The Rise of Nationalism in Europe

Chapter 1 


During the nineteenth century, the idea of nationalism made changes in the Political and mental world of Europe.


The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation

French Revolution of 1789 was the first clear expression of nationalism.

  • Steps taken by French Revolutionaries to create a sense of collective identity amongst the French people:

→ Ideas of La patrie and Le citoyen

→ New French Flag

→ Estates-General was elected and renamed National Assembly

→ New hymns composed and oaths taken

→ Centralized administration system

→ Internal customs duties and dues were abolished

→ A Uniform system of weights and measures was introduced

→ French became the common language


  • Ruled France from 1799 to 1815.
  • Gained absolute powers in 1799 by becoming the First Consul.

Civil Code of 1804 / Napoleonic Code

  • Equality before the law was established
  • Secured the right to property
  • Simplified administrative measures
  • Abolished feudal system
  • Freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues
  • Guild restrictions were removed
  • Transport and communication systems were improved.

Napoleon took away political freedom, increased taxes, imposed censorship and forced people to join the French army.

The Making of Nationalism in Europe

No Nation-states were in Europe because of not common identity or culture.

  • People residing in different areas spoke different languages.

→ Example: Hungary half of the population spoke Magyar other half spoke a variety of dialects and in Galicia people spoke Polish.

The Aristocracy and the New Middle Class

  • Aristocracy

→ The landowning class.

→ Spoke French connected by ties of marriages.

→ Numerically a small group.

  • Peasantry

→ Majority of population

  • Middle class

→ New Social class emerged with the growth of towns and the emergence of commercial classes.

→ The educated class where ideas of nationality gained popularity.


What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for?

  • Liberalism stood for freedom for the individual and equality for all before the law

→ The end of autocracy and clerical privileges

→ A constitution and representative government through parliament.

  • In the economic sphere liberalism stood for the freedom of markets and the abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital.
  • Zollverein abolished tariff barriers, reduced the number of currencies to two, and promoted a network of railways to stimulate mobility.

A New Conservatism after 1815

  • Believed that established institutions of state and society should be preserved, with the changes initiated by Napoleon.

Treaty of Vienna (1815)

  • Bourbon dynasty was restored to power in France
  • A series of states created on the French boundary for preventing French expansion in future.
  • German confederation was left untouched.
  • Main intentions were to restore the monarchies that had been overthrown by Napoleon.

The Revolutionaries

A commitment to oppose monarchical forms that had been established after the Vienna Congress, and to fight for liberty and freedom.

Giuseppe Mazzini

  • Born in Genoa in 1807
  • A member of the secret society of Carbonari
  • Founded Young Italy in Marseellies, Young Europe in Berne.
  • Believed in the unification of Italy into a republic.

The Age of Revolutions: 1830-1848

  • In July 1830, Bourbon kings of France were overthrown and a constitutional monarchy was established.


  • Belgium broke away from the United kingdoms of the Netherlands.
  • Greece which had been a part of the Ottoman Empire since the fifteenth century struggled for independence.

→ The Treaty of Constantinople of 1832 recognised Greece as an independent nation.

The Romantic Imagination and National Feeling

  • A cultural movement that sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment, criticized the glorification of reason and science and focused instead on emotions, intuition and mystical feelings.
  • German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder tried to discovered culture among common people, through folk songs, folk poetry and folk dances.

Hunger, Hardship and Popular Revolt

  • In most countries, there were more seekers of jobs than employment.
  • Population from rural areas migrated to the cities to live in overcrowded slums.
  • The rise of food prices or a year of bad harvest led to widespread pauperism in town and country.
  • In 1848, the Population of Paris came out on the roads and Louis Philippe was forced to flee and National Assembly proclaimed a Republic.
  • In 1845, weavers in Silesia led a revolt against contractors.


1848: The Revolution of the Liberals

  • The revolution was led by educated middle classes who combined their demands for constitutionalism with national unification.

