NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science Our Pasts Chapter 2 : Trade to Territory


Explain the system of “subsidiary alliance”.


(i) According to the terms of subsidiary alliance”, Indian rulers were not allowed to have their independent armed forces.

(ii) They were to be protected by the Company, but had to pay for the “subsidiary forces” that the Company was supposed to maintain for the purpose of this protection.

(iii) If the Indian rulers failed to make the payment, then part of their territory was taken away as penalty.


Describe the changes that occurred in the composition of the Company’s army.


(i) The East India Company recruited the peasants for its own army, which came to be known as the sepoy army.

(ii) From the 1820s, the cavalry requirements of the Company’s army declined due to changes in the warfare technology.

(iii) The soldiers of the British empire who were fighting in Burma, Afghanistan and Egypt were armed with muskets and matchlocks.

(iv) The soldiers of the Company’s army were trained to face challenges in the military requirements and skills, and the infantry regiments now became more important.

(v) In the early nineteenth century, the British began to develop a uniform military culture.

(vi) Soldiers were increasingly subjected to European-style training, drill and discipline that regulated their life far more than before.


In what way was the administration of the Company different from that of Indian rulers?


(i)    British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies - Bengal, Madras and Bombay, whereas the Indian rulers’ administration lacked an effective and systematic division of territories.
(ii)   Each British Indian Presidency was ruled by a Governor. The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General, whereas under the Indian rulers’ administrative system, the supreme head was King or the Nawab.

(iii)  The sphere of justice (modern judiciary) was introduced by the British rule. Each district had two courts- a criminal court (faujdari adalat) and a civil court (diwani adalat).

(iv) The European District Collector presided over civil courts, whereas the Indian rulers practiced traditional justice system. However, the criminal courts of the British were still under a Qazi and a Mufti.

(v)  Under the Regulating Act of 1773, a new Supreme Court was established, while a court of appeal – the Sadar Nizamat Adalat – was also set up at Calcutta.

(vi)  The principal figure in an Indian district under the British rule was the Collector. Collecting revenue and taxes and maintaining law and order in district were his main tasks.

(vii)  The Collector was assisted by judges, police officers and darogas. The Collectorate replaced previous holders of authority.


How did the assumption of Diwani benefit the East India Company?


(i) In 1765 the Mughal emperor appointed the Company as the Diwan of the provinces of Bengal.

(ii) The Diwani allowed the Company to use the vast revenue resources of Bengal.

(iii) This solved major revenue problems of the Company. From the early eighteenth century its trade with India had expanded.

(iv) Before obtaining the Diwani right, the Company bought most of the goods in India with gold and silver imported from Britain.

(v) Gradually, the outflow of gold from Britain slowed after the Battle of Plassey.

(vi) Now revenues from India could finance Company expenses.

(vii) These revenues could be used to purchase cotton and silk textiles in India, maintain Company troops, and meet the cost of building the Company fort and offices at Calcutta.


What were the areas of conflict between the Bengal nawabs and the East India Company?


(i) After the death of Aurangzeb, the Bengal nawabs asserted their power and independence.

(ii) The Nawabs Murshid Quli Khan, Alivardi Khan and then Sirajuddaulah were the strong rulers of Bengal.

(iii) They refused to grant the Company concessions and demanded large tributes for the Company’s right to trade; they also denied it any right to mint coins and stopped it from extending its fortifications.

(iv) They accused the Company of dishonesty; they claimed that the Company was depriving the Bengal government of huge amounts of revenue and undermining the authority of the nawab.

(v) The Company refused to pay taxes, wrote disrespectful letters, and tried to humiliate the nawab and his officials.

(vi) It declared that the unjust demands of the local officials were ruining the trade of the Company, and trade could flourish only if the duties were removed.

(vii) The conflicts led to confrontations and finally culminated in the famous Battle of Plassey.


What attracted European trading companies to India?


(i) European trading companies were attracted to India by various factors.
(ii) Trading with India was highly profitable to the businessmen in Europe.
(iii) The European trading companies purchased raw materials and goods at cheaper and sold them in European markets at the higher prices.
(iv) The fine qualities of cotton and silk produced in India had a big market in Europe.
(v) Indian spices like - pepper, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon were in great demand in Europe.


State whether true or false: (a) The Mughal Empire became stronger in the eighteenth century. (b) The English East India Company was the only European company that traded with India. (c) Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the ruler of Punjab. (d) The British did not introduce administrative changes in the territories they conquered.


(a) False

(b) False

(c) True

(d) False


Fill in the blanks: (a) The British conquest of Bengal began with the Battle of _______. (b) Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were the rulers of _______. (c) Dalhousie implemented the Doctrine of _______. (d) Maratha kingdoms were located mainly in the _________ part of India.


(a) Plassey.

(b) Mysore.

(c) Lapse.

(d) south-western


Match the following: Diwani Tipu Sultan “Tiger of Mysore” right to collect land revenue faujdari adalat Sepoy Rani Channamma criminal court sipahi led an anti-British movement in Kitoor


Diwani                        right to collect land revenue

“Tiger of Mysore”         Tipu Sultan

faujdari adalat             criminal court

Rani Channamma        led an anti-British movement in Kitoor

sipahi                         Sepoy

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