Solution: Weekly Problem Practice For History Optional- 2023 [World History: Week 3]

Solution: Weekly Problem Practice For History Optional- 2023 [World History: Week 3]

Q.1 “The principles of Enlightenment were in some ways a continuation of the discoveries and theories of the Scientific Revolution.” Examine. [10 Marks]


Enlightenment was intellectual, philosophical, cultural and social movement. It spread throughout Europe (mainly Western Europe) during the 17th and 18th century. This period is called the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason.

The principles of Enlightenment as continuation of the discoveries and theories of the Scientific Revolution: 

  • The Enlightenment was the product of a vast set of cultural and intellectual changes in Europe during the 16th and 17th century. One of the most important of these changes was the discoveries and the Scientific Revolution.
  • Principles of Enlightenment such as rationalism, naturalism, optimism of human progress, humanism etc. were also part of the Scientific Revolution.
  • The Scientific Revolution opened a path for independent thought, and the fields of mathematics, astronomy, physics, politics, economics, philosophy, and medicine were drastically updated and expanded.
  • During the Scientific Revolution,
    • European thinkers tore down the flawed set of “scientific” beliefs established by the ancients and maintained by the Church.
    • To replace this flawed knowledge, scientists sought to discover and convey the true laws governing the phenomena they observed in nature.
  • Galileo and Kepler
    • Astronomers such as Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) and Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) started questioning the old beliefs.
    • Galileo encountered significant resistance from the Church for his support of the theories of Polish astronomer Copernicus, who had stated that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system—not vice versa, as Church teaching had always maintained.
  • Bacon and Descartes
    • Galileo had long said that observation was a necessary element of the scientific method—a point that Francis Bacon (1561–1626) solidified with his inductive method which stresses observation and reasoning as the means for coming to general conclusions.
    • Rene Descartes (1596–1650) talents ran the gamut from mathematics to philosophy.
      • He came to the philosophical conclusion “I think, therefore I am”—asserting that, if nothing else, he was at least a thinking being.
      • Descartes’ deductive approach to philosophy, using math and logic, stressed a “clear and distinct foundation for thought”.
  • Newton (1642–1727)
    • Newton had also prepared ground for Enlightenment through his findings of natural laws.
    • He revealed a number of natural laws that had previously been credited to divine forces.
    • He worked in areas of mathematics, physics (for e.g. gravity), optics etc.
  • Exploration:
    • Change was taking place in Europe as the result of exploration and the extension of overseas empires in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
    • European explorers used new transportation technologies to explore new areas with influence of reason and natural law.
    • As these explorers returned from across the world with stories of peoples and cultures never previously known, Europeans were introduced to drastically different lifestyles and beliefs.
    • The worldlier perspective provided Enlightenment-era thinkers with the inspiration and impetus for change with optimism of human progress and principles of relativism.

Hence the the discoveries and theories of the Scientific Revolution had several elements which provided background and root of Enlightenment and represented a huge departure from the Middle Ages of Europe. But there were various other factors anti-war sentiments, the declining influence of the Church, theories of various philosophers etc. also provided for the background of the principles of the Enlightenment. Also several principles of Enlightenment like relativism, individualism were not directly part of discoveries and theories of the Scientific Revolution.

Q.2 “Cotton contained seed of Industrial Revolution.” Comment. [10 Marks]


British historian Eric Hobsbawm characterized English industrial history:  “Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton.”

Rapid industrialization transformed the lives of English men and women after 1750, and changes in cotton textiles were at the heart of this process and Industrial Revolution started chiefly from the textile industry.

Textile Industry had following advantages

  1. Textile techniques were already at such point of development that only a few minor alterations had to be effected to render both spinning and weaving semi-mechanised and semi-automatic.
  2. It was relatively free to use techniques to reduce the cost of production, for the cotton textile trade was not subject to guild regulation. The monopolistic guilds never existed in cotton because it was a new industry.
  3. There was more focus on textile manufacturing because the manufacture and export of various cloths were vital to the English economy in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Textile production before Industrial Revolution

  • Before the Industrial Revolution, textiles were produced under the putting-out system, in which merchant clothiers had their work done in the homes of artisans or farming families.
  • Production was limited by reliance on the spinning wheel and the hand loom; increases in output required more hand workers at each stage.

Changes in textile production due to innovation

Invention dramatically changed the nature of textile work.

