CBSE Class 8 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 1

Class 8 History Chapter 1 Notes

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 1 Notes – How, When and Where

History is centred on change- the next evolutionary step into modernism, which is present in many aspects of modern life. Indeed, significant events in history include wars between massive armies and nations. However, it also discusses little things that have fundamentally altered the course of humanity. For example, the invention of the wheel. What was once novel has become ordinary, or even necessary.

The following topics are covered in Class 8 History Chapter 1 How, When, and Where:

  • The importance of dates
  • Which dates are considered important historically?
  • How do we periodize?
  • Introduction to colonial governments
  • The credibility of historical records

Class 8 History Chapter 1 focuses on history as a whole rather than as a single event that happened at the time. Extramarks offers revision notes for Chapter 1 Class 8 History for a quick and convenient revision during examinations. These notes are written in simple language and are reviewed by subject matter experts.

How, When and Where Class 8 Notes History Chapter 1

Access Class 8 Social Science (History) Chapter 1 – How, When and Where Notes

The Place of Dates in History

History is about how the world appeared in the past and how it appears today. As a result, there is a contrast between the past and the present. Once any form of connection between “now” and “then” is made, timelines and periods must be eliminated. For example, A is 15 years old today. This is because A is aware of his/her birth history, i.e., he/she was born 15 years ago.

Precise Date vs A Period of Time

There are two approaches to discussing a historical period. First, the exact dates of events are mentioned. The second method is to list a series of incidents in a timeline where something started to happen.

For example, industrialisation did not occur all at once in Europe. It was a lengthy process that lasted years. So, it can be said that the first industrial revolution began in the 18th century, as there is no exact date.

Exact dates are used in traditional history. The standard against which the events of these periods are narrated in traditional historical discourse includes significant events like the coronation of a monarch, the start or end of a war, the birth of a renowned person, etc. For example, the date of the battle between Indian King Hemu and Mughal forces.

The Demerits of Date-Based History

Traditional date-based history has a serious flaw in that it uses major events such as wars or the coronation of a king as focal points and then discusses the incidents surrounding them. However, history is not made up solely of major events. Common citizens and their actions have no place in traditional history. This type of history also does not present events from various perspectives.

Who Gets to Decide Which Dates Are Important?

It is difficult to individually discuss dates and years. When foreigners rule a country, they will attempt to tell its history from their perspective. Only when citizens take on the responsibility of telling their own history, do we get the full picture.

Most history books discuss Indian history from a British perspective. It emphasises the years that mark the rule of various governor-generals of British India. All other dates were regarded as secondary.

Which Periods Are Important?

Dates cannot be used everywhere. As a result, periods are used. The same problem arises when deciding which historical events to cite to mark the start and end of an era.

James Mill, a British-supporting historian, divided Indian history into Hindu, Muslim, and British periods. The assumption was that India was in the dark ages during the reigns of Hindu and Muslim rulers. The British rulers were responsible for bringing India out of the darkness. He focused on dividing the periods based on religion.

To combat this bias, modern historians began categorising Indian history as ancient, mediaeval, and modern. However, Indian civilization did not progress chronologically. Indians were at the pinnacle of sociopolitical development during the so-called “ancient” period. Hence this way of arranging periods chronologically is wrong.

The Colonial Period

When one nation imposes oppressive authority on another, the latter’s culture, traditions, language, customs, and way of thinking are destroyed. When the British landed in India, this is exactly what took place.

Modern historians reject the categorisation of the British era as the modern era because it resulted in the total darkness of India. India became a destitute, socially divided society as a result of the British invasion, which sapped the country of its vital life power.

Over the course of their 190-year rule, they completely substituted Indian traditions, culture, language, and even thought patterns with their own. We still greet people by shaking hands.

Where Do Historians Get the Info?

Fortunately, historical occurrences over the previous 250 years have been documented in writing. This historical information comes from the following sources:

Official Documents

The British believed that every instruction, plan, execution of the plan, research, and so on should be documented so that they could be studied and analysed in the future.

