CBSE NCERT Class 10 History Chapter 5 The Age of Industrialisation


The tale of the modern age appears to be a great time of new technologies.

The history of industrialization is all about development.

Before the Industrial Revolution

Even when there were no factories in England, there was large-scale manufacturing aimed towards a global market. During this time, the term “proto-industrialization” was coined by the authors.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the merchants started relocating to the countryside for supplying peasants and craftspeople with income. They tried to convince them to operate in the global market.

The income from proto-industrial production replaced the peasants’ falling agriculture income.

As merchants were located in towns but workers in the countryside, this system supported the development of a strong link between the town and the remote areas.

As finishing was done here before the export merchant sold the cloth globally, London became the finishing centre.

The Coming Up of the Factory

By the 1730s, England had its first industries, which grew in number until the late eighteenth century.

Cotton’s supply increased in the late 1800s, making it a symbol of the new century which finally led to the Industrial Revolution.

In the seventeenth century, a series of inventions improved the efficiency of each phase of the manufacturing process, including carding, twisting, spinning and rolling. They increased output per worker while also improving the thread and yarn quality.

Richard Arkwright established the cotton mill, and the cloth was produced throughout the country and it was done in the homes of the villagers.

The Pace of Industrial Change

Cotton was the major sector in the first phase of civilization until the 1840s, when it was replaced by the iron and steel industry, which grew at a rapid pace.

The industrialization process took a long time to complete. The following are some of the factors.

(i) Technological advancements were slow to come about.

(ii) As new technology was costly, merchants and industrialists were unwilling to adopt it.

(iii) In certain cases, such as James Watt’s steam engine, the machines were not as effective as their creators and producers claimed.

Hand Labour and Steam Power

There were plenty of people willing to work for little pay. As a result, the industrialists were opposed to the introduction of machines.

Labor demand was seasonal in different industries, and industrialists preferred hand labor, hiring people for the season.

Hand labor could be used to make a variety of things. Uniforms and standardized items for a mass market were the focus of machines. However, products with detailed designs and unique shapes were frequently in high demand on the market.

Hand-made items became the sign of taste and status in Victorian Britain, and the rich elite aristocrats and the ruling elite preferred them.

They were also more refined and well-designed. Machine-made goods were destined for colonial markets.

Life of the Workers

Variation of work in several industries resulted in job risk. Many workers had to go long periods of time without a job. They did odd jobs to manage their food and housing throughout the period when they were unemployed.

Wages increased in the early nineteenth century, but nothing was done for the employees’ wellbeing. The labor conditions were terrible. Due to unsanitary working conditions, workers were vulnerable to pandemic diseases.

Workers were adverse to the introduction of Spinning Jenny into the woolen industry due to job insecurity (fear of job loss). Women who had been surviving on hand-spinning began fighting the new machines, and the dispute raged on for a long time.

With the surge in building activity in cities after the 1840s, job prospects increased. For the widening of roads, the construction of railway stations and railway lines, the installation of drainage and sewers, and so on, a large number of laborers were engaged.

Industrialisation in the Colonies

Let us now move to India to see how a colony industrializes.

The Age of Indian Textiles

India’s silk and cotton goods dominated the international textile market before the introduction of machinery in industries. Cotton cultivated in other nations was harsh in comparison to cotton cultivation in India. Cotton was once exported in large quantities from India to a variety of countries.

Sea trade began in the major pre-colonial ports. Surat on the Gujarat coast, as well as Masulipatam on the Coromandel Coast, connected India to the Gulf and Red Sea ports. Bengal’s Hooghly had economic ties to Southeast Asian ports.

However, by the 1750s, this network, which was controlled by Indian merchants, had begun to degrade. The European businesses grew in power and were able to secure monopoly trade rights.

As a result, trade from the old ports of Surat and Hooghly, through which local merchants had previously traded, declined. As a result, Surat and Hooghly ports declined, while Bombay and Calcutta ports expanded.

European firms began to exert control over commerce through these new ports. Several old trading houses were forced to close as a result of this.

What happened to Weavers?

After gaining political power, the East India Company acquired a monopoly right to trade and developed a management and control system to restrict competitors, control costs, and ensure consistent supplies of cotton and silk.

