Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – GS test 1-Reference material

1.Was capitalism a cause or effect of the Industrial Revolution? What factors led to the rise of Capitalism?

Capitalism and Industrial revolution

Pre-capitalistic system of product was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest. The victorious kings had given the land to their paladins.

On the other hand, they themselves were the main customers of the processing industries, which, under the guild system, were organized on a corporative scheme. The number of people for whom there were jobs even in agriculture or in the arts and crafts was limited.

This scheme was opposed to innovation. It forbade deviation from the traditional methods of Substantive production.


it is an economic system where those things that make money, like land, factories, communications, and transportation systems, are owned by private businesses and corporations which trade in a ‘free market’ of competition. This system uses the investment of money, or ‘capital’, to produce profits.

Capitalism as cause of industrial revolution

  • Capitalism is one of the most important causes of the Industrial Revolution. Capitalism allowed the new generation of people to gain money and become involved and interested in the idea of investment.
  • Capitalism Led to increased production and higher demands for raw materials
  • The investments allowed inventors and entrepreneurs to build the inventions that rocked the world, such as the blast furnace, railroads, vaccinations and much more.
  • Private investments, which are a form of capitalism, became a huge factor in allowing countries, such as Great Britain, to succeed in industrialization faster than other European countries, such as the Germanic states.

Capitalism as an effect Industrial revolution

  • Prior to the Industrial Revolution, agriculture was the primary form of capitalism, introduction of sophisticated tools and equipment during industrial revolution developed it into industrial capitalism.
  • After Industrial Revolution, the industrialist replaced the merchant as a dominant actor in the capitalist system and led to the decline of the traditional handicraft skills of artisans, guilds, and journeymen.


Factors led to capitalism

  1. Renaissance

Renaissance did not accept the religious doctrine of Medieval Europe. It explained ‘Materialism’ as one of the mediums of human happiness. So, everybody dreamt to lead a happy and prosperous life. This gave birth to capitalism.

  1. Reformation

Reformation Movement reduced the power of pope and encouraged the merchants. The results of the Reformation Movement carried on by Martin Luther in Germany and Henry VIII in England were far reaching. They condemned the unnecessary intervention of Pope in Political and Economic affairs except religion.

  1. Guilds and banking systems

Guilds and Banking System gave great impetus for the growth of Mercantilism. The guilds acted as distribution centres and exported the surplus to outside countries. This encouraged the international trade which was well-regulated by the banking system.

  1. Fall of feudalism

Fall of Feudalism was another cause for the rise of capitalism. With the fall of feudalism, the fate of agriculture was doomed. This encouraged the small-scale industries. The towns and guilds wanted the increase of these industries. They wanted to export the surplus of these productions.

  1. Discovery of new lands

Geographical Discoveries encouraged capitalism. The sea voyage of Columbus, Vascodagama, Magellan and others led to discovery of new lands. But these discoveries needed money, which were provided by private investors, leading to the creation of companies and bank system.

  1. Inventions

Scientific Invention and Discoveries helped a lot in the growth of Mercantilism. The telescope invented by Galileo helped the merchants in their journey. The Mariner’s Compass also helped the merchants a lot to determine direction inside the deep sea. These inventions made merchants confident for maritime trade.



2.Before World War 1, Europe could manage it’s colonial issues successfully, but could not manage the European issues. Critically Analyze.

Due to various reasons there used to be continuous tension among European powers, mostly over 2 issues: Colonial issues and Europe’s own internal issues.

Colonial issues

Before WW1Colonial rivalry led to strained relations among the European powers. Thus there were many clashes among France, Britain, Germany and Italy over African and Asian colonies. For example, France rivalled with Italy over Tunis and with Germany over Morocco.

Colonial rivalry led to much hostility among the powers. In the first and the second Moroccan crises, war nearly resulted.

However, most of these conflicts were resolved in the conference rooms of Europe and wars were generally avoided.

The European powers generally settled their disputed claims over territory on the basis of quid pro quo or ‘something for something’, by giving away something in exchange for something else.

For example, in 1904, after a long period of conflicting claims, which had brought them almost to the point of war, Britain and France entered into a secret agreement whereby Britain was given a ‘free hand’ in Egypt, while France was given uninterrupted right of domination over Morocco.

The Moroccan issue was finally settled in 1911 when France agreed to give a portion of French Congo to Germany and Germany relinquished her claim over Morocco. Both in creating these crises and in resolving them, the people of French Congo or Morocco, whose territories were being bargained, had no say.

