"The colonial cities provided new opportunities for women during the 19th century." Give two examples.  Explain any three values which encouraged women for their empowerment.   from History Class 12 CBSE Year 2014 Free Solved Previous Year Papers




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CBSE History 2014 Exam Questions

Short Answer Type


"The colonial cities provided new opportunities for women during the 19th century." Give two examples.

 Explain any three values which encouraged women for their empowerment.



 (i) Women sought to express themselves through the mediums of journals, autobiographies and books.

 (ii) They entered new professionals in the city as domestic and factory workers, teachers, and theatre and film actresses.

 The values:

 (i) There was an increasing demand for clerks, teachers, doctors, engineers and accountants.

 (ii) They had access to new educational institutions such as schools, colleges and libraries.

 (iii) A new public sphere of debate and discussion emerged, social customs, norms and practices came to be questioned.


Long Answer Type


17.1 On the Political outline map of India, locate and label the following:

 (a)  Dholavira

 (b) Lumbini

 (17.2)  On the same outline map of India three places related to the Indian National Movement have been marked as 1,2 and 3. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them.

 Note: The following questions are only for the Visually Impaired Candidates in lieu of the Map Question No. 17:

 (17.1)  Mention any two mature Harappan sites.

 (17.2)  Mention names of any three important places related to Indian National Movement.

 Note: The following questions are only for the Visually Impaired Candidates in lieu of the Map Question No. 17:

(17.1)  Mature Harappan Sites – Banawali and Kalibangan.

(17.2)  Important places Of Indian National Movement- Champaran, Kheda and Ahmedabad.



Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follows:

Samudragupta In praise of Samudragupta

 This is an excerpt from the Prayaga Prashasti:

 He was without an antagonist on earth; he, by the overflowing of the multitude of (his)  many good qualities adorned by hundreds of good actions, has wiped off the fame of other kings with the soles of (his)  feet; (he is)  Purusha (the Supreme Being) , being the cause of the prosperity of the good and the destruction of the bad (he is)  incomprehensible; (he is)  one whose tender heart can be captured only by devotion and humility; (he is)  possessed of  compassion; (he is)  the giver of many hundred thousands of cows; (his)  mind has received ceremonial initiation for the uplift of the miserable, the poor, the forlorn and the suffering; (he is)  resplendent and embodied kindness to mankind; (he is)  equal to (the gods)  Kubera (the god of wealth) , Varuna (the god of the ocean) , Indra (the god of rains)  and Yama (the god of death) ….

 (14.1) Who wrote the above Prashasti? State the importance of Prashasti.

 (14.2) Mention any three qualities of the ruler described in the excerpt.

 (14.3) How far are these values, shown by the rulers, relevant in the contemporary society? Explain.



                                                      Why kinfolk quarreled


This is an excerpt from the Adi Parvan (literally, the First section) of the Sanskrit Mahabharata, describing why conflicts arose amongst the Kauravas and Pandavas:


The Kauravas were the.... of Dhritarashtra, and the Pandavas ... were their cousins. Since Dhritarashtra was blind, his younger brother Pandu ascended the throne of Hastinapura ... However, after the premature death of Pandu, Dhritarashtra became king, as the royal princes were still very young.  As the princes grew up together' the citizens of Hastinapura began to express-their preference for the Pandavas, for they were more capable and virtuous than the Kauravas. This made Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, jealous. He approached his father and said; "You yourself did not receive the throne, although it fell to you, because of-your defect.  If the Pandava receives the patrimony from Pandu, his son will surely inherit it in turn, and so will his son, and his. We ourselves with our sons shall be excluded from the royal succession and become of slight regard in the eyes of the world, lord of the earth!”

 (14.1)  Explain about the worries of Duryodhana that he expressed to his father.

 (14.2)  Mention the criteria for becoming king as suggested in the excerpt.

 (14.3)  Why did the citizens of Hastinapura express their preference for the Pandavas?

(14.1) Harishena, the court poet of Samudragupta, had written the above Prashasti. Historians often attempt to draw factual information from such compositions, those who composed and read them often treasured them as works of poetry.

 (14.2)  Samudragupta is compared to gods as:

  (i) He was without an antagonist on earth and was adorned by Hundreds for multitude of overflowing good qualities.

 (ii) He being the cause of the prosperity of the good and destruction of the bad.

