NCERT solutions and Extra questions and answers of From trade to territory The Company establishes power HISTORY CLASS 8

Textbook solutions

1. Match the following:

a.  Diwani                             –   Tipu Sultan .

b.  “Tiger of Mysore”.       –  right to collect land revenue.
c.  Faujdar adalat.            –     sepoy.
d.  Rank Channamma.     –.    criminal court.
e.  Sipahi                              -.    led an anti-British movement in kitoor.


a. Diwani                      – right to collect land revenue.

b. “Tiger of Mysore” – Tipu Sultan.

c. Faujdari adalat       –   criminal court.

d. Rani Channamma   – led an anti-British movement in kitoor.

e. Sipahi                       – Sepoy.

2 . Fill in the blanks:

 a . The British conquest of Bengal began with the Battle of ________.

__ Plassey

 b . Haidar Ali  and Tipu Sultan were the rulers of ______.

__ Mysore.

c . Dalhousie implemented the Doctrine of _______.

__ Lapse.

d . Maratha kingdoms were located mainly in the ___________ part of India.

__ south-western.

3 . State whether true or false:

a . The Mughal empire became stronger in the 18th century.

__ False.

b . The English East India Company was the only European company that traded with India.

__ False.

c . Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the ruler of Punjab.

__ True.

d . The British did not introduced administrative changes in the territories they conquered.

__ False.

4 . What attracted European trading companies to India?

ANSWER : During the period from 1757 to 1857 the British government ruled India and expanded their power rapidly in India . Their policies, economic exploitation, administrative changes extremely affected India .

This process of trading began in 1600s when the East India Company acquired a written statement by Queen Elizabeth (I) , that they could trade with the east. With the help of this statement the companies could sail across the oceans , looking for new lands or goods at a very cheap price and bring those goods back to Europe and sell them at higher prices.

The first English ship sailed round the Cape of Good Hope and crossed the Indian Ocean . Then they entered India and started looking for goods of their interests. India attracted those European companies for the following reasons:-

  • The lands in India we’re available at a very low price which were beneficial to the companies.
  • India produced a large amount of cotton and silk of superior quality which was in great demand in Europe.
  • There was a wide range of varieties of spices in India like pepper, cinnamon, cardamom etc.
  • The goods like Indian handicrafts, fine clothes found in India we’re of high qualities as they were hand-made goods.

5 . What were the area of conflicts between the Bengal Nawabs and the East India Company?

ANSWER : The East India Company located their first English factory on the banks of river Hooghly in 1651. When the trade started to expand, the company engaged many merchants and traders and convinced them to settle near the company.
Few years later the company started bribing the Mughal Emperors for giving them right on villages . Later they also convinced the Mughal Emperor , Aurangzeb  for granting them the right to trade duty-free.

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the conflicts between the Bengal Nawabs and the Company increased as the company increased and doubled the land revenue. Not even a revenue of 5percent was spent in the agricultural development or on introduction of new technologies to the cultivators of India . The peasants were under debt due to the increase in land revenue.

Murshid Quli Khan , Alivardi Khan, Sirajuddaulah , the Nawabs of Bengal strongly protested against the Company. They claimed that the company underestimated the power of the Nawabs . They also claimed that the company refused to pay taxes and had a very disrespectful behavior towards the Nawabs.

On the other hands the Company demanded to remove the taxes imposed on them and allow them to buy villages at a low cost so that they could flourish their trade . This led to a conflict between the Nawabs and the East India Company.

6 . How did the assumption of Diwani benefit the East India Company?

ANSWER : After the Battle of Buxar of 22nd October 1764, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and the Governor general of East India Company Robert Clive signed a treaty as the ‘Treaty of Allahabad’ .

It was signed on August 12 1765 which granted the East India Company the Diwani rights. This gave them the right to collect land revenue from the three provinces of Bengal-Bihar-Orissa . In return the Company had to pay an annual tribute to the Indian rulers.

This right also allowed the company to interfere with the political and administrative workings of the Indian rulers.  