To eliminate the cloth trade’s merchants and brokers, the Company established direct power over the weavers. It appointed gomasthas, or hired servants, to monitor weavers, collect supplies, and inspect textile quality.

The Company implemented the advanced system to keep company weavers from dealing with other buyers. Weavers were provided loans to purchase raw materials for their manufacturing after an order was placed.

Those who took out debts were forced to give the cloth to the gomastha alone. As a result, the weavers were unable to go to any other vendor.

Previously, supply merchants (brokers) resided in weaving villages and had a good relationship with the weavers, tending to their requirements and assisting them in times of need. The new gomasthas, on the other hand, were strangers. Weavers were penalized for supply delays.

Weavers eventually left communities and relocated to new locations across Carnatic and Bengal. Weavers and village traders rose against the Company and its administrators in other places. Cotton weavers confronted new challenges around the turn of the century.

Manchester comes to India

By 1850-1851, India’s textile exports had decreased. Import taxes on cotton textiles were implemented in England so that Manchester goods could sell in the country without competition.

The East India Company began to sell British manufactured goods in Indian marketplaces as well, and British cotton exports surged. Manchester imports caused the Indian export market and the local market to crumble. Because imported cotton goods were mass-produced, they were inexpensive.

When the American civil war started and the US cut off cotton supplies, Britain looked to India. India’s factories started producing machine parts, flooding the market.

The factories come up

In 1854, the first cotton mill in Bombay was established. Bengal saw the establishment of jute mills between 1855 and 1862.

In the 1860s, the Elgin Mill was established in Kanpur. Ahmedabad’s first cotton mill was established a year later. Madras’ first spinning and weaving factory began operations in 1874.

The Early Entrepreneurs

In India, many wealthy Indian businessmen established industrial enterprises. In the 1830s and 1840s, Dwarkanath Tagore established six joint-stock firms in Bengal. Dinshaw Petit and Jamsetjee Nusserwanjee Tata, both Parsis, developed massive industrial empires in Bombay.

In 1917, a Marwari industrialist named Seth Hukumchand established the first Indian jute factory in Calcutta, which also traded with China.

It became more difficult for Indian merchants to operate freely as British control over Indian trade got tougher. They were prohibited from trading manufactured items with Europe. They were forced to export largely raw materials and food grains to the British, including raw cotton, opium, wheat, and indigo.

European Managing Agencies (Bird Heilgers & Co., Andrew Yule, and Jardine Skinner & Co.) controlled a substantial portion of Indian businesses until the First World War.

Where did the Workers come from?

With the establishment of businesses in most industrial regions, workers came from the surrounding districts. The majority of them were peasants and artisans who had been unable to find work in the community.

In 1911, the majority of cotton workers in Bombay were from Ratnagiri, a nearby district. Kanpur mills hired laborers from the Kanpur district. Workers eventually had to travel vast distances to work in the mills. They moved to work in Bombay’s textile mills and Calcutta’s jute mills after leaving the United Provinces.

Although direct admission into the mills was restricted, the industrialists used jobbers to find fresh personnel. As a result, the jobbers grew in authority. They soon began abusing their power.

The Peculiarities of Industrial Growth

European Managing Agencies developed tea and coffee plantations by obtaining land at low rates from the colonial authorities; they also invested in mining, indigo, and jute for export trade rather than for domestic consumption in India. Between 1900 and 1912, India’s cotton-piece goods production doubled.

India’s industrial progress was modest until the First World War, but it transformed the situation. Manchester imports into India fell while British mills were busy creating war supplies to fulfill the army’s requirements. Suddenly, Indian mills had a large domestic market to supply, and industrial production increased dramatically.

Manchester was unable to reclaim its former status in the Indian market after the war. Cotton production dropped, and cotton textile exports from the United Kingdom tumbled.

Small-scale Industries Predominate

Handloom cloth production grew in the 20th century. The technology (the use of looms with a fly shuttle) aided handcrafters in increasing output while lowering expenses. This resulted in higher productivity per worker, faster output, and lower labor demand.

By 1941, approximately 35 percent of handlooms in India had been fitted with fly shuttles, with 70 to 80 percent in places like Travancore, Madras, Mysore, Cochin, and Bengal.

