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CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2018

CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2018

Time allowed : 3 hours
Maximum marks: 80

General Instructions:

  • Answer all the questions. Some questions have internal choice. Marks are indicated against each question.
  • Answer to questions no. 1 to 3 carrying 2 marks should not exceed 30 words each.
  • Answer to questions no. 4 to 9 carrying 4 marks should not exceed 100 words each.
  • Answer to questions no. 10 to 12 carrying 8 marks should not exceed 350 words each.
  • Questions no. 13 to 15 are source based questions.
  • Question no. 16 is a Map question that includes identification and location of significant test items. Attach the map with the answer-book.

** Answer is not given due to change in present syllabus

Part – A

Question 1.
Describe the basis on which archaeologists identified the centres of craft production in the Harappan culture. [2]
The basis on which archaeologists identify the centers of craft production are :

    1. Raw materials such as stone nodules, whole shells, copper ore, etc.
    2. Rejects and waste material: It istone of the best indicators of craftwork. For instance, if shell or stone is cut to make objects, then pieces of these materials will be discarded as waste at the place of production.
  1. Finished products : Sometimes, larger waste pieces were used up to make, smaller objects which suggest that apart from small, specialised centres, craft production Was also undertaken in large cities such as Mohenjodaro and Harappa.

Question 2.
Explain the sources of revenue of Village Panchayats during the Mughal rule in India. [2]
Sources of revenue of Village Panchayats during the Mughal rule in India were :

  1. Contribution made by individuals to a common financial pool.
  2. Agricultural Taxes.

Question 3.
Examine the impact of ‘Limitation Laws’, passed by the British in 1859. [2]
In 1859, the Britishers passed the Law of Limitation, stating that the loan bonds signed between the money lenders and the ryots would have validity for three years only.

Effects of the law were :

  1. The money lenders manipulated and forced the ryots to sign a new bond every three years.
  2. Moneylenders refused to give receipts when loans were repaid, entered fictitious figures in bonds, acquired the peasants’ harvest at low prices, moneylenders ultimately took over peasants’ property. ’

Part – B

Question 4.
“There are indications of complex decisions being taken and implemented in the Harappan society.” In the light of this statement, explain whether there may have been rulers to rule over the Harappan society. [4]
There are indications of complex decisions being taken and implemented in Harappan society.

Evidences are :

  1. A large building found at Mohenjodaro was labelled as a palace by archaeologists but no spectacular finds were associated with it.
  2. Some archaeologists are of the opinion that Harappan society had no rulers, and that everybody enjoyed equal status.
  3. Others feel there was no single ruler but several, that Mohenjodaro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth.
  4. According to some scholars, the last theory seems the most plausible, as it is unlikely that entire communities could have collectively made and implemented such complex decisions.
  5. There was extraordinary uniformity of Harappan artefacts.
  6. The bricks, though obviously not produced in any single centre, were of a uniform ratio throughout the region, from Jammu to Gujarat.
  7. Labour was mobilised for making bricks and for the construction of massive walls and platforms. A planned urban centre with well laid out drainage system.

Question 5.
Describe the economic and social conditions of the people living in rural areas from c. 600 BCE to 600 CE. [2 + 2 = 4]
There was a differentiation amongst the people of rural are as :
Economic conditions :

  1. Acccording to Jataka and Panchatantra, the relationship between a king and his subjects, could often be strained – kings frequently tried to fill their coffers by demanding high taxes. The peasants particularly found the demands oppressive. Escaping into the forests remained an option.
  2. Different strategies such as
    • shift to plough agriculture,
    • iron plough share for the growth in agricultural productivity,
    • the use of irrigation, through wells and tanks and less commonly, canals were adopted for increasing production.
  3. Land grants provide some insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.

Social condition :

  1. There was a growing differentiation amongst people engaged in agriculture—landless agricultural labourers, small peasants, as well as large landholders.
  2. The large landholders, as well as the village headman emerged as powerful figures and often exercised control over other cultivators.
  3. There was gendered assess to property.
  4. A variety of occupations followed by the people belonging to different castes/varnas.