The Diwani right was very beneficial for the East India Company in expanding and flourishing their trade all over India. The company start to collect land revenues from the three provinces. Later on , when their trade expanded they raised the land revenue into double. Those tax collected weren‘t or for the development of India. The company also denied to pay the annual tribute to the Indian rulers.

Earlier the British bought Indian goods in exchange of the gold which they brought from Britain but after the Diwani right stopped the exchange of gold . With the revenue collected from the provinces, they managed to buy the Indian products. The company also exploited a huge revenue from Bengal. With those extra tax collected the British led a very luxurious life and also built expensive forts in Calcutta for the benefits of the East India Company.

7 . Explain the system of “subsidiary alliance.”

ANSWER : The company after the Battle of Buxar (1764) appointed many representatives to serve the Company . Those officials often interfered with the political, economic, social affairs of Indian rulers. They often decided the successors of the thrones. The process continued for years and soon the company started the system of the subsidiary alliance.

Subsidiary alliance was a “ non intervention policy” in which the British company convinced the Indian rulers to pay a subsidy for the maintenance of their personalized army. In return the Company false promised protection to the Indian rulers against their enemies.  Lord Wellesley the Governor general from 1798-1805 used this system to develop the British Empire in India and conquer India.

  The subsidiary alliance in a way took away the independence of the Indian rulers. The Indian rulers couldn’t employ any merchants without the permission of the British Company . The Indian rulers couldn’t sign any agreement without prior permission from the company. Even the British appointed an official from the Company in the court of Indian rulers to note on their activities and the decisions taken by them.

In case the rulers were unable to pay the subsidy they had to give away half of their lands to the Company. For example:- In 1801, the Nawab of Awadh gave away half of his conquered land to the company as he couldn’t to pay the subsidy demanded by the Company. In 1798 , the Nizam of Hyderabad   also faced the same situation.

The system of subsidiary alliance was a major step taken to conquer India.

8 . In what ways the administration of Company was different from that of the Indian rulers?

ANSWER : There was a huge difference between the administrative system of the Company and the Indian rulers . The differences are as follows:-

  •  The Company divided it’s units as Presidencies whereas the Indian rulers divided its units as district like the district of Pargana etc.
  •  The Company appointed the Governors as the head of their units whereas the rich zamindars were the head of the Indian administration units.
  • The “Governor- general” was the head or rulers of the states in the unit of the company whereas the Indian rulers were “King or Nawabs”.
  • The Indian rulers were interested in battles , conquering lands whereas the company introduced many act for example: The Regulation Act of 1773, The Indian Council Act of 1909 etc.

9 . Describe the changes that occurred in the composition of the Company’s army.

ANSWER : Colonial rule introduced many changes in the rulers and regulations of the administration but the main source of power was the army. At that time , the Mughal army was divided into two sections the “ cavalry “ and the “ infantry” . Cavalry consisted of sawars that is soldiers were trained on horseback whereas the infantry consisted of “paidal soldiers”. They were given training on how to use swords and also in archery.   As the cavalry consisted of advanced trained soldiers, it dominated the army over infantry. As the sawars were very well-trained the Mughal ruler did not give much importance to the infantry.

In the 18th century there was a sudden change in the Mughal army. The Mughal rulers started appointing more peasants into their army for succeeding many states and started training then as professional soldiers. The East India Company also started doing the same and named them as sepoy.

In 1820, the technologies changed, the British soldiers were fighting with “muskets” (gun used by infantry soldiers) and “matchlock” ( gun in which the powder was ignited with match). During this time the infantry dominated the cavalry.

At the beginning of the 19th century the British began to develop a well developed army which included European way of training, where the Indian soldiers were forced to adopt the European way of training. This would often create a problem as the British did not think about the caste and religious issues of the Indian soldiers.

For example:- The British government passed the General Service Enlistment Act where the Indian soldiers could be sent overseas. But according to the traditional Brahmin it was a taboo to cross over-seas. This matter was totally ignored by the British which led to a feeling of resentment among them.

