Here we are providing Class 12 History Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 12 Colonial Cities: Urbanisation, Planning and Architecture. Class 12 History Important Questions are the best resource for students which helps in class 12 board exams.
Class 12 History Chapter 12 Important Extra Questions Colonial Cities: Urbanisation, Planning and Architecture
Colonial Cities Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
Name three Presidency cities established by the British.
Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
Who gave Bombay to the British East India Company in 1661 A.D.?
Bombay was given to the company in 1661 A.D. by the English King.
Name the important centres of imperial administration and central during the Mughal Empire.
Agra, Delhi and Lahore.
Which south Indian cities were femous for their temples?
Madurai and Kanchipuram.
What is Qasbah?
Qasbah is a small town in the countryside, often the seat of a local notable.
What is meant by Ganj?
Ganj refers to a small fixed market.
When and where did the different Europeans establish their base in India?
Portugues in Panaji in 1510, the Dutch in Masulipatnam in 1605, the British in Madras in 1639 and the French in Pondicherry in 1673.
Why did the importance of Surat, Masulipatnam and Dhaka decline during the British period?
Due to shifting of trade to other places such as Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. .
How did the British try to raise money for administering towns?
Through the systematic annual collection of municipal taxes.
How much was the urban population in India in 1900 and 1940?
10 per cent in 1900 and 13 per cent in 1940.
When was railway introduced in India?
In 1853 A.D.
Name three cities developed as railway towns.
Jamalpur, Waltair and Bareilly.
When did the decennial (conducted every ten years) census become a regular feature in India? Also, tell its importance.
When was the first All India Census attempted? Mention two of its early aims. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
The first All-India census was attempted in the year 1872. However, the decennial census became a regular feature since 1881. This collection of data is an invaluable source to study urbanisation in India.
What factors helped in the establishment of industries in Bombay and Calcutta in the middle of the 19th century?
- These cities were linked to the whole country by the expanding network of railways.
- There was an availability of cheap labour. Therefore, it was convenient to set up new factories in these towns.
What were the two important industrial cities of India in the nineteenth century? What was manufactured there?
In the nineteenth century, there were two main industrial cities, that is, Kanpur and Jamshedpur. Kanpur was famous for leather, woollen and cotton textiles. But Jamshedpur was known for the production of steel.
What were the objectives of early hill-stations?
How were the hill-stations a distinctive feature of colonial urban development? Give two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
- The initial hill-stations served the needs of the British army.
- They served as places to stay troops, guard frontiers and launch campaigns against enemy rulers.
How important were the hill- stations for the colonial economy?
Why were hill stations important for the colonial economy? Give any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Why did the hill stations become an ideal destination for the British and Europeans? Give any one reason. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (O.D.))
Hill stations were very important for the colonial economy on account of the following reasons:
- They had tea and coffee plantations in their vicinity.
- There was an influx of immigrant labour from the plains as these hill-stations provided many opportunities for jobs.
What was the Lottery Committee of Calcutta (1817)?
Give any two functions of the Lottery Committee in the context of colonial Calcutta (Kolkata). (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
Name the region where the lottery committee initiated town planning ‘. during the 18th century. Mention any ‘one feature of it. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
The Lottery Committee was set up at Calcutta in 1817 after the departure of Lord Wellesley. It carried on the work of town planning with the help of the government. It was named as the Lottery Committee because it raised funds through public lotteries. However, it used these funds for the improvement of the town.
What did the city of Bombay gain by the opening of Suez Canal in 1869?
- The opening of the Suez Canal strengthened the links of Bombay with the entire world economy.
- It developed Bombay as the most important city in India. In fact, Bombay was declared as the Urbs Prima in India-a Latin phrase, which meant that Bombay was a great city of India.
What is the importance of architecture for students of history?
Architecture helps in giving shape to our ideas with the help of stone, brick, wood or plaster. Social relations and identities are reflected in many ways through the bungalow of the government officers, the palatial house of the rich merchant to the humble hut of the labourer.
Name two buildings each made in Neo-Gothic and Indo-Saracenic styles during the colonial period.
- Neo-Gothic Style: The Secretariat, University of Bombay and High Court.
- Indo-Saracenic Style: Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel.
Name two buildings of Neo-Gothic style and name those Indians who donated money for these buildings.
- University Hall: Sir Cowas Jee Jehangir Readymoney.
- Rajabai Tower: Premchand Roychand.
Mention any two characteristic features of the “middle classes” in the new colonial cities under the British. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
- The middle class had access to new education centres like schools, colleges and libraries.
- As they were educated, they could express their views in newspapers, journals and social gatherings. It helped in the creation of the new public environment.
