CBSE Class 12 History Colonial Cities Notes

Download CBSE Class 12 History Colonial Cities Notes in PDF format. All Revision notes for Class 12 History have been designed as per the latest syllabus and updated chapters given in your textbook for History in Standard 12. Our teachers have designed these concept notes for the benefit of Grade 12 students. You should use these chapter wise notes for revision on daily basis. These study notes can also be used for learning each chapter and its important and difficult topics or revision just before your exams to help you get better scores in upcoming examinations, You can also use Printable notes for Class 12 History for faster revision of difficult topics and get higher rank. After reading these notes also refer to MCQ questions for Class 12 History given our website

THEME : 12



Key concepts in nutshell

Sources :- ( I ) Records of the East India company.

( ii ) Census reports

( iii ) Municipal reports.

• The urban population increased from about 10 % to 13 % during the period 1900-1940.

• During the end of the 18th century Madras, Bombay and Calcutta had developed into important ports.

•The ruling elite built racially exclusive clubs, race courses and theatres.

• The development of new modes of transportation such as horse drawn carriages, trams, buses etc. facilitated peoples to live at distant place from the places of their work.

•The rulers everywhere try to express their power through buildings. Many Indian adopted European styles of architecture as symbols of modernity and civilisation.

 The settlement of the local peoples were named “Black Town”. A fortification was built around the “ White Town” to separate it from the “ Black Town”.

Difficulties in collecting datas :-

(i) Peoples were unwilling to give correct informations.

(ii ) Figure of mortality and diseases were difficult to collect.

Ports :- Madras, Bombay and Calcutta

Forts :- St. George in Madras and Fort William in Calcutta.

Q.1 To what extent are census data useful in reconstruction patterns of urbanization in the colonial context ? (2)

Ans. Census data are very useful in reconstructing pattern of urbanization in the colonial context.

(i) These data are useful of know exact number of population as well as the total population of white and blacks.

(ii) These data also tell us upto what extent total number of people or total population had been affected adversely by the fearful or deadly diseases. 

(iii) Census data provide us complete information about total number of different communities, their language, their works and means of livelihood as well as about their caste and religion also.

Q. 2 What were Civil Lines during the colonial rule? (2)

Ans. After the Revolt of 1857British attitudes in India were shaped by a constant fear of rebellion. They felt that towns needed to be better defended, and white people had to live in more secure and segregated enclaves, away from the threat of the “natives”. Pasturelands and agricultural fields around the older towns were cleared, and new urban spaces called “Civil Lines” were set up. White people began to live in the Civil Lines.

Q3. Why did the records of the colonial cities were preserved? (2)

Ans. (i) Tow know the change of population.

(ii) For reconstructing the history of growth of the colonial cities.

Q4. Write a common characteristics of the three colonial cities Bombay, Calcutta and Madras ? (2)

Ans. The English East India Company established their administrative and trade centres in these cities. Ports developed near these cities.

Q5. Write the names of any three hill stations established by the British in India? (2)

Ans. Shimla, Mount Abu and Darjeeling.

Q6. What were the new kinds of public places that emerged in the colonial city? what function did they serve ?

Answer 1. (1). By the 18th century , madras, Calcutta and Bomaby had become important points and cities. The settlement that came up here were convenient points for collecting goods. The English East India Company built its factories (i.e. mercantile offices) there and because of competition among European companies fortified there settlement for protection. In Madras, Fort St. George, in Calcutta Fort William and in Bombay the Fort marked out the areas of British settlement which were known as ‘White town’. The Indian Merchants, artisan and other women who had economic dealings with Europeans merchants lived outside their fort. These forts in settlement of train own known as ‘Black Towns’. 

(2). After 1850s cottons mills were setup by Indian merchants and enterprenants in Bombay and European – owned jute mills were established in Rishra (1855) on the outskirts of Calcutta.

(3).Kanpur , Specializing in leather ,wooden and cotton textile an d Jamshedpur , specializing in steel were prominent.

(4). In 1864 Viceroy John Lawrence officially moved his councils to Shimla

Q7. Why were the hill stations developed in India by Britishers ?


1. Need of British army.

2. Strategic places of Army.

3. Cool climate temptation for Britisher.

4. Free from epidemics.

5. Healthy climate

6. Home away home for Britishers.

Any five points are required

Q. 8 Assess the impact of health and defence needs on town planning in Colonial Calcutta.

Ans. In 1756, Sirajudula the Nawab of Bengal sacked the small fort which the British traders had built to house their goods. Consequently when Sirajudaula was defeated in the Battle of Plassey, the British built a new fort. Fort William could not be easily attacked.

Around Fort William, a vast open space was left which came to be known as the Maidan or garer-math. This was done so there would be no obstructions to a straight time of fire from the Fort against an advancing enemy army. Soon the British began to move out of the Fort and build residences along the periphery of the Maidan. This was how the English Settlement in Calcutta started taking shape. The vast open space around the Fort became Calcutta’s first significant town planning measure.

Lord Wellesley was concerned about the conditions that existed in the Indian part of the city the fith, overcrowding and the poor drainge. He wrote a minute (an administrative order) in 1803 on the need for town planning and set up various committees for this purpose.

It was believed that creating open places in the city would make the city healthier.

Consequently many bazaars, ghats, burial ground and tanneries were cleared or removed.

