of the Jati panchayats were even respected by the state. Archival records of Western India, esp cially Rajasthan and Maharashtra, include few petitions presented to panchayat complaining about collecting taxes forcefully or the demand of edgar i.e. unpaid labour. These petitions were generally submitted by mo: weaker sections of rural communities. 

These petitions were made collectively by community or caste group against the morally illegitimate demands of elite groups. One of these demands was excessive taxes. They considered right of minimum basic means of life as their traditional rights. They wanted that gram panchayat should listen to this and must ensure that state must give them justice. In case of demand of excessive taxes, different classes were advised by panchayat to do compromise. When reconciliation was not possible, peasants took more drastic forms of resistance like deserting the village. As uncultivated land was easily available and there was competition over labour resources, it was an effective weapon in the hands of cultivators. 

Map Work

Q.10. On an outline economic links with the Mughal Empire and trace out possible routes of communication. 

Ans :                      

Class 12 History Chapter 9 Map 1

C. Passage Based Question & Answers: 

Read the following extract and answer the questions based on them. 


The following is a listing of criteria of classification excerpted from the Aim : 

The Emperor Akbar in his profound sagacity classified the lands and fixed a different revenue to be paid by each. Polaj is land which is annually cultivated for each crop in succession and is never allowed to lie fallow. Parauti is land left out of cultivation for a time that it may recover its strength. Chachar is land that has lain fallow for three or four years. Banjar is land uncultivated from five years and more. Of the first two kinds of land, there are three classes, good, middling, and bad. They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce, one-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues. 


a) Describe the different types of land found under Akbar’s reign. 

Ans: a) The lands were classified as: i) Polaj : Which was always cultivated and never allowed to lie follow. 

ii) Parauti : Land occasionally left fallow so that it could regain its fertility. 

iii) Chachar: Land which has been left fallow for 3 to 4 years. 

iv) Banjar : Land which has been left uncultivated for 5 years or more.

b) What principles did the Mughal state follow while classifying lands in its territories? 

Ans: Continuity of cultivation was the basis which the Mughals followed while classifying lands.

c) How was revenue assessed? 

Ans : Continuity of cultivation was kept in mind while fixing the revenue. Polaj and Parauti land were classified into three categories of land good, middling and bad. The produce each kind of land was added and the third of this was said to be the medium produce. One-third of this was levied as the royal due.

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