In 1856 the Company replaced the old fashioned musket by the new “ Enfield rifle”. The loading process included  biting off  the top greased paper with mouth. In 1857 , there was  rumors that the greased cartridge had fat of cow or pig. As the cow was sacred for Hindus and pig was a taboo for Muslims , they became sure that those were the strategies of the British Government to defile the Hindu and the Muslim religions.

Moreover, the Indian soldiers were ill-treated , ill-fed and badly housed. They were not allowed to we’re cast or sectarian marks, beards or turban. The British officials we’re give higher post in the army despite of their poor performance.

These were the changes in the Company’s army during the colonial rule.

10 . After the British conquest of Bengal, Calcutta grew from a small village to a big city. Find out about the culture, architecture and the life of Europeans and Indians of the city during colonial period.

ANSWER :After the British conquest of Bengal not only Calcutta, but the Indian society underwent many changes including the changes in culture, architecture and lifestyle.

Change in culture

Early in the nineteenth century , in Bengal certain social practices were performed such as female infanticide, child marriage, dowry system, sati polygamy and many more. These practices did not value the liberty and dignity of people specially of the women.  So, it was decided by the British government to introduce some acts which would focus on developing the conditions of people in Bengal.

The British introduced the abolition of Sati (1829), and Widow remarriage act(1856). This acts were welcomed by the educated leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar etc.

Western Education system was introduced by the British in many schools of Calcutta . English classes were developed by the Bengal Government in 1829 . English classes were also in Benaras Sanskrit colleges  . The pandits and the maulvis did not welcome the western education system and considered this as a threat to tradition and culture .

Change in architecture

The British conquest of Bengal led to a huge change in architecture of Bengal . The hand-made goods were replaced by the machine-made goods . The old art, paintings , handicrafts were not given any value after the western architecture were established by the British government. The traditional craftsmen , artisans had no more value as they couldn’t maintain the pace with the quick and easy technologies.

Moreover the rich Zamindars , peasants started building houses in Western designs . The British also introduced railways and telegraph’s in Calcutta which were misunderstood by people.

Change in lifestyle

The rich Zamindars started following Western culture, the English way of clothing. The clothes were easily available as they were machine-made so the people preferred the English clothing style rather than the traditional way of clothing. The western education system introduced by the British were well accepted by the people during the colonial period.

11. Collect pictures, stories, poem and information about any of the following__ the Rani of Jhansi, Mahadji Sindhia, Haidar Ali, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lord Dalhousie or any other contemporary ruler of your region. 


The Rani of Jhansi

Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi was known for her bravery that she showed against the British Raj and she was one of the leading figures of the  Indian Rebellion Act of 1857. She was born in Benaras (present day Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh) on 19 November 1828. Her father’s name was Moropant Tambe who was the ruler of the Kingdom of Kashi and mother’s name was Bhagirathi Sapre.

She was named as Manikarnika Tambe. Later , she became the queen of Jhansi and she reigned from 21 November 1853 to 10 March 1854 and  again from June 1857 to April 1858.

Manikarnika was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi , Gangadhar Rao Newalkar in May 1842. Manikarnika was known as Lakshmi Bai after her marriage. She gave birth to a baby boy named as Damodar Rao in 1851  who died soon after four months.

Later , Gangadhar Rao and Lakshmi Bai adopted a child named Anand Rao  who was renamed as Damodar Rao. The British officer had given a letter that the adopted child will be treated with full respect and the kingdom will be given to Lakshmi Bai after the death of Gangadhar Rao.

After the death of Gangadhar Rao Newalkar in November 1853, the British East India Company prohibited Damodar Rao ( Anand Rao) to be the next successor of the throne as he was the adopted son of Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. The Company applied the Doctrine of Lapse to conquer the kingdom of Jhansi. Lakshmi Bai protested against this and in 1854 , she was given a pension worth rupees 60,000 and ordered to leave the palace but Lakshmi Bai strongly opposed the British.

From August 1857 to January 1858 Jhansi was at peace. Soon after that Sir Hugh Rose laid siege to the fortress of Jhansi on 23rd March 1858. In March 1858 , Rani Lakshmi Bai resisted but Jhansi was captured by the British. Rani Lakshmi Bai escaped from the fortress on the night of April 4 1858 to join Tantia Tope at Kalpi.

