HOW, WHEN AND WHERE TEXTBOOK (NCERT) Extra Questions and Answers of CBSE, Class 8, History Chapter-1


How, when and where

Text book solutions:

State whether true or false

James Mill divided India history into three periods- Hindu, Muslim , Christian


Official documents help people understand what the people of our country think


The British thought surveys were important for effective administration


What is the problem with the periodization of Indian history that James Mill offer?

Periodization is the process of categorizing the past into different periods. This is done so as to facilitate the analysis of history and comparing the current processes with the historical ones. Periodization is useful as it simplifies the study of history and highlights the important trends within a particular period.

  • The world history is divided into three distinct period:
  • The Ancient History(3600B.c. – 500 A.D.)
  • The Middle Ages(500A.D.- 1500 A.D.)
  • The Modern Age(1500 A.D. – present).

James Mill , a Scottish economist and political philosopher , in 1817 published , ‘A History of British India.’

In this he divided history into three periods- Hindu , Muslim and British. The

problems with the periodization offered by James Mill are:

  • According to James Mill, Hindu and Muslim ruled India before the British conquered India.
  • Before the British conquered India , the people followed superstitious beliefs, racial discrimination, caste issues , child marriage, dowry system and many more.
  • There were many debates conducted by the historians on the topic of those three religions . For example – When the Mughal Emperors ruled India there were other religions which existed peacefully.
  • It is incorrect to classify archaic India as Muslim history on the grounds that there were many religions which existed calmly at that period . It would hurt the sentiments of people belonging to different religion.
  • By classifying an age by the religion of rulers it suggests that the live of common people did not matter at all.
  • At that time, along with Hindu, muslim and British, other rulers also existed.. It would be completely unfair to classify an age by those religions only as mentioned by James Mill.

Why did the British preserve official documents?

One important source to accurately know about the history of British rule in India is the official records of British administration in the museum. The British believed that the act of writing was important. Every instructions , rules and regulations , decision taken, agreements signed , investigation had to be properly written up . After the completion, everything was studied and debates were held.

The villages tahsildar’s office , the collectorate , the commissioner’s office , the law courts all had their specialized record rooms . Specialized institutions like archives and museums were built. As a result to preserve the important records for example:-

The National Archives of India came up in 1920s when New Delhi was built up. The National Museum and the National Archives we’re located close to the Viceregal Palace.

The British kept their official documents in the archives or museum so that those

documents would serve as proofs when needed. In the early nineteenth century, these documents were carefully copied and beautifully written by calligraphists.

 By the middle of nineteenth century with the spread of printing , multiple copies of the documents were preserved as proofs of government proceedings.

Letters and documents that moved from one branch of the administration to the other branch in early years can still be read in archives to compare the past processes with the present ones.

How will the information historians get from old newspapers be different from that found in police reports?

There can be huge difference in the information collected from old newspapers and that collected from the police reports. The historians would collect information from a wide range of sources that includes the official as well as the unofficial documents to get a clear picture about the past events.

The information that the historians may get from a police report are often restricted.

 A police report is strictly restricted to the legal procedure and keeping record. Often police reports may overlook or neglect information that directly have no purpose in law enforcement. Usually the police reports are partial or biased .

These are based on what the senior officer wishes to write. These legal reports may carry partial viewpoints misguiding the historian to get the targeted result.

Journalism and report tools have a completely different attitude that brings out every single details about the event. The newspaper reports are impartial because they have direct connection with the emotions and sentiments of local people.

These reports explain the fact as it was.

Most of the times they don’t exploit/ decorate events. The newspaper reports represent the true story of the happening with finer details.

Newspapers provide more backdrop circumstances/ situations and elaborate the event. To elaborate things, often the news reporters report those things which have very less connection with the event.

The excellence and exactness of a piece of information from any source can only be determined after vast research and investigation.

For getting an appropriate and a clearer image of a particular period in history, the historians often go through a vast variety of sources. While going through the sources the historians keep in mind the biases and the interests that could be behind those sources . In this way the historians get different information from the old newspapers and from the police reports.

Can you think examples of surveys in your world today ? Think about how toy companies get information about what young people enjoy playing with or now the government finds out about the number of young people in school. What can the historians derive from such surveys?

In today’s world surveys have become very crucial in launching or introducing any product in the market. For example:- A Mobile company first takes a survey to get a wide range of information about the choices of people about the features they want in a mobile.

