NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 4 Age of Industrialisation

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Chapter 4 Age of Industrialisation help students to score good marks in the exams. These NCERT Solutions are prepared by expert teachers and based on the latest pattern and edition NCERT book. Here we have provided answers to all the questions in a very easy language.

Class 10 History Chapter 4 Age of Industrialisation NCERT Questions and Answers

BookNCERT Class 10 History
Chapter 4Age of Industrialisation
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Question 1: Explain the following:
(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
(b) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.


(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny because it threatened their livelihood. The Spinning Jenny, a machine that significantly improved the efficiency of textile production, was seen as a risk to traditional hand-spinning jobs, leading to fears of unemployment among women who were primarily engaged in this craft. This led to instances where they attacked and destroyed the machines.


Women Workers in Britain Attacked the Spinning Jenny:

  • The Spinning Jenny, invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, was a significant advancement in the textile industry, allowing a single worker to spin multiple spools of thread simultaneously.
  • Women workers, particularly those involved in traditional hand-spinning, saw the Spinning Jenny as a threat to their livelihood, as it replaced their skilled labour and reduced the demand for hand-spun textiles.
  • The attack on the Spinning Jenny was a part of the broader Luddite movement, where workers who feared technology would take their jobs destroyed machinery in the textile and agricultural industries.

(b) (b) In the seventeenth century, merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages, a practice known as the “putting-out” system. This method allowed them to avoid the high wages and strict regulations of urban guilds. Merchants provided raw materials to these rural workers who processed them in their homes into finished products. This approach was more cost-effective for merchants and expanded production to meet the growing demand for goods, particularly textiles, while offering rural workers a source of income.

(c) The decline of the port of Surat by the end of the eighteenth century can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Shift in Trade Routes: The European trading powers, particularly the British, shifted their focus to other ports like Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata), which were strategically located and offered better access to resources.
  2. Siltation: The Tapti River, on which Surat was situated, experienced siltation, which reduced the depth of the river and hindered navigation, making it difficult for larger ships to access the port.
  3. Decline in Mughal Empire: The decline of the Mughal Empire led to political instability and a breakdown in law and order, making trade more challenging and less secure.

These factors collectively contributed to Surat’s decline as a prominent trading port by the end of the eighteenth century.

(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India. These gomasthas were the Company’s agents responsible for overseeing the production of textiles by Indian weavers. They played a pivotal role in the Company’s control over the textile industry in India during the colonial period. The gomasthas were tasked with ensuring the timely production of textiles, maintaining quality standards, and enforcing the Company’s commercial interests. This system allowed the East India Company to exert significant influence and control over the textile production process in India, ultimately benefiting British trade and commerce at the expense of Indian artisans and weavers.

Question 2: Write True or False against each statement:

(a) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.
Answer: False.

(b) The international market for fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.
Answer: True.

(c) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.
Answer: False.

(d) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity
Answer: True.

Question 3: Explain what is meant by proto-industrialisation.

Answer: Proto-industrialization is a pre-industrial phase where specialized production and market-oriented activities increased in rural areas. It served as a precursor to full-scale industrialization, developing skills and markets while still relying on traditional methods and decentralized production.


Question 1: Why did some industrialists in nineteenth-century Europe prefer hand labour over machines?

Answer: In nineteenth-century Europe, some industrialists preferred hand labor over machines for several reasons:

  1. Flexibility: Hand labor was more adaptable to changes in designs and patterns, especially in industries like textiles where fashion could change rapidly.
  2. Costs: Machines were expensive to purchase and maintain. In industries where profit margins were slim, the lower initial cost of hand labor was more attractive.
  3. Skill: Certain products required skilled craftsmanship that machines couldn’t replicate at the time, maintaining the demand for hand labor in specific sectors.
  4. Labor Control: Employers could exert more direct control over individual workers compared to managing a mechanized process, allowing them to adjust workforce size and wages more easily based on demand.

Question 2: How did the East India Company procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers?

