Chapter 3

Class 10
3. Write a note to explain the effects of the following: (A)The British government’s decision to abolish the Corn Laws. (B)The coming of rinderpest to Africa. (C)The death of men of working-age in Europe because of the World War.


Write in Brief

Write a note to explain the effects of the following:

(A)The British government’s decision to abolish the Corn Laws.

(B)The coming of rinderpest to Africa.

(C)The death of men of working-age in Europe because of the World War.

(D)The Great Depression on the Indian economy.

(E)The decision of MNCs to relocate production to Asian countries.


(A) Effects of the British government’s decision to abolish the Corn Laws were as follows :

  • Food could be imported into Britain more cheaply than it could be produced within the country.
  • Vast areas of land were left uncultivated. As a result of it thousands of men and women became unemployed. They shifted to cities and settled there, Many migrated overseas in search of work.

(B) The coming of rinderpest or cattle plague to Africa : Rinderpest arrived in Africa in the late 1880s. It was carried by infected cattle imported from British Asia to feed the Italian soldiers invading Eritrea in East Africa. Entering Africa in the east, rinderpest moved west ‘like forest fire’ and reached Africa’s Atlantic coast in 1892. It had a terrifying impact on people’s livelihood and the local economy as mentioned below:

  • On its way it killed 90 per cent of the cattle.
  • The loss of cattle destroyed African livelihoods.
  • Planters, mine owners and colonial governments monopolized the remaining cattle resources and strengthened their power. They forced the Africans into the labor market.
  • Control over the remaining cattle resource enabled European colonizers to conquer and sub-due Africa. The coming of rinderpest shows how in an era of conquest even a disease affecting cattle reshaped the lives and fortunes of thousands of people and their relations with the rest of the world.

(C) The death of men of working age in Europe because of the world war had the following effects:

  • The death and injuries reduced the able-bodied work force in Europe.
  • Almost in every family some members had died during the war. Thus, with fewer numbers within the family, household incomes declined after the war.

(D) The effects of the Great Depression on the Indian economy were as given below:

  • By the early twentieth century the global economy had become integrated. The crisis in one part of the world quickly affected the other parts affecting lives, economies, and societies. Colonial India had become an exporter of agricultural goods and importer of manufacturers. Thus the depression affected Indian trade badly. The exports and imports decreased to half
  • between 1928 and 1934.
  • Prices in India fell sharply. For example, between 1928 and 1934, wheat prices fell by 50 percent.
  • The peasants suffered more than the urban people. In spite of the fall in agricultural prices, the government did not reduce the land revenue. Peasants producing for the world market were the worst hit e.g., the collapse of gunny exports led to crash in the price of raw jute to more than 60 percent.
  • In general peasants’ indebtedness increased. They used their savings, mortgaged lands, and sold their jewelry and precious metals to meet their expenses.
  • India, however, became an exporter of gold. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes thought that Indian gold exports promoted global economic recovery.
  • In urban India, the condition of people was, however, better because prices had fallen and they with their fixed incomes could purchase more. Industrial investment also increased due to tariff protection to industries under the pressure of the nationalists.
  • Thus, the Great Depression had affected adversely the rural economy but it was less harmful for urban India.

(E) The decision of MNCs to relocate production to Asian countries had the following effects:

  • l It stimulated world trade and capital flows.
  • l Low wages in countries like China had made these countries attractive destinations for investments by foreign MNCs competing to capture world markets. For example, Indian markets are flooded with most of the TVs, mobile phones, and toys that are made in China. This is because of the low-cost structure of the Chinese economy, most importantly its low wages.
  • l The world’s economic geography has been transformed as countries such as India, China and Brazil have undergone a rapid economic transformation. For example, India has followed policies of liberalization and globalization.

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