GS-1 (Mains), Modern History, Prelims Booster

(MH/1) Modern History – Quick Revision Series Part-1

Modern History

National Movement (1905-1918)

1. Why Militant Nationalism Grew

1.     Realisation of exploitative nature of British.

2.     Growth of Self-Confidence & Self-respect.

3.     Impact of growth of Education.

4.     Reaction to increasing Westernisation. (Dayanand’s political msg was India for the Indian”)

5.     Dissatisfaction with the achievements of Moderates. (Methods of Peaceful & Constitutional agitation – “3’P’s: Prayer, Petition & Protest”)

6.     Emergence of trained leadership.

7.     Reactionary policies of Curzon such as

-> Calcutta Corporation Act(1899)

-> Official Secrets Act (1904)

-> Indian Universities Act (1904)

-> Partition of Bengal (1905)

8.  International Influences which demolished European supremacy like-

-> Emergence of Japan as an Industrial power.

-> Abyssinia’s (Ethiopia) victory over Russia (1905).

-> Boer Wars (1899-1902)

-> Japan’s victory over Russia (1905)

-> Nationalist movement worldwide.


2. The Extremist Ideology

1.     Hatred for foreign rule.

2.     Belief in the capacity of masses

3.     Swarajya as goal

4.     Advocacy of direct political action & Self-sacrifice.


3. The Swadeshi & Boycott Movement

·    Began as a reaction to partition of Bengal

·    Division on the basis of Language & Religion.


Moderate led anti-partition movement (1903-05)

·    UnderK. K. Mitra, Prithwishchandra Ray, Surendranath Banerjee.

·    MethodsPublic meeting, Petitions, Memoranda, Propaganda through newspapers & pamphlets.

·    ObjectiveTo exert pressure on govt through an educated public opinion in India & England to prevent the unjust partition of Bengal from being implemented.

·    Partition Day(16th Oct, 1905)= Day of Mourning => Singing Bande Mataram, People tied Rakhis.

1905(Benaras): INC President G.K. Gokhale गोपाल कृष्ण गोखले

1906(Calcutta): President Dadabhai Naoroji

1907(Surat) & 1908(Madras): Rash Behari Ghosh


The movement under Extremists (1905-08)

Lal, Bal, Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh.

Methods- (Passive Resistance)

·    Boycott

·    Public meetings & Processions,

·    Forming corps of volunteers or samitis,

·    Festivals & Melas for propaganda,

·    Emphasis on self-reliance(Atma shakti).

·    Launching programme of Swadeshi or National Education.

·    Initiating new trends in Indian painting & culture. (In Painting, Abanindranath Tagore broke domination of Victorian naturalism over Indian Art & took inspiration from Mughal, Ajanta & Rajput paintings)

·    Pioneering research in Science.

[“Political freedom is the life breath of a nation”, declared Aurobindo.]


Extent of Mass Participation-

·    All sections participated but Muslims generally kept away.

Annulment of Partition(1911) mainly to curb the ‘menace’ of revolutionary terrorism.

Why Swadeshi Movement fizzled out by 1908?

By 1908, the Open Phase (as different from underground revolutionary phase) of the movement was almost over due to-

1.     Severe government repression दमनात्मक रूख.

2.     Lack of effective organisation & a disciplined focus सक्रिय संगठन या पाटी का रूप नहीं .

3.     Movement left leaderless after arrest नेता या तो गिरफ्तार कर लिए गये थे या देश से निर्वासित कर दिए.

4.     Split in nationalist ranks.

5.     Narrow social base.


1.     A leap forward” (Large participation) व्यापक भागीदारी

2.     Richness of movement extended to culture, Science & literature.

3.     People educated in bolder form of politics;

4.     Colonial hegemony undermined.


4. Causes of Moderate-Extremist Split at Surat (1907)

1.     Moderatesrestrict the Boycott to Bengal & of foreign cloth & liquor.

2.     Extremists- to all part of the country & in all forms.


5. Govt Acts for Repression of Swadeshi Movement

1.     Seditious Meetings Act (1907)

2.     Criminal Law (Amendment) Act (1908)

3.     Indian Newspapers (incitement to Offences) Act (1908)

4.     Indian Press Act (1910)


6. Revolutionary Activities

Reasons for emergence

1.     Disillusionment with Leadership (Younger elements not ready to retreat after the decline of open phase)

2.     Leadership’s failure to tap revolutionary energies of youth.

3.     Govt repression left no peaceful avenues open for protest.


1.     Assassinate unpopular officials.

2.     Based on individual Heroic actions on the line of Irish Nationalists or Russian Nihilists and not a mass-based countrywide struggle.


