Chapter 4: The Making of Global World

 Short Answer Type Questions. [3 Marks]

1. Why did the European employers find it difficult to recruit labour in Africa? Give two methods they used to recruit and retain labour.

Ans. European employers found it difficult to recruit labour in Africa because Africa had

(i) abundant land and resources;

(ii) a small population. For centuries land and livestock sustained African livelihood. People rarely worked for a wage.

Following methods were used by Europeans to recruit labour:

(i) Europeans, to attract labour, imposed heavy taxes which could only be paid by working for wages on plantations and mines.

(ii) They changed inheritance laws to displace peasants from the land; only one member of a family was allowed to inherit the land. This pushed the rest in the labour market.

 2. Explain the impact of the First World War on the British economy.

Ans. The First World War had a great impact on the economic life of the people of Britain. During the war, industries were restructured to produce war-related goods. Entire societies were reorganised for war. Women had to step in to take up jobs that earlier only men were expected to do. The men had gone to fight.

After the war, economic recovery proved difficult for Britain. The war had led to an economic boom due to a large increase in demand, production and employment. As the war boom ended, it resulted in less production and increased unemployment. In 1921, one in every five British workers was out of work. It created anxiety and uncertainty about work.

Many agricultural economies also suffered a crisis. During the war, Canada, America and Australia had expanded dramatically as suppliers of wheat while Europe had declined. The glut in wheat led to falling in grain prices, rural incomes declined and farmers fell into debt.

Britain, which was a leading economic power, had to borrow large sums of money from US banks. This led to increased suffering of people.

 3. Write a short note on the effects of the Second World War.

Ans. The Second World War was more devastating than the First World War. About 3 per cent of the world’s population perished, more so the civilians than the fighting soldiers. Two crucial developments shaped the post-war scenario of which the first one was the emergence of the USA and the USSR as superpowers. The second was the establishment of international organisations like the UNO, IMF, and World Bank to maintain peace and economic stability.

4. Briefly summarise the two lessons learned by the economists and politicians from the post-war economic experience.

Ans. In the post-war system, two lessons were learned by the economists and politicians. One was to ensure mass consumption in industrial society by high and stable income. Another one was to ensure full employment and government control of flows of goods, capital and labour.

Therefore, they aimed to establish a stable economy and provide full employment in the industrial nations through the Bretton Woods institutions, namely, the IMF and the World Bank.

5. What was the Corn Law? Why was the Corn Law abolished? What was the result of the abolishing of Corn Law?

Ans. Population growth along with the expansion of industries and urban centres in Britain pushed up the prices of food grains. Under pressure from landlords, the government restricted the import of corn.

‘Corn Laws’ were laws passed by the British government to restrict the import of corn. Corn Laws led to high food prices because the demand for food grains had gone up in the urban and industrial cities. This led to the abolition of Corn Laws, forced on the government by industrialists and urban dwellers.

The result was that food could be imported cheaply in Britain. British agriculture was unable to compete with imports. Import of cheap food led to vast areas of land being left uncultivated, rendering thousands of men and women without jobs. People migrated to cities or overseas.

6. What role did silk route play between the Chinese and the Romans?

Ans. The Romans learned about the silk route from the Parthians around 53 B.C.E. They used the word “Seres” or the silk people to refer to the Chinese. Though there was no direct evidence of any Roman merchants or Chinese in both the civilisations, silk was most coveted in Rome. Roman items were popular in China too.

7. Define the term ‘trade surplus’. How was the income received from a trade surplus with India used by Britain?

Ans. Over the 19th century, British manufacturers flooded the Indian market. Foodgrains and raw material exports from India to Britain increased. But the value of British exports to India was much higher than the value of British imports from India. Thus, Britain had a trade surplus with India.

(i) Britain used this surplus to balance its trade deficits with other countries, that is, with countries from which Britain was importing more than it was selling to them.

(ii) Britain’s trade surplus in India also helped pay the so-called “home charges” that included private remittances sent home by British officials and traders, interest payments on India’s external debt and pensions of British officials in India.

8. Explain with examples how technology helped in solving problems of food availability throughout the world in the 19th century.

Ans. The nineteenth-century witnessed a high rate of growth in industrial and agricultural products.

(i) Technological development was accelerated by industrial growth and increasing world trade. Colonies also provided the resources and markets which sustained the industrial growth. Thus, railways were needed to link agricultural regions to the ports from where the goods were transported to more destinations, thereby increasing food availability.

(ii) Shipbuilding also became an important industry and countries competed to control the trade routes on seas. Technology helped in the larger social, political and economic factors. For example, steamships and railways helped in carrying large volumes of trading materials between long and inaccessible distances.

(iii) A fine example of the interdependence of technology and economy was the trade-in meat.

The invention of refrigerated ships and the use of chemicals which preserved perishable items for longer period lowered shipping costs and meat prices in Europe.

 9. What is Group-77? Why did Group 77 countries demand a New International Economic Order (NIEO)?


Explain what is referred to as the G-77. In what ways can G-77 be seen as a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods twins?

Ans. The IMF and the World Bank or the Bretton Woods twins served in the reconstruction of these nations. In the process, large corporations of powerful nations like the USA often managed to secure economic and other extra-territorial rights over weaker nations.

The economic advances made by the West and Japan in the 1950s and 1960s did not benefit most of the developing countries.

As a reaction to the activities of the Bretton Woods twins, they organised themselves into a group known as the Group of 77 or G-77 in order to demand a new international economic order (NIEO). The NIEO stood for a system that would give these nations real control over their natural resources, more development assistance, fairer prices for raw materials, better access for manufactured goods in their markets.