Frankfurt Parliament

  • On 18 May 1848, members of political association’s elected 831 representatives who took their places in the Frankfurt Parliament convened in the Church of St. Paul and drafted a Constitution for the German nation.
  • It was opposed by the King of Prussia and also lost its social basis as no rights were given to workers and women.
  • It forced the autocratic monarchs to introduce some changes – serfdom and bonded labour was abolished
  • Hungarians were granted more autonomy.

The Making of Germany and Italy


  • Otto Van Bismarck with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy took on the leadership of the movement for national unification.
  • Three war over seven years ended in Prussian victory and completed the process of unification.
  • Kaiser William I of Prussia headed the new German Empire.


  • Italy was divided into seven states of which only Sardinia Piedmont was ruled by an Italian Princely state.
  • Initially a unification programme was initiated by Giuseppe Mazzini, but it failed.

  • Chief Minister Cavour led the movement, with the help of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
  • In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of united Italy.

The Strange Case of Britain

  • In 1688, England established as a nation-state.
  • English parliament seized power from the monarchy.
  • The Act of Union 1707 resulted in the formation of the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’.
  • In 1801, Ireland was forcibly taken by the British after the failed revolution.
  • A new ‘British Nation’ was founded through the propagation of a dominant English culture.

Visualising the Nation

  • Nations were portrayed as female figure (Allegory).
  • The female form that was chosen to personify the nation did not stand for any particular woman in real life, rather it sought to give the abstract idea of the nation a concrete form.
  • In France the allegory was christened as Marianne, in Germany – Germania became the allegory.

Nationalism and Imperialism

  • The Balkans comprised modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Balkans was a region of geographical and ethnic variation that was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
  • The idea of Romantic nationalism made this region very explosive.
  • The Balkan states were fiercely jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of each other.
  • European powers were also looking for the extend their control over the area.
  • This led to a series of wars in the region and finally resulted in the First World War.

The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China

Chapter 2


Emerging from the Shadow of China

  • Indo-China comprises the modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
  • Vietnam gained formal independence in 1945 from France. Before independence, it was under Chinese rule.
  • Even after independence, Chinese culture and systems of government were maintained in Vietnam.

Colonial Domination and Resistance

  • French troops landed in Vietnam in 1858
    → By the mid-1880s they had established a firm grip over the northern region.

Why the French thought Colonies Necessary

  • To supply natural resources and other essential goods.
  • It was the mission of advanced European countries to civilize the backward peoples.


Should Colonies be Developed?


  • Barriers to economic growth in Vietnam

→ High population levels.

→ Low agricultural productivity.

→ Extensive indebtedness amongst the peasants.


How Vietnam developed as a Colony


  • Primarily, Vietnam was based on rice cultivation and rubber plantations owned by the French and small Vietnamese elite. 


  • Rail and port facilities were set up to service this sector.


  • Indentured Vietnamese labour was used in rubber plantations. 


  • France did little to industrialise the economy.


The Dilemma of Colonial Education


  • French saw modern education as the only way to civilise the local people of the country.


Talking Modern


  • Chinese was the language used by the Vietnamese elites.


  • Some policy-makers emphasised the need to use the French language as the medium of instruction so they see the superiority of French culture.
  • Others suggested that Vietnamese be taught in lower classes and French in the higher classes.

→ The few who learnt French and acquired French culture were to be rewarded with French citizenship.

  • Only the Vietnamese elite could enrol in the schools.
  • School textbooks glorified the French and justified colonial rule.

Looking Modern

  • In 1907, the Tonkin Free School was started for providing Western-style education.
  • The school encouraged the adoption of Western styles such as having a short haircut.

Resistance in Schools

  • Teachers and students opposed the curriculum.
  • By the 1920s, students were forming various political parties, such as the Party of Young Annan.
  • Schools became an important place for political and cultural battles.
  • The Vietnamese intellectuals feared the loss of both the Vietnamese territory and culture.

Hygiene, Disease and Everyday Resistance

Plague strike Hanoi

  • The French part of Hanoi was built as a beautiful and clean city.
  • In 1903, the modern part of Hanoi was struck by bubonic plague.
  • The sewers also served as a great transport system, allowing the rats to move around the city.