  • In Weaving Field:
    • The flying shuttle, patented by John Kay in 1733, increased the output of each weaver and led to increased demand for yarn.
    • This prompted effort by others to mechanize the spinning of yarn.
  • In Spinning Field:
    • The first advance came in 1767, when James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, allowing one spinner to produce several yarns at a time.
  • In Mechanical Power:
    • In 1769, Richard Arkwright patented the water frame, a spinning machine that produced a coarse, twisted yarn and could be powered by water.
    • Coupled with the carding machine, the Arkwright spinning frame ushered in the modern factory. (It could not work in small places and so it was parent of the factory system)
    • The first textile mills, needing water-power to drive their machinery, were built on fast-moving streams in rural England.
    • After the 1780s, with the application of steam power, mills also grew up in urban centers.

Initially, English mills relied on pauper labor, and for a considerable period mill owners had difficulty recruiting workers. Once in the mills, though, workers felt threatened by the introduction of new machinery, and periodically resisted such moves by destroying power looms and setting fire to new factories. (Luddites were a radical group of English textile workers and weavers in the 19th century who destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest.) Nevertheless, the textile industry expanded rapidly, increasing production fifty-fold between 1780 and 1840.

The English Industrial Revolution had important consequences for Americans. It spurred cultivation of cotton in the South to meet expanding English demand for the fiber. The growth and profits of English textiles also caught the imagination of American merchants, the more far sighted of whom sought to manufacture cloth and not simply market English imports. Hence, cotton gave impetus to the Industrialisation in the other parts of the world also.

Q.3 Discuss the role played by Mazzini, Garibaldi and Cavour in the unification of Italy. [20 Marks]