After Wellesley’s departure, the Lottery Committee carried on with the work of Town Planning. In its drive to make the Indian areas cleaner, the committee cleared the river bank of encroachment and pushed the poor to the outskirts of Calcutta.

The outbreak of cholera and plague epidemics in the 19th century gave a further impetus to town planning.

The government believed that there was a direct link between living conditions and the spread of disease. Densely built up areas were regarded as insanitary as it obstructed sunlight and circulation of air.

Q. 9 What was the condition of the cities during the colonial rule in India?

Ans. 1. New class of laborious poor and workers were emerging. Rural labourers were migrating to the cities for employment. Many were migrating due to the attractive city life.

2. Colonial rulers conducted surveys. They collected the statistical datas and published the governmental reports time to time.

3. Maps of Madras, Bombay and Culcutta were quiet different from the old ons. Architecture of the buildings were changed.

4. A large number of labours were coming to the hill stations where plantation of tea and coffe were done.

5. There were a number of opportunities for women in the cities. Some social reformers supported women educations which was opposed by the orthodox opposed it. Gradually the participation of women in public places increased.

They entered into the new occupations of the cities as maid, factory labourers, teachers, actress etc.

Q. 10 How did prominent Indian merchants establish themselves in the colonial city?

Ans. Prominent Indian merchant establish themselves in colonial city in different phases.

They establish themselves in all the three metro colonial cities i.e., Madras (Channai), Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata).

First of all these Indian merchants tried to establish their relation of the agents of the company. As there all colonial cities were trade centre and administrative official. Therefore the Indian merchants could easily get establish their relation with the Europeans. There cities were having different types of comforts such as modern hotels, restaurant, lodging, boarding, transport fancilities, roadways and shipping.

Later on Bombay become a major trade centre of opium with China. Prominent Indian merchant played active role in collecting opium from different places of Rajasthan and Malwa. They use to bring opium on the back of horses, ponies, camels by road transport etc. They use to earn a lot of money as middle man between farmers and companies agents and officials. Not only East India Company but some of the government official and later or other European also participated in illegal trade of opium. The prominent Indian merchant became very rich. They constructed big building in all big cities of colonial period.

As the industrial revolution in England started and expanded.

These colonial cities became entry point for British manufacture goods and for the expert of Indian ram materials (which was to be used in large scale industries and factories of England). The prominent Indian merchant also participated in there trade activities.

The introduction of railways in 1853 meant a change in the fortunes of towns.

Economic activity gradually shifted away from traditional towns which were located along old routes and rivers. Every railway station became a collection depot for raw materials and a distribution point for imported goods. For instance, Mirzapur on the Ganges, which specialized in collecting cotton goods from the Deccan, declined when a railway link was made to Bombay. With the expansion of the railway network, railway workships and railways colonies were established Railways towns like Jamalpur, Waltair and Bareilly developed.

The Indian merchants included the people of different communities and castes such as Parsi, Marwari, Konkani, Arbs, Gujarati. Baniyas, Boras and Jews. Some of the members of this community invested money in modern big industry, shipping and Airlines also. They donated money for construction of inns, wells, tanks, temples, Mosque, Churches and other places of religion and worships.

Q.11 Describe the growth of cantonments in India ?

Ans. For the defence of their Empire, the British Government established cantonments at strategic places. They also built cantonment on the borders of the many important native states to check the disturbance in these states and to control the activities of the rulers. In 1765, Lord Robert Clive initiated the policy of building cantonments for British troops to keep them “cantoned ” in one place, to enforce discipline and military way of life and also to keep them in
a sanitized environment. During that time there were 62 cantonments in India. In the 18th

Please click the link below to download pdf file for CBSE Class XII History - Colonial Cities.



Click to View or Download pdf file
Click for more History Study Material

Latest NCERT & CBSE News

Read the latest news and announcements from NCERT and CBSE below. Important updates relating to your studies which will help you to keep yourself updated with latest happenings in school level education. Keep yourself updated with all latest news and also read articles from teachers which will help you to improve your studies, increase motivation level and promote faster learning

Class 10 Boards Cancelled Class 12 postponed

Looking to the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, and also taking in account the safety and well-being of the students, it is decided as follows:   1. The Board Exams for Class XIIth to be held from May 4th to June, 14th, 2021 are hereby postponed....

FAQs on Policy for Tabulation of Marks for Class 10 Board Exams

ON POLICY Question.1 How CBSE will declare the result of Class-X? Answer. Results of Class X Board will be declared on the basis of an objective criterion developed by the Board vide Notification no.CBSE/CE/2021 dated 01.05.2021. Question.2. If any candidate is not...

Latest CBSE Syllabus for 2021 2022 PDF Download

Latest Syllabus for Class 12 for 2021 2022 Latest Syllabus for Class 11 for 2021 2022 Latest Syllabus for Class 10 for 2021 2022 Latest Syllabus for Class 9 for 2021 2022 CBSE has issued the latest syllabus for the academic year 2021 2022 which is applicable for all...

CBSE asks schools to load Class 12 Internal Assessment Marks

This has a reference to the letter no CBSE/COORD/2021 dated 11.02.2021 regarding conduct of the School-Based Assessment (Internal Assessment/Practical/ Project) of Class-XII and uploading the marks by 11.06.2021. It has been observed that some schools have not been...

CBSE Assessment Framework

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today, announced a suggested competency-based assessment framework to strengthen India’s existing school education system for secondary level (classes 6-10) and improve the overall learning outcomes of students across...

Studies Today