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CBSE Class 12
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CBSE History 2017 Exam Questions

Short Answer Type


Examine why Bernier was against the idea of crown ownership of land in Mughal  India.

Bernier’s idea of Crown ownership in Mughal India:
(i) He believed in the virtues of Private Property.
(ii) He saw crown ownership of land as being harmful for both the state and the people.
(iii) Land holders could not pass on their land to their children
(iv) They were averse to long term investment expansion of production.
(v) The absence of Private property prevented the emergence of class of improving landlords.
(vi) It had led to uniform ruination of agriculture.
(vii) Excessive oppression of the peasantry and decline in the standard of living.
(viii) He warned that if European kings followed the Mughal model their kingdoms would be very far from being well cultivated and peopled.
(ix) It has led to impoverishment of the peasantry.
(x) There was no middle state in India.
(xi) He saw the Mughal Emperors as the “king of the Beggars and the Barbarians”.
(xii) He considered revenue as the rent because land revenue demands were often very high.



Highlight the measures taken to ensure unity among the rebels of 1857.

Measures adopted by the rebels of 1857 to ensure unity
(i) The rebel proclamations in 1857 repeatedly appealed for unity to all sections of the population, irrespective of their caste and creed.
(ii) Many of the proclamations (Azamgarh) were issued by Muslim princes or in their names but even these took care to address the sentiments of Hindus.
(iii) The rebellion was seen as a war in which both Hindus and Muslims had equally to lose or gain.
(iv) The ishtahars harked back to the pre-British Hindu-Muslim past and glorified the coexistence of different communities under the Mughal Empire.
(v) The proclamation that was issued under the name of Bahadur Shah appealed to the people to join the fight under the standards of both Muhammad and Mahavir.
(vi) Every aspect of British rule was attacked and the firangi accused of destroying a way of life that was familiar and cherished. 
(vii) The rebels failed the attempt of the British govt. for inciting Hindu population against Muslims.
(viii) The rebels wanted to restore world of peace and unity.
(ix) Various sections of the Indian society promoted common good.
(x) Fears and suspicion amongst people that the brutish would destroy their faiths and convictions.
(xi) Fear and suspicion that British wanted Indian to convert Indian to Christianity.
(xii) They maintained communication links with sepoys.
(xiii) Local leaders played a significant role in keeping the unity


‘Kabir was and is to the present a source of inspiration for those who questioned entrenched social institutions and ideas in their search for divine.’ Explain.

(i) He believed in the Nirguna Bhakti.
(ii) The range of traditions Kabir drew on to describe the Ultimate
Reality include Islam: as Allah, Khuda, Hazrat and Pir.
(iii) Verses ascribed to kabir have been compiled in the Kabir Bijak,
Kabir Granthavali and Adi Grantha Sahib.
(iv) He also used terms drawn from Vedantic traditions, alakh (the unseen), nirakar formless), Brahman, Atman, etc. (v) The terms with mystical connotations such as shabda (sound) or shunya (emptiness) were drawn from yogic traditions. 
(vi) He questioned entrenched religious and social institutions, ideas and practices in their search for the Divine.
(vii) He probably crystallised through dialogue and debate with the traditions of Sufis and Yogis. 
(viii) He believed in divinity rather than any particular religion.



“The burials in Harappan sites reveal the economic and social differences amongst the people living within a particular culture.” Give two evidences in support of your answer.

The Economic and Social differences in Harappa:

(i) In Harappan sites the dead were laid in pits.
(ii) In some instances the hollowed out spaces were lined with bricks
(iii) Some graves contained pottery and ornaments, indicating a belief that these could be used in the afterlife.
(iv) Jewellery has been found in burials of both man and woman. (shell rings, a jasper beads and micro beads were found)
(v) In some instances the dead were buried with Copper mirrors.
(vi) It appears that Harappan did not believe in burying precious things with the dead.


“The nobility was recruited consciously by the Mughal rulers from diverse ethnic and religious groups.” Justify.

