(Paper) History Sample Paper Class XII - 1999 (Solved)

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History Class- XII 
Sample Paper- Year 1999




Q.1. Mention any two social legislation's introduced by the British in India before 1857(2 marks)

Ans. Girl infanticide was declared illegal under the reform passed by Lord Bentinck in 1829 AD This reform was followed by another reform passed under Lord Bentinck which declared the hineous practice of sati illegal in 1829 AD

Q.2. Describe the causes of the rivalries and conflicts among the European countries in India in the Eighteenth Century. How were they finally resolved?(5 marks)
Ans. Eighteenth Century was an era of new developments in science and discovery. This period witnessed the growth and expansion of Europe. Nations like Britain, Portugal, France, Italy and Germany were exploring new lands, which could be colonised and used for incurring wealth and power.

The Portuguese were the first to establish their colony in Goa in 1510. And soon the Dutch East India Company that expanded its hold on West India, establishing centres in Surat, Patna, Cochin, followed them. The English, in order to have their trade dealings with India, established the East India Company in 1600A.D. They soon ousted both the Portuguese and the Dutch. British ports were created at Surat, Ahmedabad,Broach, Bombay, Calcutta etc. The French were not far behind. They also established their trading company in 1664 AD and son after, established factories in Masulipatnam and Pondicherry. Later on, they other factories were opened at Chander Nagar, Qassim Bazar, Balassore, Mahe and Karikal. As a result of this, their confrontation with the English became inevitable. The three Carnatic wars or the Anglo French struggle for hegemony ensued from1746 till 1763 AD. They resulted in the defeat of the French and the victory of the British.

The British succeeded in retaining their hold in India and ousting the other European powers because of their better financial position. And full support of their government. Their strong army and naval fleet were able to destruct the trading posts of the Dutch and the Portuguese, who were unpopular among Indians. The British diplomacy succeeded to get the much-needed approval of the Indian rulers.


Q. Describe the measures adopted by the British Government in the field of education. What was their impact on Indian society?

Ans.The British laid the foundation of " modern education " in India. Under this system, greater emphasis was laid on teaching of English language and the study of Indian languages was largely neglected. Before going into the measures adopted by the British in the field of education, one has to keep in mind that modern education was introduced by the British to fulfil their own interests, chief among them being the need to create clerks and lower post officers to reduce the administration costs.

Sir William Jones founded the Asiatic society of Bengal in 1784, which later played a great role in spreading education. The Charter Act of 1813 AD was issued by the East India Company, which set aside a sum of rupees one lakh for promoting the knowledge of modern sciences in India. The Charles Wood's Dispatch of 1845 AD recommended opening of Education Department in every province. It also encouraged opening of Universities on the line of London University. Every district was to open one Government school.

The Education system neglected the masses, as the medium of education was English, which was unpopular with Indians. More emphasis on Higher education and opening of Universities ignored elementary education. The education funds were too meagre to bring any significant change in society. Despite the drawbacks, modern education inspired the Educated Indians with the idea of socialism and democracy. It also gave rise to the feeling of Nationalism, which ultimately resulted in uprooting the British Empire in India.

Q.3. Describe the developments that led to the battle of Buxar. What were its consequences?(8 marks)

Ans. The battle of Buxar was the most decisive battle of Indian history for it demonstrated the superiority of British arms over the Indian. It firmly established the British as masters of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

To trace the developments that led to the battle of Buxar, one has to review the developments of later half of 18th century. Bengal had emerged a s the most fertile and richest of the Indian provinces. The British East India Company had secured valuable privileges in 1717 under a royal farman by the Mughal emperor, which had granted the company the freedom to export and import their goods in Bengal without paying taxes and the right to issue passes and dastaks for the movement of such goods. This Farman was a perpetual source of conflict between the Company and the Nawab of Bengal for it meant loss of revenue to the Bengal government. Also, the Company's corrupt officers misused the Distaffs.

Matters came to head when the quick-tempered Siraj -ud - daulah succeeded the throne of Bengal. He demanded of English to that they should trade on the same basis as in the times of Murshid quli Khan. The English refused to do so and instead started building fortification in Calcutta without the permission of the Nawab. The battle of Plassey soon followed in 1757 in which the Nawab was defeated and British placed Mir Zafar, a puppet ruler in his place but in 1760 Mir Zafar was forced to abdicate in favour of his son -in -law Mir Qasim.