The Rat Hunt


  • A rat hunt was started in 1902 to remove the rats.
  • French hired Vietnamese workers and paid them for each rat they caught.
  • The Vietnamese caught the rats, clipped off the tail and let the rat go free again.
  • French were forced to scrap the bounty programme.

Religion and Anti-colonialism

  • Religious beliefs of Vietnam were a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and local practices.
  • French introduced Christianity in Vietnam.

Scholars’ Revolt of 1868

  • This revolt was led by officials of the Imperial Court.
  • Uprising in Ngu An and Ha Tien provinces killed a thousand Catholics.
  • By the middle of the 18th century, 300,000 people converted to Christianity.
  • Revolt suppressed by the French.

Hoa Hao Movement

  • The Hoa Hao Movement began in 1939 under its founder Huynh Phu So.
  • He criticised useless expenditure and opposed the sale of child brides, gambling and the use of alcohol and opium.


  • The French declared him mad and sent him to a mental asylum.
  • He was freed in 1946, but exiled to Laos and his followers sent to concentration camps.

The Vision of Modernisation

  • Regarding modernisation and nationalism two opinions held:

→ Vietnamese traditions had to be strengthened to resist western domination.
→ The second felt that Vietnam had to learn from the West even while opposing foreign domination.

  • Phan Boi Chau was a Confucian Scholar and a nationalist.
    → He formed the Revolutionary Society in 1903.
  • Phan Chu Trinh was against monarchy and wished to establish a democratic republic.
    → He did not want a wholesale rejection of Western civilisation.

Other Ways of Becoming Modern: Japan and China

Go East Movement

  • Some 300 Vietnamese students went to Japan in 1907-08 to acquire modern education.
  • Their aim was to drive out the French and re-establish the Ngu Yen dynasty.
  • They wanted Japanese help and established a Restoration Society in Tokyo.
  • But after 1908, the Japanese closed the society, and sent many of them, including Phan Boi Chau to exile in China and Thailand.

Chinese influence on Vietnam

  • When Sun Yat-Sen overthrew the monarchy in China in 1911, a new association – Association for Restoration of Vietnam was formed.
  • Their objective was to have the Democratic Republic and a Constitutional Monarchy in Vietnam.

The Communist Movement and Vietnamese Nationalism

  • The Great Depression of the 1930s led to unemployment, debts and rural uprisings in Vietnam.
  • In February 1930, Ho Chi Minh established the Vietnamese Communist Party.
  • In 1940, Japan occupied Vietnam.
  • The League for the Independence of Vietnam (known as the Viet Minh) fought the Japanese, recaptured Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh became the chairman of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in September 1943.


The New Republic of Vietnam

  • The French set up a puppet regime under Bao Dai as Emperor.
  • After years of fighting, the French were finally defeated in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.
  • In the peace negotiations in Geneva after the French defeat led to the spilt of Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

→ Ho Chi Minh and the communists took power in the north
→ Bao Dai’s regime was put in power in the south.

  • The Bao Dai regime was soon overthrown by a coup led by Ngo Dinh Diem.


  • Diem built a dictatorial government.

→ This was opposed by a broad opposition united under the banner of the National Liberation Front (NLF).


  • With the help of North Vietnam, NLF fought for the unification of the country.


The Entry of the US into the War (1965 to 1972)


  • Fear of communism made the US intervene in Vietnam. 


  • Thousands of  US troops arrived equipped with heavy weapons and tanks. 


  • Use of chemical weapons – Napalm, Agent Orange, and phosphorous bombs destroyed many villages.


  • The effect of the war was felt within the US as well. 

→ Many were critical of the government for getting involved in a war.


The Ho Chi Minh Trail


  • The trail, an immense network of footpaths and roads, was used to transport men and materials from the north to the south.
  • The US regularly bombed this trail trying to disrupt supplies, but efforts to destroy this important supply line by intensive bombing failed because they were rebuilt very quickly.

The End of the War

  • US had failed to achieve its objectives.


