NCERT Solutions Class 8 Social Science Our Pasts 3 Chapter 2

NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2 Notes on Social Science History

History is one of the most important subjects in the CBSE curriculum. Students should thoroughly study history to understand locations, regions, and the world. Students can shape society and manage the country in the future if they understand their past cultural history.

They must understand the country’s history to run its system.. Therefore, CBSE has incorporated Indian history in the Social Science syllabus for class 8.

Did you know that the British came as a small commercial company that was hesitant to take over territories? So, how did they become rulers of such a massive empire? In NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 2, students will study how the East India Company came to power, how trade developed, how new business laws were introduced, and the Battle of Plassey, among other things.

History is one of the essential parts of the Social Science syllabus, and some students find this vast subject to be challenging. Therefore, Extramarks NCERT Solution Class 8 History Chapter 2 has been made to meet all the students’ requirements.

Extramarks has prepared not just NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 but also material such as NCERT books, CBSE revision notes, CBSE sample papers, CBSE previous year question papers, that can be easily found on the Extramarks website for all the classes.

Key Topics Covered in NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2

Mentioned below are the key topics that are covered in NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2- From Trade to Territory:

  • Overview
  • Company rule expands
  • Setting up a new administration
  • Conclusion

Let us look at Extramarks in-depth information on each subtopic in NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2- From Trade to Territory.


After the death of Aurangzeb, the last prominent Mughal monarch, numerous Mughal governors (subadars) and large zamindars asserted their authority and established provincial kingdoms. However, by the second part of the eighteenth century, a new political force had emerged: the British.

East India Company comes East

In the following section, NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 explains how the East India Company came to India.

The East India Company received a charter from England’s queen, Queen Elizabeth I, in 1600, allowing exclusive rights to trade with the East. According to the charter, the Company could travel across oceans in search of new lands where it could buy goods at a lower cost and transport them back to Europe to sell them at a higher cost. Instead, the Portuguese established a foothold on India’s western coast, with Goa as their base. The Dutch began exploring the potential of commerce in the Indian Ocean by the early seventeenth century, and the French came shortly after. 

East India Company begins Trade in Bengal

The first English factory was established in 1651. It served as the headquarters for the Company’s dealers, known as “factors.” Goods for export were stored at the factory’s warehouse. By 1696, the Company had constructed a fort around the village. The Company was always trying to get new concessions and take advantage of current privileges.

How Trade led to Battles

The dispute between the Company and the Bengali nawabs grew more heated. The Bengal nawabs refused to offer the Company concessions, demanding enormous payments for its ability to trade, denying it the right to issue currency, and preventing it from expanding its defences. They further alleged that the Company was robbing the Bengal government of vast sums of money and eroding the Nawab’s power. The disagreements escalated into battles, culminating in the legendary Battle of Plassey.

In the above section, NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 explains how things began to fall between Indians and the British.

The Battle of Plassey

The battle of Plassey is another important topic that NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 discusses in the following section.

 Alivardi Khan died in 1756, and Sirajuddaulah became Bengal’s Nawab. The Company attempted to assist one of Sirajuddaulah’s opponents in his bid to become Nawab. When Sirajuddaulah learned of the Company’s plan, he told them to cease interfering in their political matters, halt fortification, and pay the taxes. The Company’s army was commanded by Robert Clive against Sirajuddaulah at Plassey in 1757. Mir Jafar’s soldiers never engaged in battle and that became the main cause that resulted in failure. The Battle of Plassey became legendary because it was the Company’s first significant victory in India.

Company officials become ‘nabobs’

The Company authorities pushed the genuine nawabs of Bengal to surrender land and large quantities of money as personal presents after the Battle of Plassey. When he departed India, Robert Clive’s Indian fortune was valued at £401,102. In 1764, he was named Governor of Bengal and tasked with eliminating corruption in the Company’s administration. Many Company officers died young in India due to sickness and conflict. Some officials hailed from low-income families, and their ambition was to make enough money in India to return to Britain and live well. Those who returned wealthy were dubbed “nabobs,” an anglicised version of the Indian term “nawab.”

Company rule expands

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 explains that specific major characteristics arise when examining the East India Company’s takeover of Indian territories from 1757 to 1857.

A direct military attack on an unknown territory was uncommon for the company. Before annexing an Indian country, it utilised several political, economic, and diplomatic strategies to expand its power. The company appointed residents in Indian states after the Battle of Buxar. They were political or commercial representatives whose duty was to serve and promote the company’s interests.

The term “subsidiary alliance” refers to the fact that Indian kings were not permitted to have their own armed forces. If the Indian kings did not pay, a portion of their country was taken away as  punishment.

Tipu Sultan- The Tiger of Mysore

Mysore had risen in prominence under the leadership of formidable monarchs such as Haidar Ali (who ruled from 1761 to 1782) and his renowned son Tipu Sultan (who ruled from 1782 to 1799). It was in charge of the lucrative Malabar coast commerce, where the Company bought pepper and cardamom. Tipu Sultan banned the export of sandalwood, pepper, and cardamom in 1785. Together with Mysore, the company fought four wars (1767-69, 1780-84, 1790-92 and 1799). Finally, the company triumphed in the final battle, the Battle of Seringapatam.

War with the Marathas

Since the late eighteenth century, the Company has been plotting to destabilise Maratha ruleThe Marathas were destroyed at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, and their ambition to control Delhi was dashed. They were divided into several states and ruled by numerous chiefs (sardars) from dynasties such as Sindhia, Holkar, Gaikwad, and Bhonsle.