Who were the Dubashes in colonial cities? Explain one function they performed. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
In the colonial cities, the Dubashes were those people who spoke in both the local language and English language. They used to act as agents or traders. They acted as mediators between the British and Indian society. They constructed their houses in the traditional way near the markets of the Black Town.
Mention two changes that were seen in the network of trade in the urban centres from the mid 18th century. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
- Traders migrated from the old Mughal centres to new centres in search of work and patronage.
- Importance of commercial centres like Dhaka, Surat, etc., declined when trade shifted to other places, like Bombay.
Mention two features of the Fort St. George of White Town, where most of the Europeans lived. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
- The white towns were those parts of the colonial towns where the white people lived. The cantonment areas were also developed at safe places.
- They had wide roads, barracks, churches and parade grounds. Besides, they had big bungalows as well as gardens.
Mention two fears of Conservatives in introducing social changes in the new cities built by the British. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
- Conservatives feared that the British could destroy their social customs.
- They also feared that the British could convert them to Christians.
Who were Dubashes? What did they do in Madras (now Chennai)? (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Dubashes were those Indians who knew the local language and English language. They also worked as agents and traders and played the role of mediocre between Indian society and the British.
How was the separation between town and country fluid? State any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
(i) Peasants travelled long distances to visit pilgrimage and they went through towns.
(ii) They generally collected in towns at the time of famine.
Mention two new transport facilities introduced in the new colonial cities and also one important effect of it. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
- In 1853, railways were introduced, which completely changed the outlook of cities. It connected colonial city with the rest of India.
- New facilities lead to the development of ship industry.
Mention two characteristics of the Neo-Gothic style of architecture for public buildings. (CB.S.E. 2010 (D), 2014 (O.D.))
- The building constructed in this style had high pitched roofs, pointed arches and extensive decoration.
- This style was adopted in the construction of churches in northern Europe during the medieval period
How did the introduction of the railway in 1853 bring a change in the fortunes of towns? Mention any two changes. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Analyse how did the introduction of the railways by the British prone advantageous for the Indians in the late nineteenth century. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D))
- The centre of economic activities started to move away from traditional centres because these towns were near to old routes and rivers.
- Each railway station became a centre of a collection of raw material and distribution of imported items.
Mention two characteristics of the neoclassical style of architecture for public buildings in India during the British period. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
- The First characteristic of it was the construction of geometrical structures fronted with lofty pillars.
- It was delved from a style that was originally typical of buildings in ancient Rome. It was considered particularly appropriate for the British Empire in India.
Mention the significance of census operation undertaken by the British in India. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Census data helped the British to undertake development works in new cities. This census data was also a valuable source to study the development of urbanisation in India.
Why did paupers from rural areas flock to the cities? Mention any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
(i) Paupers from rural areas flocked to the cities in the hope of employment.
(ii) Some saw cities as places of opportunity, others were attracted by the allure of a different way of life.
Why were Kanpur and Jamshedpur known. as prosper “Industrial Cities”? (Give any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
Kanpur and Jamshedpur were known as prosper industrial cities, because:
- Kanpur was specialised in the production of leather, woollen and cotton textiles.
- Jamshedpur was specialised in steel production.
Colonial Cities Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
Why and how the phase of towns changed by the middle of the 18th century?
Describe briefly these changes that came about in the Indian towns during the 18th century. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Explain the changes that came in the eighteenth century in towns, established by Mughals. (C.B.S.E.2011 (O.D.))
Describe briefly the changes that came in towns from the mid 18th century onwards. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Highlight the significant variations observed in the pattern of urbanisation during the nineteenth century in India. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (O.D.))
There was a new phase of change in towns by the middle of the 18th century. Commercial towns like Surat, Masulipatnam and Dhaka, which were growing in the 17th century, declined with the shift of trade to other places. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the British gradually acquired political control and the trade of the English East India Company expanded. Colonial port cities like Madras, Calcutta and Bombay emerged as new economic capitals. These cities also emerged as centres of the colonial administration and political power.
New institutions and buildings were developed. Urban spaces were ordered in new ways. New occupations were developed and that is why people moved towards these colonial cities. By about 1800, these three cities were the largest cities in India from the point of view of population.
Why Colonial (British) Government gave special emphasis on mapping?
Why was the Colonial Government? keen on mapping? Mention any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Right from its early years, the colonial government gave special emphasis on mapping, because of the following reasons:
- The government believed that good maps are very much necessary to understand the landscape and know about topography.
- When towns began to grow, maps were prepared to make plans of development of these towns. Maps were also prepared to develop commerce and consolidate power.
- Maps of towns give information about the location of rivers, hills and vegetation. This information is very much important for planning structures for defence purposes.
- These maps also show the density and quality of houses and alignment of roads, location of ghats, used to gauge commercial possibilities and even plan strategies of taxation.