  • This was a war that has been called the first television war because battle scenes were shown on the daily news programmes.


  • In January 1974: A peace settlement was signed in Paris which ended the conflict with the US.


  • The National Liberation Front (NLF) occupied the presidential palace in Saigon on 30 April 1975 and unified Vietnam.

Nationalism in India 

Chapter 3


  • Modern nationalism was associated with the formation of nation-states.
  • In India like many other colonies, the growth of modern nationalism is connected to the anti-colonial movement.

The First World War, Khilafat and Non-Cooperation

  • The First World War (1914-1918) created a new political and economic situation.
  • India faced various problems during the war period:
    → An increase in defence expenditure.
    →  Prices increased through the war years.
    → Forced recruitment in rural areas.
  • During 1918-19 and 1920-21, crops failure in many parts of India.
  • Hardships did not end after the war was over.

The Idea of Satyagraha

  • Satyagraha is a novel way of fighting colonial rule in India.
    → It is a non-aggressive, peaceful mass agitation against oppression and injustice.
  • Satyagraha means insistence on truth.
  • It is a moral force, not passive resistance.
  • In January 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India.
  • Gandhiji organised Satyagraha Movements in Champaran, Bihar (1916), Kheda district of Gujarat (1917) and amongst cotton mill workers in Ahmedabad (1918).

The Rowlatt Act (1919)

  • This act gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.

Jallianwala Bagh massacre

  • On 13th April 1919, a huge crowd gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwalla Bagh.
  • Dyer entered the area, blocked the exit points, and opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds.
  • As the news spread, strikes, clashes with the police and attacks on government buildings started.
  • The government responded with brutal repression.
  • Gandhi called off the Rowlatt satyagraha as the violence spread.

Khilafat Movement

  • Khilafat Movement was led by two brothers Shaukat Ali and Muhammad Ali.
  • Khilafat Committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919 to defend the Khalifa’s temporal powers.
  • Gandhiji convinced the Congress to join hands with the Khilafat Movement and start a Non-Cooperation Campaign for Swaraj.
  • At the Congress session at Nagpur in December 1920, the Non-Cooperation programme was adopted.

Differing strands within the movement

  • The Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement began in January 1921.

The Movement in the Towns

  • It started with middle-class participation in cities.
  • Students, teachers, lawyers gave up studies, jobs, legal practices and joined movements.
  • Council elections were boycotted.
  • Foreign goods were boycotted.
  • Liquor shops were picketed.

Movement in the countryside

  • Peasants and tribals took over the struggle which turned violent gradually.

Peasant Movement in Awadh

  • The peasants were led by Baba Ramchandra in Awadh against landlords and talukdars.
  • In 1920, the Oudh Kisan Sabha was set up headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, Baba Ramchandra and a few others.

Movement of Tribals in Andhra Pradesh

  • Alluri Sitaram Raju led the guerrilla warfare in the Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The rebels attacked police stations.
  • Raju was captured and executed in 1924.

Swaraj in the Plantations

  • For the plantation workers, Swaraj means moving freely.
  • They protested against the Inland Emigration Act (1859) which prevented them from leaving the plantation without permission.
  • Each group interpreted the term swaraj in their own ways.

Towards Civil Disobedience

  • In February 1922, Mahatma Gandhi decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement.
  • Many leaders such as C. R. Das and Motilal Nehru formed the Swaraj Party within Congress to argue for a return to council politics.
  • Younger leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose pressed for more radical mass agitation and for full independence.

Factors that shaped Indian politics towards the late 1920s

  • The Worldwide Economic Depression


→ Agricultural prices collapsed after 1930 as the demand for agricultural goods fell and exports declined.

  • Simon Commission
    → It was constituted by the Tory government of Britain to look into the demands of the nationalists and suggest changes in the constitutional structure of India.
    → The Commission arrived in India in 1928.
    → The Congress protested against this commission.
  • In December 1929, under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Lahore session of Congress formalized the demand of “Purna Swaraj”.