 (iii) He was resplendent and embodied kindness to mankind.

(14.3) It is relevant to a great extent in the contemporary society as the same values have to borne by rulers of todays to reflect the expectation of its people. He should be humbly connected to the people of his states.


 Duryodhana expressed that they their selves and with their sons would be excluded from the royal succession and become of slight regard in the eyes of the world, lord of the earth.

 (14.2) under patriliny, sons could claim the resources including the throne in the case of kings of their fathers when the latter died. Sometimes there were no sons, in that situations brothers succeeded one another and sometimes other kinsmen claimed the throne.

 (14.3)  The citizens of Hastinapura express their preference for the Pandavas as they were more capable and virtuous than the Kauravas.




A News Paper Reports

 The following report, titled 'The ryot and the moneylender', appeared in the Native Opinion (6 June, 1876), and was quoted in Report of the Native Newspapers of Bombay:

 They (the ryots) first place spies on the boundaries of their villages to see if any Government officers come, and to give timely’ intimation of their arrival to the offenders. They then assemble in a body and go to the houses of their creditors, and demand from them a surrender of their bonds and other documents, and threaten them in case of refusal with assault and plunder. If any Government officer happens to approach the villages where the above is taking place, the spies give intimation to the offenders and the latter disperse in time.

 (16.1) Describe how ryots took control over the moneylenders.

 (16.2) Explain the measures taken by the ryots to save themselves.

 (16.3) Explain why ryots resorted to robbing the moneylenders.


'We are not just going to copy’


We say that it is our firm and solemn resolve to have an independent sovereign republic. India is bound to be sovereign, it is bound to be independent and it is bound to be a republic ... Now, some friends have raised the question: "Why have you not put in the word 'democratic' here." Well, I told them that it is conceivable, of course… that a republic may not be democratic but the whole of our past, is witness to this fact that we stand. For democratic institutions. Obviously we are aiming at democracy and nothing less than a democracy. What form of democracy, what shape it might take is another matter? The democracies of the present day, many of them in Europe and elsewhere, have played a great part in the world's progress. Yet it may be doubtful if those democracies may not have to change their shape somewhat before long if they have to remain completely democratic. We are not going just to copy, I hope, a certain democratic procedure or an institution of a so-called democratic country. We may improve upon it. In any event whatever system of government we may establish here must fit in with the temper of our people and be acceptable to them. We stand for democracy. It will be for this House to determine what shape to give to that democracy, the fullest democracy, I hope. The House will notice that in this Resolution, although we have not used the word "democratic" because we thought it is obvious that the word “republic’’ contains that word and we did not want to use unnecessary words and redundant words, but we have done something much more than using the word. We have given the content of democracy in this Resolution and not only the content of democracy but the content, if I may say so, of economic democracy in this Resolution. Others might take objection to this Resolution on the ground that we have not said that it should be a Socialist State. Well, I stand for Socialism and, I hope, India will stand for Socialism and that India will go towards the Constitution of a Socialist State and I do believe that the whole world will have to go that way.                                                           - Constituent Assembly Debates (Cad), VoL.I

(16.1) Explain why Nehru did not mention the word democratic in the resolution.

 (16.2) Mention the three basic features of the Constitution given in the above passage.

 (16.3) On what kind of socialism did Nehru give stress to?


(16.1) The ryots first spied on the boundaries of their villages to see if any government officers came and gave timely intimation of their arrival to offenders. They then assembled in a body and would go to the house of moneylenders to assault or plunder.

(16.2) Ryots gathered and attacked the shopkeepers, burnt the Khatas, looted grain shops, and in some cases set fire to the houses of sahukars.

 (16.3) The money lenders were violating the customary norms of the countryside. The ryots had seen moneylender as devious and deceitful.


(16.1) Because the whole of our past is witness to this fact that we stand for democratic institutions and we have done something much more than using the word.

(16.2) The three basic features of the Constitution are Sovereign, Socialist and Republic.

(16.3) The socialism with the socialist idea of economic justice.



”In the history of nationalism Gandhiji is often identified with the making of a nation'’. Describe his role in the freedom struggle of India.


 Describe the harrowing experiences of ordinary people during the period of the partition of India.

Gandhiji was the most influential and revered of all the leaders who participated in the freedom struggle, that characterization is not misplaced.