Question 6.
“Ibn Battuta found cities in the Indian subcontinent full of exciting opportunities.”
Explain the statement with reference to the city of Delhi. [4]
Ibn Battuta found cities in the Indian subcontinent full of exciting opportunities, especially the city of Delhi:

  1. Delhi covers a wide area and has a dense population.
  2. There is a rampart round the city that is without parallel. The breadth of its wall is eleven cubics and inside it, there are houses for the night sentry and gatekeepers.
  3. Inside the ramparts, there are storehouses for storing edibles, magazines, ammunition, ballistas and siege machines.
  4. There are twenty eight gates in the city which are called darwaza in which, Budaun Darwaza is the biggest.
  5. In Gul Darwaza there is an orchard. It has fine cemetery in which graves have domes over them and those that do not have a dome, have an arch for sure.

Question 7.
“Sufism evolved as a reaction to the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution.” Elucidate. [4]

  1. The sufis laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God.
  2. They sought an interpretation of the Qur’an on the basis of their personal experience and were critical of the definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Qur’an adopted by theologians.
  3. By the eleventh century Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and sufi practices.
  4. The sufisilsila was a kind of chain or link between master and disciple for seeking spiritual power and blessings.
  5. Special rituals of initiation were developed like wearing patched cloths, shaving their head, open kitchen run on charity.

Question 8.
Examine the participation of the Taluqdars of Awadh in the Revolt of 1857. [4]

  1. The Taluqdars of Awadh, for many generations had conrolled the lands and power in the countryside and had maintained armed retainers, built forts and enjoyed a degree of autonomy as long as they accepted the suzerainty of the Nawabs and paid the revenues of their Taluqas but the British were unwilling to tolerate the power of the Taluqdars. After the annexation, the Taluqdars were disarmed and their forts were destroyed.
  2. The British land revenue policy also hit the position of Taluqdars. In southern Awadh, the Taluqdars lost more than half of their total villages they previously held.
  3. British revenue flows for the state increased and the burden of demand on the peasants did not decline, the increase in the revenue demand increased from 30 to 70 percent. Thus, neither the Taluqdars nor the peasants had any reason to be happy with the annexation of Awadh.
  4. In areas like Awadh, where resistance during 1857 was intense and long lasting, taluqdars and their peasants had carried out the fighting.

Question 9.
Explain why some hill stations were developed during the colonial period in India. [4]

  1. The cold climate of the Indian hills was seen as an advantage. Particularly, since the British associated the hot weather with epidemics.
  2. Hill stations were established mainly for the army, to. protect them from diseases like cholera and malaria. They also became strategic places for billeting troops guarding frontiers and launching campaigns against enemy rulers.
  3. These hill stations were also developed as Sanatoriums i.e., places where soldiers could be sent for rest.
  4. These places were suitable for British rulers due to the cold climate where new rulers and viceroy could go for rest in the summer.

Part – C

Question 10.
“By 1922 Gandhiji and transformed Indian nationalism, thereby redeeming the promise he made in his BHU speech of February 1916. It was no longer a movement of professionals and intellectuals; now, hundreds of thousands of peasants, workers and artisans also participated in it. Many of them venerated Gandhiji, referring to him as their ‘Mahatma’. They appreciated the fact that he dressed like them, lived like them and spoke their language, unlike other leaders he did not stand apart from the common folk, but empathised and even identified with them.”
In the light of the above passage, highlight any four values upheld by Mahatma Gandhi. ** [8]

Question 11.
Trace out the growth of Buddhism. Explain the main teachings of Buddha.
Trace out how stupas were built. Explain why the stupa at Sanchi survived, but not at Amravati. [4 + 4 = 8]

  1. Buddhism grew rapidly both during the lifetime of the Buddha and after his death.
  2. It appealed to many people dissatisfied with existing religious practices and confused by the rapid social changes taking place around them.
  3. The importance attached to conduct and values rather than claims of superiority based on birth, the emphasis placed on metta (fellow feeling) and karuna (compassion), especially for those who were younger and weaker than oneself, were ideas that drew men and women to Buddhist teachings.
  4. Buddhism grew due to Buddhist text—Tipitaka (the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka), the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, Ashokavadana, Jatakas and Buddhist hagiography.
  5. Buddhist Sanghas, Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis spread the message.


