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Class 10 Class 12

The Making of a Global World

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The Inter-war Economy

The First World War (1914- 1918) was mainly fought in Europe. It transformed the social, economic and political structure of the world.

India and the Great Depression

  1. The depression affected Indian trade as well. Between 1928 and 1934, the imports and exports of India became nearly half. During this period, the wheat prices in India fell by 50%.
  2. Peasants and farmers suffered more than urban urban dwellers. Inspite of falling prices of farm produce, the government continued to demand the same revenue from the farmers.
  3. Across India, peasants’ indebtedness increased. Many farmers were forced to utilize their savings, sell their lands and jewellery. In these depression years, India became a net exporter of precious metals.
  4. The depression proved less grim for urban India. With falling prices, many urban landowners and salaried people found the life much easier.
  5. Under pressure from the nationalist leaders, the industrial protection grew which led to more investment in the industries.

Post-war Recovery

  1. Britain faced a steep war-debt and her position as a world economic power ended.
  2. Britain was unable to compete with Japan at the international level. At the end of war, Britain was under huge debts from the U.S.
  3. During the war, there was increased demand for goods which resulted in economic boom in Britain.
  4. After the war ended, the demand drastically fell to come in tune with the peace-time economy. About 20% of the British workers lost their job after the war.
  5. Many agricultural economies were also in crisis. 
  6. Before the war, Eastern Europe was a major supplier of wheat in the world market.
  7. After the war, production in eastern Europe revived and resulted in a glut of wheat in the market and prices fell. This created havoc in the rural economy.

Rise of Mass Production and Consumption

  1. In the U.S. recovery was quicker. During the 1920s, the unique feature of the US economy was mass production.
  2. Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motors was the pioneer of mass production in factories.
  3. Mass Production helped in increasing productivity and reducing prices. Workers began to earn better in the US and hence had better disposable income.
  4. The housing and consumer boom of the 1920s created the basis of prosperity in the US.
  5. In 1923, the US resumed exporting capital to the rest of the world and became the largest overseas lender.
  6. This also helped in European recovery and boosted the world trade for the next six years.

The Great Depression

  1. The Great Depression began around 1929 and lasted till the mid1930s. 
  2. During this period most parts of the world experienced catastrophic declines in production, employment, incomes and trade.
  3. The depression was caused by a combination of several factors:
    1. Agricultural overproduction remained a problem.
    2. In the mid-1920s, many countries financed their investments through loans from the US.
  4. Withdrawl of US loan affected many countries in various ways.
  5. The U.S. itself was most severely affected by depression. Prices were falling and the economy was in bad shape.
  6. Unemployment level increased and banks were unable to collect loans.
  7. Thousands of banks in the US went bankrupt. By 1993, over 4000 banks had closed. Between 1929 and 1932, about 110,000 companies collapsed in the U.S.
  8. In most of the economies, a modest recovery began by 1935.

Wartime Transformations

  1. The first world war was fought between tow power bloc. On one were the allies - Britan, France, Russia and later joined the US. and on the opposite side -Germany, Austria, Hungary and Ottoman and Turkey.
  2. The war killed 9 million and injured 20 million people by using new, modern weapons of mass destruction.
  3. Most of the killed and maimed were men of working age. These deaths and injuries reduced the able-bodied workforce in Europe.
  4. During the war, industries were restructured to produce war-related goods.
  5. The war led to the snapping of economic links between some of the world’s largest economic powers of the world.
  6. The USA became an international creditor of Europe, Russia became a communist country in 1917.
  7. The League of Nations was formed to end all future wars.