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British Rule In India Questions & Answers
Question 1: Fill in the blanks:
(a) European traders came to India on 20 May 1498.
(b) Mughal emperor Jahangir gave trading rights to the English in Indian.
(c) The introduction of the new Enfield Rifle and its greased cartridges triggered the Great Uprising of 1857.
(d) Immediately after the 1857 uprising, Queen Victoria was declared the empress of India.
(e) The Great Uprising of 1857 is also described as the ‘First War of Independence’.
(f) The fortified factory was set up at Sutanati, Calcutta by the English East India Company later known as Fort William.
Question 2: State whether the following statements are True or False:
(a) Shuja-ud-Daula was the Nawab of Bengal – False
(b) The British used policies like ‘Subsidiary Alliance’ and ‘Doctorine of Lapse’ to give freedom to Indian states – False
(c) The British secured the Diwani rights (right to collect the land revenue) from the provinces of Delhi, Awadh and Surat – False
(d) The Great Uprising of 1857 ended the rule of the East India Company in India – True
(e) The European traders came to India in search of gold and diamonds – False
(f) The Indian sepoys refused to use the greased cartridges of the Enfield rifle because they feared that it would explode – False
(g) Mangal Pandey was a Brahmin soldier of 40th BNI (Bengal Native Infantry) at Barrackpore – False
Question 3: Why European sailors wanted to explore sea routes?
Answer: The European sailors wanted to explore sea routes because it was safe.
Question 4: Between whom was the Battle of Plassey fought?
Answer: The Battle of Plassey was fought between Siraj-ud-Daulah and the English East India Company.
Question 5: Where was Battle of Plassey fought?
Answer: Battle of Plassey was fought at the Palashi village of Murshidabad.
British Rule In India Questions & Answers
Question 6: Why was the Battle of Plassey fought?
What were the factors that led to the Battle of Plassey?
Answer: Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, wanted to check the evil intentions of the Britishers as they deprived the local rulers of their revenues. Thus, in 1757 a battle was fought between the British and Siraj-ud-Daulah. It is known as the ‘The Battle of Plassey’.
Siraj-ud-Daulah lost the Battle of Plassey because his commander-in chief Mir Jafar joined hands with the British. East India Company rewarded Mir Jafar by making him the Nawab of Bengal.
Question 7: What was the proclamation of Queen Victoria?
Answer: She issued a Proclamation promising to look after the welfare of the Indian people.
Question 8: Define the role of East India Company.
Answer: The East India Company was founded by the English traders. In 1600, the Company acquired a Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, granting them the permission to trade mostly spices, textiles with India.
Question 9: How did the East India Company exploit the Indian people?
- The British collected taxes exorbitantly which impoverished the people in India. For example – taxes levied by them destroyed the Indian handicrafts.
- The British annexed some Indian states such as Satara, Jhansi, Awadh under the name of ‘Subsidiary Alliance’ and ‘Doctrine of Lapse’.
- The Indian sepoys who helped the British to set up their power were treated with great contempt.
Question 10: Why were soldiers unhappy with the British rule?
Answer: The soldiers were unhappy with the British rule due to the following reasons:
- The soldiers were not appointed at higher post.
- They were paid less than the British soldiers.
- The soldiers were made to bite the cartridge of Enfield rifle which had a greased paper cover made of pig lord and cow fat. This was against the religious beliefs of Hindu and Muslim sepoys.
Question 11: Discuss the factors that led to the Great Uprising of 1857.
Answer: The factors that led to the Great Uprising of 1857 were:
- The British collected taxes unreasonably high which made the Indians poor.
- The British annexed some Indian states under the policies of ‘Subsidiary Alliance’ and ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ as they wanted to expand their control over India.
- The Indian sepoys who helped the British to set up their power were treated with disrespect. They were not appointed at higher post and paid less than the fellow British sepoys.
Question 12: Why do some historians describe the Great Uprising of 1857 as the ‘First War of Independence’?
Answer: Immediately after the mutiny, the rule of East India Company came to an end and Queen Victoria was declared the Empress of India. She promised to look after the welfare of the Indian people. The Great Uprising of 1857 was the first attempt on a larger scale to mobilise the Indians to overthrow the British rule. So, some historians describe the Great Uprising of 1857 as the ‘First War of Independence’.
Question 13: What were the immediate causes of the Great Uprising of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny of 1857)?
Answer: It was rumoured that the grease used in cartridge of new Enfield rifles was made of cow fat or pig lard. It had to be bitten off before loading the rifle. This hurt the religious sentiments of both the Hindu and the Muslim sepoys. This incident became the immediate cause of the mutiny (Revolt).
British Rule In India Questions & Answers
Question 14: Why did Britishers suppress the Great Uprising easily?
Answer: The Britishers could suppress the Great Uprising easily due to the following reasons:
- The uprising did not spread throughout the country.
- It was an unorganised effort and not planned well.
- The inefficient leadership of the Indians and the superior military strategies of the British.
Question 15: Discuss the Battle of Buxar.
Answer: The Battle of Buxar was fought at Buxar (presently in Bihar) in 1764. It took place between the Company and the combined forces of Mir Kasim (the Nawab of Bengal), Shuja-ud-Daulah (the Nawab of Awadh) and Shah Alam II (the Mughal Emperor).
The victory at Buxar resulted in the Company acquiring the Diwani rights (right to collect the land revenue) of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa (now Odisha).
Question 16: Why did Siraj-ud-Daulah lose the battle against the British?
Answer: Siraj-ud-Daulah lost the battle because his commander-in chief Mir Jafar joined hands with the British.
Question 17: Why was the Battle of Buxar important in Indian history?
Answer: Bengal was one of the richest provinces of India in those times. The rule of the Company was strengthened after the victory of the British in the Battle of Buxar. The company acquired the right to collect the land revenue of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Question 18: Write short notes on:
(a) Doctrine of Lapse
The Doctrine of Lapse was devised by the Governor General, Lord Dalhousie. According to this doctrine, if any Indian ruler dies without leaving a male heir, his kingdom would automatically pass over to the British. Satara, Sambhalpur, Udaipur, Nagpur and Jhansi were some states which were annexed by the Company under this doctrine.
(b) Subsidiary Alliance
It was the policy introduced by Lord Wellesley, British Governor-General. According to this:
- An Indian ruler entering into a subsidiary alliance with the British had to accept British forces in his territory and also agree to pay for their maintenance.
- Such a ruler would not form an alliance with any other power, nor would he declare war against any power without the permission of the British.
- The ruler would not employ any Europeans other than the British, and if he were already doing so, he would dismiss them.
- In case of a conflict with any other state, the British would decide what to do, and he would accept their solution.
- The ruler would acknowledge the East India Company as the power in India.
- In return for the ruler accepting its conditions, the Company undertook to protect the state from external dangers and internal disorders.
- If the Indian rulers failed to make the payments required by the alliance, then part of their territory was to be taken away as a penalty.
So, these were British Rule In India Questions & Answers.