The Salt March and the Civil Disobedience Movement

  • Gandhiji chose salt as the medium that could unite the nation as it is consumed by all the sections of the society.

Salt March

  • Salt or Dandi March began on March 12, 1930.
    → On 6th April 1930, Gandhiji reached Dandi, a village in Gujarat and broke the Salt Law by boiling water and manufacturing salt.
    → Thus, it began the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • It was different from the Non-Cooperation Movement as people were now asked not only to refuse cooperation but also to break colonial laws.
  • Boycott of foreign goods, non-payment of taxes, breaking forest laws were its main features.
  • The British Government followed a policy of brutal repression.
  • British government arrested all the leaders including Gandhiji and Nehru.
  • Mahatma Gandhi called off the movement.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact

  • On 5 March 1931, Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, signed a pact with Gandhi.
  • In December 1931, Gandhiji went to London for the Second Round Table Conference but returned disappointed.
  • Gandhi relaunched the Civil Disobedience Movement but by 1934 it lost its momentum.

How Participants saw the Movement

Rich peasants

  • Rich peasant communities expected the revenue tax to be reduced, when the British refused to do so, they did join the movement.
    → They did not rejoin the movement as the movement was called without revising the revenue rates.

Poor Peasants

  • The poor peasants wanted rents of lands to be remitted.
    → Congress was unwilling to support the “no rent” campaigns due to the fear of upsetting the rich peasants and landlords.

Business Classes

  • After the war, their huge profits were reduced, wanted protection against the import of foreign goods.

→ The spread of militant activities, worries of prolonged business disruptions, growing influences of socialism amongst the young Congress forced them not to join the movement.


  • Women also participated in protest marches, manufactured salt, and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops.
    → Congress was reluctant to allow women to hold any position of authority within the organisation.

Limits of Civil Disobedience

  • The Dalits or the Untouchables did not actively participate in the movement, they demanded reservation of seats, separate electorates.
  • Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Dalits, formed an association in 1930, called the Depressed Classes Association.
  • He clashed with Gandhiji.
  • Poona Pact between the Gandhiji and B.R. Ambedkar (1932) gave reserved seats in Provincial and Central Councils but were voted by general electorate.
  • The leader of the Muslim League M.A. Jinnah wanted reserved seats for Muslims in Central Assembly.
    → Large sections of Muslims did not participate in the Civil disobedience movement.

The Sense of Collective Belonging

  • The sense of collective belonging came partly through the experience of united struggles.
  • History and fiction, folklore and songs, popular prints and symbols, all played a part in the making of nationalism.
  • By 1921, Gandhiji had designed the Swaraj flag. It was again a tricolour (red, green and white) and had a spinning wheel in the centre.

The Making of a Global World 

Chapter 4




  • Globalisation is an economic system associated with the free movement of goods, technology, ideas and people across the globe.


Section I: Pre Modern World

Silk Routes

  • There are several silk routes, overland and by sea, knitting together vast regions of Asia, and linking Asia with Europe and northern Africa.
    → Famous Chinese silk cargoes used to travel through these routes.

Food Travels: Spaghetti and Potato

  • Noodles travelled west from China to become spaghetti.
  • Common foods such as potatoes, soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes were only introduced in Europe and Asia after Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Conquest, Disease and Trade

  • Precious metals from mines of Peru and Mexico enhanced European trade with Asia.
  • The Spanish conquerors used the germs of smallpox in the conquest of America.

  • Until well into the eighteenth century, China and India were among the world’s richest countries.
  • Until the nineteenth century, poverty and hunger were common in Europe.

Section II: The Nineteenth Century (1815-1914)

  • In the late eighteenth century, growth in the population increased the demand for food grains in Britain.
  • The imported food into Britain more cheaply than it could be produced within the country.
  • Industrial growth took place in Britain which led to higher incomes meaning more food imports.
  • It was transported by railway and by ships.
  • Food is only an example. Products such as cotton, rubber, coal also had the same fate.

Role of Technology

  • The railways, steamships, the telegraph were important inventions that transformed the nineteenth-century world.
  • After the introduction of new technology, namely, refrigerated ships animals were slaughtered for food at the starting point and then transported to Europe as frozen meat.