Rani Lakshmi Bai and Tantia Tope captured the Fort of Gwalior from Sindhia . The Rani died fighting the British in Gwalior on June 17 , 1858 .

Mahadji Sindhia.

Mahadji Sindhia was a Maratha Statesman and ruler of Ujjain in Central India . He was the founder of Scindia dynasty . He was born on 3rd December 1730 . He reigned from 18th January to 12th February 1794.

Mahadji Sindhia was instrumental in  resurrecting Maratha power in North India after the Third battle of Panipat in 1761 and rose to become a trusted lieutenant of Peshwa. During his reign the Maratha Empire was on the top and had the strongest military power. In 1771, he helped Shah Alam II to restore the Mughals in Delhi. Mahadji Sindhia destroyed the power of Maratha during 1772-73 . He also destroyed the power of Pashtun Rohillas in Rohilkhand and captured Najibabad . In the First Anglo Maratha war he single handedly degraded the British in Central India and made them to sign the Treaty of Salbai in 1782. Later, on 12th February 1794 he died in Pune.

Haidar Ali.

Haider Ali was the sultan and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in Southern India. He was born in 1720 at Budikote , Kolar, Karnataka . He reigned from 1761 to 1782 .

He became the de facto ruler of Mysore as Chief Minister by 1761.

He provided a strong resistance against the British East India Company during the First and the Second Anglo-Mysore wars and also used the iron-cased rockets of Mysore.

He also developed the economical condition of Mysore . Haidar Ali was the first ruler of Mysore who was given the title of Nawab . By 1759 he was known as the “Nawab of Mysore”.

In his early life , it was said that he was blessed with an exceptional memory power and intelligence in numeric. Haider Ali with his great mathematical skills could perform with experts and also worked to develop a system . He often managed accounts, checks , with his chief financial assistant Khande Rao.

In 1766, a triple alliance was setup against Haider Ali which included the British, Ali Khan ( Nizam of Hyderabad) , and the Marathas and conquered Mangalore and also defeated the Bombay Army of the British . In the year 1780, he attacked the Karnatic region of South India , seized Arcot and destroyed a British detachment of 2800 men . But in 1781 , Haider Ali lost 10,000 men at Porto Novo at the battles of Porto Novo, Pollilur and Sholinghur . After  the arrival of George Macartney as Governor of Madras , he captured Nagappattinam and convinced Haider Ali that he could not stop the British forces. On 7th December 1782 Haider Ali died in Chittoor.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was known as the “Lion of Punjab” was the leader of Sikh Empire which ruled the Northwest subcontinent of India. He was born on 13 November 1780 at Gujranwala , Sukerchakia Misl , Sikh Confederacy. He reigned from 1792 to 1801. During his infancy , he was affected by small pox but he recovered but lost his left eye sight.

He fought his first war at the age of 10. After the death of his father, at teenage, he fought several wars to defeat the Afghans. At the age of 21 he was announced as the “Maharaja of Punjab”. He was the leading figure in the development of Punjab region.

Before he became the ruler of Punjab, there were many warring misls , twelve under the Sikh and one under the Muslim. He United all the Sikh confederacies and took over other local kingdoms to enlarge the Sikh Empire. He defeated the foreign armies specially the armies of Afghanistan and he also established a friendly relationship with the British.

Ranjit Singh’s reign introduced many acts of modernization, development of infrastructure and prosperity. His army consisted of Hindu , Sikhs, Muslims and Europeans. He rebuilt the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar as well as many other famous gurudwaras including Takt Sri Patna Sahib , Bihar and Hazur Sahib Nanded, Maharashtra.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was successful in capturing Lahore  in 1799 . Later, he shifted the entire central Punjab from the Sutlej to the Jhelum . The areas included north of Sutlej and Lahore, Multan of Pakistan. On 27 June 1839 Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in Lahore, Pakistan.

Lord Dalhousie.