Internal conflicts

Britain: Britain was facing the demand for Home Rule by the Irish people. A powerful movement for independence had been growing in Ireland.

Germany & France: The territory of Germany included a part of Poland and Alsace-Lorraine which she had taken from France after a war in 1870-71 and France was looking forward to avenge her humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany and recover Alsace-Lorraine by a war.

Austria-Hungary, Serbia and Russia: Issues Politically, Austria-Hungary was the most troubled state in Europe, extending over a large area of Europe. Her territories included areas inhabited by many nationalities, like the Czechs of Bohemia and Moravia, Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, Serbs and Croats, and Italians. In all these territories, there was a resurgence of nationalism, creating deep discontent and divisions.

The nationalism of the Slav people in Austria-Hungary was also fanned by Russia and Serbia and created strong antagonism between these two countries and Austria-Hungary.

In the Russian empire discontent was rife among the non-Russian nationalities, because of the oppressive social, economic and political system.

Conflicts over Balkan countries: Another major issue Europe was facing was dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. By the early twentieth century, the Ottoman rule over the Balkans had all but ended. Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania had emerged as independent states. However, the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire did not solve the problem of nationalities in Europe.

Conflicting claims over former ottoman states led to formation of alliances and blocs, parting Europe into factions.

Hence Europe could manage it’s colonial issues amicably but it’s internal issues troubled it the most.


3.What was New Imperialism? How was it different from the earlier version? Discuss the factors that that led to its development.

New Imperialism was a period of colonial expansion starting in the late-19th and early-20th century when Europe’s most powerful nation-states were taking control of most of Africa as well as large parts of South and East Asia.

Methods used in “New Imperialism”

  • First method was using European administrators for direct colonial rule.
  • The second method was a protectorate arrangement where a local colonial ruler and the government carried on as usual, but the European nation-state controlled the country’s military, foreign affairs, and economy and intervened whenever necessary.
  • The final method was known as the “sphere of influence.” In this agreement, a colony would grant a European state certain economic privileges within its territory.

Difference between Colonization (Earlier version)  and Imperialism

Colonialism Imperialism
Colonialism in its modern form first began to take shape about 400 years ago It didn’t begin to be used much in the English-speaking world until the late 1800s.
Colonialism refers to the ‘implanting of settlements on a distant territory. Imperialism involved ‘the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory
Colonialism can completely change the existing social structure, physical structure and economics of an area While Imperialism may not involve altering the same in an area.
if colonialism refers to the process of a country taking physical control of another, Imperialism refers to the political and monetary dominance, either formally or informally.
Colonialism is seen to be the architect deciding how to start dominating areas, Then imperialism can be seen as creating the idea behind conquest cooperating with colonialism.


Factors led to growth of “New Imperialism”


European states saw the need to establish strong international markets that could support their country’s manufactured products abroad. Colonies in Africa were seen by many Europeans as possible sources of necessary and cheap raw materials, such as rubber or petroleum.

One major advocate of imperialism, Russian communist Vladimir Lenin, proposed that it was necessary for capitalist economies to find markets abroad for their excess products for survival.

Population growth

Period of Industrial revolution was the rapid growth of population in European countries. Another purpose the colonies served to European nation-states was the potential to hold Europe’s surplus population.


In the late nineteenth century many European countries developed myths of their superiority over other people. And it became must to have colonies to add to their prestige and honor. Important political leaders in Europe saw imperialism as a way to maximize popular support at home.

Civilizing mission

Some strong supporters of imperialism saw territorial expansion as a moral enterprise that could bring the blessings of a superior civilization to those that were considered inferior. One French politician, Jules Ferry, said that superior races had a right to civilize those that were not.


European nation-states were able to maintain their control of the colonies by providing a Western-style education for colonial leaders. Certain colonial elites were given a traditional university education and were then given important roles the colonial bureaucracy.

Transport and communication

Changes that came with the industrial revolution in the transport and communication made the spread of Imperialism easier.



4.The most significant aspect of 1848 revolutions was the emergence of a new political force in Europe. Discuss.

In 1848, revolutions broke out in almost every country of Europe, which dealt a mortal blow to the countries of the Holy Alliance.

1848 was the year of revolutions throughout Europe and also the year of the Communist Manifesto.  The most significant aspect of the 1848 revolutions was the emergence of workers, who have been inspired by Socialism as a new political force in Europe.

