Colonial Cities (CH-12) Important Questions in English || Class 12 History Chapter 12 in English ||

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Chapter – 12

Colonial Cities

In this post, we have given the Important Questions of Class 12 History Chapter 12 (Colonial Cities) in English. These Important Questions are useful for the students who are going to appear in class 12 board exams.

BoardCBSE Board, UP Board, JAC Board, Bihar Board, HBSE Board, UBSE Board, PSEB Board, RBSE Board
ClassClass 12
Chapter no.Chapter 12
Chapter Name(Colonial Cities)
CategoryClass 12 History Important Questions in English
Class 12 History Chapter 12 Colonial Cities Important Questions in English

1 Marks Questions

Q1. Why was the colonial government keen on mapping of Indian cities from the early years?

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Ans. Maps were made to plan the development of towns.

Q2. Mention a difference between White towns and Black towns during the British period.

Ans. White towns were mainly for whites and Black towns were for the Black people.

Q3. Why were Hill stations set up?

Ans. Hill stations were set up as they were strategic places to billet troops guard.

Q4. Mention town planning in Bengal.

Ans. Concern for defense- they needed defense against local rulers.

Q5. Distinguish the society in the new colonial cities.

Ans. within the new cities new social groups were formed.

Q6. What is the Neoclassical style of Architecture?

Ans. Neoclassical style- it had geometrical structure, lofty pillars, similar to buildings in ancient Rome

Q7. What is new gothic style of architecture?

Ans. New gothic style- its roots in buildings specially churches built in northern Europe during the medieval period.

Q8. What is Indo – saracenic style of Architecture?

Ans. Indo-saracenic style- indo meant Hindu and Saracen used to name Muslim. The inspiration for this style was medieval building in India

Q9. What were the aims of census?


  • To study urbanization
  • To know historical changes.

Q10. Mention merits of hill stations?


  • They were important for guarding frontiers.
  • They were useful for health facilities.

Q11. Name the two industrial towns which came up during colonial period?


  • Kanpur specialized in leather, woolen and textiles.
  • Jamshedpur specialized in iron and steel.

Q12. How did the railways affect towns?


  • New cities developed as Jamalpur, Bareilly, and Waltair.
  • Some industrial centres developed.

Q13. What is difference between cities and villages?


  • In villages’ people made a living by agriculture and domesticating animals.
  • In cities people belong to various professions such as services, trade, shop keeping, industries.

Q14. Why did the British take upon themselves the task of town planning?


  • The British wanted to live in separate and protected settlements away from Indians.
  • They wanted clean and hygienic city free from all diseases.

3 Marks Questions

Q15. To what extent are census data useful in reconstructing patterns of urbanization in the colonial context?


  • The British gained information about white and non-white people living in various towns.
  • British gained information about expansion of cities.
  • They got knowledge about living standard of the people.
  • British got knowledge about many diseases.
  • The census data provided information about age, sex, caste and occupation.
  • The census data could be converted into social data.

Q.16. Why were the records preserved in the colonial cities?


  • British administration was based on datas and information.
  • For professional activities they wanted to know more about trading activities.
  • They wanted to control speed and spread of cities.
  • For strength of administration they liked to preserve records.
  • For spreading public facilities records were compulsory.
  • Records were important for experiences & proper and efficient sale.

Q17. What do the terms white and black towns signify?


White town-

  • In a colonial city the fortified area where the Europeans lived was white town.
  • Colour and religion was the main basis of it.
  • Dutch and Portuguese were European and Christian so they could live in white town.

Black town-

  • the area outside the fortified area where the Indians lived was black town.
  • The Indians who had economic relations with British lived there.

Q.18. How did prominent Indian merchants establish themselves in colonial city?


  • With the expansion of British power in India, the Indian merchants, middlemen and suppliers of goods became part of the cities.
  • With the expansion of railway the Indian merchants started establishing their industries in the cities.
  • The rich Indian agents and middlemen got built courtyard houses near bazaars.
  • Indian merchants purchased large tract of land in the cities for future investment and profit.
  • They started copying western style of life.

Q19. What were the concerns that influenced town planning in 19th century?


  • Setting a city close to the sea coast was a main concern for commercial objectives.
  • For security point of view they wanted to live in separate and highly protected settlements.
  • Preparing maps were highly imperative in order to understand the landscape and topography.
  • Creating open places in the city was a good way to make the city healthier.
  • To make sufficient funds for maintenance of the cities was another concern.