  1. The world is transient (anicca) arid changing constantly.
  2. It is soulless (anatta) as there is nothing permanent or eternal.
  3. In the transient world, sorrow is intrinsic to human existence. It is by following the path of moderation between severe penance and self-indulgence that human beings can rise above these wordly troubles.
  4. Buddha emphasised individual agency and righteous action as the means to escape from the cycle of re-birth and attain self-realisation.
  5. Extinguish ego and desire to end the cycle of suffering.

Stupas were regarded as sacred as it contained relics of the Buddha such as his bodily remains or objects used by him were buried there. According to a Buddhist text, the Ashoka Vadana, Ashoka distributed portions of the Buddha’s relics to every important town and ordered the construction of stupas over them. By the second century BCE, Bharhut, Sanchi and Sarnath, had been built.

Inscriptions found on the railings and pillars of the stupas record donations made for buildings and decoration made on them. Some donations were made by kings such as the satavahanas others were made by guilds such as that of ivory workers who financed a part of one of the gateways at Sanchi.

The Amaravati could not survive because :
Perhaps Amaravati was discovered before the scholars understood the value of the findings and realised how critical it was to preserve such things where they had been found instead they thought of removing them from the site.

The stupas at Amaravati were changed and some of the slabs from the Amaravati stupas had been taken to different places, for example, they were taken to Kolkata, Chennai and London and were used in other structures. Local rajas also took remains of Amravati Stupa to build their temples.

The Sanchi Stupa survives because :
It escaped from the eyes of railway contractors, builders and those looking for finds to carry away to the museums of Europe. The rulers of Bhopal, Shahjehan Begum and her successor Sultan Jehan Begum provided money for its preservation. H. H. Cole was against the looting of original works of ancient art. Nineteenth-century Europeans were very interested in the Stupa at Sanchi. That’s why, it survived the test of time.

Question 12.
Explain why the nobility were recruited from different races and religious groups by the Mughal rulers in India.
Explain the role played by women of the imperial household in the Mughal Empire. [8]

  1. The nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups which ensured that no faction was large enough to challenge the authority of the state.
  2. The officers of the Mughals were described as a bouquet of flowers held together by loyalty to the emperor. The emperor was very respectful among the religious saints and scholars.
  3. Turani and Iranian nobles were the earliest in Akbar’s imperial service. Akbar was a great and intelligent king and wanted skillful people to join him in his state.
  4. Two ruling groups of Indian origin entered the imperial service-the Rajputs and the Indian Muslims.
  5. The nobles participated in military campaigns and also served as officers of the empire in their respective provinces.
  6. The mansaobdars had two numerical designations : Zat which was an indicator of position in the imperial hierarchy and sawar.
  7. Members of Hindu castes inclined towards education and accountancy were also promoted, a famous example being Akbar’s finance minister, Raja Todar Mai, who belonged to the Khatri caste.


  1. After Noor Jahan, Mughal queens and princesses began to control significant financial resources.
  2. Shanjahan’s daughters Jahanara and Roshanara enjoyed an annual income often equal to that of high imperial Mansabdars.
  3. Control over the resources enabled important women of the Mughal household to commission buildings and gardens.
  4. The throbbing centre of Shahjahanabad, was the bazaar of Chandni Chowk which was designed by Jahanara.
  5. Gulbadan Begum, the daughter of Babar and Humayun’s sister wrote Humayun Nama, depicting the glimpse of the domestic world of Mughals.
  6. Gulbadan described in great detail, the conflicts and tension among the princes and kings.
  7. The general practice of Mughal household consisted of the emperor’s wives, concubines, his near and distant relatives, and female servants and slaves. Elderly women of the family played an important role in resolving conflicts.
  8. The begams, married after receiving huge amounts of cash and valuables as dower (mahr), naturally received a higher status and greater attention from their husbands than did aghas.
  9. The concubines occupied the lowest position in the hierarchy. They all received monthly allowances in cash, supplemented with gifts according to their status.