For the first time in history the working class had shown itself as an independent force in society.  They did not follow the political leadership of the liberal bourgeoisie that is the political leadership of the private owners of the means of production, the capitalists.

Aim of worker’s revolution:-

Their aim was:-

  • To overthrow the autocracy.
  • And the destruction of the capitalist economic system that had grown with the Industrial Revolution.

Although revolution was suppressed with the help of army but it laid the foundation for further development of socialists movement only to rise again in the form of First International, second international and Paris Commune, 1871.

First international:-

First international was formed in 1864. Central aim pf international was declared to be the total abolition of all class rule. Universal character of the struggle of working class was emphasized.

It played an important role in creating bonds of international solidarity by arranging aid from workers of many countries in support of workers struggle in in any particular country.

Solidarity also remained during wars between countries like war of Prussia and France.

Paris commune

Paris commune was the result of workers uprising against new government’s agreement with Prussia on surrender of Paris, after the defeat of Napoleon.

Government had to withdraw from the Paris and Paris commune was elected by Universal adult franchise including workers and lower class. But commune was crushed with the help of Prussia later.

Second International:-

It was held in 1889 to unite the socialist parties of various countries. Period after second international saw surge in the popularity of Socialist parties in Germany, France and Britain.

The socialists and workers movement had become a major force in almost every country of Europe.


5.The biggest challenge to laissez faire came from the idea of socialism. How far were socialist movements successful in its objectives?

When the industrial revolution was gaining strength in England and in other countries, the growing belief was that government should not interfere with business and industries. This theory came to known as Laissez Faire.

According to Laissez Faire idea, transactions between private parties should be free from government interference such as regulations, privileges, tariffs, and subsidies.

Ill effects of laissez faire

  • Few people (capitalists) became the owners of the means 0f production and workers, who worked for wages. These capitalists were controlling the economic lives of entire society directly or indirectly.
  • Concentration of power in few hands resulted in shocking inequalities and created wide gulf between capitalists and entire society.
  • Unregulated industrial revolution produced a vast number of landless and tool less workers who were totally dependent upon  employers and forced to accept whatever is offered by this employer.
  • Women and Children were employed even in mines because they could be hired for less money, they often had to work for 15 to 18 hours a day with no rest periods in between.
  • The residential areas for workers were no good. Accidents, diseases and epidemics were common in these crowded slums.
  • Employer could dismiss the worker on will, due to lack of other working opportunities at that time workers were forced to accept the terms of employers.
  • These were the conditions in one of the most democratic industrialized country at that time i.e. Britain and conditions in other countries were no good.
  • A parliamentary investigation into the conditions in the textile factories—later known as the Sadler Committee’s Report—revealed the appalling toll on human life that had resulted from unregulated industrial growth.

Rise of socialism

Socialism arose largely in response to the economic and social consequences of the Industrial Revolution.

Socialist viewed capitalism as the system based on exploitation. They insisted that it was the duty of all good men to promote the general happiness and welfare of everyone in society

After formation of first international in 1864, socialism stepped on as a world movement. The central aim of the international was declared to be the total abolition of all class rule.

Another important development was formation of Paris Commune in 1871 elected by workers of Paris, after the surrender of France against Prussia. Although Commune was ultimately crushed by the French government but it sparked the various worker’s movements in other countries.

Before world war, in almost every country of Europe, socialist parties had been formed and were steadily growing both in strength and popularity. By 1914, the number of people who voted for the various socialist parties in Europe also steadily increased.

In 1914, the socialist parties of Germany, France and Italy were the single largest parties in the parliaments of their respective countries.

Although Socialist parties created space for workers and lower class in the politics of their countries, but it’s objective of uprooting the capitalism could not be realized. In fact capitalism grew stronger in upcoming days


6.The French Revolution became the classic example of a revolution which people of many nations tried to emulate. What were the biggest achievements of the French Revolution?

For a long time the French revolution became the classic example of a revolution which people of many nationals tried to emulate.

Revolutions in America

Revolutionary France had abolished slavery in her colonies. The former French colony of Haiti became a republic. This was the first republic established by the black people, formerly slaves, in the Americas.

Inspired by this revolutionary movements arose in the Americas leading to independence of Portuguese and Spanish colonies in central and South America.

Revolutionary Movements in Europe

The Revolutions of 1820 were a revolutionary wave in Europe. It included revolutions in Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Italy for constitutional monarchies, and for independence from Ottoman rule in Greece.

