- The Coming of Modern Agriculture in England
- Bread Basket and Dust Bowl – Case Study of US
- The Indian Farmer and Opium Production
• This chapter deals with the lives of peasants and farmers of three locations:
→ the small cottagers in England.
→ the wheat farmers of the USA.
→ the opium producers of Bengal.
The Coming of Modern Agriculture in England
→ Rich farmers began dividing and enclosing common land
• After the mid-eighteenth century, this enclosure process expanded through the countryside.
• British Parliament passed 4000 Acts legalizing these enclosures.
New Demands for Grain
→ Rise in Population
→ People began to live and work in urban areas
→ War between France and England
The Age of Enclosures
(i) bringing new land under cultivation
(ii) growing turnip and clover, these crops improved the soil and made it more fertile.
What Happened To the Poor?
→ Now everything was available on payment basis only
• By 1800, labourers were being paid wages and employed only during harvest time.
The Introduction of Threshing Machines
Bread Basket and Dust Bowl – Case Study of US
The Wheat Farmers
The Coming of New Technology
• Before the 1830s, to harvest crop they initially used cradle or sickle.
→ In 1831 Cyrus McCormick invented the first Mechanical reaper.
• By early twentieth century, most farmers were using combined harvesters to cut grain.
What Happened to the Poor?
• Unsold foodgrains stocks piled up.
→ Wheat prices fell and export markets collapsed.
→ This created the grounds for the Great Agrarian Depression of the 1930s.
• People were blinded and choked, cattle were suffocated to death.
• Sand buried fences, covered fields and coated the surfaces of rivers till the fish died.
→ Machines were logged with dust, damaged beyond repair.
• The entire landscape was ploughed, stripped of all grass, tractors had turned the soil over and broken the sod into dust.
• They came because the early 1930s were years of persistent drought.
The Indian Farmer and Opium Production
• By the end of the nineteenth century, India became a major center for the production of sugarcane, cotton, jute, wheat and several other crops for export.
A Taste for Tea: The Trade with China
• The Confucian rulers of China, the Manchus were not willing to allow the entry of foreign goods. → English could buy tea only by paying in silver coins or bullion which meant an outflow of treasure from England.
• The English traders wanted a community which could be easily sold in China so that the import of tea could be financed in a profitable way.
• Western merchants began an illegal trade in opium in the mid-eighteenth century.
Where did Opium come from?
• With the growth of the market for opium in China, export from Bengal ports increased.
• The Indian farmers were not willing to produce opium because:
→ They were not willing to divert their best fields for opium cultivation because it would have resulted in poor production cereals and pulses.
→ Many cultivators did not own land. For opium cultivation, they had to lease land from landlords and pay rent.
→ The cultivation of opium was a difficult process and time-consuming.
→ The government paid a very low price for the opium which made it an unprofitable proposition.
How Were Unwilling Cultivators Made to Produce Opium?
• The cultivator also had to accept the low price offered for the produce.
• British wanted to buy very cheap and sell at high premium to the opium agents in Calcutta. Thus, the British wanted to earn huge profit in the opium trade.
• By the early eighteenth century, the cultivators began to refuse the advances.
→ Many cultivators sold their crop to traveling traders who offered higher prices.
• By 1773, the British government in Bengal had established a monopoly to trade in opium.
• By the 1820s, the British found that there was a drastic fall in opium production in their territories.
• The production of opium was increasing outside the British territories.
→ It was produced in Central India and Rajasthan which were not under British control. The local traders in these regions were offering much higher prices to peasants.
• The Government instructed its agents in those princely states to confiscate all opium and destroy the crops.
- Notes and Study Material of Chapter 1- French Revolution History Class 9th
- Notes and Study Material of Chapter 2- Socialism in Europe and Russian Revolution History Class 9th
- Notes and Study Material of Chapter 3- Nazism and the Rise of Hitler History Class 9th
- Notes and Study Material of Chapter 4- Forest Society and Colonialism History Class 9th
- Notes and Study material of Chapter 5- Pastoralists in the Modern World History Class 9th