 (i) Mahatma Gandhi non-cooperation initiatives in Champaran, Ahmedabad and kheda had instilled nationalistic fervour in every Indian.

 (ii) On 12th March 1930- Gandhiji began the march from his ashram at Sabarmati towards the ocean where he reached after three weeks, making a fistful of salt and thereby breaking colonial salt law. Salt March was notable for at least three reasons. First, it was this event that brought Gandhiji to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American Press.

 (iii) Gandhi had launched the major movement against the British which was “Quit India”. It was genuinely a mass movement, bringing into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians.

 (iv) He “appealed to the Sikhs, the Hindus and the Muslims to forget the past and not to dwell on their on their sufferings but to extend the right hand of fellowship to each other, and to determine to live in peace”.

 (v) At the initiative of Gandhi, India remained a democratic secular State where all citizens enjoy full rights and are equally entitled to the protection of the state, irrespective of the religion to which they belong.

 (vi) After working to bring peace to Bengal, Gandhi shifted to move on to the riot-torn districts of Punjab. He was equally concerned with the sufferings of the minority community in Pakistan.

(vii) He trusted that “the worst is over” that Indians would henceforth work collectively for the “equality of all classes and creeds, never the domination and superiority of the major community over a minor, however insignificant it may be in numbers or influence”.

 (viii) Gandhi had fought a lifelong battle for a free and United India.

 (ix) When the country was divided, he urged that the two parts respect and befriend one another.

 (x) To that end British Government convened a series of Round Table Conferences in London. First meeting was held in Nov 1930 without any pre-eminent political leader in India, thus rendering it an exercise in futility. When Gandhiji was released from jail in Jan 1931, many meetings were held with the Viceroy and it culminated in the ‘Gandhi Irwin Pact’ by which civil disobedience would be called off and all prisoners released and salt manufacture allowed along the coast. Gandhiji represented the congress at Second Round Table Conference at London. The conference in London was inconclusive, so Gandhi returned to India and resumed civil disobedience.


 The harrowing experiences of ordinary people during the period of partition of India:

 (i) Several hundred thousand people were killed and innumerable women raped and abducted.

 (ii) Millions were uprooted, transformed into refugees in alien lands.

 (iii) In all probability, some 15 million had to move across hastily constructed frontiers separating India and Pakistan.

 (iv) They were rendered homeless, having suddenly lost all their immovable property and most of their movable assets.

 (v) Separated from many of their relatives and friends as well.

 (vi) Torn asunder from their moorings, from their houses and from their childhood memories.

 (vii) They were stripped of their local or regional cultures.

 (viii) They were forced to begin picking up their life from scratch.

 (ix) The bloodbath continued for about a year from March 1947 onwards.

(x) Partition generated memories, hatreds, stereotypes and identities that still continue to shape the history of people on both sides of the border.



Explain the role of Panchayats in the Mughal rural Indian society during l6th - 17th centuries.


 Explain how Akbar maintained harmonious relations with different ethnic and religious communities.

Panchayats in the Mughal society:

 (i) The village panchayat was an assembly of elders, usually important people of the village with hereditary rights over their property.

 (ii) In mixed-caste villages, the panchayat was usually a heterogeneous body.

 (iii) The decisions made by these panchayats were binding on the members. 

(iv) The panchayat derived its funds from contributions made by individuals to a common financial pool.

 (v) Often these funds were also deployed in construction of a bund or digging a canal which Peasants usually could not afford to do on their own.

 (vi) One important function of the panchayat was to ensure that caste boundaries among the various communities inhabiting the village were upheld.

 (vii) Panchayats also had the authority to levy fines and inflict more serious forms of punishment like expulsions from the community.

 (viii) The jati panchayats wielded considerable power in rural society and arbitrated civil disputes between members of different castes.

 (ix) Village panchayat was regarded as the court of appeal that would ensure that the state carried out its moral obligations and guaranteed justice.

 (x) The decision of the panchayat in conflicts between “lower-caste” peasants and state officials or the local zamindar could vary from case to case.



Akbar maintained harmonious relations with different ethnic and religious communities:


(i) As the source of all peace and stability the emperor stood above, all religious and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that justice and peace prevailed.

 (ii) The ideal of sulh-i kul was described as the cornerstone of enlightened rule.

 (iii) In sulh-i-Kul all religions and schools of thought had freedom of expression but on condition that they did not undermine the authority of the state or flight among themselves.