It was Mir Qasim who belied the hopes of the British and instead of acting according to the British demands, he soon emerged as a major threat to their position and designs in Bengal.He was an able ruler who wanted to free Bengal from foreign rule. He started to replenish the treasury and built a strong army. All this was not to the liking of the British. Most of all they disliked the Nawabs check on the misuse of the farman and the dastak. British issued these distaffs to their friendly traders who were thereby able to evade taxes. It not only deprived the nawab of revenue but also ruined the honest Indian trader.

Mir Qasim took matters under his control by abolishing all duties on internal trade, thus giving his own subjects concessions that the English had seized by force. The British retaliated by war. Mir Qasim was defeated in a series of battle and fled to Awdh in 1763 where he formed an alliance with Shuja-ud-daulah, Nawab of Awadh and Shah Alam. The three allies clashed with the company's army at battle of Buxar on October 1764 and were thoroughly defeated.

The ruling power of Bengal was transferred from the Nawab to the Company. The Company also extracted 15 lakhs rupees from the Nawab as war compensation. The diwani of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa too passed in the British hands. Thus, the company's control over Bengal was legalised and the revenue of this most prosperous of Indian provinces was placed at its command.


Q. Mention the British economic policy, which led to the impoverishment of the Indian peasantry.

Ans. The British Economic policy had an adverse effect on the Indian peasantry. British government by ruining the Indian industries increased pressure on agriculture. The artisans and the craftsmen were now forced to settle in villages, which increased the pressure. With increase in the number of the peasants the small land holdings were further divided. The British, instead of giving concessions to the peasants, added to their woes through their policies. Under such policies the peasant was forced to pay taxes as well as subjected to force labour apart from land revenue.

The Permanent Settlement introduced by Lord Cornwallis in Bengal forced the landlords to deposit a fixed amount of money in the state treasury. In return they were recognised as hereditary owners of the land. The landlord thus extracted maximum labour from the peasant who was subjected to forced labour.

The Ryotwari System, which was introduced in south and Southwest India, recognised the peasant as the direct owner of the land. The peasant, instead of benefiting, suffered huge losses, as he had to part with half of his produce in form of taxes. He had to pay taxes even on the failure of the crops. The Government realised land revenue with severity.

Thus, all the revenue systems introduced by the British Government were destructive for the peasants. The Government went on increasing land revenue considerably but spent very little on the improvement of agriculture. It auctioned the land of the peasant who was unable to pay rent due to him. In order to escape such circumstances, the peasant himself pawned or sold a part of his land to pay rent. The illiterate was further burdened when he borrowed from the moneylenders on high rate of interests.

The British replaced the old landlords with new urban-based landlords who had no interest in the land. Their main objective was to collect maximum amount of revenue unmindful of the plight of the peasants. Thus the Indian peasant remained backward and stagnated.

Q.4. The revolt of 1857 marked the closing of an era and the beginning of a new one in the history of British rule in India. Give two examples to support your answer.(2 marks)

Ans. The revolt of 1857 was a harbinger of a new age as it marked the end of East India Company's rule in India and the beginning of the rule of British Government controlled by the British crown. The British parliament created the office of Secretary of State for India and appointed a council of 15 members to aid and advice him.

Q.5. Give the main reasons for the backwardness of the Muslim Community and also state the role played by Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan in modernising the community.(5 marks)

Ans. British's adopted the policy of "divide and rule" to weaken the Indian population on communal lines. Thus, the Muslim population was ignored when social and political reforms such as sati and education for girlchild were being introduced. In 18th century. Higher and middle class of Muslim society kept themselves aloof from western education and culture. Hence, social and religious movements among the Muslims started late. In 19th century , Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan emerged as the most outstanding reformer among the Muslim population.

Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan introduced several reforms for the promotion of Muslims. He accepted Quran as the only authoritative work of Muslims. He interpreted this holy text in the light of intellectualism and science. He inspired the Muslims to become liberal and free from social evils. He opposed pir-worship. He also strive to improve the condition of Muslim women by opposing purdah society, polygamy and the system of easy divorce. He gave top priority to western education. In 1875, he founded Muhammedan Anglo - Oriental School at Aligarh which, in 1920, expanded, to become the Aligarh Muslim University.


A. Point out, with reasons, the changes in the British policy towards Indian states after1857.
Ans. The revolt of 1857 was a symbol of a rebellion by the Indian population against the suppression of the British rule.The princely states played an important role in the rising of the revolt. The British were so frightened with the revolt that the possibility of another uprising always haunted them . They also realised the need to create buffer states, which could aid and support British's. They therefore tried to win the sympathy of the Indian rulers. They were now assured that under no circumstances their states would be taken away from them as opposed to Dalhousie's policy of "doctrine of lapse". Hindu rulers were now allowed to adopt sons.

Thus the 562 Indian royal families now became loyal to the British Government. This fulfilled the ambitions of the English, as they now were able to win the support of the Local rulers who had a large amount of Indian population under their subordination.

Q.6. How did the British rule hamper the growth of modern industries in India? (5 marks)
Ans. The Indian economy was based on handicraft industries and agriculture before the Britishers came in India. Much of the production was based on cottage and small-scale industries. The works of Indian goldsmiths, blacksmiths, cotton weavers, silk weavers were in great demand not only in India but also abroad.The 18th century witnessed the emergence of industrial revolution in Britain. The industrial revolution created the need for Indian raw material but it ruined the handicraft industry as the British manufactured goods now flooded Indian markets at much lower costs. On the other hand, the demand for the Indian handicraft was strategically barred by imposing high tariff duties on Indian exports such as manufactured silk and cotton cloth apparels.

The modern industries, which were opened in India, were controlled and financed by the Britishers to cater to their own needs. India lacked heavy industries such as mettulurgy, machine, fertilisers etc. which made Indians import it from Abroad. The government did not give any economic support to the development of such industries.


Q. Explain the main issues of women's emancipation which were raised by the social reformers in the 19th century.

Ans . The position of Indian women in 19th century was very low in society. The 19th century social reform movement led by reformers such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Ishwar chandra Vidyasagar, Dayanand Saraswati , Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan a considerable role in emancipation of women of Indian society and remove the social stigma attached for being a woman.

Education of girl child was one major issue taken up by the social reformers. The aim was to educate and liberate the woman from social evils. The dowry system was criticised. Female infanticide was banned. Child marriage was banned in 1920's and the marriageable age of women was fixed at 14. The social evil of sati was also banned. Ishwar chandra vidyasagar and Raja ram Mohan Roy played an important role in encouraging widow to remarriage.




Q.7. Examine the main causes for the unrest in India before the first half of the 19th century, which were at the root of the revolt of 1857.
(5 marks)
Ans. The revolt of 1857 was an epoch -making event of Indian history.It was the first revolt of its kind, which threatened the British rule in India .The revolt, did not take place suddenly. It should be understood as an accumulated discontent among Indians in various parts of India due to various political, economic and social reasons.

The British East India Company destroyed Indian handicraft industry and trade by imposing high tariff on the Indian Exports. On the other hand, the imports of British goods were duty free. This disrupted both, the industries as well as the trade. Britishers forced the peasantry to grow indigo and other cash crops and sold them to British at very low price.

The princely states were discontented with Britishers who interfered in their rule. Dalhousie's doctrine of lapse created bitter enemies for them in form of Rani Jhansi, Bahadur Shah , Nawab of Awadh . Another major cause of discontent was the corrupt officials, Police; lower officials and courts were ill reputed for corruption. The judicial system was inadequate. The British government in India was unpopular being a foreign one. It lacked a clear understanding of Indian governance.

The social reforms introduced by British, which included abolition of, sat and child infanticide hurt the religious sentiments of the Indians. The Indian soldiers were discontented due to ill treatment meted out to them by the Britishers. They could not rise higher than the rank of subehdar. The greased cartiges used in the Enfield rifles by the soldiers became the immediate cause of the revolt as it provided a spark to the growing discontent of the masses.


