Ruling the Countryside Class 8 Notes

5 minute read
Ruling the Countryside Class 8 Notes

History is an important subject of the class 8 syllabus. In this blog, we shall discuss chapter 3 of class 8 History – Ruling the Countryside. This chapter deals with how the East India Company colonised India to generate revenues. It elaborates on each subtopic to provide a clear picture of the colonisation era. In this blog, you will find comprehensive Ruling the Countryside Class 8 Notes. 

The Beginning Ruling the Countryside Class 8 

On 12 August 1765, the East India Company became the Diwan of Bengal as appointed by the Mughal emperor. Hence, was recognised as the chief financial administrator of the territory under its control. The East India Company colonised the countryside primarily to organize revenue resources. It further went on to redefine the rights of people.

Ruling the Countryside Class 8 Notes
Credits – Learninsta

Generating Revenue 

  • With the EIC getting the Diwani rights, it started extracting revenue out of it and used various measures for this purpose. The EIC considered itself primarily as a trader.
  • Prior to 1865, the EIC imported gold from Britain to purchase goods in India and after getting the Diwani rights, used the revenue collected in Bengal to purchase goods for export.
  • At this point, the economy of Bengal faced a severe crisis as workers and craftsmen were being exploited and not paid enough.
  • A famine that led to the death of nearly 10 million people occured in Bengal in 1770. In Spite of such terrible conditions, the EIC paid no heed to the matters related to the peasantry class as all they focussed on was collecting revenue.
Credits – Drishti IAS : English

Also Read: Non-Cooperation Movement: Features, Causes and Results

Agricultural Reforms 

The EIC introduced a form of Permanent Settlement in 1793, which basically recognised rajas and taluqdars as zamindars and they were supposed to collect rents from peasants to generate revenue for the company. The revenue amount was fixed by the EIC. The purpose of this settlement was to ensure a smooth flow of revenue and also encourage zamindars to invest in improving the land. 

Problems in the Permanent Settlement System

  1. The company officials came to know that the zamindars were not investing much because of the high revenue fixed by EIC.
  2. During the first decade of 19th C, the prices in the market increased as a result of which, cultivation expanded. So, the zamindars denied investing more in the land.
  3. Since the land rents were too high, the cultivators had to take loans and when they failed to repay the loan they were evicted from their land. Thus, making this system very oppressive. 

Formation of a New System 

Next topic in the Ruling the Countryside class 8 notes is the Mahalwari Settlement. With the permanent settlement system causing so many problems, the EIC decided to devise a new system. Holt Mackenzie took the charge and devised the new system in 1822 after a thorough analysis of village systems. Under the leadership of Holt, collectors were asked to inspect the land and record the customs of various groups. 

The estimated revenue of each plot within a village was added up to calculate the revenue that each village (mahal) had to pay. This however was to be revised periodically. In this system,  the village headman was in charge of collecting the revenue. This system came to be known as the Mahalwari Settlement.

Credits – Concept Tree

Munro System And its Consequences

In the Southern British territories, a new system was devised. This came to be known as Ryotwari, in which settlements were made directly with the cultivators. Before revenue collection, their field was surveyed. To increase the taxes collected from land, high revenue charges were set by the British. As a result of this many cultivators were unable to pay and hence fled the countryside.

Are you liking our exclusive Ruling the Countryside class 8 notes? Here is a must read blog for you – Popular Struggles and Movements!

Crop Production 

By the later half of the 19th Century, to expand the cultivation of opium and indigo, the EIC forced peasants to produce other crops. Like Tea in Assam, Rice in madras, Jute in Bengal, Wheat in Punjab, Sugar cane in UP.

India at that point was the leading producer of Indigo. Indigo produced a colour, blue which was used in Morris Prints. Hence, the demand for indigo increased. While the demand for indigo increased, its supplies from other places like the American and West Indies significantly decreased because of multiple reasons. Between 1783 and 1789 the production of indigo in the world was reduced by half.

In such circumstances, the EIC looked for ways to expand indigo cultivation in India. They were very moved by the high profits aspect of Indigo and hence started cultivating indigo in India. 

Before you move on to the next topic in Ruling the Countryside Class 8 notes, read about a revolutionary movement in the history of India – Home Rule Movement!

All about Indigo Cultivation

How was indigo cultivated? Two methods were followed for the purpose of indigo cultivation: 

  1. Nij System – Indigo was produced by planters in land that were directly controlled by them. The land was either rented or bought from the zamindars. Although, the major issue with this system was that the planters couldn’t easily expand the area as it required many ploughs and bullocks. Thus, the planters were not willing to expand the areas.
  2. Ryoti System – Under his system, peasants were made to sign an agreement/satta and got cash advances at a low rate of interest to cultivate indigo. Soon after the peasants realised how the loan system was and that they couldn’t cultivate rice on the same land. As a result, they refused to cultivate indigo. 
Credits – Constructing Minds

Rise of the Blue Rebellion

Having realised the disadvantage of indigo cultivation, peasants refuse to cultivate indigo. They believed that they would get support from the British government in their struggle. The government established an indigo commission to enquire about indigo production. The commission suggested the ryots complete their existing contract and then stop cultivating indigo. After the revolt of 1857, indigo production collapsed. 

Credits – Bookstawa

Ruling the Countryside Class 8 Questions and Answers

Questions Based on Ruling the Countryside Class 8 

Now that you are through with the Ruling the Countryside class 8 notes, test your knowledge with these questions: 

1. Match the following:

Ryot Village
Mahal Peasant
Nij Cultivation on ryot’s lands
Ryoti Cultivation on planter’s own land


Ryot Peasant
Mahal Village
Nij Cultivation on planter’s own land
Ryoti Cultivation on ryot’s land

2. Fill in the blanks:

(a) Growers of woad in Europe saw __________ as a crop which would provide competition to their earnings.
(b) The demand for indigo increased in late eighteenth-century Britain because of __________.
(c) The international demand for indigo was affected by the discovery of __________.
(d) The Champaran movement was against __________.


(a) Indigo 
(b)because of the expansion of cotton production that leads to an enormous demand for cloth dyes
(c) synthetic dyes
(d) indigo planters

Download the Ruling the Countryside Class 8 PDF from here.

So, this was all about Ruling the Countryside Class 8 notes. Hope you found this helpful for your exam preparation. For more such content, stay connected with Leverage Edu!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *



15,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today.
Talk to an expert