How, When and Where- Ncert / Cbse Revision Notes & Question Answers


Importance of Dates

Certain historical events need to be seen in the context of dates. A major part of history is about kings and rulers. Ascension of a ruler to the throne, important battles fought by him and succession of power are some of the events which can be expressed with reference to time. Dates are important for correlating such events.

Some events do not happen on a particular date but take a very long period to materialize. For example; the freedom of India took many years of mass struggle to turn into a reality. Such events are studied in the context of various other events.
James Mill: James Mill was a Scottish economist and political philosopher. In 1817, he wrote A History of British India. Mills divided the Indian history into three periods and called them Hindu, Muslim and British periods.

Criticism of Mill’s Periodisation:

How, When and Where-,Ncert / Cbse Revision Notes, Question Answers, NCERt Solution

Although Hinduism is the religion of most of the Indians; the Muslim period did not begin one fine day. Muslims had been living in India from much earlier than beginning of the Islamic rule in India. Even during the peak of the Mughal Empire, there were many territories which were ruled by Hindu kings. Moreover, the British projected the so called Hindu and Muslim periods as the dark ages. They thought that the British rule would take India towards enlightenment. This was also a wrong notion.

Periodisation by Other Historians:

 Some other historians divided the Indian history into three periods, viz. ancient, medieval and modern. This periodisation too had its shortcomings. Compared to the modern period, the medieval and ancient periods were projected as the dark ages which were devoid of scientific knowledge. On the contrary, there had been various scientific advancements during the ancient and medieval periods.
Administrative RecordsOfficial records of the British administration serve as important source of history of this period. The British rulers believed that every instruction, plan, policy, decision, agreement, investigation should be clearly written up. This was necessary for proper study and debate about an issue. They carefully preserved all official records and created several archives for the purpose.
While these records provide valuable information, we need to be careful while interpreting them. We should keep in mind that those records were written from the perspective of the British officials. They may have overlooked certain issues or may have modified certain aspects to suit their needs.
Surveys
The British believed that a country should be known in a better way to rule it in a better way. Detailed surveys were conducted in the 19th century to map the country. Revenue surveys were conducted in villages. Surveys were also conducted about flora and fauna. Census was conducted to collect data about caste and religious composition of the Indian population.

NCERT Solution & Important Questions Answers of Class 8

Question – 1 - State whether true or false:
  1. James Mill divided Indian history into three periods – Hindu, Muslim, Christian.
  2. Official documents help us understand what the people of the country think.
  3. The British thought surveys were important for effective administration.
Answer: (a) True, (b) False, (c) True

Question – 2 - What is the problem with the periodisation of Indian history that James Mill offers?
Answer: Although Hinduism is the religion of most of the Indians; the Muslim period did not begin one fine day. Muslims had been living in India from much earlier than beginning of the Islamic rule in India. Even during the peak of the Mughal Empire, there were many territories which were ruled by Hindu kings. Moreover, the British projected the so called Hindu and Muslim periods as the dark ages. They thought that the British rule would take India towards enlightenment. This was also a wrong notion
.
Question – 3 - Why did the British preserve official documents?
Answer: Official records of the British administration serve as important source of history of this period. The British rulers believed that every instruction, plan, policy, decision, agreement, investigation should be clearly written up. This was necessary for proper study and debate about an issue. Hence, they carefully preserved all official records and created several archives for the purpose.

Question – 4 - How will the information historians get from old newspapers be different from that found in police reports?
Answer: A police report may give a version which was suited to the rulers of that time. A newspaper may project a different story. Projection in newspaper depends on the leaning of the newspaper towards a particular powerful group in the contemporary period.

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