Q. Did the revolt of 1857 have a popular character? Give arguments to support your answer.

Ans .The Revolt of 1857 is shrouded in controversy. Historians have different opinion on the nature and character of the revolt. To some, it was a mere Military revolt while for others it was the first Indian National Movement.

According to the western scholars the revolt of 1857 should be viewed as nothing more than mere military rebellion with little support of the masses. The supporters of this view include Sir John Lawrence , Sir Quntram and P.E. Roberts.They strengthen their argument by postulating that the revolt was confined to small parts of North India and was supported by few Indian rulers who had personal animosity with the British. The peasants remained peaceful, as the revolt was mostly concentrated around the cities while the villagers remained unaffected.

The Indian historians do not agree with the above view. Scholars like Vir Savarkar, Ashok mehta and other nationalist historians give a popular character to the revolt. They call it the first National movement of India where Hindus and the Muslims fought together oust the British. The participation of women has also been emphasised. The revolt was first of its kind, which engulfed large parts of India and witnessed the participation of the masses.

In conclusion, the revolt should be viewed as the first uprising in India where the masses vented their discontent on the oppressors. Though the revolt failed to achieve what it had aimed yet the popular character cannot be ignored.

Q.8. Mention any two unpopular measures of Lord Lytton which led to an agitation against the British rule.(2 marks)

Ans. Lord Lytton was the viceroy of India from 1876 to 1880.During his reign there was widespread agitation. He fought a useless war with Afghanistan in which many Indian soldiers lost their lives. The expenditure of the war was put on Indian treasury. In 1878 he got passed the Vernacular Act by which restrictions were imposed on Indian press. These any many other measures made Lord Lytton unpopular among Indians.

Q.9. "It is said that the idea of socialism brought about changes in the nature of National Movement". Do you agree with this Movement? Substantiate your answer with arguments.(5 marks)

Ans. The year 1927 witnessed the emergence of the new trend of socialism in India. Marxist and socialist ideas filtered in India. The Russian Revolution had aroused interest among many young Indian nationalists. Many of them were dissatisfied with the Gandhian political ideas and program. They had little faith in non-violence and the objective, which it could achieve. These men now turned to socialist ideology for guidance.

Politically, this force and energy found reflection in the rise of the New Left wing in the congress under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas chandra Bose . MN Roy became the first Indian to be elected to the leadership of the Communist International .The left wing did not confine itself to the struggle against imperialism. It simultaneously raised the question of internal class oppression by the capitalist and the landlords

The growth of socialist ideas had a great impact on the freedom struggle. Now side by side fighting for the freedom, emphasis also began to be laid on the economic upliftment of the masses, especially on the emancipation of the toiling peasants and workers. In the Karachi session of the congress, which was held in 1931 there were clear indications of socialism taking its roots in the manifesto. The election manifesto of 1936 promised security of tenure to tenants, wages to workers and also the right to form labour unions. In his presidential address to Lukhnow congress in 1936 Nehru opposed fascism and Nazism and described them as the two faces of decaying capitalism.The radical ideas of Jawahar lal Nehru had a good impact on Gandhiji.

Thus socialism had a great impact on the congress and the freedom struggle. Economic emancipation along with political freedom became the chief aim of the freedom movement.


Q. What were the causes of frequent occurrence of famines India in the 19th century?

Ans . The British Economic policy had a large role to play in the frequent occurrence of famines in India. The ruination of Indian industries increased the pressure on land. The land holdings became smaller and the number of mouths to be fed much larger. The British extracted maxim revenue in form of taxes from the peasantry through permanent settlement, ryotwari and mahalwari settlement. The new urban-based Zamindars had no interest in improvisation of land. The Indian peasant had neither improved implements nor better seeds. They were also ignorant of modern techniques of farming. As a result, the peasantry always remained indebted and impoverished and the Indian agriculture faced stagnation. This British policy of indifference towards agriculture and reforms led to frequent occurrence of famines in India.

The 19th -20th century in India was marred with famines. The first famine occurred in western Uttar Pradesh in 1860 in which two lakh people died. . This was followed by famines in Orissa, Bihar and Bengal. In 1876-1878 there was a severe famine in Mysore, Hydrabad, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. These famines further impoverished India inspite of the fact that India was rich in natural resources.

