NCERT Solutions for Class 11 History Chapter 11 - Paths to Modernisation

Question 1:

What were the major developments before the Meiji restoration that made it possible for Japan to modernise rapidly?


The Meiji restoration was made in 1867–68. Before it, the following major developments made it possible for Japan to modernise rapidly :

  1. Peasants were disarmed. Now only the samurai could carry swords. This ensured peace and order, ending the frequent wars of the previous centuries.
  2. The daimyo were ordered to live in the capitals of their domains. They were also given a large degree of autonomy.
  3. Land surveys were made to identify the owners and taxpayers. Land productivity was also graded to ensure a stable revenue base.
  4. There was rise in population of the daimyo’s capitals. This led to the growth of a commercial economy and created financial and credit system.
  5. A person’s merit began to be more valued than his status.
  6. The fast-growing class of merchants in towns patronised theatre and the arts.
  7. People had developed a habit of reading.
  8. Restrictions were put on the export of precious metals.
  9. Steps were taken to develop the silk industry so as to reduce imports.
  10. Use of money had increased and a stock market in rice was created.
  11. People began to study ancient Japanese literature which led them to question the degree of Chinese influence on Japan.
Question 2:

Discuss how daily life was transformed as Japan developed.


Patriarchal household system was prevailed earlier in Japan in which many generations live together. They all lived together under the control of the head of the house. But as people became affluent, new ideas of family came into being. The new home was that of a nuclear family in which husband and wife both were bread winners as well as homemakers. This new system also generated demands for new types of domestic goods and new forms of housing.

Question 3:

How did the Qing dynasty try and meet the challenge posed by the Western powers?


The Qing dynasty failed to meet the challenge posed by the western powers. The Opium Wars (1839– 42 CE) with Britain weakened it. There was a demand for reform and change in the country by the Qing dynasty. The Qing dynasty also proved a failure in it. Consequently, the country faced a civil war.

Question 4:

What were Sun Yat-sen’s Three Principles?


Following were the three Principles of Sun Yat-sen :

  1. Nationalism. This meant overthrowing the Manchus because it was considered as a foreign dynasty.
  2. Democracy. To establish a democratic government in the country.
  3. Socialism. To regulate capital and equalise the landholdings.
Question 5:

Did Japan’s policy of rapid industrialisation lead to wars with its neighbours and destruction of the environment?


It is true that rapid industrialisation of Japan led to wars and destruction of the environment.

  1. Uncontrolled development of industries led to an increase in demand of wood and other resources. It had a very bad impact on environment.
  2. Need of colonies was felt to obtain raw material and for the consumption of furnished products. For this, Japan had to fight wars with its neighbours.
Question 6:

Do you think that Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China were successful in liberating China and laying the basis for its current success?


Yes, Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China were successful in liberating China and laying the basis for its current success.

  1. After the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925, the Guomindang was headed by Chiang-Kai-shek. Before it the Communist Party of China had been established in 1921. Though he strengthened the rule of the Guomindang, yet he took no step to achieve the three revolutionary objectives of Sun Yat-sen. Contrary to it, he followed the policy to repress his opponents and the communists. He was also supported by the Soviet Union. Moreover, he attempted to raise a new class of landlords, who exploited the peasantry. In the meantime, a communist leader Mao Zedong formed the Red Army to strengthen the peasant movement.
  2. In 1930, Mao Zedong became the chairperson of the council of peasants and workers and began to work underground. He re-established the Red Army and started a guerilla war against Chiang Kai-shek’s large army. He defeated Chiang’s army four times. But in the fifth attack he was so under pressure that he planned and implemented the Long March. Nearly one lac communists participated in this march. They covered 6000 miles in 368 days and arrived in Shensi and Kansu, the northern provinces of the country. Only 20,000 communists reached there. In 1935, Mao Zedong formed a communist front against Japan. He thought that his struggle against Japan would popularise him and also make his mass movement more effective. He also suggested that the Guomindang should work with the Red Army, and a United Front be formed. But Chiang did not accept his proposal. This harmed his prestige to the extent that his own soldiers imprisoned him. Mao continued his struggle against Japan until he succeeded.
  3. Chiang Kai-shek was worried about increasing power of Mao Zedong. He did not want to work with him. After a great difficulty he was ready to stand by Mao against Japan. When the war ended, Mao put a proposal of a coalition government before Chiang but Chiang did not accept it. Mao continued with his struggle. In 1949, Chiang escaped to Farmosa (modern Taiwan) to seek asylum there. Mao Zedong was elected as the chairman of the Chinese government. He held this office till his death.