Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Teachers and Examiners (CBSESkillEduction) collaborated to create the Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes. Al the important Information are taken from the NCERT Textbook Social Science.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes – A large portion of this diversity is rapidly disappearing. During the period of industrialization between 1700 and 1995, 13.9 million square kilometers of forest, or 9.3% of the world’s total area, were removed for industrial purposes, farming, pastures, and fuelwood.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes


The disappearance of forests is referred to as deforestation. Agriculture expansion, wood extraction, infrastructure growth such as road construction, and urbanisation are all direct causes of deforestation.

About one-sixth of India’s landmass was under cultivation in 1600. This number has now increased to around 50%. Let us look at some of the important causes of deforestation in India.

  • As population and food needs grew over the centuries, peasants expanded the boundaries of farming by destroying forests and clearing additional land.
  • The colonial authorities believed that woodlands were unproductive at the start of the nineteenth century. They were regarded as wilderness that needed to be cultivated in order for the land to produce agricultural goods and generate revenues, increasing the state’s income. Therefore, agricultural area increased by 6.7 million hectares between 1880 and 1920.
  • After the 1860s, the railway network quickly grew. About 25,500 km of track had been built by 1890. The rails’ length had increased to more than 765,000 km by 1946. As the railway lines extended across India, more and more trees were cut down.
  • In order to accommodate the expanding demand for tea, coffee, and rubber in Europe, substantial portions of natural forests were also cleared.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

The Rise of Commercial Forestry

The British were worried that the use of forests by local people and the careless cutting of trees by traders would destroy forest. So they decided to invite a German expert, Dietrich Brandis, for advice, and made him the first Inspector General of Forests in India. Brandis realised that a proper system had to be introduced to manage the forests and people had to be trained in the science of conservation.

Brandis set up the Indian Forest Service in 1864 and helped formulate the Indian Forest Act of 1865. In Dehradun, the Imperial Forest Research Institute was founded in 1906. The method that was introduced is known as “scientific forestry.”

In scientific forestry, natural forests which had lots of different types of trees were cut down. In their place, one type of tree was planted in straight rows. This is called a plantation.

Forest managers conducted surveys, calculated the area covered by various tree species, and created management plans. Every year, they planned how much of the plantation would be cut. After being cut, the area was to be planted again.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

How were the Lives of People Affected?

In order to meet villagers’ demands for fuel, food, medicine, Fruits and leaves, the villagers wanted forests with a variety of trees. On the other hand, the forest department wants trees that could be used to construct railroads or ships. They need tall, straight trees that could produce durable wood. As a result, some species, including teak and sal, were promoted, while others were cut down.

The Forest Act made life extremely difficult for people all around the nation. All of their regular activities, including gathering vegetables and fruit, grazing their cattle, cutting wood for their homes, and going hunting and fishing, were made illegal after the Act. Now villagers are not allowed to cut the tree for homes or fuel. If any villagers caught by the forest guard would demand bribes or free meals.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

How did Forest Rules Affect Cultivation?

The practice of Jhum farming, or shifting agriculture, was most affected by European colonialism. A forest clearing is made for this kind of farming. After the trees were cut, they were burned to produce ashes, and then the standard agricultural procedure was put into practise.

In the shifting cultivation, the plot of land is used for a short period of time before being abandoned for ten to twelve years.

The British government acquired possession of the forests and designated certain forests as Reserved Forests because they provided timber. This allowed them to build railroads and easily subjugate native communities. . Therefore, the government decided to ban shifting cultivation.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Who could Hunt?

Hunting of big game became a sport in India, Princes and emperors enjoying a hunt can be seen in many Mughal paintings. However, during the time of colonial control, hunting was conducted on a far larger scale, which led to the nearly loss of several species.

  • The Raja, Princess, and other hunters were able to hunt large animals in forest reserves.
  • Hunting animals was against the law in the forest. But killing every large animal, the British offered a reward.
  • They participated in hunting expeditions with rajas and princes from many kingdoms, killed several tigers, leopards, lions, and other great animals.
  • They thought that by killing these massive animals, India would become a civilised nation.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

New Trades, New Employments and New Services

The forest has generated a large number of new jobs, new trades, and new services in India. The demand for forest goods is increasing both inside and outside of the country as more people become aware of the natural benefits of forests.

  • Natural herb trade is established.
  • The wood plays the most vital role and is the sole of trade within the country.
  • The country has a healthy gross value market for the more than 5000 wood-based items that are produced there.
  • Wood fuel helps the small sectors of the economy.