Q.10.Explain the forces that weakened the caste system in India under the British rule. (5 marks )

Ans. Nineteenth century India witnessed a strong intellectual and cultural upheaval. Social and Religious evils such as sati , purdah system , caste system child marriage were now being questioned by a new group of intellectuals. New forces were now challenging the Indian caste system, which were a major barrier in the development of Indian society and also a hindrance in uniting the masses.

Western thought and the Idea of liberation, nationalism and democracy and all this could be achieved by removing the caste system now influenced the Indian intellegensia. As a result of western education and a rise of new awakening in the 19th century the oppressed classes too organised many institutions and associations to seek equal treatment and justice. Jyotibha Phule started a movement in Maharashtra to uplift the lower classes B.R. Ambedkar instilled self confidence and self respect among the downtrodden and rejected. The ban on the entry of schedule castes in temples, offices and homes was now lifted. In short one can say that these forces gradually weakened the caste system.


Q. Explain the conditions of people living in the princely states and how they were brought in the mainstream of India's freedom struggle.

Ans. India was divided into Princely states and British controlled Government rule before Independence. The Indian Princes who were allies of the English controlled the Indian states. People in the princely states led a miserable life. Many princes subjected their population to slavery and forced labour. Little attention was paid on education, health and other social services. The civil rights of the people were also ignored. The peasantry and the workers were taxed according to the whims of the ruler. Large part of the treasury was spent on luxuries of the king and the royal family. The corrupt rulers could not be removed as the Britishers supported them. Infact, most of the princes were mere puppets in the hand of the foreigners.

The people of these states started revolting against the atrocities of their rulers by organising movement demanding democratic government rule. Seeking inspiration and support from the national congress, these men founded 'All India State People's conference' in 1927. The people of Jaipur, Rajkot, Kashmir, Hydrabad and Travancore started mass movement against their rulers. Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as president of All India States Peoples Conference in 1939.

Q.11. Read the following questions carefully and answer the questions that follow:

"The earlier movements had been in the nature of preparatory training for the final struggle. The movement of 1942, however, was intended to be the last stage in the struggle and there the supreme sacrifice of one's life was required to attain independence. The call was "do or die".

(Quit India Movement , Dr. R. Prasad.)

Q 11(a) How did the earlier movements launched by Gandhiji impart preparatory training for the final stage? (2 marks)
Ans. (a) The earlier movements organised by Mahatma Gandhi, such as civil disobedience and Non -co-operation movement laid emphasis on Gandhi's strategy of 'Satyagraha ' which involved the masses. They propagated the use of Swadeshi goods and boycott of foreign goods. The movements were structured on the policy of passive resistance which was to force the foreigners to leave India.

Q 11(b) Why did the Congress ask the British to "Quit India"?
(2 marks)
Ans. (b) The Congress asked the British to "Quit India", as now they were able to see through Britsh Imperialism, which was aimed at ruining Indian society, economy and polity. Self-government or the attainment of 'Swaraj' was now the main aim of the Congress and this was only possible by asking the British to 'Quit India'.

Q 11 (c) Give the main features of the "Quit India " movement.
(4 marks)
Ans.(c) The 'Quit India movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi after the failure of the Cripps Mission. By now Gandhi had realised that the English would do nothing for India. On the other hand the growing Japanese aggression during the Second World War and the threat it posed to India made Gandhi Launch the Quit India movement. . The Britishers were asked to Quit India in a special session of Congress on 8th August 1942. Gandhi, in his weekly Harijan gave the slogan of 'do or die'. The main aim of the Quit India movement was to organise strikes and to non-cooperate with the Government. So that the Government is pressurised to leave India and grant the long deserved freedom to Indians from the British rule. It was the first movement of its kind where Gandhi diverted from his strategy of non -violence.


Give the main features of the Indian Council Acts of 1909. Why did it fail to satisfy the aspirations of the people?

Ans. The agitation against the partition of Bengal in 1905 made a deep impact on the Indian National Congress. Both the extremist as well as the moderates joined together to oppose the partition. They now launched a swadeshi and the boycott movement to oppose British. Though both the sections were opposed to partition, they disagreed on the strategy to show their agitation. The swadeshis wanted to extend the swadeshi and the boycott movement from Bengal to the rest of India while the moderates wanted to confine it to Bengal . This became the major reason for the split of congress in 1907 Surat session.