The Marathas were involved in several conflicts. There was no obvious winner in the first war, which concluded in 1782 with the Treaty of Salbai. Next, the British won Orissa and the areas north of the Yamuna River, including Agra and Delhi, in the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-05), which was fought on several fronts. Finally, the Third Anglo-Maratha War, which lasted from 1817 to 1819, shattered Maratha supremacy.

The famous Maratha War is explained in the above section by NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2.

The Claim to Paramountcy

Lord Hastings instituted a new policy in the aristocracy (Governor-General from 1813 to 1823). The Company argued that it had more authority than the Indian states. The East India Company became concerned about Russia in the late 1830s. It was envisioned that Russia would spread over Asia and invade India from the northwest. Between 1838 – 1842, the Company waged a protracted war with Afghanistan and established indirect Company administration there. Punjab was conquered in 1849 after two long battles.

The Doctrine of Lapse

Lord Dalhousie, who served as Governor-General from 1848 to 1856, continued with the wave of annexations. He established the Doctrine of Lapse, which said that if an Indian monarch died without a male successor, his kingdom would “lapse,” meaning it would become part of the company territory. As a result, the company took over Awadh in 1856. The people of Awadh joined the great insurrection that erupted in 1857, enraged at the humiliating manner in which the Nawab was ousted.

Setting up a new administration

Warren Hastings, the Governor-General from 1773 to 1785), was a key figure in the company’s rise to power. The company had gained authority in Bengal, Bombay, and Madras under his reign. Presidencies were used to split British possessions into administrative entities. Bengal, Madras, and Bombay were the three presidencies. A governor was in charge of each. In addition, a new system of justice was developed in 1772. Each district had to establish two courts under the new system: a criminal court (Faujdari Adalat) and a civil court (Diwani Adalat).

In 1775, eleven pandits were commissioned to create a compilation of Hindu rules to promote consistency. By 1778, a system of Muslim laws had been prepared for European judges’ use. The Regulating Act of 1773 created a new Supreme Court and a court of appeal – the Sadar Nizamat Adalat – in Calcutta. In an Indian district, the Collector was the most powerful authority.

The Company Army

In India, colonial authorities introduced several innovative administrative and reform ideas. The Mughal army was made up of cavalry (Sawars: trained horseback troops) and infantry (Paidal (foot) men. The Mughal army was dominated by cavalry. Things began to change when Mughal successor republics like Awadh and Benaras began enlisting peasants into their armies and training them as professional warriors in the eighteenth century.

The East India company used a similar strategy, known as the Sepoy army (from the Indian word sipahi, meaning soldier). The British built a consistent military culture in the early nineteenth century. Soldiers were exposed to European-style training, drill, and discipline, which significantly restricted their lives.


To conclude, NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 throws light  that the East India Company transformed a trading business into a colonial territorial force. New steam technology debuted in the early nineteenth century. By 1857, the Company had direct control over 63 percent of the Indian subcontinent’s area and 78 percent of its inhabitants.

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 Exercise and Solutions

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  • Class 8 History Chapter 2: Very Short Answer Type Questions
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By accessing NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2, students can easily understand all the trade and territory concepts.

Key Features of NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2

Extramarks NCERT Solutions meet all students’ needs in preparing for their upcoming examinations. NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 2 covers all the chapter’s challenging aspects. Extramarks NCERT Solutions are here to stay; want to know why? 

  • It covers all the chapter end questions along with their comprehensive answers explained with solved examples
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NCERT Solutions Class 8 (History – Our Pasts) Chapter-wise List
Chapter 1 – How, When and Where
Chapter 2 – From Trade to Territory
Chapter 3 – Ruling the Countryside
Chapter 4 – Tribals, Dikus and the Vision
Chapter 5 – When People Rebel
Chapter 6 – Colonialism and the City
Chapter 7 – Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners
Chapter 8 – Civilising the “Native”, Educating the Nation
Chapter 9 – Women, Caste and Reform
Chapter 10 – The changing World of Visual Arts
Chapter 11 – The Making of the National Movement: 1870s-1947
Chapter 12 – India After Independence

Q.1 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

Ans. 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

Q.2 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

Q.3 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

Q.4 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.

Q.5 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.

Q.6 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.

Q.7 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.

Q.8 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.

Q.9 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.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What questions from Chapter 2 of NCERT for Class 8 History can we expect for the exam?

From the examination perspective, NCERT Chapter 2 Trade to Territory of Class 8 History is an important chapter. This chapter will have a significant amount of weightage in the exam. You can get excellent marks if you properly comprehend the chapter. In your examination, you will be asked questions about the East India Company’s events, how and when they moved to the East and began trading in Bengal, the Battle of Buxar, and the Battle of Plassey.

2. What will the students learn in the 2nd chapter of History Class 8?

In this chapter, students will look at a timeline of the events that led to the British gaining control of our country. It all started with the East India Company’s arrival in the East.

The East India Company purchased items from Indians at a low cost and resold them in Europe at a much greater cost. On the banks of the Hugli River in Bengal, the first English factory was established in 1651. In 1757, the Battle of Plassey was a massive victory for the British. However, the corporation annexing Indian states from 1757 to 1857 revealed certain crucial features, such as the fact that the firm rarely mounted a direct military invasion into an unknown region. Instead, the Company drove the states into ‘a subsidiary alliance’ after 1764.