  • Three people clearly played a great role in the process of unifying the State:
    • Giuseppe Mazzini (Heart and soul of Italy Unification) , the ideological leader of the Italian patriots and the creator of the famous Young Italy,
    • Giuseppe Garibaldi (Sword of Italy Unification), a skillful military man.
    • Camillo Cavour (Mind of Italy Unification), the Prime Minister of Piedmont from 1852 to 1861.
  • All of them shared a great contribution towards the Unification, but they took actions at different paths: Mazzini was an ideological leader, Garibaldi – a military one and Cavour a political one.
  • Mazzini:
    • He was born in Genua in 1805 which at that time was under the rule of the French, so from the beginning he was interested in the revolutionary movements:
      • He became a member of the Carbonari. Because of being a revolutionary, he was arrested in 1831.
      • He clearly did not trust the government to introduce any changes and believed that the Italian people could make the situation of the country better, so he concentrated on creating a revolutionary movement that would be more efficient than the Carbonari were.
      • With the purpose of changing Italy into a ‘one, independent and free republic’ by a popular uprising he created the Young Italy, a movement that was spreading towards other countries, eventually creating the Young Europe.
      • Mazzini believed that the popular revolutions that he had in plans would help to achieve the state of his dreams, but all the following uprisings, e.g. the one in 1834 in Piedmont, organised in co-operation with Garibaldi, ended in failure and Mazzini, once again arrested and was forced to go into exile to London.
    • He roused the enthusiasm of Italians and spread and kept alight the sacred flame of nationalism.
      • He gave them an ideal to aim at and inspired the Italian movement with a strong moral fervor.
      • It was he who prepared the ground for others. He was prophet, thinker and heart of Italian unity.
    • Although his contribution was the greatest when it came to the ideological path of the Unification, Mazzini took actions on the political and military field.
      • The revolutions organised by him in towns like Bologna (1843) or Milan (1853) all ended in a failure, which was caused by the fact that Mazzini was an ideological leader, not a military one.
      • In politics, however, he had some achievements, for during his exiles (1837-1840 and 1850) he gained the British sympathy and support for the case and for himself, which was important, for it gave the Unification the recognition on the international arena.
      • During the siege of Rome he became the leader of the government, showing good administrative capabilities.
      • Mazzini had in mind a certain image of a republican Italy and when he realised that his vision is unlikely to come true, he gave up – for example in Milan in 1848.
      • After 1849 he supported Garibaldi in his attempts to conquer Rome but his role in the unification was coming to the end.
  • Garibaldi:
    • He engaged himself into the Unification in 1833 when he joined the Young Italy inspired by the idea of an united Italian state.
    • As Mazzini, after the failure in Piedmont in 1834 he escaped to South America.
      • The time spent by Garibaldi in America was not a wasted period: he learned how to fight at the land, because before, due to his marine origins, he was used to fight on a ship.
    • When he heard of the planned revolutions, he came back to his motherland with a guerrilla called the Red Shirts and helped Mazzini with defending Rome.
    • Garibaldi was able to make a journey towards the South and gradually gain the southern Italian states like Sicily or Naples.
    • As a military leader, Garibaldi had to make decisions connected with politics and ideology.
    • What is worth noticing in Garibaldi is that unlike Mazzini he never gave up and was prone to go for a compromise and fought for the united Italy, not for a vision.
      • A great example of such a political compromise is the fact that in 1861 Garibaldi handed over his conquests to Victor Emmanuel II, literally uniting Italy with the gesture.
      • He was aware that if he would continue the expansionist actions, it would lead to a war which would stop or even destroy the Unification.
    • The contribution made by Giuseppe Garibaldi was a military one.
      • He was man of action and looked to the sword to free Italy.
      • He would strike, hit or miss.
      • It was he who left a way with his sword when Cavour’s diplomacy was brought to halt and with rare self-effacement handed over the fruits of his victory to Victor Emmanuel II.
      • He was republican, yet he not merely fought under King of Sardinia, but supported, against his own convictions, the vision of Italy under crown.
      • He loved his country more than he loved his principles. He had heart of lion but mind of fox.
  • Cavour:
    • Real creator of Italy:
      • He was the first statesman to study the Italian question in all its aspects and bearings and to visualise the complications involved in it.
      • He demanded not merely expulsion of Austria but the extinction of many princely houses and destruction of temporal power of Pope.
    • He adopts new methods and policy:
      • The old method of plots and spasmodic risings had been discredited by failures.
      • As a skillful and observant politician, Cavour was aware of the fact that reaching his aims demanded a delicate policy, so he strengthened the position of Piedmont within Italy and Europe as well, knowing that without the support of foreign powers any change was impossible. The goodwill and cooperation of the powers must be secured.
    • His tact and judgement:
      • By joining Crimean war against Russia, he won sympathy of England and active support of France.
      • He tried to gain the strength for the upcoming war with Austria through the Pact of Plombieres with France in 1859.
      • He guided and controlled the revolutionary movements in the central duchies and secured their annexation to Piedmont.
      • His judgement is visible in the situation of 1861, when to prevent the conflict between France and Garibaldi he sent Piedmontese troops to check the zeal of Garibaldi while taking care to reap the fruits of his victory.
    • Made skillful use of all available sources:
      • He turned into one current all the available forces of the time- Napoleon’s ambition, Mazzini’s inspiration, insurrectionary movements, Garibaldi’s sword.
      • He was master diplomat of his age.
    • Cavour as an administrator:
      • His success as diplomat has overshadowed his eminence as an administrator.
      • He was pioneer of free trade in Europe.
      • His internal reform helped Italian Unification.
    • Dealing with cultural differences:
      • One important element of Italy’s unification was how to deal with various cultural differences.
      • Cavour, despite his leadership in introducing constitutional and liberal reforms in Sardinia, had no patience for such regionalism when his goal was Italian unification.
      • He crushed regional and cultural differences with moderately conservative policies on social and political matters.
      • In doing so, he began to alienate southern peasants and nobles, creating a regional gulf that would come back to haunt Italy in future years.
    • The political path of the Unification belonged to a great extent to Cavour.
    • What differed Cavour from Garibaldi and Mazzini was the fact that he did not engaged himself in the revolutionary movements and did not sympathize with them.
      • He was a moderate liberal for whom the Unification was not the primary aim – he was a Piedmontese expansionist and wanted his country to grow in strength and to force Austrians to withdraw from Italy.
      • When he became the Prime Minister in 1852, he began to introduce Piedmont on the international arena (for e.g. in Crimean War, 1853-6).
      • One of the good features of Cavour was his opportunism:
        • When he recognized the nationalistic movements and demands within Italy, not only was he aware that they could endanger Piedmont’s position and policies, but also managed to use them in favor of his own aim.
        • From a Piedmontese expansionist Cavour became a politician whose actions were concentrated on the Unification.
      • Unlike Garibaldi and Mazzini, Cavour’s actions towards militia were minor and towards ideology there were none, for the ideas of nationalism were foreign and ridiculous to him.
        • He even had a conflict with Mazzini: they both disliked each other.
        • He stood in opposition to the figures of nationalists and their ideas.
        • When it came to military actions, Cavour was not taking part with them, he only planned them.
      • Comparing Garibaldi and Cavour, they were complete opposites.
        • Cavour was a politician with sophisticated intelligence which caused him to take extreme consideration before any action.
        • Garibaldi on the other hand was more extreme he would take direct action as long as he thought it would help the cause.
        • Garibaldi, a democrat, a warrior, and an anti-Catholic, was without question on the road to conflict with the monarchies of Europe.
        • Cavour, with the added credibility of representing a monarch, blended perfectly with the political situation in Europe at the time.
      • Cavour was a realist who practice realistic politics.
        • He allied with France when necessary and with France’s key enemy, Prussia, was necessary.
        • By keeping the goal in mind, Cavour used international power to achieve his domestic goals.
        • Garibaldi was forced to use his own grass roots strength, empowered by young Italian democrats interested in an idealistic future for their nation.
  • As a long and complicated process, the Unification of Italy needed the devotion of many people, but it was also in need of leaders that would make the right decision at the right time and be aware of the consequences.
  • Although the contribution made by Garibaldi, Mazzini and Cavour were not equal, together they built an important base for the future of a united Italy. They actions were often ambiguous, but each one of them was the most important person in one field:
    • Mazzini ideologically, spreading the spirit of nationalism all over the country and making attempts to unite the state.
    • Garibaldi militarily, defending Rome, conquering the South and showing the people that victory is not possible;
    • Cavour politically, rationally planning every step of Piedmont and giving up his aims for the greater good.

