NATIONAL TALENT SEARCH EXAMINATION (NTSE) SOCIAL SCIENCE (HISTORY) (INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION) BY: SUDESHNA MOHAPATRA
LIFE OF THE WORKERS DURING INDUSTRIALISATION PERIOD There was large scale migration from countryside to cities in search of jobs. People without existing social connections in the cities found it difficult to find a job. Many people had to wait for long periods before they could get a job
Many jobs were seasonal in nature. Once a busy season was over, the poor were once again on the streets. While some people returned to the countryside, many stayed back to look for some odd jobs. Such people often had to spend nights on bridges or in night shelters. Some private individuals set up Night Refuges. The Poor Law authorities maintained Casual Wards for such people.
. Workers often turned hostile to new technology because of fear of unemployment. For example; when Spinning Jenny was introduced, women began to attack the new machines because they survived on hand spinning . After the 1840s, construction activity increased in the cities. This opened greater employment opportunities The number of workers in the transport industries doubled in the 1840s, and doubled again in the subsequent 30 years
The Age of Indian Textiles The Company tried to eliminate the existing traders and brokers who were connected with the cloth trade. It tried to establish a more direct control on the weavers. A paid servant, called 'gomastha' was appointed to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth.
The Company prevented weavers from dealing with other buyers. This was done through the system of advances. Under this system, the weavers were given loans to purchase raw materials. Once a weaver took the advance, he could not sell his produce to any other trader.
PROBLEMS FACED BY THE WEAVERS, The new system of advances created many problems for the weavers. Earlier, they used to grow some crops on their land which took care of their family needs. Now, they had not time for cultivation and they had to lease out their land
Unlike the traditional merchants, the gomastha was an outsider who had no social links with the villages. He used to visit with sepoys and peons and punished weavers who could not meet the deadline . The gomastha behaved arrogantly. There were reports of clashes between weavers and gomasthas in many villages. The system of advances resulted in many weavers falling in debt trap. In many places in Carnatic and Bengal, weavers deserted villages and migrated to other villages to set up looms.
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