As a result, every government department in the British Raj, such as the courts or the village Tahsildar’s office, made a point of creating documents outlining their activities and plans.


Surveys of topography, population density in a region, forest density, number of people of a particular religion or gender, and so on produced historically significant records.

Following that, there were archaeological, zoological, and botanical surveys. Official documents, on the other hand, were genuine. These documents were written in the government’s language. Ordinary people’s lives, tribal and marginalised, were never highlighted.

Other sources of historical records that are primarily concerned with the understanding and situation of ordinary people include personal diaries, travel accounts, autobiographies, and popular booklets.

Class 8 History Chapter 1 Notes

This chapter explains how people used history as a synonym for dates. Students will also learn about the viewpoint of old historians who used to delve deeply into the dates of battles and who won them. On the other hand, modern historians look for the change that has occurred, how it was initiated, and what caused it to occur.

This chapter divides history into two periods to help students understand the characteristics of certain periods and other key features, unlike the British classification of Indian history, which was divided into ancient, mediaeval, and modern periods. Britishers used to believe in writing down the things they thought were important, and they still do. Every instruction issued by the British Empire, every plan, policy, decision, and agreement was documented in order to be used as evidence if the time came to present it to others.

When, Where, and How Class 8 Summary

In 1817, a British writer named James Mill published “A History of British India” in three parts. James Mill divided Indian history into three sections in his book, namely, Hindus, Muslims, and British. Every Asian community, according to Mill, has a lower level of civilisation than people living in European countries. In his book, he describes how, before the British arrived in India, Hindu and Muslim disputes ruled the country. Religious intolerance could be seen in various communities. There was also the issue of caste taboos and the practice of superstitions, which dominated the social life of Indians.

According to his writing, Indian society became more civilised during British rule. His vision of Indian history with the Britishers was progressive and civilised.

Facts Which You Need to Know

Many things are still hidden in government official documents and are not written anywhere. The official statement will never justify the common people’s reaction when the British first arrived in India and began usurping power from them. The true nature of the British empire in India can be discovered if the diaries of those who lived in that era are located.

It’s a common misconception that biographies of historical people like Mahatma Gandhi can be used to rewrite history. People know millions of others will read it during the writing and first draft. As a result, there are many things that remain hidden. History remains hidden in a man’s letter to his wife or in a small child’s daily diary. The stories of the tribes, peasants, and miners who used to work in the mine hold key events to determine history.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is colonialism?

Colonialism is an ancient concept. One power is said to seize control of an independent area or group of people. Colonialism can be seen in history most of the time, when one country conquers another country’s entire population and defeats its army to rule over them. Furthermore, when colonialism occurs, the coloniser makes it mandatory for the local people to learn their language and cultural values.

When looking at a world map in 1914, one can see that most of the world had been colonised by Europeans at some point. The fall of imperialism gave rise to the concept of colonialism. In the early stages of history, Egypt and Rome are prime examples of colonialism. They attempted to take over the power of their neighbouring states in order to increase their own power by enlisting their men in the army.

2. What were the reasons behind the preservation of official documents by the Britishers?

In the past, the British kept official records for the following reasons:

  • Understanding the era’s social, economic, and historical context.
  • The information from the archived records could be accessed by anyone for making judgements or decisions.
  • Previously created notes and reports may be consulted for additional information.
  • The documents that have been saved demonstrate the progress that the country has made in the past.

3. Why is it important to study history?

By studying history, students will be able to make better decisions and understand the world in which they live. They will learn how history has influenced their current lives and how laws that protect them from fraud and criminals came into being.

Similarly, history is about wars and religious terrorism. When students study history, they will begin to understand their current living conditions. Learning history means learning the changes that occurred year after year that led human civilisation to the modern world seen today. History helps to make sense of events in the past and reveals patterns that might not be noticed in the present but which, if ignored, might have disastrous results.