James Andrew Broun- Ramsay , first Marquess  of Dalhousie, also known as Lord Dalhousie was a Scottish statesman and colonial administrator in British India. He was also known as the “Earl of Dalhousie” between 1838 and 1849.

He was the governor general of India from 1848 to 1856.

He was born on 22nd April 1812 in Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian Scotland.

Lord Dalhousie  introduced passenger trains in railways , electric telegraph and uniform postage in India which were known as the three engines of improvement. He was the founder of Public Works Department in India.

He was honored with the green ribbon to the “Order of the Thistle” .

He was known as the most hard working Governor general and would work for more than 18-20 hours per day .

He also worked hard in expanding the rich of the empire and in spite of having a bad back he used to ride long distances on horseback. He praised himself as the “ Orientalist monarch” .

He was also known as the modernizer of India as he transformed the traditional India into the Western India.

Instead of his good deeds he was highly criticized by the Indian rulers for his policy of Doctrine of Lapse which resulted in the uprising of 1857. Under his order in 1849 the British government captured the princely state of Punjab and in 1852 he also ordered the second Burmese war to capture Burma . After the uprising of 1857 he departed from India and returned England on 6th March and died on 19th December 1860 in Dalhousie Castle , United kingdom.

Extra questions with answers.

1 . Mark the correct option:-

a . Which one of the following was not a trading company?

1 . The Portuguese

2 . The Dutch

3 . The French

4 . The Japanese

ANSWER : 4. The Japanese.

b . What was Farman?

1 . Royal dress.

2 . Royal order.

3 . Royal food.

4 . Royal procession.

ANSWER : 2. Royal order.

c . The British who did the Company’s army against Sirajuddaulah at Plassey was

1 . Robert Clive.

2 . Lord Hastings.

3 . Edmund Bruke.

4 . Lord Dalhousie.

ANSWER : 1 . Robert Clive.

d . The Governor-general who introduced the policy of paramountcy

1 . Lord Hastings.

2 . Lord Dalhousie.

3 . Warren Hastings.

4 . Lord Bentick.

ANSWER : 1 . Lord Hastings.

e . The Governor-general who was impeached

1 . Lord Dalhousie.

2 . Lord Mountbatten.

3 . Warren Hastings.

4 . Lord Hastings.

ANSWER : 3 . Warren Hastings.

2 . Fill in the blanks:-

a . British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called ____________.

ANSWER : presidencies.

b . ______________ and ____________ were the two famous Maratha soldiers and statesman of 18th century.

ANSWER : Mahadji Sindhia and Nana Phadnavis.

c . The Company took over Awadh in the year ______.

ANSWER : 1856.

d . The principal figure in an Indian district was the _______.

ANSWER : collector.

e . ________ was the Nawab of Bengal after the defeat of Sirajuddaulah at Plassey.

ANSWER : Mir Jafar.

3 . State whether the following statements are true or false:-

a . The Maratha power was crushed in the third Anglo-Maratha war.

ANSWER : True.

b . The Company took away parts of territories from Punjab and Satara on the basis of “subsidiary alliance”.

ANSWER : False.

c . Sirajuddaulah got help from his commander Mir Jafar and finally won a victory in the Battle of Plassey.

ANSWER : False.

d . Lord Dalhousie’s “ Doctrine of Lapse” proved to be a total failure.

ANSWER : False.

4 . Give an account of the Battle of Plassey.

ANSWER : The Battle of Plassey which was held on 23rd June 1757 was the first huge victory of the British Company in India. In 1756, after the death of Alivardi Khan, Sirajuddaulah became the ruler or the “Nawab of Bengal”. The Company was a bit worried as they were eager to keep a puppet ruler who will rule in accordance with the Company and will also grant orders and petitions in the favor of the Company without making any troubles.

The Company tried to replace Sirajuddaulah by one of his opponents but the Company did not get any success. Sirajuddaulah strongly warned the Company to not interfere in their political matters. But the Company did not stop interfering, so Sirajuddaulah with 30,000 soldiers marched to the Company’s factory at Kassimbazar and conquered the Company’s official, disarmed them and locked the factory. Further , he moved towards Calcutta to conquer the English factory located there.