The British Government used the split to their own advantage. They played 'divide and rule', while suppressing the extremists, they tried to win over the moderates so that the extremists could be isolated and easily suppressed. To placate the moderates the British announced the constitutional concessions through the Indian Council Act of 1909, which are also known as the Morley Minto Reforms of 1909.

The Morley Minto Reforms increased the number of the elected members in the imperial legislative council and the provincial council. The reforms also introduced the system of separate electorates under which all Muslims were grouped together in separate constituencies from which Muslims alone could be elected. This was done in the name of protecting the minority.

The reforms left much to be desired. The reformed councils still enjoyed no real power, being a mere advisory body. The reform in no way changed the undemocratic and the foreign character of the British rule. The system of separate electorate was based on the notion that the political and economic interests of the Hindus and the Muslims were separate. This notion was unscientific, as religion could not be the means of political groupings.

The real purpose of the reforms of 1909 was to confuse the moderates, to divide the nationalist ranks and to check the growth of unity among Indians.




Q.13. What was the Atlantic Charter?(2 marks)

Ans. The Atlantic charter was issued by the American President Franklin Roosevelt and the British PrimeMinister Winston Churchill in 1945 AD

Its main provisions included the right of self determination for all nations, democratization of Germany after the resumption of normalcy, working for the United States of America.The main aim of the charter being to restore peace and order in the world.

Q.14. What were the causes behind the out break of the First World War?(5 marks)

Ans. The First World War which broke out in 1914 AD was a multi faceted war. No single cause or event could be regarded as the sole cause of the war, which engulfed the whole world. One of the most important reason which led the Capitalist nations to war was Imperialism .The mutual struggle among the Imperialist countries such as England, France, Holland, Russia, Germany, Italy etc. was linked with the conquest of the regions of Asia and Africa.Very often the disputes among these countries were solved by mutual understanding but sometimes due to conflict, warlike situations developed.

Countries like Japan, Germany and Italy were late in joining the Imperialist bandwagon. Consequently, when these countries came to power due to Industrial revolution and political and economic stability in their countries, they were not left with much choice to select colonies as most of lucrative territories in Asia and Africa were already under control of France, Britain, Holland and Russia. Thus a war was inevitable. The Franco -German rivalry over Morocco and the Anglo -German rivalry were over the colonies.

The world was soon divided in powerblocks as Germans under Bismarck and the Japanese started building their naval and military power. Italy and Austria joined them. This alliance is called as Triple Alliance which was formed in1882 AD. The Russians, French and the British also joined in a pact known as the Triple Entete formed in 1907.

The gunpowder of the war was ready. The murder of Austrian prince, Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbia in June 1914 provided the spark, which led the World to War.

Q.15. List any four points suggested by Wilson for maintaining peace after the First World War.
(2 marks)

Ans. The American president Woodrow Wilson, after the First World War, placed 14 points before the allied nations, which were meant to restore peace and eliminate war. In these 14 points, the president proposed to:

Give up secret diplomacies and to have open alliances and treaties.reduction of armaments by all nations; Freedom in the use of seas by all nations both in war and in peace; remove barriers on international trade; establishment of League Of Nations for the guarantee of political independence and territorial integrity different states; re-arrangement of territories given up by Russia on the basis of self determination; freedom of Serbia and Romania. and establishment of free state of Poland.

Q.16. Trace the rise of the United States of America as major industrial and imperialist power by the end of the 19th century.(8 marks)

Ans. `The American War of Independence from the British rule broke out in 1775 . The thirteen colonies, which comprised of America attained their Independence in 1783. The 19th century America emerged as a powerful nation with no traits of its earlier colonial status. The road to recovery and development was tedious but rapid.

USA purchased vast territories of Louisiana and Alaska from France and Russia and seized Texas and California from Mexico after a war with that country. Between 1861 and 1865, there was a civil war in when the Southern states of U.S.A. which were primarily agricultural with plantations worked by slave labor were defeated and the Industrial North America came to power. Within about three decades of the Civil War, USA had become a major Industrial power in the world. By the end of the nineteenth century she was producing about one- third of the total production of iron and steel in the world. There was 300,000 km. Of railroads in the country, which exceeded the combined railroads of Europe. She produced and consumed more oil and gas than the rest of the world put together.