7. Revolutionary Activity Before WW-1


1902Anushilan Samity अनुशीलन समिति , a secret revolutionary society estd by Pramathanath Mitra . (Members- Sri Aurobindo, CR Das, Surendranath Tagore, Jatindranath Banerjee, Bagha Jatin, B.N. Datta(brother of Vivekananda), Barindra Ghosh etc.

1906- Yugantar युगांतर (secret Bengali weekly Newspaper by Sri Aurobindo)

1908 Alipore Conspiracy case अलीपुर षड्यंत्र काण्ड Prafulla Chaki & Khudiram Bose attempt to murder Muzaffarpur Magistrate Kingsford.

1908Barrah dacoity by Dacca Anushilan

1912- Bomb thrown at Viceroy Hardinge by Rashbehari Bose & Sachin Sanyal.


1878- Ramosi Peasant force रामोसी कृषक दल by Vasudev Balwant Phadke वासुदेव बलवंत फडंके .

1890s- Shivaji & Ganpati festivals by Tilak

1897- Chapekar brothers killed Rand & Lt. Ayerst.

1899- Mitra Mela मित्र मेला a secret society organised by Savarkar brothers सावरकर .


·    लाला लाजपत रायपंजाबी समाचार

·    अजित सिंहभारत माता पत्र


1905- Shyamji Krishnavarma set up Indian Home Rule Society भारत स्वशासन समिति & Indian House इण्डिया हाउस and brought out journal The Sociologist in London.

1909- Madan Lal Dhingra murdered Curzon-Wyllie;

Madam Bhikaji Cama operated from Paris & Geneva and brought out journalBande Mataram”.

[Note- Sri Aurobindo edited Bande Mataram Newspaper]


8. Morley-Minto Reforms

·    Separate electorate पृथक निर्वाचन व्यवस्था  for Muslims.

·    Indirect elections अप्रत्यक्ष चुनाव introduced for the first time.

·    Legislatures could pass resolutions, ask questions, vote separate items of the budget.

·    No responsibility entrusted to legislatures.


9. Revolutionary Activities During WW-1

In North America: Gadar

·    Organised by Lala Hardayal, Ramachandra, Bhawan Singh, Kartar Singh Saraba, Barkatullah, Bhai Parmanand.

The Gadar Programme

1.     Assassinate officials.

2.     Work among Indian troops abroad & raise funds.

3.     Bring about a simultaneous revolt in all colonies of Britain.

Defence of India Act, 1915 passed to primarily deal with Ghadrites.

In Europe: Berlin Committee

·    For Indian Independence estd by Virendranath Chattopadhyay & Others.

·    Mission sent to Baghdad, Persia, Turkey, Kabul.


10. Home Rule League Movement

Aim- To convey to the common man the concept of Home Rule as Self-government.

Factors favouring the Movement

1.     Disillusionment with Morley-Minto Reforms.

2.     Wartime miseries- Public ready to protest.

Tilak’s League (April 1916)

·    Operated in MH, KA, Central Province & Berar (6 branches).

·    Demands (Swarajya, Linguistic state, Education in vernacular)

Besant’s League (September 1916)

·    Operated in rest of India (200 branches).

·    Later joined by others including Moderate congressmen.

Methods Used

1.     Organising Discussion.

2.     Reading Rooms

3.     Propaganda through public meetings, Newspapers, pamphlets, posters etc.

Positive Gain

1.     Emphasis shifted to the masses permanently.

2.     Organisational link established between town & country.

3.     Prepared a generation of ardent nationalists.

4.     Influenced Moderate-Extremist reunion at Lucknow (1916)


11. Lucknow Session of INC, 1916

(A.C Majumdar)

->  Extremists reunited to INC.

-> INC accepted League’s position on separate electorates.


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