NCERT Class 9 History Chapter 6 Notes

On this page, you will find NCERT Class 9 History Chapter 6 Notes Pdf free download. CBSE Class 9 Social Science Notes History Chapter 6 SST Peasants and Farmers will seemingly, help them to revise the important concepts in less time.

Peasants and Farmers Class 9 Notes Social Science History Chapter 6

CBSE Class 9 History Chapter 6 Notes Understanding the Lesson

1. This lesson deals with the small cottages in England, the wheat farmers of the USA, and the opium producers of Bengal and what happened to them with the coming to modern agriculture.

2. It is England where the agriculture revolution first occurred. Over the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the English countryside changed dramatically.

3. Before this time in large parts of England the countryside was open where peasants cultivated, pastured their cows and grazed their sheep. For the poor, the common land was essential for survival.

4. But their life change miserably when common land began to be enclosed. Rich farmers drove them out and prevented them from entering the enclosed fields.

5. The early enclosures were usually created by individual landlords. They were not supported by the state or the church. After the mid-eighteenth century, however the enclosure movement swept through the countryside, changing the English landscape forever. The British Parliament legalized these enclosures.

6. Unlike the early enclosures that promoted sheep farming, the land being enclosed in the late eighteenth century was for grain production to feed the growing population.

7. Landlords were encouraged to enclose lands and enlarge the area under grain cultivation. Farmers at this time continued to use the simple innovations in agriculture that had become common by the early eighteenth century.

8. Enclosures allowed the richer landowners to expand the land under their control and produce more for the market. But it worsened the condition of the poor. They could no longer collect their firewood from the forests, or graze their cattle on the commons.

9. In places where enclosures happened on an extensive scale—the poor were displaced from the land. They found their customary rights gradually disappearing. Deprived of their rights and driven off the land, they wandered in search of work.

10. The introduction of threshing machines increased the miseries of the poor. The rich farmers bought the new threshing machines that had come into the market. This reduced their dependence on laborers. As a result, their income became instable, their jobs insecure, their livelihood precarious. For them the threshing machines had become a sigh of bad times.

11. At the time that common fields were being enclosed in England at the end of the eighteenth century, settled agriculture had not developed on any extensive scale in the USA. Forests covered over 800 millions acres and grasslands 600 million acres.

12. By the early nineteenth century, this landscape had transformed radically. White Americans had moved westward and established control upto the west coast, displacing local tribes and carving out the entire landscape into different agricultural belts.

13. The story of agrarian expansion is closely connected to the westward movement of the white settlers who took over the land. After the American War of Independence from 1775 to 1783 and the formation of the United States of America, the white Americans began to move westward and turn forests into cultivated fields.

14. From the late nineteenth century, wheat production expanded in the USA dramatically. By the early twentieth century about 45 million acres of land in the USA was under wheat. The area soon expanded to 74 million acres. This dramatic expansion was made possible by new technological innovations such as mechanical reapers, drills, tractors, etc.

15. For the poorer farmers, machines brought miseries. They became jobless because mechanization had reduced the need for labour. The boom of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries came to an end by the mid-1920s. There was large surplus wheat which lowered down its prices.

16. The expansion of wheat agriculture in the Great Plains created ecological problems too because zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil over, and broken the sod into dust. In the early twentieth century, the whole region had become a dust bowl.

17. In the colonial period, rural India produced a range of crops for the world market. In the early nineteenth century, indigo and opium were two of the major commercial crops. By the end of the century, peasants were producing sugar cane, cotton, jute, wheat and several other crops for export.

18. The history of opium production in India was linked up with the story of British trade with China. In the late eighteenth century, the English East India Company was buying tea and silk from China for sale in England. As tea became a popular English drink, the trade became very important.

19. But there was a problem. England at this time produced nothing that could be easily sold in China. Opium, they thought, could be sold in China so they persuaded Indian farmers to grow this commodity.

20. They introduced system of advances to trap the poor farmers of Bengal and Bihar. When offered a loan, they readily accepted it, hoping to meet their immediate needs and pay back the loan at a later stage. But the loan tied the peasants to the headmen and through him to the government.

21. By taking the loan, the cultivator was forced to grow opium on a specified area of land and handover the produce to the agents once the crop had been harvested. Here, it is worth mentioning that the prices given to the peasants were very low.

Peasants and Farmers Class 9 CBSE Notes Important Terms

Bushel: A measure of capacity.

Shillings: An English currency. (20 shillings = £ 1)

Commons: Land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community.

Sod: Pieces of earth with grass.

Maund: A measure of weight. (1 maund = 40 seers. 1 seer is a little under a kg))

Opium: The dried latex obtained from the opium poppy.

Scythe: A machine used for mowing grass.

Agrarian: Relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of land.

Enclosure: An area that is surrounded by a barrier.