Q.1:- Explain the following
(a) Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny.
(b) In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
(c) The port of Surat declined by the end of the eighteenth century.
(d) The East India Company appointed Gomasthas to supervise weavers in India.
(a) James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny in 1764. This machine speeded up the spinning process and reduced the demand for labour. By the use of this machine, a single worker could turn a number of spindles, and spin several threads at a time. Due to this many weavers would become unemployed. It was the fear of unemployment which made women workers, who survived on hand-spinning, attack the new machines.
(b)World trade expanded at very fast rate during the 17th and 18th centuries. The acquisition of colonies was also responsible for the increase in demand. The producers in the towns failed to produce the required quantity of cloth. The producers could not expand the production in the towns because urban crafts and trade guilds were powerful. These were the associations of producers that restricted the entry of new people into the trade.
The rulers granted different guilds the monopoly right to produce and the trade in. specific products. It was therefore difficult for new merchants to set up business in towns. So, they turned to the countryside.
(c) (i) The European companies were gaining power by securing a variety of concessions from the local courts.
(ii) It was very difficult for the Indian merchants and traders to face the competition as most of the European countries had huge resources.
(iii) Some of the European companies got the monopoly rights to trade. All this resulted in the decline of Surat Port by the end of the eighteenth century. In the last years of the seventeenth century, the gross value of trade that passed through Surat had been ` 16 million. By the 1740s, it had slumped to ` 3 million. With the passage of time, Surat and Hoogly decayed, while Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) grew.
(d) The company tried to eliminate the existing traders and brokers connect with the cloth trade, and establish a more direct control over the weavers. It appointed a paid servant called Gomastha to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth.