History-1999-Set II

Q.1 Give any two reasons for the decline of trade in 18th century India. (2 marks)
Ans. Constant warfare and disruption of law and order after the decline of the Mughal Empire in many areas harmed the country’s internal trade. Many areas were looted by the contestant of power and by foreign invaders. Moreover, with the rise of provincial regimes and innumerable local chiefs, the number of customhouses in trading centres grew by heaps. Even petty rulers started demanding heavy custom duties. All these factors had injurious effect on trade.

Q.2. Describe the achievements of the first three Nawabs of Bengal in the field of revenue, trade and administration. ( 5 marks)
Ans. Bengal was a province of Mughal Empire. Auranzeb appointed Murshid Quli Khan as the subedar of Bengal . He was the first Nawab of Bengal. He proved to be an able ruler. He established peace and stability in Bengal by suppressing refractory zamindars. He died in 1727 AD. Shuja-ud-din, Alivardi Khan and Mirza Muhammad followed him. Murshid Quli Khan and Alivardi Khan promoted trade and industry by establishing a stable economic system. They introduced a new revenue system by which a large part of the jagir land was converted into khalisah land . They also introduced the system of revenue farming. The first three Nawabs of Bengal were tolerant rulers. They gave equal opportunities of employment to both Hindus as well as the Muslims. They improved the communication system by constructing roads and highways, which could promote trade. But unorganised army and rising corruption among officials after the death of Siraj-Ud -Daulah became the cause of fall of Bengal.

OR

Trace the development that led to the establishment of powerful kingdom in Punjab in the 18th century.
Ans. Maharaja Ranjit Singh established a powerful sikh state in Punjab in 1780’s . He was only twelve years old when his father , MahaSingh, died. He became a powerful head of his misl at the age of sixteen. Benefiting from the unsettled conditions of Punjab, Ranjit Singh founded a powerful sikh state. He conquered Lahore in 1799. He also conquered Peshawar, Multan and Kashmir after signing a treaty with British who accepted his suzerainty in Punjab. Ranjit Singh was an able administrator. For administrative convenience, he divided his empire into four province-Lahore, Peshawar, Kashmir and Multan. Able officers under the control of the king managed these districts. His army was based on European lines. It consisted of the best soldiers. Ranjit Singh himself was an exemplary soldier, experienced commander, clever politician and able administrator. Under his rule, the scattered territory of North India was given a shape of a powerful nation.

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