Which problems were faced by the Census Commissioners in collection and classification of data?
Following problems were faced by the Census Commissioners in collection and classification of data:
1. Generally, people refused to cooperate in this process or gave wrong information to the census officials.
2. For a long time, people were suspicious about census operations. People believed that the government is conducting enquiries to impose new taxes on them.
3. People of upper castes were not willing to give any information about females of their household. Females were expected to remain within the four walls of the house. They were not subjected to public gaze or enquiry.
4. It was also very difficult to collect data related to mortality and diseases. All deaths were not reported. Generally, people were not treated by licensed doctors. In such a condition, it was not possible to accurately calculate the cases of illness or deaths.
What was the role of the introduction of the railway in 1853 C.E. in the process of urbanisation?
The railway was introduced in 1853 C.E. It changed the fortunes of towns. The centre of economic activities was shifted away from traditional towns because these towns were situated along old routes and rivers. Each railway station became a centre of the collection of raw material and distribution point for imported goods. For example, Mirzapur, on the banks of Ganga, was the centre of the collection of cotton and cotton goods from the Deccan. This town declined when a railway link was made to Bombay. Railway workshops and colonies were established with the expansion of the railway network. As a result, railway towns like Waltair, Jamalpur and Bareilly were developed.
Why were the records preserved in the colonial cities?
All the colonial cities emphasised on the upkeep of enormous data. The British always considered it important to carry out regular surveys, gather statistical data and publish official reports. We came to know about the following from the accumulated data:
- The record of the trading activities helped the British in regulating their commercial affairs.
- The collection of data helps in the study of the level of urbanisation.
- The census, survey maps and records of the municipality are invaluable for studying colonial cities.
- The gathered data brings out the rate of growth in the population. It also studies the social changes that occur from time to time.
How did the urban and rural elements merge in the colonial city of Madras?
Madras was an important commercial town during the colonial rule. Most of the Europeans lived in this city as the administration and judicial systems were favourable to them. They settled near Fort St. George. But the Black Town developed outside the fort. It was laid out in straight lines. In this town, the weavers, artisans, middlemen and interpreters lived. Thus, Madras had a semi-rural air about it.
The development of Madras was made to fulfil the needs and provide essential comforts to the white people living there.
Why were the cities of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay fortified? How did it lead to the development of White Town and Black Town?
Madras, Calcutta and Bombay had become important ports by the eighteenth century. They had many factories and mercantile offices built by the East India Company. So the British got these cities fortified to ensure the protection of both men and the goods. In Madras, the White men settled in Fort St. George. They settled in Fort William in Calcutta. They lived near the Fort in Bombay.
On the other hand, the Indians lived outside these forts. They had their own settlements where the merchants, artisans and other workers lived together. All these cities had separate quarters for the Indians and the European. The Indians lived in the Black Towns whereas the white lived in the White Towns. The Black areas symbolised chaos and anarchy, filth and disease but the white areas stood for hygiene and cleanliness.
Why did the British take upon themselves the task of town planning from the early years of their rule in Bengal?
Mention any two reasons for the British to take upon themselves the tasks of town planning in Bengal in the very beginning. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
The credit for the beginning of modern town planning in India goes to the British. They framed regulations for urban land use, which were inspired by a vision of good town planning. There were many reasons for the British taking upon themselves the task of town-planning from the early years of their rule in Bengal.
Concern for Defence: The British adopted the task of town-planning as they needed defence against local rulers. Siraj Ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, attacked Calcutta in 1756. He sacked the small fort built by the English men to keep their goods. The traders of the East India Company always questioned the sovereignty of the Nawab and were not ready to pay customs duties. So, Sirajudaula wanted to assert his authority.
Construction of another Fort: Siraj Ud-Daulah was defeated in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. So, East India Company decided to build a new fort, which was invincible and impregnable. It was named Fort William.
What was the Lottery Committee? Under it, what steps were taken for the town-planning in Calcutta?
The town planning of Calcutta was inspired by a vision of what the city should look like. It also meant that all the available space should be well-utilised and organised. The British built Fort William in Calcutta. They also developed the Maidan. When Lord Wellesley became the Governor-General in 1798, he built for himself a massive palace known as the Government House. This building depicted the authority of the British. Lord Wellesley also set up various committees for the development of the city.
Why was the Lottery Committee constituted?
The Lottery Committee was constituted in 1817 to help the government in carrying out the work of town¬planning in Calcutta. This committee was named the Lottery Committee because it raised funds for the development of the town through public lotteries. In other words, the government did not provide all the funds for the development of cities and town-planning. Rather the funds of town-planning were raised by responsible public-minded citizens.
