NCERT Class 9 Solutions: Pastoralists in the Modern World History (India and the Contemporary World-I) Chapter 6– Part 4
Q-7. What lessons can we draw from the conversion of the countryside in the USA from a bread basket to a dust bowl?
Prior to 19th century all natural vegetation (grassland) in central United States was removed with the help of new technologies such as tractors for farming. The use of heavy machines broke the sod into dust. The use of machines and excessive cultivation (by clearing of land) made this region very productive and it was called the bread bowl.
In early 1930's after rains failed yearly temperatures increased and high speed winds blew with force. Since, the entire land had been ploughed over and was devoid of grass dust storms became black blizzards.
And that transformed the bread basket to a dust bowl. Here are the lessons we can learn from this controversy:
(i) Respect the ecological conditions of each region.
(ii) Uncontrolled ambitions, greed and desire to conquer nature can lead to ecological misbalance and nature's wrath.
(iii) Technology and development should be nature friendly else the very livelihood of people would be at stake.
Q.8 Write a paragraph on why the British insisted on farmers growing opium in India.
The British were greatly dependent on China for tea and silk imports. During 18th century and as the popularity of tea increased, English trading of tea reached 50 million pounds in value.
At that time England did not produce any goods which could be sold to China. Additionally China did not believe in foreign goods so all the payment had to be made through silver coins or bullion which effected British nation’s economy.
Opium could be easily smuggled into China, this caused a large number of opium addicts in China. British thus ensured a permanent (smuggling) trade between India and China.
So British had started to gain profit from opium trade with the aim to finance the tea imports. Since they were too prudent to claim responsibly for smuggling opium, British insisted on Indian farmers to grow opium and paid them next to nothing, which caused much poverty among Indian farmers. Additionally the opium required the best land which could be used for other crops.
The opium trade ultimately led to the opium wars