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NCERT Solutions for 9th History (Social Science): Chapter 4 - Forest Society and Colonialism

Check NCERT Solutions for 9th History (Social Science) for Chapter 4 - Forest Society and Colonialism.

Apr 23, 2020 19:22 IST
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NCERT Solutions for Class 9: History - Chapter 4 (Social Science) - Forest Society and Colonialism
NCERT Solutions for Class 9: History - Chapter 4 (Social Science) - Forest Society and Colonialism

Check NCERT Solutions for 9th History (Social Science) for Chapter 4 - Forest Society and Colonialism. These NCERT based on latest CBSE Syllabus & exam pattern, these solutions are important for preparation.

NCERT Solutions for 9th History (Social Science): Chapter 4 - Forest Society and Colonialism:

Question 1: Discuss how the changes in forest management in the colonial period affected

the following groups of people:

- Shifting cultivators

- Nomadic and pastoralist communities

- Firms trading in timber/forest produce

- Plantation owners

- Kings/British officials engaged in shikar (hunting)

Answer 1:

Shifting cultivators: 

European foresters regarded this practice as harmful for the forests. They felt that land which was used for cultivation every few years could not grow trees for railway timber. When a forest was burnt, there was the added danger of the flames spreading and burning valuable timber. Shifting cultivation also made it harder for the government to calculate taxes. Therefore, the government decided to ban shifting cultivation. As a result, many communities were forcibly displaced from their homes in the forests. Some had to change occupations, while some resisted through large and small rebellions.

Nomadic and pastoralist communities:

With the coming of the British, however, trade was completely regulated by the government. The British government gave many large European trading firms the sole right to trade in the forest products of particular areas. Grazing and hunting by local people were restricted. In the process, many pastoralist and nomadic communities like the Korava, Karacha and Yerukula of the Madras Presidency lost their livelihoods. Some of them began to be called ‘criminal tribes’, and were forced to work instead in factories, mines and plantations, under government supervision.

Firms trading in timber/forest produce:

With the coming of the British, however, trade was completely regulated by the government. The British government gave many large European trading firms the sole right to trade in the forest products of particular areas. Grazing and hunting by local people were restricted which was a boon to firms trading in timber or forest produce.

Plantation owners:

Large areas of natural forests were also cleared to make way for tea, coffee and rubber plantations to meet Europe’s growing need for these commodities. The colonial government took over the forests, and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap rates. These areas were enclosed and cleared of forests, and planted with tea or coffee.

Question 2: What are the similarities between colonial management of the forests in Bastar and in Java?

Answer 2:

In both places, the colonial government took control of the area. Trading firms the sole right to trade in the forest. Activities like Grazing & hunting by local people were restricted and many communities were forcibly displaced from their homes in the forests.

Question 3: Between 1880 and 1920, forest cover in the Indian subcontinent declined by 9.7 million hectares, from 108.6 million hectares to 98.9 million hectares. Discuss the role of the following factors in this decline:

- Railways

- Shipbuilding

- Agricultural expansion

- Commercial farming

- Tea/Coffee plantations

- Adivasis and other peasant users

Answer 3:
- Railways

The spread of railways from the 1850s created a new demand. Railways were essential for colonial trade and for the movement of imperial troops. To run locomotives, wood was needed as fuel, and to lay railway lines sleepers were essential to hold the tracks together.

- Shipbuilding

 Ships and railways, created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products which ultimately lead to cutting down of trees for timber. 

- Agricultural expansion

In the early nineteenth century, the colonial state thought that forests were unproductive. They were considered to be wilderness that had to be brought under cultivation so that the land could yield agricultural products and revenue, and enhance the income of the state. So between 1880 and 1920, cultivated area rose by 6.7 million hectares.

- Commercial farming

The British directly encouraged the production of commercial crops like jute, sugar, wheat and cotton. The demand for these crops increased in nineteenth-century Europe where food grains were needed to feed the growing urban population and raw materials were required for industrial production. 

- Tea/Coffee plantations

Large areas of natural forests were also cleared to make way for tea, coffee and rubber plantations to meet Europe’s growing need for these commodities. The colonial government took over the forests, and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap rates. These areas were enclosed and cleared of forests, and planted with tea or coffee.

- Adivasis and other peasant users

Adivasis were hired by the forest department to cut trees, and make smooth planks which would serve as sleepers for the railways.  As population increased over the centuries and the demand for food went up, peasants extended the boundaries of cultivation, clearing forests and breaking new land. 

Question 4: Why are forests affected by wars?

Answer 4:

The First World War and the Second World War had a major impact on forests. In India, working plans were abandoned at this time, and the forest department cut trees freely to meet British war needs. 

In Java, just before the Japanese occupied the region, the Dutch followed ‘a scorched earth’ policy, destroying sawmills, and burning huge piles of giant teak logs so that they would not fall into Japanese hands. 

The Japanese then exploited the forests recklessly for their war industries, forcing forest villagers to cut down forests. Many villagers used this opportunity to expand cultivation in the forest. 

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