Answer: The East India Company procured regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers through a system of appointed agents called “gomasthas.” These gomasthas supervised and controlled the weavers, ensuring the production of textiles according to the Company’s requirements. They advanced raw materials and loans to weavers in exchange for finished goods, creating a dependency. The Company also established textile factories and workshops, directly engaging in production. This system allowed the Company to exert control over the textile industry, secure a steady supply of textiles, and facilitate their export to Europe, contributing to the deindustrialization of India’s textile sector.


The East India Company procured regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers through several methods:

  1. Establishment of the System of Gomasthas: The Company appointed agents known as gomasthas to supervise weavers, ensuring a steady supply of textiles. These gomasthas were responsible for providing raw materials to the weavers and overseeing the entire process of production.
  2. Advance System: The Company used the system of providing advances or loans to weavers to bind them into contracts. Once a weaver accepted an advance, they were obliged to supply textiles to the Company at prices set by the Company.
  3. Control Over Raw Materials: By controlling the distribution of raw materials like cotton and silk, the Company could dictate terms to the weavers, often leading to monopolistic practices.
  4. Elimination of Competition: The East India Company systematically eliminated Indian traders and brokers who traditionally functioned as intermediaries between the weavers and the market. This forced weavers to deal directly with the Company.
  5. Strict Enforcement of Contracts: The Company enforced contracts strictly, using coercion if necessary, to ensure that weavers did not sell their products to anyone else.
  6. Setting Up of Factories: In some cases, the Company set up its own factories where weavers were brought to work. This gave the Company greater control over production.

These methods ensured that the East India Company had a steady and controlled supply of Indian textiles, which were highly valued in European markets.

Question 3: Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an encyclopaedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.


Title: Britain and the History of Cotton: An Industrial Revolution Story

The history of cotton in Britain is a saga that intertwines with the Industrial Revolution, marking a significant transformation in both the textile industry and the British economy. This narrative is not just about the evolution of technology but also about the global connections, trade practices, and social changes it engendered.

The Rise of Cotton Industry:
Cotton’s journey in Britain began in the late 16th century, but it was the 18th century that witnessed a remarkable surge in cotton production. The driving force behind this boom was a series of technological innovations. The invention of devices like the Spinning Jenny, the Water Frame, and the Power Loom revolutionized cotton spinning and weaving, shifting the industry from homes (domestic system) to factories. These inventions significantly increased productivity and decreased the need for manual labor.

Global Trade Networks:
The growth of the British cotton industry was closely linked to the expansion of colonialism, particularly in India. The British East India Company played a pivotal role in this, initially importing Indian cotton textiles, which were highly sought after in Europe. Over time, as the British cotton industry developed, India became a major supplier of raw cotton, a shift that was detrimental to Indian textile crafts but beneficial to British manufacturers.

Industrialization and Urbanization:
As the cotton industry grew, it spurred urbanization and the development of factory towns such as Manchester, often referred to as “Cottonopolis.” The factory system not only transformed the landscape but also the labor structure, with a significant workforce moving from rural to urban areas to work in mills under often harsh conditions.

Social and Economic Impact:
The cotton industry significantly contributed to Britain’s economy, making it a global industrial leader. However, this growth came with social costs. Factory workers, including women and children, faced long hours, low wages, and unsafe working conditions. This led to the rise of labor movements and demands for better working rights.

Britain’s history with cotton is a complex tapestry of innovation, economic growth, and social change. It illustrates the profound impact of industrialization, not just on a single nation but on the global fabric of trade, labor, and culture. The story of cotton in Britain is a testament to the transformative power of the Industrial Revolution, encapsulating both the remarkable advancements and the profound challenges of this pivotal era in history. As we reflect on this period, it becomes evident that the legacy of cotton in Britain extends far beyond the mills and factories; it is embedded in the very threads of modern industrial society.

Question 4: Why did industrial production in India increase during the First World War?

Answer: Industrial production in India increased during the First World War primarily due to the war’s demand for goods and materials. India became a significant supplier of various products, including textiles, jute, steel, and chemicals, to support the British war effort. This surge in demand led to the expansion of factories, increased production, and employment opportunities. The war also disrupted traditional trade routes, redirecting global demand towards India. However, this economic boost was accompanied by wartime inflation and social unrest, laying the groundwork for India’s nationalist movement against British colonial rule.

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