(i) The nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups.
(ii) Nobility was composite one comprising Iranis, Afghans, Rajputs, Shaikhzdas, Deccanis on the basis of their service loyalty to the king.
(iii) This ensured that no faction was large enough to challenge the authority of the state.
(iv) The officer corps of the Mughals was described as a bouquet of flowers (guldasta) held together by loyalty to the emperor. 
(v) People from many races (Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Tajiks, Kurds, Tatars, Russians, Abyssinians, people from Egypt, Syria, Iraq,Arabia, Iran, Khurasan, Turan) –have sought refuge in the imperial court.
(vi) Two ruling groups of Indian origin entered the imperial service- Rajputs and the Indian Muslims.
(vii) Examples- Raja Todar Mal, who belonged to the Khatri caste was Akbar’s finance minister.
(viii) Iranians gained high offices under Jahangir, whose politically influential queen, Nur Jahan (was an Iranian).
(ix) Aurangzeb appointed Rajputs to high positions, and under him the Marathas accounted for a sizeable number within the body of officers.



Why were many Zamindaris auctioned after the Permanent Settlement in Bengal ? Give two reasons.

Reasons for the Zamindaris auctioned in Bengal
(i) The East India Company had fixed the revenue with the zamindars. The estates of those who failed to pay were to be auctioned to recover the revenue or accumulated arrears.
(ii) The initial demands of the revenue were very high.
(iii) The zamindars could not collect the rent due to agriculture depression.
(iv) Due to the Sunset Law (if the payment did not come in by the sunset of the specified date the zamindaris were liable to be auctioned.
(v) Company subdued the authority of zaminadars through collectors.
(vi) Jotedars deliberately delayed payments to the zamindars.
(vii) Peasants too delayed payments to the jotedars and the zamindars.
(viii) Zamindars because of their own reasons delayed payments.



What evidences have been put forward to explain the collapse of the Harappan Civilization ?

Evidences to explain the collapse of the Harappa civilization
(i) After 1900 BCE there were disappearance of the distinctive
(ii) Writing, long distance trade and craft specialization also disappeared.
(iii) House construction techniques deteriorated.
(iv) Large public structure were no longer produced.
(v) Artefacts and settlements indicated a rural life called as Late Harappan and Successive Culture.
(vi) Disappearance of the seals, the script, distinctive beads and pottery.
(vii) There was the shift from a standardized weight system to the use of the local weights.
(viii) There were decline and abandonment of cities.
(ix) Abandonment of Cholistan.
(x) Shift/ expansion of population into new settlements into Gujarat, Haryana , western UP.



On the given outline political map of India locate and label the following with appropriate symbols:

(a) Ajmer, a territory under Mughals.

(b) Gwalior, a centre of the Revolt of 1857.

On the same map three places related to the mature Harappan sites has been marked as A, B, C. Identify them and write their names correctly on the lines drawn near them. 


Examine the circumstances that led to the passing of ‘Limitation Laws’ by the British in 1859.

(i) In 1859 the British passed a Limitation Law that stated that the loan bonds signed between moneylenders and ryots would have validity for only three years. 
(ii) This law was meant to check the accumulation of interest over time.
(iii) Cotton boom and the American civil war.
(iv)The ryots were dependant on money lenders for survival.
(v) The money lenders refused to extend loans to the ryots.
(vi) Money lenders violated the customary norms.
(vii) Rural indebtedness.
(viii) Ryots saw money lenders as devious and deceitful.
(ix) Manipulation and forging of Peasant accounts by money lenders.
(x) They complained of money lenders for manipulating laws and in 1859 this law was passed to check the accumulation of interest over time.


Explain the sources used by historians to reconstruct the history of Mauryan Empire.

Sources to reconstruct the history of the Mauryas
(i) Archaeological finds, especially sculpture.
(ii) Contemporary works, such as the account of Megasthenes.
(iii) Arthashastra, probably composed by Kautilya or Chanakya.
(iv) The Mauryas are mentioned in later Buddhist and Jaina.
(v) Puranic literature, as well as in Sanskrit literary works.
(vi) The inscriptions of Asoka on rocks and pillars.
(vii) Stupas
(viii) Coins
(ix) Ashokavadana


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