UPSC Mains 2023 History Optional Paper II


Q. 1. Critical examine the following Statements in about 150 words each: 10×5=50

Q. 1 (a) “Colonialism had a twisted logic of its own for commercialization. It emerges on analysis to have been often an artificial and forced process.” [10 Marks]

Q. 1 (b) After 1857, “the peasants emerged as the main force in agrarian movements.” [10 Marks]

Q. 1 (c) “Awakened political consciousness of Indian masses, bound with dishonourable and cowardly insults of the British led to the movement of Non-Cooperation.” [10 Marks]

Q. 1 (d) When Gandhiji launched the Civil Disobedience Movement he was “desperately in search of an effective formula.” [10 Marks]

Q. 1 (e) “If abdication of British responsibility at the time of transfer of power was callous, the speed with which it was done made it worse.” [10 Marks]

Q. 2 (a) The Carnatic Wars, the Anglo-Mysore Wars and the Anglo-Maratha Wars had virtually eliminated the French front the contest of supremacy in South India. Discuss. [20 Marks]

Q. 2 (b) While introducing the Indian Councils Bill of 1861, the British thought that the only Government suitable for India ‘is a despotism controlled from home’. Comment. [20 Marks]

Q. 2 (c) The root of the whole question behind the Indigo Revolt ‘is the struggle to make the raiyats grow indigo plants without paying them the price of it’. Analyse. [10 Marks]

Q. 3 (a) Do you agree that ‘the decline of traditional Indian artisan production was a fact, sad but inevitable’? Discuss. [20 Marks]

Q. 3 (b) The historical significance of tribal and peasant uprisings in India ‘lies in that they established strong and valuable traditions of resistance to British rule’. Discuss. [20 Marks]

Q. 3 (c) To accomplish the aims of education, ‘political propaganda and formation as well as propagation of nationalist ideology’, the press became the chief instrument. Comment. [10 Marks]

Q. 4 (a) The universalist perspective of socio-religious reform movements was not a ‘purely philosophic concern; it strongly influenced the political and social outlook of the time’. Examine. [20 Marks]

Q. 4 (b) The Congress Socialist Party agenda was not to cut off from the Congress, but ‘intended to give the Congress and the national movement a socialist direction’. Analyse. [20 Marks]

Q. 4 (c) How did the factionalised Dalit leadership in Hyderabad undergo a period of intense re-organization between 1948 and 1953? [10 Marks]


Q. 5 Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each : 10×5=50

Q. 5 (a) “The American War of Independence finally ended in 1783 when Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States of America.” [10 Marks]

Q. 5 (b) “The Chartist Movement not only fulfilled some of the demands of the middle class, but its ramifications were felt among the working class and the colonies as well.” [10 Marks]

Q. 5 (c) “The Revolutions of 1848 were shaped by the ideas of democracy and nationalism.” [10 Marks]

Q. 5 (d) “The British imperialism in South Africa from 1867 to 1902 was influenced to a large extent by the capitalist mining of diamonds.” [10 Marks]

Q. 5 (e) “The supremacy of USA after the end of Cold War had its challenges as well.” [10 Marks]

Q. 6 (a) The philosophers and thinkers may have laid the foundation of the French Revolution, but it was precipitated by social and economic reasons. Explain. [20 Marks]

Q. 6 (b) Marxian socialism claims itself to be a scientific socialist theory capable of explaining the history of humankind. Discuss. [20 Marks]

Q. 6 (c) Enlightenment was not confined to scientific revolution alone, but humanism and ideas of progress too were its inseparable constituents. Examine. [10 Marks]

Q. 7 (a) The impact of industrial revolution on the middle class world view is reflected in the views of Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus and Jeremy Bentham. Comment. [20 Marks]

Q. 7 (b) Discuss the different stages of the unification of Italy from 1848 to the occupation of Rome in 1870. [20 Marks]

Q. 7 (c) The Treaty of Versailles contained in itself the seeds of the Second World War. Examine. [10 Marks]

Q. 8 (a) “UNO was the necessity of the time when the World War II ended.” Critically examine its achievements and shortcomings. [20 Marks]

Q. 8 (b) The historical causes for the rise of anti-colonial movement in South-East Asia were cultural differences, spread of western education and the emergence of Communist ideas. Discuss. [20 Marks]

Q. 8 (c) Arab nationalism was not only a cultural movement, but also an anti-colonial struggle. Comment. [10 Marks]

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