All this was made possible because of good administrators, abundant supply of natural resources, availability of raw materials and a market for the consumption of its finished products. But the most important reason for American growth was Monopoly Capitalism by which a few big industrialists such as Rockefellers were able to capture the world market.

This amazing growth of the USA went unnoticed by the other nations as USA had a general lack of interest in European affairs. But by 1890's USA emerged as a new imperialist power, joining the Europeans in the search of colonies in 1881, it conquered the Hawaiian Islands. In 1893, it declared its hegemony over the American continent by taking over Venezuela and British Guinea. In 1898, the US went to War with Spain and took over Cuba and Puerto Rico.It also captured the Guam Island in Pacific from the Spanish. US also demanded its share in China by the 'open door policy'. When the Boxer rebellion broke out in China, the US troops joined the troops of the European countries in suppressing it and in occupying Beijing.It entered in a secret alliance with Japan which gave US the right to trade freely in Japan. Through President Roosevelt's Monroe Doctrine U.S. also got the right to intervene in the internal affairs of her neighboring countries such as Latin America.

Thus by the Second World War USA emerged as a super power whose development was based on its strong economy and profitable colonies.


Q. What was the impact of the Russian Revolution of 1917 on the World countries.
The Russian Revolution had far reaching effects not only on Russia but also on the history of the World. The Russian Revolution ended the despotic rule of Czar Nicholas 11 and the power now came in the hands of the people and the dictatorship of the proletariat or the working class was now set up under Lenin. He established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic in Russia. The ruling working class party or the Bolshevik party removed the hegemony of the upper privileged class of Landlords and aristocracy. Land, factories, mines, natural resources were nationalized. The new social set up was formed on the basis of equality and justice.

The revolution set an example for all the oppressed nations of the world, giving them hope and inspiration for independence. The Russian society, economy and polity were based on the communist principal where the workers and the unions rejoiced. This idea of socialism and communism was a threat to capitalist nations such as USA, France and Britain whose industries survived on the low wages for workers and long hours of tedious work.

The Russian communism was not confined to Russia alone. The Bolsheviks gave a call for the workers of the world to unite against Capitalism. The message of socialism was spreading in the World in the first half of the 20th century. The success of revolution was a success of socialism in the world. Countries like China, Vietnam, India were influenced by this idea of equality for all and demanded freedom from imperialist rule. On the other hand, the workers of many countries now started to rise against their oppressors namely the capitalists who took the main share of the fruit of worker's labor.

The World was now divided in two power blocs, namely, the soviet bloc and the American bloc. The cold war started between the two power blocs when, no actual war took place but the race for armaments and increasing military strength in defense against each other kept on increasing.

Q.17. What was the Operation Barbarossa? Why did it fail?(2 marks)

Ans. The German plan to invade Russia in 1940 AD is known as the 'operation Barbarossa'. It was a code name given to maintain secrecy .The German had visualized an easy victory over Russia but their plan failed as the German army was not fully prepared.

Q.18. When was the United States of America drawn into the Second World War? What was its effect on the course of the War?
(5 marks)

Ans. The Second World War began in 1939. In the beginning US remained neutral to the war which was restricted to Europe. It allowed Britain to buy arms on cash basis. Germany attacked Russian June 1941. . The French and the British were drawn into the war as they supported Russians. President Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter with British Prime Minister Churchill to declare the war aim and to destroy Nazi Germany. Russia also became a party to the charter. On December 1941, Japan, which was Germany's ally, attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. It led to the destruction of many US aircraft's, battleships, armours and naval bases. US had no option but to retaliate. It declared War on Japan on December 8, 1941. Germany and Italy joined Japanese forces. US declared war with Germany and Italy.

Thus the US entry in the war made it a global war. US made 3,00,000 aircraft's and 85,000 tankers. It was now called as the 'arsenal of victory'.