Steps initiated under Lottery Committee: The Lottery Committee took various steps for the development of Calcutta. They can be enumerated as follows:
- The Lottery Committee commissioned a new map of Calcutta so that it may have a comprehensive picture of the city.
- It took up road-building in the part of the city where mostly the Indians lived.
- It removed all the encroachment from the banks of the river. It also removed many huts to make the city more beautiful and cleaner.
- Due to the demolition of the huts, many poor labourers were displaced. The Committee sent all these people to the outskirts of Calcutta.Question 10.
Describe any two architectural styles used by the British in the construction of public buildings in Bombay. Give one example from each.
Explain briefly a few architectural styles adopted by the British. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
Basically, three architectural styles were used for the construction of public buildings in Bombay and two of them are given ahead:
1. The Neo-Classical Style: The buildings constructed in this architectural style had geometrical structures. They also had lofty pillars in the front. It resembled the style of buildings in ancient Rome. This style was considered most suitable for the construction of buildings in British India. The Town Hall of Bombay was built in 1833 and was based on this architectural style. Similarly, the Elphinstone Circle, a group of commercial buildings was built in 1860.
2. The Neo-Gothic Style: The buildings constructed in the Neo-Gothic architectural style had high-pitched-roofs, pointed arches and extensive decoration. This style was adopted in the construction of the churches in northern Europe during the medieval period. It was again revived in England in the mid 19th century. In Bombay, many buildings like the Secretariat, the High Court and the University of Bombay were built in this style.
How are the architectural styles important historically?
The British gave a lot of attention to the architectural beauty of the buildings and cities. So, they adopted various styles, which are considered historically very important.
- They reflect the aesthetic ideas of the British and also show that sometimes the British varied from their ideals.
- Their buildings also express the vision of those who built them.
- Their buildings expressed their power and authority. For example, the Government House built by Lord Wellesley conveyed the authority of the British. In other words, the attributes of the British power were expressed through their massive structures.
- They not only reflected the prevalent tastes but also moulded them.
- They were the symbols of modernity, civilisation and culture.
Why were the towns, built by the Mughals, during the 16th and 17th centuries famous? Explain with examples. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
- Towns built by the Mughals, during the 16th and 17th centuries were famous for the concentration of population, their large buildings, royal grandeur and wealth.
- Delhi, Agra and Lahore were important centres of power and imperial administration. Mansabdars and Jagirdars in their respective territories generally maintained houses in these cities. Residence in these centres of power was symbolic of the status and prestige of a noble.
- The presence of the emperor and nobles in these centres meant that a number of services had to be provided.
- The treasury was also located in the imperial capital. Thus, the revenues of the kingdom flowed into the capital regularly.
- The emperor lived in a fortified palace and the town was enclosed by a wall, with entry and exit being regulated by different gates.
How did the colonial cities reflect the mercantile culture of the British rulers? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
How did the colonial cities reflect the mercantile culture of the new rulers during the mid 19th century? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
The colonial cities reflected the mercantile culture of the new rulers. Political power and patronage shifted from Indian rulers to the merchants of East India Company. Indians who worked as middlemen, interpreters, traders and suppliers of goods also had an important place in these new cities. Economic activity near the river or the sealed to the development of docks and ghats.
Along the shore were godowns, mercantile offices, insurance agencies for shipping, transport depots, and banking establishments. Further inland was the chief administrative officer of the company. The writer’s building in Calcutta (Kolkata) was one such office. Around the periphery of the fort, European merchants and agents built palatial houses in European styles. Some build garden houses in the suburbs. Racially exclusive clubs, racecourses and theatres were also built for the ruling elite.
Describe the characteristics of public buildings built in the new classical style with special reference to the Town Hall’ of Bombay. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
For constructing public buildings, three main architectural styles were used. Two of these were prevalent in England. The first one was neo-classical or the new classical. Its characteristic included constructions of geometrical structures fronted with lofty pillars. It was considered particularly appropriate for the British empire in India. The British imagined that a style that embodied the grandeur of imperial Rome could now be made to express the glory of imperial India.
The Town Hall in Bombay was built in this style in 1833. Another group of commercial buildings, built during the 1860s was the Elphinstone circle. This building was inspired by the models in Italy. It made innovative use of covered arcades at ground level to shield the shopper and pedestrian from the fierce sun and rain of Bombay.
Why did the British colonial power import European style in Bombay’s architecture? Explain briefly three architectural styles adopted by them. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
European style created an atmosphere of familiarity for the British. When they saw buildings in the European style, they found a familiar landscape in India, which was an alien country for them. So, they felt at home in Bombay. Moreover, they thought that the buildings would distinguish them from the Indian. Three architectural styles were:
- The Neo-Classical Style: The buildings constructed in this style had geometrical structures.
