Question 1: What was the effect on Britain’s industries of Britain’s involvement in wars from 1793 to 1815?
Answer: Britain was at war for 36 out of 60 years from 1760. As much as 35% of the cost of war was met by taxes from people’s incomes. The borrowed capital was not used for investment but for fighting wars. Workers were transferred from factories and farms to the army. Food prices rose to a level that poor had little money left for buying consumer goods. Wars with Napoleon closed the European continent to British traders. The result was reduced demand and reduced industrial output in Britain.
Question 2: What were the relative advantages of canal and railway transportation?
Answer: Transporting coal through canals was cheaper and faster than doing it by road. Railways provided faster, cheaper and more reliable means of transport; for both goods and people. In due course of time, railways turned the canals almost redundant.
Question 3: What were the interesting features of the ‘inventions’ of this period?
Answer: Following are the interesting features of the ‘inventions’ of this period:
- The new machines were improvements over existing machines.
- These machines helped in speeding up the process than earlier.
- Some of the inventions witnessed continuous improvisation over the course of time, till the most efficient version was well accepted by users.
- Most of the inventors did not have basic knowledge of science and technology.
Question 4: Indicate how the supply of raw materials affected the nature of British industrialization.
Answer: Coal, iron, other metals and raw cotton were the key raw materials for the industries in Britain. Britain was naturally endowed with coal and iron ore. Britain possessed excellent coking coal and high grade iron ore in the same basins or even in the same seams. These basins were also close to ports. Raw cotton was sourced from India, and India was under political control of Britain. It can be said that the key raw materials were easily available for the industries in Britain. It helped immensely in industrialization in England.
Question 5: How were the lives of different classes of British women affected by the Industrial Revolution?
Answer: The Industrial Revolution had dramatic effects on the lives of British women. Earlier, poor women worked in farm-related woks, in the comfortable environs of their home and village. Once poor people migrated to towns in search of jobs, women started working in factories. The job gave them economic independence and some degree of self-respect. But women were given lower wages, were forced to work in inhuman conditions and had to live in filthy slums. Their quality of life became worse. The situation was different for middle and upper class women. They now had more leisure time to enjoy.
Question 6: Compare the effects of the coming of the railways in different countries in the world.
Answer: This chapter highlights the effects of railways in Britain. It helped in bridging the gaps in transportation and facilitated seamless movement of goods and people throughout the country. Similar effects could be seen in India. India is much larger in size and hence people of one corner did not know much about those from another corner. After the coming of the railways, people started moving across the country. This helped in increasing people to people interaction. Apart from facilitating trade and commerce, the railways worked as a great unifier of the Indians. The railways immensely helped in instilling a sense of nationhood among the Indians.