 (iv) The ideal of sulh-i kul was implemented through state policies-the nobility under the Mughals was a composite one comprising Iranis, Turanis, Afghans, Rajputs, Deccanis -all of whom were given positions and awards purely on the basis of their service and loyalty to the king.

 (v) Akbar abolished the tax on pilgrimage in 1563 and Jizya in 1564 as the two were based on religious discrimination.

 (vi) All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the building and maintenance of places of worship.

 (vii) Instructions were sent to officers of the empire to follow the precept of sulh-i kul in administration.

 (viii) A number of symbols were created for visual representation of the idea of justice which came to stand for the highest virtue of Mughal monarchy.

 (ix) Akbar commissioned the construction of a white marble tomb for Shaikh Salim Chisti next to majestic Friday mosque at shikri.

 (x) On special occasions such as the anniversary of accession to the throne, Id, Shab-i barat and Holi, the court was full of life. 





Here is an excerpt from Ibn Battuta's account of Delhi, often spelt as Dehli in texts of the period:

The city of Dehli covers a wide area and has a large population ... The rampart round the city is without parallel. The breadth of its wall is eleven cubits; and inside it are houses for the night sentry and. gatekeepers. Inside the ramparts, there are store-houses for storing edibles, magazines, ammunition, ballistas and siege machines. The grains that are stored (in these ramparts) can last for a long time, without rotting... In the interior of the rampart, horseman as well as infantrymen move from one end of the city to another. The rampart is pierced through by windows which open on the side of the city, and it is through these windows that light enters inside. The lower part of the rampart is built of stone; the upper part of bricks. It has many towers close to one another. There are twenty eight gates in this city which are called darvraza, and of these, the Budaun darwaza is the greatest; inside the Mandwi darwaza there is a grain market; adjacent to the Gul darwaza there is an orchard ... It (the city of Dehli) has a fine cemetery in which graves have domes over them, and those that do not have a dome, have an arch, for sure. In the cemetery they sow flowers such as tuberose, jasmine, wild rose, etc.; a grain market; adjacent to the Gul darwaza there is an orchard ... It (the city of Dehli)  has a fine cemetery in which graves have domes over them, and those that do not have a dome, have an arch, for sure. In the cemetery they sow flowers such as tuberose, jasmine, wild rose, etc.; and flowers blossom there in all seasons

 (15.1)  Why has Ibn Battuta described Delhi as a vast city?

 (15.2)  Mention the measures taken to protect Delhi from the invasion during 14th century.

 (15.3)  Why was Ibn Battuta impressed with the architectural features of the city? Explain.


Kings and Traders


Krishnadeva Raya (ruled 1509-29) , the most famous ruler of Vijayanagara, composed a work on statecraft in Telugu known as the Amuktamalyada. About traders he wrote:

 A king should improve the harbors of his country and so encourage its commerce that horses, elephants, precious gems, sandalwood, pearls and other articles are freely imported ... He should arrange that the foreign sailors who land in his country on account of storms, illness and exhaustion are looked after in a suitable manner,..... Make the merchants of distant foreign countries who import elephants and good horses be attached to yourself by providing them with daily audience, presents and allowing decent profits. Then those articles will never go to your enemies.


(15.1)  Explain the responsibilities of king mentioned by Krishnadeva Raya'.

 (15.2)  In what ways had Krishnadeva Raya protected articles from going to his enemies?

 (15.3)  Explain the measures taken by the king to improve the conditions of his country.

(15.1) Because it was densely populated, prosperous and the largest in India.

 (15.2) To protect Delhi many towers were erected close to one another and eight gates were built which was known as darwaza.

 (15.3) The city of Delhi had fine cemetery in which graves have domes over them and those that did not have dome had arch. In the cemetery flowers such as tuberose, jasmine and wild rose were sown which blossomed in all seasons. This impressed Battuta.


(15.1) The responsibilities of king:


(i) A king should improve the harbours of his country and so encourage its commerce.

 (ii) He should arrange that the foreign sailors are ill and exhausted are looked after in a suitable manner.

 (iii) Foreign merchants should be provided with daily audiences, presented and allowed decent profits.

 (15.2) By remaining in constant state of military preparedness.

 (15.3) Built water resources, fortified palaces build roads and carried out irrigation works.


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