NCERT Solutions For Class 8 History Chapter 8 The Making of the National Movement: 1870s-1947

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 8 The Making of the National Movement: 1870s-1947 contains solutions to the exercises given in the History book Our Pasts -III. These answers have been explained in a manner that you will easily understand all the concepts and get your doubts cleared without even seeking anyone’s assistance.

Class 8 History The Making of the National Movement: 1870s-1947 Questions and Answers

Question 1: Why were people dissatisfied with British rule in the 1870s and 1880s?

Answer: People were dissatisfied with British rule in the 1870s and 1880s due to restrictive laws like the Arms Act and the Vernacular Press Act, the controversial withdrawal of the Ilbert Bill which highlighted racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and a growing demand for greater Indian participation in governance. These factors fueled nationalism and the desire for sovereignty.


There was great dissatisfaction with British rule in the 1870s and 1880s. Some of the reasons for this dissatisfaction are as follows:

(a) The Arms Act − Passed in 1878, this Act disallowed Indians from possessing arms.

(b) The Vernacular Press Act − Passed in 1878, this Act was aimed at silencing those who were critical of the government. Under this Act, the government could confiscate the assets of newspapers if they published anything that was found “objectionable”.

(iii) The Ilbert Bill controversy – In 1883, the government tried introducing the Ilbert Bill. This bill provided for the trial of British or European individuals by Indians, and sought equality between British and Indian judges in the country. However, the white opposition forced the government to withdraw the bill. This enraged the Indians further.

Question 2: Who did the Indian National Congress wish to speak for?

Answer: The Indian National Congress aimed to speak for all the people of India, irrespective of region, community, class, colour, caste, creed, language, or gender. It stated that India, its resources and systems were not of any one class or community of India, but of all the different communities of India. It worked with the idea that the people of India should be sovereign and empowered to take decisions regarding their affairs.

Question 3: What economic impact did the First World War have on India?

Answer: The First World War altered the economic and political situation in India. It led to a huge rise in the defence expenditure of the Government of India. The government, in turn, increased taxes on individual incomes and business profits. Increased military expenditure and the demands for war supplies led to a sharp rise in prices, which created great difficulties for the common people. On the other hand, business groups reaped fabulous profits from the war. The first world war caused a decline in imports from other countries into India.

The First World War had significant economic impacts on India, including:

  • The government increased taxes on individual incomes and business profits to meet the rising defence expenditure.
  • Increased military expenditure and the demand for war supplies led to a sharp rise in prices, creating difficulties for the common people.
  • Business groups earned fabulous profits from the war due to increased demand for industrial goods.
  • The First World War caused a decline in imports from other countries into India.
  • Villages were pressurised to supply soldiers for the war.

Question 4: What did the Muslim League resolution of 1940 ask for?

Answer: The Muslim League resolution of 1940 asked for “Independent States” for Muslims in the North-Western and Eastern areas of the country.

Question 5: Who were the Moderates? How did they propose to struggle against British rule?

Answer: The Moderates were a group within the Indian National Congress in the early phase of the Indian national movement. They proposed to struggle against the British in a non-violent manner. They were largely English-educated professionals, such as lawyers and businessmen, who sought reforms through constitutional means. They published many articles in the newspapers and journals highlighting the increasing poverty of the country under British rule.

They criticised British rule in their speeches and sent representatives to different parts of the country to mobilise public support. They focused on expanding legislative councils, economic reforms, improvements in education and the judiciary aiming to increase Indian participation in governance through peaceful and legal means​​.

Question 6: How was the politics of the Radicals within the Congress different from that of the Moderates?

Answer: The Radicals in the Congress party wanted India to be independent right away and were ready to fight harder for it. Unlike the Moderates, who sought gradual reforms through petitions and dialogue, the Radicals wanted India to be independent right away and were ready to fight harder for it. Radicals wanted to involve everyone, not just the rich and educated. They encouraged people to stop buying British products and to use things made in India instead. They believed in getting everyone involved, including farmers and workers, to stand up against British control. Their ideas were about acting now and using the strength of all Indians to demand freedom.

Question 7: Discuss the various forms that the Non-Cooperation Movement took in different parts of India. How did the people understand Gandhiji?

Answer: Non-Cooperation Movement started in 1920. The various forms taken by the Non-Cooperation Movement in different parts of India are mentioned below:

  • At Kheda in Gujarat, Patidar peasants organised nonviolent campaigns against the high land revenue demand of the British.
  • In the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, tribals and poor peasants staged a number of “forest satyagraha”, sometimes sending their cattle into forests without paying grazing fees.
  • In Sind (now in Pakistan), Muslim traders and peasants were very enthusiastic about the Khilafat call.
  • In Bengal too, the Khilafat-Non-Cooperation alliance gave enormous communal unity and strength to the national movement.
  • In Punjab, the Akali agitation of the Sikhs sought to remove corrupt Mahants supported by the British from their gurdwara.
  • Thousands of students left government-controlled schools and colleges, with many teachers resigning from government schools to show their dissent against British rule.

People thought of Gandhiji as a kind of messiah, as someone who could help them overcome their misery and poverty. His ideas of ahimsa (non-violence) and satyagraha (truth-force) inspired many to join the movement. Peasants believed that he would help them in their fight against zamindars, and agricultural labourers believed he would provide them with the land. Gandhi’s vision of a united and free India inspired widespread participation in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

Question 8: Why did Gandhiji choose to break the salt law?

Answer: Gandhiji chose to break the salt law as the British government had a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of salt. The British made it illegal for Indians to make their own salt, forcing them to buy expensive British salt. Gandhi thought this was unfair because salt is a basic need for everyone. He led a march to the coastal town of Dandi, where he broke the salt law by gathering natural salt found on the seashore, and boiling sea water to produce salt. This march related the general desire for freedom to a specific grievance shared by everybody, and thus, did not divide the rich and the poor.

Question 9: Discuss those developments of the 1937-47 period that led to the creation of Pakistan.

Answer: The developments leading to the creation of Pakistan:

(i) A two-nation theory: From the late 1930s, the Muslim League began viewing the Muslims as a separate “nation” from the Hindus.

(ii) Provincial elections of 1937 -The provincial elections of 1937 convinced the League that Muslims were a minority, and they would always have to play second fiddle in any democratic structure. It feared that Muslims may even go unrepresented.

(iii) Rift between Congress and Muslim League: In 1937, the Congress rejected the Muslim League’s proposal for a joint Congress-League government in the United Provinces. This annoyed the League.

(iv) Failure of talks: At the end of the Second World War in 1945, the British opened negotiations between the Congress, the League and themselves for the independence of India. However, the talks failed as the League saw itself as the sole spokesperson of India’s Muslims, and the Congress could not accept this claim since a large number of Muslims still supported it.

(v) Provincial elections of 1946: In the 1946 provincial elections, the Muslim League won a majority of the Muslim seats, which it interpreted as a mandate for the creation of Pakistan. This electoral success convinced the League of the viability and legitimacy of its demand for a separate nation.

(vi) Cabinet Mission Plan and Its Failure: The British Cabinet Mission of 1946 proposed a united India with a federal structure that would grant significant autonomy to Muslim-majority areas. However, it could not get the Congress and the Muslim League to agree to specific details of the proposal.

(vii) Mass agitation and riots: After the failure of the Cabinet Mission, the Muslim League decided on mass agitation to win its Pakistan demand. It announced 16 August 1946 as “Direct Action Day”. On this day riots broke out in Calcutta, lasting several days and resulting in the death of thousands of people. By March 1947, violence had spread to different parts of Northern India.

(viii) Mountbatten Plan and Partition: The Mountbatten Plan, announced in June 1947, outlined the division of British India into two dominions: India and Pakistan. This plan was accepted by the Congress, the Muslim League, and the Sikh leaders, leading to the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947.

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