The Ottoman Empire’s power declined and Greek nationalism began to assert itself. The most influential of the Greek writers and intellectuals was Rigas Feraios, was deeply influenced by the French Revolution. Rigas was the first who conceived and organized a comprehensive national movement aiming at the liberation of all Balkan nations.

The Batavian Revolution was a political, social and cultural turmoil at the end of the 18th century that marked the end of the Dutch Republic and saw the proclamation of the Batavian Republic.

Middle East

Ottoman Sultan Selim III immediately realized how far behind his empire was, and started to modernize both his army and his governmental system.

In Egypt, the ruling elite of Mamluks was permanently displaced, speeding the reforms.

Contributions of French Revolution

  • The French revolution destroyed the social discriminative class system in France and declared equality for all.
  • Revolution destroyed the congregative class system and opened opportunity to talent peasants like Napoleon.
  • Revolution led to the declaration of rights of man and citizens. The constitutional assembly / parliament came out with the document of human rights.
  • The revolution gave birth to the revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity. These ideas started in France and got spread to other areas like Italy, German, etc. Revolution made France the nursery bed of democracy in Europe.
  • The freedom of association led to the rise of political clubs such as the Jacobins, cordilliers, Giirondin Fauvillants that competed for power. These parties kept the government under check and balance by criticizing bad policies.
  • The French revolution led to the revival of the parliament which was abandoned for a period of over 175 years.
  • The idea of private ownership of land by everybody was encouraged this provided chance to peasants to own land. I.e., the church land was nationalized and sold to peasants.


7.Imperialism sparked various rebellions in China, India and Japan. How was the Meiji restoration different from the Boxer rebellion of China and the Revolt of 1857 in India?

Revolt of 1857 in India and the Boxer Rebellion in China had many similar features as both attempted to remove foreign influences

Revolt of 1857 in India

  • The Sepoy Rebellion (the Sepoy Mutiny) began in 1857 as Indians were developing a sense of a national identity. Indians resented the presence of the British in India and the insensibility of the British to their religious practices.
  • Indian soldiers serving under British command rebelled against the British when rumors surfaced that the cartridges for their guns needed to be greased with pork and beef fat, a violation of religious dietary rules (Hindus – no beef and Muslims – no pork).
  • While the rebellion was eventually put down, the British government forced the East India Company to relinquish control and India became a British colony. However, the Sepoy Rebellion marked the beginning of India’s long journey towards independence.

Boxer rebellion of China

  • Likewise, the Boxer Rebellion in China was an attempt to remove the foreigners from China. The Boxer Rebellion was a response to the humiliating treaties the Chinese government was forced to sign and to the “carving up” of China into spheres of influence.
  • The Rebellion began with a series of attacks on Chinese Christians, then on foreigners in the interior, and finally on foreign diplomats in Peking (Beijing). While the Boxer Rebellion was eventually ended by an international force, it, too, revealed a clear dissatisfaction with foreign rule.

Meiji restoration

  • In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Japanese expelled Europeans from Japan and closed Japanese ports to trade with the outside world, allowing only the Dutch to trade at Nagasaki.
  • In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry (1866–1925), an American naval officer, led an expedition to Japan. He convinced the shogun, a medieval-type ruler, to open ports for trade with the United States.
  • Fearful of domination by foreign countries, Japan, unlike China, reversed its policy of isolation and began to modernize by borrowing from the West.
  • The Meiji Restoration, which began in 1867, sought to replace the feudal rulers, or the shogun, and increase the power of the emperor.

How Meiji restoration was different

Differences in launching grounds

While rebellions of China and India were to remove the foreigners from their soil, While goal of Meiji was to make Japan strong enough to compete with the West.

Another difference was the conditions under which these revolutions occurred. While India and China were under the imperialist control of Britain and other countries, Japan was free country.

While rebellions of India and China were against the foreign powers, Meiji restoration was against the government of Japan.

Differences in process of rebellions

Nature of Meiji rebellion was peaceful to much extent, while Both Boxer and 1857 rebellion led to the widespread bloodshed.

While Meiji rebellion was aimed at modernization of Japan, Boxer and 1857 rebellions were aimed to restore the old ruling system.

Differences in results

While Meiji rebellion resulted in achievement of it’s goal, Boxer and 1857 rebellions failed to achieve their goals.

While Meiji rebellion led to progressive Japan, Boxer and 1857 rebellions led to the further tightening of imperialist grip on both countries.




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