Market for Goods

In order to develop a market for the goods and popularize their items, advertisements were used. People’ minds are influenced and needs for things are generated through marketing. Newspapers, periodicals, hoardings, street walls, and other media are commonly used.

When Manchester businessmen started selling cloth in India, they labelled the bundles. These labels contained more than just words and texts. They also included images and were frequently well-illustrated. The labels included images of Indian gods and goddesses to attract customers’ attention.

Manufacturers began creating calendars in the late 19th century to popularize their products. Even individuals who could not read, used calendars. Advertisements also served as a vehicle for the Swadeshi movement’s nationalist message.

NCERT Solved Question Answer CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 05 – The Age of Industrialisation

Question. 1 

Explain the following :

(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.

Answer: James Hargreaves created the Spinning Jenny in 1764. This machine sped up the spinning process and cut the cost of labour. A single worker can use this equipment to make a large number of spindles and spin several threads at the same time. It simply meant that because of this machine, many weavers would lose their jobs and become unemployed. Because of this high rate of unemployment, —ace women spinners started hitting the new machines.

(b) In the seventeenth century, merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.

Answer: The early part of industrialization, when large-scale production for the international market was done in decentralised units instead of factories.

  • Huge demand: During the 17th and 18th centuries, trade around the world grew at an incredible rate. The buying of colonies also contributed to the rise in demand. The town’s businesses couldn’t keep up with the demand.

Powerful town producers: 

  • The people who made things in the town had a lot of power.
  • The producers were not able to increase production a: will. This was because urban crafts and trade guilds had a lot of power in the towns. These groups were made up of people who made things. They trained craftspeople, kept production under control, regulated competition and prices, and kept new people out of the business.
  1. Monopoly rights: The monarchs gave different guilds the exclusive right to make and sell certain goods. Because of this, it was hard for new merchants to start up in towns. So, they moved out of the country.
  2. New economic situation in the countryside: Open fields were disappearing from the countryside, and the commons were being closed off. Cottagers and poor peasants who used to live off of common lands no longer have work. So, when merchants came around and offered advance payments on goods, peasant households took them up on it with great enthusiasm.

(c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.


  1. Most European businesses had a lot of money, which made it very hard for Indian merchants and traders to compete.
  2. European corporations were taking over by getting different deals from the local courts.
  3. Some corporations were given Dade as a monopoly.
  4. All of this made it harder for local merchants to use the traditional ports of Surat and Hooghly. Exports from these ports dropped, and the credit that had been used to pay for business started to run out. And one by one, the local bankers went bankrupt.
  5. In the later years of the 17th century, the total value of the goods that went through Sura: was t 16 million. By the 1740s, it was worth only 3 million rupees.
  6. Things have changed as time has gone on. Both Surat and Hoogly got worse. Bombay (now called Mumbai) and Calcutta (now called Kolkata) grew bigger.

(d) The East India Company appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.


  • Monopoly right: Once the East India Company was in charge of the government, it claimed to have a monopoly right to trade.

After setting up a trade monopoly, the company went on to build a management and control structure that would get rid of competitors, keep costs down, and make sure there was a steady supply of cotton and silk items. It did this through a series of steps.

  • Appointing Gomasthas: The Company tried to get rid of the current doth merchants and brokers in order to have more direct control over the weavers. It told the Gomostha, a paid servant, to watch over the weavers, collect supplies, and check the quality of the textiles.
  • System of advancements: To gain direct control over the weavers, the company set up an advancement system. Weavers were given loans to buy the raw materials they needed after an order was placed. Those who got loans had to give the Gomastha the doth they made. They could not sell it to anyone else.
  • Use of power: The Company sent its police to areas where the weavers wouldn’t cooperate. Weavers were often punished and flogged for causing supply delays in many areas.

Question. 2

Write True or False against each statement:

(a) At the end of the nineteenth century, 80 per cent of the total workforce in Europe was employed in the technologically advanced industrial sector.

(b) The international market for fine textiles was dominated by India till the eighteenth century.

(c) The American Civil War resulted in the reduction of cotton exports from India.

(d) The introduction of the fly shuttle enabled handloom workers to improve their productivity.


  1. False
  2. True
  3. False
  4. True

Question. 3

Explain what is meant by proto-industrialisation.

Answer: The period of industrialization during which mass-produced goods for export were assembled by hand rather than in factories.

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