The British became furious on hearing the news and under the command of Robert Clive forces were sent . In 1757 finally Robert Clive ordered the Company’s army to go against Sirajuddaulah at Plassey. The Company defeated Sirajuddaulah at the Battle of Plassey.

It became possible for the Company to defeat Sirajuddaulah because one of his commanders Mir Jafar did not fight the Battle as he was promised by the Company that he would be the next Nawab after defeating  Sirajuddaulah. Sirajuddaulah was killed after the Battle of Plassey and  puppet ruler became the “Nawab of Bengal” that is Mir Jafar.

5 . Write a note on “ The Tiger of Mysore” _ Tipu Sultan.

ANSWER : Tipu Sultan the famous ruler of Mysore who was also known as Tipu Shahab or “ The Tiger of Mysore”, was born on 20th November 1750. During his reign , he started new administrative changes such as coinage system, new land revenue system which started the growth or production of Mysore silk industry and also expanded the iron-cased rockets of Mysore.

He used those rockets against the British forces during the Anglo-Mysore wars ,also focused on the economic development program and later in 18th century Mysore was known to have the world’s highest real wages and living standards.

Tipu Sultan reigned from 10th  December 1782 to 4th May 1799 and was the successor of Haider Ali. During his reign , the economic condition of Mysore flourished a lot. Tipu Sultan won a major victory against the British in the Second Anglo-Mysore war and was also successful in forcing the British to sign the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784.

Under the orders passed by Tipu Sultan in 1785, the export of sandalwood and spices such as pepper , cardamom to the East India Company was stopped. He also established a friendly relationship with the French in India and used them to modernize his army.

Tipu Sultan was an irreplaceable enemy of the British East India Company. In the Third Anglo-Mysore war he was defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Seringapatam . He also lost many of his conquered lands such as Malabar and Mangalore.

In the forth Anglo-Mysore war, the British East India Company with the help of the Maratha defeated  Tipu Sultan and he was killed on 4th May 1799 while defeating the Fort of Seringapatam. Later Tili Sultan was credited as secular ruler who fought against British colonialism.

6 . Describe the policy of “Doctrine of Lapse” introduced by Lord Dalhousie.

ANSWER : In 1852, the Governor-general of British , Lord Dalhousie expanded  the British control over India by introducing the “Doctrine of Lapse”. Lord Dalhousie introduced this policy to seize many kingdoms .  According to this policy, heirs adopted by the deceased rulers without the proper consent of the British government will only be allowed to enjoy the private properties of the rulers .  The control of the territory will be under the British Government.

There were many states which were annexed by the British in absence of a natural heir. For example:- Satara (1848) , Jaitpur and Sambalpur (1849) , Chota Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853) , Nagpur (1854). The titles and pensions of the deceased ruler were taken away by the Company after the introduction of the Doctrine of Lapse .

Regal titles of the Nawabs of Carnatic and Tanjore were taken away . The people in India were extremely dissatisfied with the principle of Lapse which was one of the reason for the Great uprising movement of 1857. With the help of the Doctrine of Lapse the British conquered almost half of India. This policy played a key role in expanding the British rule in India.

7 . Who introduced the “policy of paramountcy”? What did this policy mean?

ANSWER : Lord Hastings who was the Governor-general from 1813 to 1823 introduced policy of paramountcy. According to the policy of paramountcy it was declared by the Company that they were Paramount or supreme. They also claimed that its power was  greater as compared to the Indian states. With the help of the policy of paramountcy , the Company could conquer any Indian kingdom.

The policy of paramountcy extremely hurt the sentiments of the Indian rulers. Many of the rulers challenged the Company. For example:- with the help of the policy , the Company tried to annex a small states of Kitoor.

Rani Channamma took a leading step and raised an anti-British movement. In 1824 she was arrested by the Company and in 1829 she died in prison. After her death, a poor chowkidar named Rayanna continued the anti-British movement started by Rani Channamma. He destroyed many British camps and records with the help of strong supports  . Finally, in 1830 he was caught and hanged by the British.