- The Neo-Gothic Style: The buildings made in this style had high pitched roofs, pointed arches and extensive decoration.
- Indo-Saracenic Style: This style was a mixture of the Indian style with European style.
Explain how the conversion of Census data into convenient statistical data by the Britisher in India riddled. with ambiguities in the late nineteenth century. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D))
The conversion of census data into convenient statistical data by the British in India riddled with ambiguities because of the overlapping identities, the people gave wrong information during surveys. They were suspicious of the census which would impose new taxes. They even feared of being low status. Moreover, the figures of mortality and disease were difficult to collect as all the deaths were not registered and illness were neither reported nor treated by licensed doctors.
Explain why some hill stations were developed during the colonial period in India. (C.B.S.E. 2018)
The Hill station was very important for the British as they fulfilled the following objectives:
- They were strategic places for the stay of troops.
- They facilitated defence and guarded the frontiers.
- They were the best places to launch a campaign against enemy rulers.
- The temperate and cool climate of the hill- stations was suitable for the British who associated hot weather with epidemics.
- Hill stations served as cantonments for the army in the hills. They also protected the army in the hills. They also protected the army from diseases like cholera and malaria.
- They were developed as sanitariums. These were the places where soldiers cosmic be sent for rest, recreation and recovery from diseases.
Colonial Cities Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
While explaining the process of urbanisation in Madras, describe the development of White Town and Black Town over there.
The Company had, first of all, made the port of Surat, situated on the west coast, as the centre of its trading activities. Later on, the British traders reached the east coast in search of textiles. They constructed a trading post at Madraspatam in 1639 C.E. Local people called this settlement as Chenapattanam. The Company had bought the rights to settle over there from local Telugu lords, the Nayaks of Kalahasti who wanted to encourage trading activities in their region.
The British had to fortify the Madras because of their rivalry (1746-63) with the French East India Company. They also increased the political and administrative functions of their representatives. French were defeated in 1761 C.E. and Madras became more secure. Now, Madras began to grow as an important commercial town.
- Fort St. George became the nucleus of the White Town. where most of the Europeans lived. It looked unique and distinctive because of the walls and the bastions. A stay in the fort was allowed on the basis of colour and religion.
- The Europeans like the English, the Dutch and the Portuguese were allowed to stay in this fort.
- The workers of the Company were not allowed to marry with the Indians.
- The administrative and judicial system was in favour of the whites. Though small in numbers, the Europeans were still the rulers. The development of Madras was made to fulfil the needs and provide essential comforts to the white people living there.
Black Town: The Black Town was developed outside the Fort. The population of Black Town was laid out in straight lines, which was one of the important features of colonial towns. But it was demolished in the mid-1700s and the area was cleared so that a security zone could be built around the Fort. Later on, another Black Town was developed further to the north. This town comprised artisans, weavers, middlemen and interpreters. They played an important role in the trade of the Company.
The new Black Town of Madras was just like traditional Indian towns. Living quarters for the people were built around its own temple and bazaar. People of different castes lived over there in the narrow lanes that crisscrossed the township. An area called Chintadripet was only meant for weavers. In the same way, Washermanpet Royapuram was a settlement for Christian boatmen who worked for the Company.
Discuss the main aspects of town planning of Calcutta after the departure of Lord Wellesley. What was the result of the opposition of racial division of the city?
After the departure of Wellesley, the work of town planning of Calcutta was taken over by the Lottery Committee (1817) with the help of the government. This committee was named as the Lottery Committee because it raised the funds for town improvement through public lotteries. It means that till the early decades of the 19th century, the work of raising funds for the city was considered as the responsibility of not only government but of public-minded citizens as well.
The Lottery Committee prepared a new map for the city so that a new comprehensive picture of Calcutta should come forward. The Committee undertook certain activities, which included road-building in the Indian part of the city and to clear encroachments on the banks of the river. The Committee wanted to make Indian part of the city cleaner, that is why it removed a number of huts and displaced a number of poor labourers. They were given places in the outskirts of Calcutta.
The solution to problems of health and hygiene: In the next few decades, the threat of epidemics gave a boost to town planning in Calcutta. From 1817, cholera started spreading and the plague made its appearance in 1896. Medical science had not yet been able to establish the cause of these diseases. Then, the government acted according to the accepted theory of the time, which says that there is a direct relationship between living conditions and the spread of disease. This idea was also supported by the prominent Indian traders of Calcutta like Dwarkanath Tagore and Cowasjee. They felt that it was necessary to make Calcutta more healthy.