Late nineteenth-century Colonialism

  • European conquests of Asia and Africa as colonies.
  • Belgium and Germany became new colonial powers.
  • The US became a colonial power in the late 1890s by taking over some colonies earlier held by Spain.

Rinderpest, or the Cattle Plague

  • Rinderpest is a fast-spreading cattle plague that hit Africa in the late 1880s.
  • It was carried by infected cattle imported from British Asia and destroyed 90 per cent of the livestock.

  • The colonial governments now strengthen their power and force Africans into the labour market.

Indentured Labour Migration from India

  • Indentured Labour was a bonded labourer under contract to work for an employer.
  • In the nineteenth century, thousands of Indian and Chinese labourers went to work on plantations, in mines, and in road and railway construction projects around the world.
  • Recruitment was done by agents by providing false information about the work and location.
  • On arrival at the plantations, labourers found living and working conditions harsh.
  • It was abolished in 1921.

Indian Entrepreneurs Abroad

  • Indian entrepreneurs, some bankers like Nattukottai and Chettiars financed the export of agriculture to Central and South-East Asia.

→ They even followed the Europeans to Africa.


  • Industrial Revolution in England changed the balance of trade between England and India.
  • Indian handicraft and agriculture were destroyed and Britain enjoyed a trade surplus with
    → Their exports increased and imports decreased.


Section III: The Inter-war Economy

  • The First World war was the first modern industrial war.
  • During the war, industries were restructured to produce war-related goods.
  • The war transformed the US from being an international debtor to an international creditor.

Post-war Recovery

  • After the war was over, production reduced and unemployment increased.

Rise of Mass Production and Consumption

  • In the US, war recovery was quicker.
  • ‘Assembly line’ method introduced by Henry Ford soon spread to the US and were also widely copied in Europe in the 1920s.
  • Mass production lowered the costs and prices of engineered goods.
  • There was a housing and consumer boom in the 1920s, which ultimately led to the Great Depression of 1929.
  • Markets crashed in 1929 and led to the failure of banks and the crisis-affected other countries.
    → By 1933, over 4000 banks closed and between 1929-32 about 110,000 companies collapsed.

India and the Great Depression

  • India was also affected by the  Great  Depression.
  • Indian exports and imports declined extensively, prices fell.
  • Bengal jute growers suffered the most.
  • Large scale migration took place from villages to towns and cities.

Section IV: Rebuilding a World Economy: The Post-war Era

  • The Second World War broke out a mere two decades after the end of the First World War and once again, it led to destruction.
  • After the USA and the USSR emerged as superpowers.

Post-war Settlement and the Bretton Woods Institutions

  • To ensure a stable economy a framework was agreed upon at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference held at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, USA.
  • It established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deal with external surpluses and deficits of its member nations.
  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (popularly known as the World Bank) was set up to finance post-war reconstruction.
  • The IMF and the World Bank commenced financial operations in 1947.
  • Bretton Woods  System was based on a fixed exchange rate.
  • National currencies were pegged to the American dollar at a fixed rate.
  • Decision-making in these institutions is controlled by the Western industrial powers largely by the US.

Decolonisation and Independence


  • Many countries in Asia and Africa became independent nations, supported by UNO and NAM.


  • Group of 77 or G-77 was organised by developing countries to demand a new international economic order (NIEO) which would give these countries real control over their national resources, raw materials, and manufactured goods in their markets.


  • MNCs or multinational companies were established in the 1950s and 1960s and operated in several countries.

Age of Industrialisation 

Chapter 5


Before the Industrial Revolution


  • Proto-industrialisation was a phase when there was large-scale industrial production for an international market that was not based on factories.
  • The Proto-Industrial system was part of a network of commercial exchanges.

The Coming Up of the Factory

  • By the 1730s, the earliest factories in England came up.
  • The first symbol of the new era was cotton.
    → A series of inventions in the eighteenth century increased the efficacy of each step of the production process.
  • Richard Arkwright created the cotton mill.