Q.4 “The Concert of Europe as an agency for international co-operation broke up mainly on two rocks, one principle and the other of the mutual jealousy of the Powers.” Explain.  [10 Marks]


  • The Concert of Europe or the Congress System, formed after the Congress of Vienna in the post-Napoleonic era, was a system of dispute resolution adopted by the major conservative powers of Europe to maintain their power, oppose revolutionary movements, weaken the forces of nationalism, and uphold the balance of power. It was mainly devised by the ‘Big Four’- Austria, Russia, Prussia and England.
  • It assumed the responsibility and right of the great powers to intervene and impose their collective will on states threatened by internal rebellion. The powers notably suppressed uprisings in Italy (1820) and Spain (1822) but later condoned Belgium’s rebellion and proclamation of independence (1830).

Divergence of principles

  • From the very beginning, England set her face against the principle of intervention in the internal affairs of other States to suppress revolutions adopted by the Congress of Troppau in 1820 under influence of Metternich.
    • Hence when she could not prevent France from intervening in Spain, she withdrew from the Congress which was subsequently held at Verona. England’s Withdrawal dealt a deathblow to the Concert.
    • England, with her parliamentary institutions, could not be expected to work in harmony with the three autocratic Powers who had converted the European Concert into a “league to bind Europe in chains.”
  • England’s attitude was thus a stand against the dictatorship of the Great Powers which the Concert had established under Metternich’s guidance.
    • The Concert for the preservation of peace and order soon degenerated into a clique for the preservation of autocracy.
    • Metternich’s principle of status qua became closely identified with tyranny, stagnation and reaction. Hence his system of diplomacy by congresses became thoroughly discredited.

Mutual jealousy of the Powers

  • As the outlook of the Powers differed, so also their interest. This gave rise to jealousies which it was found impossible to overcome.
    • A Concert implies a common bond of union and a community of interest, without which it is sure to break in pieces.
    • But in no sphere of activity, political or commercial or in constitutional outlook, was to be found any community of purpose or interest.
    • Each power had its own sphere of interest which it guarded with extreme Jealousy and in which it would not tolerate joint action.
  • In brow-beating the weaker states, the members of European Concert acted in harmony (for e.g. checkmated the territorial ambition of Bavaria, gave lecture to the ruler of Monaco as to how he should see to the better government of his principality).
    • But when questions arose involving their own conflicting interest, it was found difficult to overcome mutual jealousies and to take concerted action. Thus England would not consent to joint action in suppressing the Barbary pirates for fear of admitting Russian ships into Mediterranean.
    • She would not also allow European intervention in bringing back the rebellious South American colonies of Spain to Spanish allegiance, lest her commercial interests in that region were jeopardized.
    • The other Powers, therefore, refused to give England authority to search the seas for the suppression of the slave-trade, lest she would utilise the position to steal a march upon them.
  • England strongly opposed the policy of any intervention in Spain, and when France obtained a mandate from the other Powers to suppress the Spanish revolt (the appeal of Spanish King Ferdinand VII to French King for help was a appeal of a Bourbon king to another Bourbon king and looked like the revival of the old Bourbon Family Compact, and so made England uneasy), England withdrew from the Congress and European Concert broke up.
  • The Concert was largely a by-product of the Napoleonic wars, the fruit of a common uprising against a common enemy. When this common enemy was overcome it lost its unity an cohesion, and the nations returned to their individual diplomacy on the principles of the Balance of Power.


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