Q. Explain the main features of Japan's role in the World affairs between 1919 to 1939.

Ans. Japan had emerged as a super power in South East Asia after defeating China in 1894and Russia in 1904. AD. It joined the imperial nations of Europe by entering in an alliance with England.Japan visualized China as a potential market for its products as well as for procuring raw materials. In the First World War Japan gained Manchuria and Mongolia from China.

The post world war Japan emerged as a major Fascist nation second only to Hitler's Nazi Germany.Its fascism was based on its militarism and the rule of generals. It soon joined the fascist powers of Italy and Germany to ruthlessly take over the colonies, which they desired. Japan occupied a large part of Chinese mainland between 1919 to 1939.

Contemporary World

Q.19 Analyze the factors responsible for the rapid collapse of Imperialism after the Second World War.(5 marks)

Ans. Many factors were responsible for the collapse of imperialism in the post second world war era. Chief among them is following:

The rise of communism in Russia effected the world in a large way. The socialist people's party of Lenin inspired many countries such as Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria etc to raise their voices against Imperialism. The imperialist powers such as Britain, France, Germany, Japan had suffered heavy losses in the Second World War and they were not prepared to suppers the tide of Nationalism, which was rising in their own colonies. Under these circumstances they were forced to part with their colonies. The U.N.O or the United Nations Organization had a great role to play in establishing peace in the world. It greatly supported the cause of the coloniesand condemned the imperialists. Those countries, which had won their independence now, supported the rising tide of Nationalism in other colonies. Eventually, the British, French, Japanese and the Germans had to loose their hold on the colonies, which led to collapse of Imperialism.


Q. Explain the reasons which prompted America to interfere inWest Asia.

Ans. The Second World War ended but it left in its wake the dread of another war. Soviet Union emerged as a major world power after the Second World War. Its success was based on socialism. The Soviet Union actively supported the cause of freedom and equality as opposed to the Capitalist and the Imperialist countries. It emerged as a threat to the Capitalist powers especially USA, which started viewing the Soviet actions with suspicion and tried to curb the tide of Nationalism and Socialism in all the countries.

Post World war witnessed the rise of Nationalism in West Asia or the Arab World under the guidance of USSR. The USA wanted to suppress the tide of Nationalism at any cost as it had imperial interests in this region. It wanted a monopoly on the oil mines of Arabia, which was only possible, by keeping this region under their control. Thus, USA supported Israel against Arabs.In the 'six day war' that followed Israel was easily able to defeat Arab with the US support. US also gave her support to Israel in conquering Egypt. To protect her oil interests; US supported the conservative regime.

Q.20. Give any four revolutionary changes in the Chinese literature between 1917 and 1937.(2 marks)

Ans. A feeling of Nationalism spread far and wide in China and this feature was reflected in Chinese literature and writings. The Chinese intellectuals were influenced by the modern western style of writing and this was reflected in their own works. Soviet influence was seen in the literary works that were published. The writings covered issues such as democracy, independence, communism etc.


Q. What was the basic reason of the Economic crisis in 1929 in USA.

Ans. The Economic Crisis or the Great Depression, which shook the world from 1929 to 1933, left a great impact on world economy. America was also badly effected. The basic reason of the economic crisis in USA was over -production. The first world war created great demand for arms, ammunitions, food supply, clothes and other accessories required by the public and soldiers alike but the post war created a slump in the market as the Americans had industries to produce but there were no buyers in the World market.

Q. 21. Assess the contribution of Raja Ravi Verma in the field of art.
(2 marks)

Ans . Raja Ravi Verma was a well-known Indian painter. His work is world famous even in the 21st century.He mixed the Royal Academy naturalism with Indian myths and legends. He painted anecdotes from Sanskrit literature


Q. What was the Renaissance movement? In which countries was it started ?

Ans. Renaissance movement was a celebration of art, expression, revival of the past and freedom of human mind to express without inhibitions. It was a first movement of its kind, which started in France Italy, Greece and soon engulfed Europe.

Q 22 How has the developments in communications led to changes in the spread of information?
(2 marks)

Ans. The development in communication led to changes in the spread of information. The discovery of telephone, printing press, fax machines, television, radio and now the internet has played a great role in spreading ideas of people from one part of the world to another.