Densely populated areas were considered unsanitary because these areas obstructed direct sunlight and circulation of air. That’ is why ‘busty’ or huts of working people were demolished very quickly. The poor people of the city including hawkers, workers, porters, artisans and the unemployed were forced to move to distant parts of the city. Strict building regulations were made because of frequent fires. In 1836, thatched huts were banned and tiled roofs were made compulsory.
Official intervention in the city became more stringent by the late 19th century. All the initiatives for town planning, including funding, were taken over by the government. As a result, more huts were cleared and the British portions were developed in the towns at the cost of other areas.
The opposition of Racial Divides: The racial divide of the city, i.e., White and Black Town, was reinforced on the basis of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’. Indian representatives in municipal corporation opposed against the more development of European parts of the town. The public also protested against these government policies. It also strengthened the feeling of anti-colonialism and nationalism among Indians.
How was the capitalist class of Bombay developed? What was its contribution to the economic development of the city?
Bombay was the commercial capital of colonial India. It was a premier port on the western coast and that is why it was the centre of international trade. Half of the imports and exports of India passed through Bombay by the end of the 19th century. Opium was one of the important items of this trade. The East India Company exported this opium to China. Indian traders and middlemen were partners in this trade.
They helped in integrating Bombay’s economy with the opium-growing areas like Malwa, Rajasthan and Sind. This integration with the Company was profitable for them. This profit helped in the growth of an Indian capitalist class. This class included the people of many communities like Parsi, Marwari, Gujarati Bania, Konkani Muslim, Bohra, Jew and Armenian.
The American Civil War started in 1861 and it stopped the arrival of American cotton into the international market. It increased the demand for Indian cotton. It was a great opportunity for capitalists of Bombay for earning huge profits. Suez Canal was opened in 1869, which further strengthened links of Bombay with the world economy. Bombay government and Indian merchants took advantage of this opportunity and declared Bombay as ‘Urbs Prima in India’ or the most important city of India. By the late 19th century, Indian merchants were investing their money in industries like cotton mills and also helped in building activities of the city.
Discuss the main stages of town planning and architecture of Bombay. Explain mainly the buildings made in neo-classical style.
Taking the example of Bombay (Mumbai), explain how the imperial vision of the British was realised through town planning. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
“The architecture in colonial. Bombay represented ideas of imperial power, nationalism and religious glory.” Support the statement with examples. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
Initially, Bombay was a state of seven islands. With the increase in population, these islands were connected to create more space and a new big city was created. With the growth of Bombay’s economy, a need was felt from the mid 19th century to expand railway and shipping and even develop the administrative structure. A number of new buildings were constructed at this time. The architectural style of these buildings was usually European.
Bungalows and Public Buildings: Initially, these buildings looked very strange in comparison with the traditional Indian buildings. But gradually, Indians too used the European style of architecture and they adopted this style. On the other hand, the British adopted some of the Indian styles to suit their needs. One of its examples is bungalows, which were made for government officers in Bombay and the other parts of the country.
The bungalow was constructed on a large piece of land. It not only ensured privacy for the people living in it but also marked a distance horn the Indian world around. It had a traditional pitched roof and surrounding veranda to keep the bungalow cool. There were separate quarters for domestic servants in the compound.
Basically, three architectural styles were used for public buildings. Two of these styles were prevalent in England. One of these styles was the neo-classical style. The buildings constructed in this style had geometrical structures. They also had lofty pillars in the front. It resembled the style of buildings in ancient Rome. This style was considered most suitable for the construction of buildings in British India. The Town Hall of Bombay was built in 1833 and based on this architectural style.
A number of commercial buildings were built in the decade of 1860, which was known as Elphinstone Circle. Later on, its name was changed to Horniman Circle.
This building was inspired by the buildings of Italy. It made innovative use of covered arches at ground level to shield the shopper and pedestrian from the fierce sunlight and the rain of Bombay.’
Hill stations were a distinctive feature of colonial urban development. In this context, throw some light on the development and importance of hill stations.
Explain why hill stations were a distinctive feature of colonial urban development. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
Explain why some hill stations were developed during the colonial period in India. (C.B.S.E. 2018)
Almost all hill-stations in India were developed by the British. The hill- stations were an important aspect of colonial urban development. They were set-up and developed to fulfil the needs of the British army. Shimla was founded during the course of the Gurkha War (1815-16). Similarly, the British developed Mount Abu during the Anglo- Maratha War of 1818. They snatched Darjeeling from the rulers of Sikkim in 1835.
The hill-stations were very important for the British as they fulfilled the following objectives:
1. They were strategic places for the stay of troops.
2. They facilitated defence and guarded the frontiers.
3. They were the best places to launch a campaign against enemy rulers.
4. The temperate and cool climate of the hill stations was suitable for the British who associated hot weather with epidemics.
5. Hill stations served as cantonments for the army in the hills. They also protected the army from diseases like cholera and malaria.