For some people good quality camera is must , for some the sound system of a mobile matters and for the storage matters. These companies collect these information and then make mobiles according to the customers choices.

In the present day outline various kind of surveys are held both by the government as well as by the private companies.

 The government surveys include census in which various details of a family are collected. Private companies also carry  out surveys for knowing the needs of the customers and also to promote their products

For example:- The toy companies prepare a questionnaire and put them on a sheet of paper. They engage a number of people as their representatives who visit schools and distribute those papers among the children after the school gets over.

The children are asked to tick or cross points of their choice. Then by viewing those papers the companies get a clear view about the type of toys the young generation are enjoying and they prepare more toys of that kind.

The government carries out census every 7-8years . Each household surveys includes questionnaire which is prepared by the government , where the family members have to give a detailed information about their children.

By viewing those details the government gets an idea about the number of children in a school.

Historians gets information from these surveys about the  likings , disliking, life  styles , demographic changes , political issues , social problems , economic life etc. of people which helps them a lot in comparing past life style with the present ones.

By these surveys , historians can easily understand or imagine about the ratio of younger and older people at a particular period of time.

They go through these surveys and come across the educational level of young generation and other details all over the world . So , surveys plays an important role for historians.

Extra questions with answers.

1     . Fill in the blanks:

a . The colonial government gave much importance to the practice of


_ Surveying.

b . Historians have usually divided Indian history into ancient, and


_ medieval – modern.

c . The British established specialized institutions like  and

             to preserve important documents.

_ archives and museums.

2   . State whether the following statements are true or false. If false then rewrite the correct statement.

a . The British were particular about preserving official documents.


b . Printing began to spread by the middle of 20th century.

_ False.

Correct statement: Printing began to spread by the middle of 19th century.

c . The British carried out detailed surveys in order to map the entire country.

_ True.

 How dates are important in history?

 Dates are important in history because they help in sequential arrangements of the past events. By knowing accurately when things have happened , it becomes easier for historians compare different societies at a particular period of time.

Dates tell us about the changes that took place in people and society over a period of time. There were times when historians were obsessed with dates. Debates were held among historians about dates on which rulers ruled.

Historians do not simply write all the dates without analyzing. They choose dates based on certain series of events and then select a date accordingly.

 For example: If a historian had to write about the Mughal Emperor , Akbar then he would choose dates that were crucial in the life history of Akbar and during his rule.

Dates also have a purpose of marking periods in history .

 Historians often have debates on the accurate starting and ending points of periods.

Like, Some historians don’t put the exact starting date for the ancient period or for the modern period .

These dates can be used as rough recommendation for looking into the swings or drifts in the history.

Dates help us to differentiate different happenings that have occurred in the past history at a particular period.

 It helps historians to imagine historical time and to compare different eras with each other.

Dates are important not only for historical education but also essential for overall development of children.

Why do historians refer to modern period as colonial?

The historians call the modern period in the Indian history a period of the colonial rule because it was under the British occupation since 1757 to 1947. India was changed into colony by the British.

There was an economic manipulation and one sided drainage of wealth and other resources from India to Britain .The Indian Craftsman and the artisans were tortured to make goods of British interest and were forced to sell them at a very low price to the British.

During the British rule in India , the people did not have freedom , liberty and they couldn’t even protest against the economic manipulation done by the British.

Indian Craftsman and artisans faced a great loss during the British rule in India as they have to sell the products at a price fixed by the British .So the historians refer to the modern period as colonial.

Why are surveys important for historians?

 To historians , surveys plays a very crucial role because the work of a historian is to study all the events related to the past. Historians get a huge help from the archeological surveys as it is connected to the past events. Surveys helps them to understand the characters of a population at a particular period of time.

Surveys are the only research methodology that can provide a broad view about the past, which also guarantees to give more precise information on targeted topics which is of great help to historians to draw an accurate conclusion and make crucial decisions.

From the archaeological surveys, a historian can come across certain information like the old civilizations for example the historians came to know about the civilization of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro with the help of archaeological surveys.

With the help of these surveys historians also get to know about the cultural and traditional activities, the lifestyle, the art and crafts of the ancient people.

In the past , when British government came to conquer India they took a detailed surveys of soil , vegetation , cropping pattern , weather changes etc. The advantages of archeological surveys are:

In this way surveys help historians to build up a clearer view about history.

  • They also provided proofs to the famous epic like Mahabharata. The submerged city of Dwarka was found by great efforts of historians.
  • It is one of the accurate form of digging out evidences of the past which were buried for a long time.