1. Explain any two advantages and two disadvantages of mechanical harvesting machines in the USA.
(i) The new machines allowed the big farmers to rapidly clear large tracts, break up the soil, remove the grass and prepare the ground for cultivation.
(ii) The work could be done quickly and with a minimal number of hands.
(i) Mechanisation reduced the need for labour and caused unemployment.
(ii) Production had expanded so rapidly, unsold stock piled up, store houses overflowed wheat prices fell and export collapsed. It led to Agrarian Depression.
2. What was the impact of the westward expansion of settlers in the USA?
The impact of westward expansion of the settlers was:
(i) It led to displacement of the local tribes who were driven beyond River Mississippi and further west.
(ii) The settlers began agriculture on an extensive scale. They slashed and burnt forests cleared the land for cultivation. Then they cleared larger areas and erected fences around the fields. This agriculture was undertaken at the expense of grasslands and forests.
(iii) The settlers continued moving further west to explore new lands and raise a new crop.
(iv) After the 1860’s, the settlers reached the Great Plains across the River Mississippi and started growing wheat. Soon this region was converted into a major wheat producing area of America.
3. Describe briefly the advantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machines in the U.S.A?
(i) Machine had many attractions for the big farmers,
(ii) Reduced the dependency on workers.
(iii) Increased the production.
(iv) Saved the time of the farmers
4. Why did Indian farmers oppose to grow opium? Explain any four reasons.
Why were the Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium? Give any four reasons:
(i) The crop had to be grown on the best land on fields that lay near villages. If the peasants planted opium on this land then pulses could not be grown there.
(ii) Many cultivators owned no land. To cultivate they had to pay high rent.
(iii) The cultivation of opium was a difficult process.
(iv) The pride the Government paid to the cultivator was very low.
5. Under what circumstances the U.S.A. formers got encouraged to produce more and more wheat?
The circumstances under which the USA farmers got encouraged to produce more and more wheat were:
(i) From the late 19th century, the wheat production in the USA underwent a dramatic expansion because the urban population was growing and the export market was becoming bigger. As a result, demand for wheat went up which resulted into high price of wheat. This encouraged the farmers to produce more wheat.
(ii) The spread of railways made it easy to transport the grain from the wheat growing regions to the eastern coast for export.
(iii) By the early 20th century, the demand for wheat rose even higher and during the First World War, the world market boomed.
(iv) Russian supplies of wheat were cut-off and the USA had to feed the entire Europe. The farmers responded vigorously to the need of the time and they began producing more wheat.
6. What were the reasons for the enclosure in England? Explain.
(i) Due to increase in population the demand for foodgrains increased.
(ii) Due to industrialisation more people in England were living in urban areas
(iii) France was at war, with England due to which trade and import of foodgrain from Europe got disrupted.
(iv) Prices of foodgrains in England sky rocketed encouraging land owners to enclose land and enlarge area under grain cultivation.
7. Explain any four factors which led to enclosures in England.
(i) The price of wool increased leading rich farmers to expand wool production to earn profits which led enclosures.
(ii) Farmers were keen to improve sheep breeds and ensure good pasture for them.
(iii) Growing urban population in England increased the demand of foodgrains.
(iv) Due to war with France, trade was disrupted and price of foodgrains increased which led new enclosures
8. State any four major features of the ‘Open field’ system which prevailed in England in the 18th and the early 19th century.
(i) the countryside in England was open and peasants cultivated on strips of land around the village they lived in.
(ii) Beyond the strips of land was the common land. All the villagers had access to it.
(iii) Common land supplement low incomes, sustained their cattle, help them to overcome bad harvests.
(iv) Strips of land of varying quality were allotted to each villager.
9. What was enclosure system? Mention any two factors which encouraged the enclosure system
Under this system, the common land which was the property of the whole village was being enclosed by rich landlords. The common land was enclosed by building hedges around the land to separate it from that of others. Factors which encouraged the system:
(i) Growing urban population in England increased the demand of foodgrains.
(ii) The price of wool increased leading rich farmers to expand wool production to earn profits which led enclosures.
10. “The introduction of modern agriculture meant many different changes.” Describe in four points.
“The introduction of modern agriculture meant many different changes.” Like
(i) The open fields disappeared.