Q20. How were urban centres transformed during the 18th century?


  • With the decline of Mughal power, the towns associated with their administration started declining.
  • The regional capitals Lucknow, Hyderabad, Seringapatam, and Poona started gaining importance.
  • The traders, administrators, artisans and other people, in search of work and patronage, began to reside in new capitals.
  • With acquiring political control, the East India Company rapidly developed Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.

Q21. Mention any 2 reasons for the British to take upon themselves the task of town planning in Bengal.

Ans. In the very beginning The British were inspired by a vision of good town planning they formed regulation for urban land use.

  • Concern for defense- they needed defense against local rulers. Siraj –ud-Daulah the Nawab of Bengal, attacked Calcutta in 1756. He attacked their fort.
  • Construction of another fort –Siraj-ud-Daulah was defeated in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. So they decided to construct a new fort –Fort William.

Q22. Describe the social changes brought in the new colonial cities.


  • Within the new cities new social groups were formed and the old identities of people were no longer important. All classes of people were migrating to the big cities. There was an increasing demand for clerks, teachers, lawyers and accountants-resulting in the increase of middle class.
  • Another new class within the cities was the labouring poor or the working class. Paupers from rural areas flocked to the cities in the hope of employment These were known for religious festivals and fairs.

8 Marks Questions

Q23. What were the kinds of public places that emerged in the colonial city? What functions did they serve?


  • The new colonial cities were centres of political authority and economic activities.
  • For commercial activities godowns, mercantile offices, insurance agencies, transport depots and banking establishments were established.
  • The major colonial cities served as port cities. Ships were loaded and deloaded there.
  • Main administrative offices of the company were established away from the seashore.
  • Because of the rapid expansion of the railway colonial cities were linked with rest of India. Railway stations, railway workshops and railway colonies started emerging in cities.
  • Hill stations were developed for billeting troop, guarding frontiers and mounting attack on enemy. They also functioned as a sanitorium.
  • Public places like the town halls, parks and cinema halls started coming into existence.
  • Forts, government offices, educational institutions, religious structures, and commercial depots were constructed for growing economy.
  • British constructed clubs for meeting and entertainment.

Q24. To what extent were social relations transformed in the new cities?


  • Lacked the coherence,
  • Extreme poverty and extreme prosperity,
  • People got opportunities of meeting.
  • New social groups,
  • Demands of many professionals,
  • Spread of middle class,
  • Expression of views through various means,
  • Growth of general awareness, influence of woman,
  • Changes in traditional norms. Poor people have own culture; many struggles in life.

Q.25 What are different colonial architectural styles?


  • Neo classical style – Derived from ancient Rome, geometrical structures fronted with lofty pillars, Town Hall, Elphinston circle.
  • Neo Gothic style – Originate from medieval churches, high pitched roofs, pointed arches, detailed decoration. Bombay secretariat, University of Bombay, Bombay High Court.
  • Indo saracenic style – Mixture of Indian and European style Dome, Chhatris, Jalis, Arches, Gateway of India, and Taj Mahal hotel.

Q.26. Architectural features of the city of Bombay during the British period.

Ans. Buildings in cities could include forts, government offices, educational institutions, religious structures, commercial towns etc. Initially Bombay was a state of seven islands. A number of new buildings were constructed at this time. The architectural style of these buildings were of usually European origin. Then British adopted some of the Indian style to suit their needs, one of its example is bunglows which were made for government officers. It had traditional pitched roof and surrounding verandah to keep the bunglow cool.

The three architectural styles were

  • Neo classical style- it had geometrical structure, lofty pillars, similar to buildings to the building in ancient Rome
  • New gothic style- its roots in buildings specially churches built in northern Europe during the medieval period. University of Bombay and High court.
  • Indo-saracenic style- indo meant Hindu and Saracen used to name Muslim. The insipiration for this style was medieval building in India with their domes, chhatri, jail, arches. Example-The gateway of India

Another traditional style was unique to Bombay, the chawl. Multi storeyed single room apartment.

Q.27. Explain the character of pre-colonial India.

Ans. Administrator, traders, artisans lives in towns fortified walls. The separation between town and countryside was not rigid. Peasants travelled long distances on pilgrimages passing through towns. People flocked to towns during times of famines, flood and epidemic. During the Mughal  Period these were renowned for concentration of population. Some of the towns in the south were well known for their temples. Eg.Kanchipuram and Madurai.

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