6. They were developed as sanitariums. These were the places where soldiers could be sent for rest, recreation and recovery from diseases.
7. They were frequently visited by the British rulers like the Viceroys. Most of the British officials moved to hill stations during the summer season. In 1864, John Lawrence, the then Viceroy of India, officially moved its council to Shimla. The official residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army was also in Shimla.
8. The hill stations provided many opportunities for recreation. They served as picnic-spots and place to organise tea-parties, race and visits to the theatre.
9. The hill-stations were important for the economy of the British. They had tea and coffee plantations in the nearby areas. So, they had a large number of immigrant labour.
How can you say that the pace of urbanisation and city development was sluggish after 1800 C.E.? What factors were responsible for it?
After 1800 C.E., the pace of urbanisation in India was sluggish. The growth of urban population in proportion to the total population of India was almost stagnant. From 1900 to 1940, the urban population increased from 10 to 13%. Besides, the smaller towns did not grow because they had limited economic opportunities. Only the cities like Calcutta, Bombay and Madras grew rapidly. They became sprawling cities because they offered ample opportunities for employment. They became commercial and administrative centres. But most of the other urban centres remained the same.
The other urban centres did not grow as only Calcutta, Madras and Bombay had become the hub of the colonial economy. They had become export centres of Indian goods. But after the Industrial Revolution in England, the trend of growth was reversed. These cities had become the centres to export Indian goods. Hence, the other areas did not develop well.
The introduction of railways in 1853 C.E. also accelerated the economic activities in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The traditional towns lagged behind in growth as they were located along old routes and rivers. For example, Mirzapur was a famous collection centre of cotton and cotton goods from the Deccan. When a rail link was made to Bombay, this town witnessed a decline. On the other hand, cities like Jamalpur, Voltaire and Bareilly developed the most as they came on a rail track.
Colonial Cities Important Extra Questions HOTS
Give any two points showing differences in the character of towns and rural areas. Explain briefly the difference between town and countryside in the precolonial period. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Towns were quite different from the rural areas. The differences can be seen as follows:
- In the rural areas or the countryside, people cultivated land, forage in the forest and rear animals.
- On the other hand, towns are characterised by specific forms of economic activities and cultures.
Why did many people in the beginning view census with suspicion?
State any two difficulties faced by the Census Commissioners in collecting and classifying the data.
People viewed the census with suspicion because of the following reasons:
- They thought that the census was conducted to impose new taxes.
- They were unwilling to give any information about the women of the household.
Why should the historians use sources like the census with great caution?
The historians should use the data of the census with great care and caution because of the following reasons:
- The collection of data may be biased.
- It may not provide all the requisite information.
Why was India unable to become a modern industrial country during the colonial period?
The British government had biased industrial policies. As a result, the British hardly supported industrial development of India. That is why India was unable to become a modern industrial country.
Why medieval nature of towns started changing in the 18th century? Give reasons.
Medieval nature of towns started changing during the 18th century. Old towns declined and new towns developed with the political and commercial realignments. Towns related to the Mughal rule declined with the gradual decline of Mughal power. New regional powers emerged and the importance of regional capitals increased; including Lucknow, Hyderabad, Poona, Nagpur, etc.
Give any two reasons why the Colonial Government was keen on producing good maps. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
Why was the Colonial Government keen on mapping from the early years? ‘Mention two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D), 2014 (D))
The Colonial Government paid special attention to prepare good maps. They did so because of the following reasons:
- The government believed that the maps were essential to know the detail of any location.
- When the cities started growing big, the need for the maps was felt to prepare plans of urban development. The maps were also considered essential to strengthen political authority.
State two reasons for the migration of the working class to the big cities. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
- Big cities had new institutions and every type of facility was available over there.
- They had ample opportunities for new jobs and occupations.
In the colonial period, the nature of towns was different from that of the villages. Even then the separation between the two was fluid. Elucidate.
The distinct character of towns and villages:
The towns were quite different from the villages during the colonial rule. It is evident fro>m the points are given below:
- The towns represented specific, cultures and economic activities. But in the villages, people cultivated land, reared animals and went to a forest in search of food.
- The towns were inhabited by people who came from various walks of life such as, the artisans, traders, administrators and rulers. So, they dominated the rural people, which were mostly peasants and milk-men.
- The towns and cities were fortified by walls. It symbolised their separation and aloofness from the rural people. On the other hand, the villages were not fortified by the walls.
The fluid relationship between towns and countryside (villages): Though the towns and villages were quite distinct from each other yet their separation from each other was fluid, which is clear from the following points:
- The peasants covered long distances whenever they went on pilgrimage. So they passed through many towns.
- During natural calamities like famines, the villagers flocked to towns.
