Chapter 4

NCERT
Class 10
History
Solutions
3. Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an Encyclopaedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.

Question:

Imagine that you have been asked to write an article for an Encyclopaedia on Britain and the history of cotton. Write your piece using information from the entire chapter.

Answer:

Britain and the History of Cotton During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, merchants would trade with rural people in textile production. A clothier would buy wool from a wool stapler, carry it to the spinners, and then, take the yarn to the weavers, fuller and dyers for further levels of production. London was the finishing centre for these goods. This phase in British manufacturing history is known as proto-industrialization.

In this phase, cotton was the leading sector in the first stage of industrialization. Most inventions in the textile production sector were met with disregard and hatred by the workers because machines implied less hand labor and lower employment needs. The Spinning Jenny was one such invention. Women in the woolen-industry opposed and sought to destroy it because it was taking over their place in the labour market.

Before such technological advancements, Britain imported silk and cotton goods from industry in India to its full potential, often by force, for the benefit of Britain. Later, Manchester became the hub of cotton production. Subsequently, India was turned into the major buyer of British cotton goods. During the First World War, British factories were too busy providing for war needs. Hence, demand for Indian textiles rose once again. The history of cotton in Britain is replete with such fluctuations of demand and supply.

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