(ii) Customary rights of peasants were undermined.
(iii) The richer farmers expanded production and made more profits.
(iv) The poor were left jobless and everything on any land price.
(v) The income of the poor became unstable and jobs insecure.
11. Why did the British insist on farmers to grow opium in India and how were the reluctant farmers persuaded to do so? (Give three points for each)
The British insisted Indian farmers because:
(i) They wanted to trade Opium into China
(ii) They wanted goods from China but had no commodity in return for it.
(iii) They did not want to lose their currency and gold in trade with China.
(iv) Opium from India proved cheaper for them,
Reluctant farmers were persuaded by following means:
(i) They were given money in advance.
(ii) It made the village headmen advance money to the farmers.
(iii) They were forced to grow opium once provided with the loan,
12. Describe the westward expansion of white settlers in America between 1775 and 1920 in four points
The westward expansion of white settlers between 1775 and 1920:
(i) In the decades of 1770s white Americans were confined to Appalachian plateau.
(ii) By 1830s they moved to Mississippi valley.
(iii) By 1850s they expanded beyond Mississippi.
(iv) By 1920s they spread in entire USA.
13. Explain any two advantages and two disadvantages of enclosures movement in England.
(i) The grain production grew as quickly as population.
(ii) Landlords sliced up pasture land, carved up open fields, cut up forests, took over marshes, and turned lagged areas into agricultural fields
(i) The poor farmers were deprived of their livelihoods.
(ii) Commons were contracted which reduced the grazing lands.
14. Why was the American dream of a land of plenty turned into a nightmare? Explain.
The expansion of wheat agriculture in the Great Plains created major problems. In the 1930s, terrifying dust storms began to blow over the southern plains. Black blizzards rolled in, very often 7,000 to 8,000 feet high, rising like monstrous waves of muddy water. They came day after day, year after year, through the 1930s. As he skies darkened, and the dust swept in, people were blinded and choked.
Cattle were suffocated to death, their lungs caked with dust and mud. Sand buried fences, covered fields, and coated the surfaces of rivers till the fish died. Dead bodies of birds and animals were strewn all over the landscape. Tractors and machines that had ploughed the earth and harvested the wheat in the 1920s were now clogged with dust, damaged beyond repair.
These dust storms came because the early 1930s were years of persistent drought. The rains failed year after year, and temperatures soared. The wind blew with ferocious speed. But ordinary dust storms became black blizzards only because the entire landscape had been ploughed over, stripped of all grass that held it together.
When wheat cultivation had expanded dramatically in the early nineteenth century, zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation, and tractors had turned the soil over, and broken the sod into dust. The whole region had become a dust bowl. The American dream of a land of plenty had turned into a nightmare.
15. Why did the enclosure movement get momentum in England?
In some parts of England, this economy of open fields and common lands had started changing from about the sixteenth century. When the price of wool went up in the world market in the sixteenth century, rich farmers wanted to expand wool production to earn profits.
They were eager to improve their sheep breeds and ensure good feed for them. They were keen on controlling large areas of land in compact blocks to allow improved breeding. So they began dividing and enclosing common land and building hedges around their holdings to separate their property from that of others.
They drove out villagers who had small cottages on the commons, and they prevented the poor from entering the enclosed fields. Till the middle of the eighteenth century the enclosure movement proceeded very slowly. They early enclosures were usually created by individual landlords. Unlike the sixteenth-century enclosures that promoted sheep farming, the land being enclosed in the late eighteenth century was for grain production. The new enclosures were happening in a different context; they became a sign of a changing time.
16. How did the expansion of wheat agriculture affect the Prairies?
(i) In the 1930s, terrifying dust storms began to blow over the southern plains. Black blizzards rolled in, very often 7,000 to 8,000 feet high, rising like monstrous waves of muddy water.
(ii) As the skies darkened, and the dust swept in, people were blinded and choked. Cattle were suffocated to death, their lungs caked with dust and mud.
(iii) Sand buried fences, covered fields, and coated the surfaces of rivers till the fish died. Dead bodies of birds and animals were strewn all over the landscape.
(iv) The rains failed year after year, and temperatures soared. The wind blew with ferocious speed. But ordinary dust storms became black blizzards only because the entire landscape had been ploughed over, stripped of all grass that held together.