- Sometimes, goods and human-beings went to villages from the towns. For example, the people of towns and cities took shelter in the countryside whenever their towns or cities were attacked by the enemy.
“The British Government consciously developed the city of Madras to reflect their racial superiority.” Justify the statement by giving suitable arguments.
The development of the city of Madras shows the racial superiority of the British. It also shows the subordinate position of the Indian people and traders.
- Fort St. George became the nucleus of the White Town where most of the Europeans lived. It looked unique and distinctive because of the walls and the bastions.
- A stay in the fort was allowed on the basis of colour and religion. The Europeans like the English, the Dutch and the Portuguese were allowed to stay in this fort.
- The workers of the Company were not allowed to marry with the Indians.
- The administrative and judicial system was in favour of the white. Though small in numbers, the Europeans were still the rulers.
- The development of Madras was made to fulfil the needs and provide essential comforts to the white people living there.
- The Black Town developed outside the Fort. It was laid out in straight lines, which is a main feature of the colonial cities.
Colonial Cities Important Extra Questions Source-Based
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow:
“For the regulation of nuisances of every description”
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 (Kolkata) (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 watercourses, 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.
(i) From where has the given excerpt been taken? Who wrote it?
This excerpt has been taken from the Minute on Calcutta (Kolkata) (1803). It was written by Lord Wellesley.
(ii) Why did the British feel concerned about rules in the 19th century?
In the 19th century, the British felt concerned about laws on account of the following:
(a) They realised the need for town-planning. They wanted to regulate the construction of buildings and public roads.
(b) They were concerned about public health because of the threat of epidemics.
(iii) According to Wellesley, what was the responsibility of the Government towards Calcutta (Kolkata)?
Lord Wellesley considered it the duty of government to regulate all aspects of social life. It is the primary duty of the government to ensure arrangements for health, safety and town-planning. He wanted the government to evolve a comprehensive plan for the improvement of roads, streets, public drains and watercourses.
(iv) After the departure of Wellesley, which committee continued the work of town-planning in Calcutta (Kolkata)?
After the departure of Wellesley, the work of town planning was carried on by the Lottery Comnlitstee which was constituted in 1817. It raised funds for the improvement of the town through public lotteries.
A Rural City
Read this excerpt on Madras from the Imperial Gazetteer, 1908:
……. the better European residences are built in the midst of compounds which almost attain the dignity of parks, and rice-fields frequently wind in and out between these in almost rural fashion. Even in the most thickly peopled native quarters such as Black Town and Triplicane, there is little of the crowding found in many other towns
(i) From where has this excerpt been taken?
This excerpt has been taken from “Imperial Gazetteer”.
(ii) Where were better European houses situated? How did they look?
The European residences were quite better. They were built in the midst of compounds. So they had the dignity of parks.
(iii) In comparison to these, what was the position of Black Town and Triplicane?
In comparison to the European residences, the Black Town and Triplicane had houses of the natives. They were thickly populated. But even then, the atmosphere was barren. They did not have any dignity.
(iv) Madras (Chennai) had a semi-urban air about it. Why and how?
During the colonial rule, Madras (Chennai) was fast expanding. As a result, many new suburbs came up around the city. Many people settled in these suburbs. So slowly and steadily the areas of villages became a part of the city. An a result, Madras (Chennai) had a semi-rural air about it.
Escaping to the Countryside
This is how the famous poet Mirza Ghalib described what the people of Delhi did when the British forces occupied the city in 1857:
Smiting the enemy and driving him before them, the victors (i.e., the British) overran the city in all directions. All whom they found in the street they cut down… For two to three days every road in the city, from the Kashmiri Gate to Chandni Chowk, was a battlefield. Three gates-the Ajmeri, the Turcoman and the Delhi-were still held by the rebels … At the naked spectacle of this vengeful wrath and malevolent hatred the colour fled from men’s faces, and a vast concourse of men and women … took to precipitate flight through these three gates. Seeking the little villages and shrines outside the city, they drew breath to wait until such time as might favour their return.
(i) Who was Mirza Ghalib? What has he described in this excerpt?
Mirza Ghalib was a famous poet. He described what the people of Delhi did when the British forces occupied Delhi in 1857.
(ii) What happened in Delhi after two or three days of its occupation?
When the British had occupied the Delhi in 1857, all its roads from the Kashmiri Gate to Chandni Chowk had become the battlefield. The rebels were driven out of the city. Many of them were even smitten, the British forces overran the city in all directions.
(iii) How did the people escape from Delhi and where did they take shelter?
The people fled from the Ajmeri Gate, the Turcoman Gate and the Delhi Gate which were still under the control of the rebels. They took shelter in small villages and shrines outside the city.