Part – D

Question 13.
“The communal politics that started during the early decades of the 20th century was largely responsible for the partition of the country.” Examine the statement.
“Partition of India had made nationalists fervently opposed to the idea of separate electorates.” Examine the statement. [8]

  1. Separate electorates for Muslims were created by the colonial government in 1909 and expanded in 1919. It crucially shaped the nature of communal politics. Separate electorates meant that Muslims could now elect their own representatives in designated constituencies.
  2. Working politicians used their own slogans and gathered in masses by distributing favours to their own religious groups.
  3. There was active opposition and hostility between the communities.
  4. Cow protection movement by Arya Samaj brought back the people to the Hindu fold those who had recendy converted to Islam.
  5. The provincial elections of 1937 and the Cripps Mission of 1942.
  6. Hindus were angered by the rapid spread of Tabligh and Tanzim after 1923. Communal riots deepened the differences between the communities, creating disturbing memories of violence.


  1. The Nationalists were haunted by the continued civil war and riots during partition days.
  2. B. Pocker Bahadur made a strong plea for separate electorate for Muslims in the constituent assembly.
  3. The idea of separate electorate provoked anger and dismay amongst most nationalists in the constituent assembly.
  4. It was seen as a measure introduced by British to divide Indians.
  5. This was the demand, which turned one community against other.
  6. It divided the people on communal levels. It strained relation and cause blood.
  7. It was against the principle of democracy,
  8. It was suicidal for the nation according to G. B. Pant.
  9. Separate electorate could lead to divide loyalties and difficult to forge a strong nation and a strong state.
  10. Isolating the minorities would deprive them of any effective say within the government.

Question 14.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :

“Proper” Social Roles
Here is a story from the Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata:

Once Drona, a Brahmana who taught archery to the Kuru princes, was approached by Ekalavya, a forest-dwelling nishada (a hunting community). When Drona, who knew the dharma, refused to have him as his pupil, Ekalavya returned to the forest, prepared an image of Drona out of clay, and treating it as his teacher, began to practise on his own. In due course, he acquired great skill in archery. One day, the Kuru princes went hunting and their dbg, wandering in the woods, came upon Ekalavya. When the dog smelt the dark nishada wrapped in black deer skin, his body caked with dirt, it began to bark. Annoyed, Ekalavya shot seven arrows into its mouth. When the dog returned to the Pandavas, they were amazed at this superb display of archery. They tracked down Ekalavya, who introduced himself as a pupil of Drona.

Drona had once told his favourite student Arjuna, that he would unrivalled amongst his pupils. Arjuna now reminded Drona about this. Drona approached Ekalavya, who immediately acknowledged and honoured him as his teacher. When Drona demanded his right thumb as his fee, Ekalavya unhesitatingly cut it off and offered it. But thereafter, when he shot with his remaining fingers, he was no longer as fast as he had been before. Thus, Drona kept his word : no one was better than Arjuna.
(14.1) Why did Drona refuse to have Ekalavya as his pupil ? [2]
(14.2) How had Drona kept his word given to Arjuna ? [2]
(14.3) Do you think Drona’s behaviour with Ekalavya was justified ? If so, give reason. [3]
(14.1) Drona, was a Brahmana who knew dharma. He taught archery to the Kuru princes. Once he was approached by Ekalavya, a forest dwelling Nishada (a hunting community’) to teach him archery but Drona refused to have Ekalavya as his pupil as he was a person of low origin.

(14.2) Drona gave his world to Arjuna would be unrivalled amongst the pupils. To prove this Drona demanded Eklavya’s right thumb as his fee, Ekalavya unhesitatingly cut it off and offered it to the guru, so he was no longer as fast as he had been before.