The country’s trade activities have a direct impact on new employment. People employed for trade purposes do so in a suitable manner. The demand for forest products is rising alarmingly as urbanisation has a significant impact. Along with the services provided, trade and employment go hand in hand. The LUMBERJACKS are the men who perform the transport and cutting.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Rebellion in the Forest

In 1910, the Bastar Rebellion happened in the Bastar region of southern Chhattisgarh state, India. The people of Bastar were mainly worried when the colonial authorities planned to reserve two-thirds of the forest and to stop shifting farming, hunting, and gathering of forest produce. We will now discuss in detail one such rebellion which took place in the kingdom of Bastar in 1910.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

The People of Bastar

The people of Bastar believe that the Environment provided each village its land, and as compensation, they care for the earth by giving offerings during each agricultural festival. They honour the spirits of the river, the forest, and the mountain in addition to the Earth. If people from a village want to take some
wood from the forests of another village, they pay a small fee called devsari, dand or man in exchange.

Some villages employ watchmen to guard their woodlands, and each household provides some grain to pay for their services. The headmen of the villages in a pargana gather for one large hunt per year to discuss pressing issues, including forests.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

The Fears of the People

The people of Bastar were highly concerned when the colonial authorities proposed to reserve two-thirds of the forest in 1905 and to stop shifting farming, hunting, and gathering of forest produce. The fears of the people are –

  • Villagers worked free for the forest department in cutting and transporting trees, and protecting the forest from fires.
  • Villagers had been suffering from increased land rents and frequent demands for free labor and goods by colonial officials.
  • Villagers are not allowed to gather of forest product and hunt.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Forest Transformations in Java

The formation and development of the woods in Java (Indonesia), and India are quite comparable. Colonialists, the Dutch in Java and the British in India, established the first forest management systems in both countries. Both engaged in extensive deforestation in order to obtain wood for making ships and railroad sleepers.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

The Woodcutters of Java

The Kalangs of Java were a community of skilled forest cutters and shifting cultivators.

  • The Kalangs of Java were expert woodcutters who also engaged in shifting farming.
  • They were so important that the Kalang families were divided evenly between the two kingdoms when the Javan kingdom was split.
  • Without them, it was challenging to gather teak and construct kings’ palaces.
  • The Dutch made an effort to subjugate the Kalangs.
  • The Kalangs attempted to rebel in 1770 by storming a Dutch fort, but they were crushed.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Dutch Scientific Forestry

In Java, the Dutch established forest rules in the 19th century to control the population and the land. Villagers’ accessibility to forests was restricted by these forest rules.

  • Only wood from specific forests may be cut for specific purposes like building houses or riverboats, and only under strict supervision.
  • Villagers were fined for moving wood without a license, moving cattle on forest routes, or grazing cattle in newly planted trees.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

Samin’s Challenge

Surontiko Samin of the teak forest village of Randublatung started disputing the state’s ownership of the forest around 1890. He contended that the state could not own the wind, water, earth, and wood because they were not produced by the state. A large movement grew quickly. Samin’s sons-in-law were among those who assisted in organising it. 3 000 families had adopted his principles by 1907. When the Dutch came to survey their land, some Feminists protested by lying down on it, while others refused to pay taxes, fines, or do labor.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

War and Deforestation

Wars have an impact on forests, and this frequently results in deforestation. For the purposes of fighting, forests are freely destroyed during wartime. Since they are a valuable resource, countries who practice “a scorched earth policy” during wartime often destroy their own forests. As a result, the adversary cannot use this resource.

Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes

New Developments in Forestry

Conservation of forests rather than collecting timber has become a more important goal. The government is aware that in order to achieve this goal, the nearby forest people must be included. Throughout several instances, dense forests have only survived in India, from Mizoram to Kerala, because villages guarded them in sacred groves called sarnas, devarakudu, kan, rai, etc. Instead of depending on the forest guards, some villages have begun to patrol their own forests (Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes).

Social Science Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 History

Chapter 1: The French Revolution Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5: Pastoralists in the Modern World Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Geography

Chapter 1: India – Size and Location Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: Physical Features of India Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Drainage Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Climate Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5: Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 9 Notes
Chapter 6: Population Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Political Science

Chapter 1 – What is Democracy Why Democracy Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2 – Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3 – Electoral Politics Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4 – Working of Institutions Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5 – Democratic Rights Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Economics

Chapter 1: The Story of Village Palampur Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: People as Resource Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Poverty as a Challenge Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Food Security in India Class 9 Notes

The CBSE Social Science Class 9 page on is a useful resource for students studying Geography, History, Political Science, and Economics. The page offers notes and other study materials that can help students prepare for exams, including the CBSE and other competitive exams. It is a good idea for students to regularly visit the page and stay up to date with the latest information and resources.
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