NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 6: Colonialism And The City YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 6: Colonialism & City

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  • Many new cities with industrialization emerged

  • Leeds & Manchester in Britain grew in 19th & 20th century with housing and job

  • Late 18th century – Calcutta, Bombay & Madras – Presidency cities (administrative) which developed from East India Company’s factories at Surat, Madras and Calcutta

  • Many smaller cities declined, many towns manufacturing specialized goods declined, old trading ports couldn’t survive

  • Machlipatnam, Surat & Seringapatnam – deurbanized during 19th century & by early 20th century – 11% Indians were living in cities

  • Historic imperial city of Delhi became provincial town in the nineteenth century before it was rebuilt as the capital of British India after 1912

  • Delhi remained capital for more than 1,000 years

  • 14 capital cities were found in 60 square miles on left bank of Jamuna River

Shah Jahan built Shahjahanabad in 1639 with fort palace complex

Image of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi)

Image of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi)

Image of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi)

  • Lal Qila & Red Fort made of red sandstone contained palace complex – to its west was Walled City with 14 gates – big bazaars of Chandni Chowk & Faiz Bazaar & a canal down the center of Chandni Chowk

  • Jama Masjid (first mosque in India with minarets and full domes) was largest & grandest mosque & was highest in city

  • Dargahs (tomb of Sufi saint), khanqahs (sufi lodge) and idgahs (open prayer hall)

  • Open squares, winding lanes, quiet cul-desacs (street with dead end) and water channels were the pride of Delhi’s residents

  • Sharp distinction b/w rich & poor


  • 1803 – British defeated Marathas but capital was Calcutta & Mughals were allowed to live in Red Fort, Delhi

  • After 1911, Delhi became capital of British India

  • Madras, Bombay & Calcutta – living spaces of Britishers and Indians separated as whites and blacks

  • 1st half of 19th century – Britishers lived along Indians in walled city & enjoyed learning Urdu/Persian

  • 1830 to 1857 was period of Renaissance

  • After 1857 – rebels gathered and persuaded Bahadur Shah to become leader of uprising (Delhi remained under rebel control for 4 months)

  • 1792 – Delhi College established for humanities and sciences in Urdu

  • After 1857, Britishers plundered the city & exiled Bahadur Shah to Burma dismantling his court

  • Britishers cleared area around forts like garden, pavilion, mosque for security reasons, mosques were destroyed

  • Zinat-al-Masjid was converted into a bakery

  • No worship was allowed in the Jama Masjid for five years

  • 1/3rd of the city was demolished, and its canals were filled up.

  • 1870s – Western walls of Shahjahan abad were broken to establish railways & British started living in Civil Lines in north away from walled city

  • Delhi College was converted to school and shut down in 1877

Planning a New Capital

  • After 1857, many events were held

  • 1877- Viceroy Lytton organized Durbar to acknowledge Queen Victoria as Empress of India (Grand Durbar in Delhi but capital was Calcutta) – celebrate British power with pomp and show

  • 1911 – King George V was crowned in England & durbar in Delhi, capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. New Delhi constructed as 10 square mile city on Raisina Hill by Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker – 2 mile avenue as Kingsway (Rajpath) leading to Viceroy’s Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan) with secretariat buildings on both sides – looks from classical Greek (5th century), central dome form Sanchi & red sandstone from Mughal architects

Image of Mughal Garden Rashtrapati Bhawan

Image of Mughal Garden Rashtrapati Bhawan

Image of Mughal Garden Rashtrapati Bhawan

New Delhi: Broad, straight streets lined with sprawling mansions set in the middle of large compounds; sense of law & order; clean and healthy with proper water supply, drainage, green areas

Life During Partition

  • Massive transfer of population, population increased and jobs changed

  • After 1947, rioting started, Many Muslims left for Pakistan while Sikhs and Hindu Refugees moved from Pakistan

  • 2/3rd Muslims migrated and 40,000 homes were abandoned – mainly artisans, petty traders and labourers

  • 5 lakh people added as migrants form Punjab – stayed in camps, schools with aim to build new homes – new colonies like Lajpat Nagar and Tilak Nagar was established - rural landlords, lawyers, teachers, traders and small shopkeepers

  • Urdu urban culture was overshadowed by new tastes and sensibilities

Inside Old City

  • Past – canal system for drinking and domestic supply

  • 19th century – baolis and wells & channels to remove waste; Shahjahani drains were closed and open surface drains were introduced (too overburdened & it overflowed) – municipal committee was not willing to spend on good drainage

  • Mughal period – havelis and open courtyard & fountains – declined in 17th & 18th century – amir (nobleman) unable to maintain it & havelis got subdivided & were taken over by mercantile class

  • Colonial bungalows – large single storeyed structure with pitched roof for nuclear family in 1-2 acre area – separate living, dining & bedroom with veranda – kitchen, stable and servant quarter in separate space

Municipality Plan

  • 1931 census – old city crowded with 90 persons/acre while New Delhi had 3 person/acre

  • 1888- Lahore Gate Improvement Scheme by Robert Clarke for Walled City residents – keep them away from old city to new type of market square where shops would be built

  • Streets in grid pattern with identical width, size and character

  • Land divided into equal areas to construct neighborhoods

  • Clarkegunj as development was called remained incomplete & couldn’t decongest old city

  • 1936 – Delhi Improvement Trust was established – Daryaganj South was built for wealthy Indians – with houses grouped around parks & within houses were new rules of privacy - different members of the same family had their own private spaces within the home.

  • Hebert Baker, architect went to South Africa & got connected with Cecil Rhodes (Governor of Cape Town)

  • He designed city of Pretoria in South Africa – used same in Secretariat building in New Delhi

  • Union Building & Secretariat were both built to house imperial offices

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