The Pace of Industrial Change

How rapid was the process of industrialisation?

  • The most dynamic industries in Britain were clearly cotton and metals.
  • The new industries could not easily displace traditional industries.
  • Technological changes occurred slowly because
    → The New technology was expensive.
    → The machines often broke down and repair was costly.
    → They were not as effective as their inventors and manufacturers claimed.

Hand Labour and Steam Power

  • In Victorian Britain, there was no shortage of human labour.
  • Therefore, industrialists did not want to introduce machines that required large capital investment.


  • Many seasonal industries were also there that usually preferred hand labour.
  • Handmade goods came to symbolize refinement and class

Life of the Workers

  • Labours were available in abundance in the market which affected the lives of workers.
  • After the busy season was over, workers became jobless.
  • In the early nineteenth century, wages increased but the prices of goods also increased.

Industrialisation in the Colonies


The Age of Indian Textiles


  • Before the age of machine industries, silk and cotton goods from India dominated the international market in textiles.


  • A vibrant sea trade operated through the main pre-colonial ports.

What Happened to Weavers?

  • After the East India Company established political power, they tried to eliminate the existing traders and brokers and establish more direct control over the weaver.
  • It appointed a paid servant called the gomastha to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth.
    → Loans were provided for purchasing raw material for production.
    → The produced cloth was to be handed over to the gomastha.
  • In many weaving villages there were reports of clashes between weavers and gomasthas because
    → The new gomasthas were outsiders, with no long-term social link with the village.
    → The price weavers received from the Company was miserably low.

Manchester Comes to India

  • As cotton industries developed in England, industrial groups pressurised the government to impose import duties on cotton textiles so that Manchester goods could sell in Britain without competition.
  • Also, they persuaded the East India Company to sell British manufactures in Indian markets as well.
  • Thus, cotton weavers in India faced two problems at the same time:

→ Their export market collapsed as the market overloaded with Manchester imports.


→ Availability of lower-cost cotton goods produced by machines.

  • By the end of the nineteenth century, factories in India began production, flooding the market with machine-made goods which created a problem of weavers.

Factories Come Up

  • In 1854, the first cotton mill in Bombay came up.
  • In 1855, the first jute mill in Bengal came up.
  • By 1862, four cotton mills came up.
  • In 1862, another jute mill came up.
  • In the 1860s, the Elgin mill was started in Kanpur
  • In 1861, the first cotton mill of Ahmadabad was set up.
  • In 1874, the first spinning and weaving mill of Madras began production.

The Early Entrepreneurs


  • In Bengal, Dwarkanath Tagore made his fortune in the China trade.


  • In Bombay, Parsis like Dinshaw Petit and Jamsetjee Nusserwanjee Tata built huge industrial empires in India.


  • After colonial power came into power, Indian businessmen were barred from trading with Europe in manufactured goods.


Where Did the Workers Come From?


  • In most industrial regions workers came from the districts around.


  • Industrialists usually employed a jobber to get new recruits.

→ He got people from his village, ensured them jobs, helped them settle in the city.


The Peculiarities of Industrial Growth


  • European Managing Agencies established tea and coffee plantations, acquiring land at cheap rates from the colonial government.


  • By the first decade of the twentieth century, the swadeshi movement promoted Indian industries.


  • From 1906, moreover, the export of Indian yarn to China declined since produce from Chinese and Japanese mills flooded the Chinese market.


  • During the First World War, British mills busy with war production to meet the needs of the army, Manchester imports into India declined.


  • After the war, Manchester could never recapture its old position in the Indian market. 

Small-scale Industries Predominate


  • Large industries formed only a small segment of the economy and most of them were located in Bengal and Bombay.


  • In the twentieth century, handicrafts production and handloom actually expanded.


  • By the second decade of the 20th century, weavers used looms with a fly shuttle.


Market for Goods


  • New consumers are created is through advertisements.


  • Advertisements appear in newspapers, magazines, hoardings, street walls, television screens.


  • Advertisements became a vehicle of the nationalist message of Swadeshi.