Peasants and Farmers: Class 9 Social Science Notes

Class 9 Social Science Question Answer

peasant and farmers social science

1. Discuss the westward expansion of white settlers in America.

Solution: After the American War of Independence the westward movement of white settlers began. The early 19th century saw the movement of 700000 settlers through passes onto the Appalachian plateau. The country of America seemed to be a land of opportunities. The country promised cultivated fields, timber from forests, minerals from mountains, etc. But this required the land to be free from the American Indians.

The government adopted a policy to drive out the Indians beyond the river Mississippi which led to many wars and confrontations. Victories and defeats were suffered by both sides but later on, Indians were forced into submission. Treaties were signed and Indians moved westward after giving up their land.

Class 9 Social Science

The settlers occupied the vacated area, cleared, and started to do cultivation. Initially, the soil was fertile, and good crops were harvested. Soon the soil began to lose its fertility. This forced the settlers to move westward in search of new land. By the 1860s, they had occupied the Great Plains across Mississippi.

2. What were the problems associated with wheat expansion in the USA? Discuss the problems with special reference to mechanization and the Dust Bowl.

Solution: In the 19th century, there was a great expansion of wheat cultivation in the USA. With an increase in population, demand for wheat was also increasing. The expansion was made possible by new technologies and tools modified to suit their needs. Now farmers were using tractors and disk ploughs to clear land for cultivation. Mechanical reapers were used to gather and cut harvest.

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science

By the early 20th century, combined harvesters were being used to cut grains. Now with power-driven machinery large tracts of land could be ploughed, seeded, and harvested within a short period.

But there were other problems. Mechanization brought with it many problems for the poor peasants. They bought those machines with the bank loans offered to them, but they found it difficult to pay back the loans. With no money to repay the loans, the farmers left their farms and started to look for a jobs.

In addition to that, a terrifying dust storm began to blow, making life to live breathing, eating, drinking, and even talking. During the dust storms, the skies became black, and the dust blew in, blinded and choked people and animals. These storms even killed the fish living in the water and also did not spare the machines.

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3. Why were the farmers of Bengal unwilling to grow opium in their farms?

Solution: The farmers of Bengal were unwilling to grow opium in their farms because of the following reasons-

  • Many cultivators owned no land. They cultivated land after taking it on rent or on lease. The farmers had to pay the rent for their land to the landlords. This rent was very high.
  • Poppy plants grow well on fertile and well-manured fields. Such fields were used to grow pulses. They could not afford to shift this crop to areas that were not fertile as it would give them a poor and uncertain yield.
  • The cultivation of opium was difficult and time-consuming as the plants required to be looked after. As a result, the cultivators would not have time to look after their other produce.
  • The price the government paid for the opium produced was very low and would not provide the farmers with profits.

4. Which system was introduced by the British to make the unwilling cultivators to produce opium?

Solution: The system introduced by the British to make the unwilling cultivators produce opium was a system of advances.

The rural areas of Bengal and Bihar had many poor peasants. These peasants had no steady means of income to survive. When they were introduced to this system of advances they readily agreed. They hoped that after meeting their immediate needs they would later repay the loans. They did not realize that accepting the loan would lead them to a vicious circle.

Hence, after accepting the loan or advances the peasants would –

  • Not grow any other crop in their fields except opium.
  • Do not sell the crop to anyone else except the government.
  • Not decide the price of the crop himself.

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5. Mention two positive and negative impacts of enclosure.

Solution: Two positive impacts of enclosure:

  • The enclosure was viewed as important for long-term investments in land and for planning crop rotation to improve the soil.
  • The enclosures made the landlords affluent. The enclosed land became the exclusive property of the landowner.

Two negative impacts of Enclosure:

  • Villagers no longer had customary rights over the land. Entry into common lands was restricted and prohibited.
  • The land was fenced and became the exclusive property of the landowner.

6. After the 1930s, the Americans realized that they had to respect the ecological conditions of each region. How did they learn this lesson?

Solution: The early 1930s were the years of persistent drought. It hits the mid-western and southern plains. Dust bowls from dry, unploughed, and overgrazed land. Rains failed year after year the temperature rose and the soil became dry. The entire soil was stripped of all grass that had held the soil. The land was plowed after being stripped of natural vegetation. Tractors had broken the ground into dust. The entire area had become a dust bowl.

After the 1930s, they realized and began to respect the ecological conditions of every region. Farmers were encouraged to practice soil-conserving and farming techniques. New laws were made and re-ploughing work was done on the land.

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Class 9 Social Science Notes

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