(14.3) Drona’s behaviour with Ekalavya was justified because he promised to Arjuna to be the best in archery but when he saw Ekalavya he was amazed at the superior display of archery by him. Ekalavya was a better archerer than Arjuna thus, to keep his promise to Arjuna, Drona demanded the thumb of his right hand as fee from Ekalavya.

Question 15.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :

Colin Mackenzie
Born in 1754, Colin Mackenzie became famous as an engineer, surveyor and cartographer; In 1815 he was appointed the first Surveyor General of India, a post he held till his death in 1821. He embarked on collecting local histories and surveying historic sites in order to better understand India’s past and make governance of the colony easier. He says that “it struggled long under the miseries of bad management…. before the South came under the benign influence of the British government.” By studying Vijaynagar, Mackenzie believed that the East India Company could gain “much useful information on many of these institutions, laws and customs whose influence still prevails among the various Tribes of Natives forming the general mass of the population to this day.”
(15.1) Who was Colin Mackenzie ? [2]
(15.2) How did Mackenzie try to rediscover the Vijaynagar Empire ? [2]
(15.3) How was the study of the Vijaynagar Empire useful to the East India Company ? [3]
(15.1) Colin Mackenzie was a famous engineer, surveyor and cartographer of the EIC. He surveyed historic sites in order to better understand India’s past and make governance of the colony easier. In 1815, he was appointed the first Surveyor General of India.

(15.2) He embarked on collecting local histories and surveying historic sites in order to better understand India’s past which included Vijaynagar in South of India.

(15.3) By .studying Vijay nagar, Mackenzie believed that the East India Company could gain useful information on many of the institution laws and customs whose influence still prevails among the various Tribes of Natives forming the general mass of population of this day.

Question 16.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
“Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law”
On 5 April, 1930 Mahatma Gandhi spoke at Dandi :
When I left Sabarmati with my companions for this seaside hamlet of Dandi, I was not certain in my mind that we would be allowed to reach this place.

Even while I was at Sabarmati there was a rumour that I might be arrested. I had thought that the Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi, but not me certainly. If someone says that this betrays imperfect faith on my part, I shall not deny the charge. That I have reached here is in no small measure due to the power of peace and non-violence : that power is universally felt. The Government may, if it wishes, congratulate itself on acting as it has done, for it could have arrested every one of us. In saying that it did not have the courage to arrest this army of peace, we praise it. It felt ashamed to arrest such an army. He is a civilised man who feels ashamed to do anything which his neighbours would disapprove. The Government deserves to be congratulated on not arresting us, even if it desisted only from fear of world opinion.

Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law. Whether the Government will tolerate that is a different question. It may not tolerate it, but it deserves congratulations on the patience and forbearance it has displayed in regard to this party……

What if I and all the eminent leaders in Gujarat and in the rest of the country are arrested ? This movement is based on the faith that when a whole nation is roused and on the march no leader is necessary.
(16.1) What were the apprehensions of Mahatma Gandhi when he started his Dandi March ? [2]
(16.2) Why did Gandhiji say that the Government deserve to be congratulated ? [2]
(16.3) Why was the ‘Salt March’ very significant ? [3]
(16.1) He was not certain that he would be allowed to reach Dandi. Gandhiji suspected he might be arrested, as he said, “Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi but not me certainly”.
(16.2) According to Gandhi, the Government deserved to be congratulated on not arresting them, even if it desisted only becasue of the fear of world opinion.

  1. The salt march was significant because it brought Gandhi into limelight and attracted the world’s attention.
  2. Women participation was very high.
  3. It forced the British to think that their British Raj will not continue further.
  4. Gandhi mobilized a wider discontent against British rule.

Part – E

Question 17.
(17.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following appropriately :
(a) Amritsar—an important centre of National Movement.
(b) Agra—a territory under Babur.
(17.2) On the same political outline map of India, three places which are major Buddhist sites have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them.
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2018 1
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2018 2

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