Growth of Nationalism Chapter Summary ICSE Class 10 History

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Students should refer to Growth of Nationalism Class 10 ICSE notes provided below which has been designed by ICSE Class 10 History teacher based on the latest syllabus and examination guidelines for ICSE Class 10 History. You should carefully read through and understand all topics of this chapter given below so that you can learn the concepts given in Chapter Growth of Nationalism which will be very useful if you use them prior to your History exams.

ICSE Class 10 History Growth of Nationalism Summary

We have provided below a summary of Chapter Growth of Nationalism. This is an important chapter in Standard 10th ICSE History. The summary provided below has been prepared by expert History faculty for ICSE based on the latest ICSE books. You should refer to all Chapter Summaries ICSE Class 10 History which will help you to understand all chapters and to get more marks in exams.

Growth of Nationalism ICSE Class 10 History


1) Economic Exploitation –
The Indians realised that the general aim of the British policies in India was to promote their own interest at the cost of welfare of Indians. The economic discontent of different sections of society was as follows:
(i) The Peasants – were the main victims of British Colonial policies. The Government took away a large part of their produce in the form of land revenue. These exorbitant taxes led the peasants into the clutches of landlords and moneylenders.
(ii) Artisans and Craftsmen – The English East India Company used its political power to destroy Indian handicrafts and industry. India became a source of raw materials for the industries of Britain and a market for its finished products. This policy crippled the Indian Artisans and Craftsmen as they were devoid of their sources of livelihood.
(iii) The working class – Growth of modern industries led to the birth of a new social class in India – the working class. They were exploited by factory owners, who were generally Englishmen. Their outlook and interests were covering whole of India, though their factories were located in cities. All these factors made their political thinking far more significant than their numerical strength.
(iv) The Educated Indians – The only employment available to the educated Indians was government service in which competition was high and chances of promotions bleak.
Thus, all sections of the society felt that their economic salvation lay in freeing themselves from the British rule. Thus, the spirit of nationalism received a powerful stimulus.

2) Repressive Colonial Policies – The British conquered India to promote their own interest and hence, followed such repressive policies to make India subservient to the needs of Britain. Some of these repressive policies, especially those followed by Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India from 1976-1880 acted as a catalyst for the growth of nationalist movement in India.

Here are some of the policies introduced by Lord Lytton –
(i) Lord Lytton organized a Grand Delhi Darbar in 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. Lakhs of rupees were spent on the event but nothing was done for Indians who were in the grip of a feminine (the Queen).
(ii) Lord Lytton introduced the Vernacular Press Act (1878) and Indian Arms Act (1878)
The Vernacular Press Act forbade vernacular papers to publish any material that might excite feelings of dissatisfaction against the British Government. The Act was not applicable to English newspapers.
The Indian Arms Act made it a criminal offence for Indians to carry arms without license. This Act was not applicable to the British.
(iii) Maximum age limit for the Indian Civil Service examination was reduced from 21 to 19 years, making it difficult for the Indians to complete for it.
(iv) The import duties on British textiles were removed. It proved harmful for the Indian industry.
(v) Sir, C.P. Ilbert, Law member of the viceroy’s council prepared a bill, known as the Ilbert Bill in 1883. The Bill, which was introduced by the viceroy, Lord Ripon, sought to abolish judicial disqualification based on race distinctions. This was resented by the British and they started a Defense Association to defend their special privileges. This reaction provoked counter agitation by educated Indians. The government withdrew the Bill and enacted a more moderate measure which vested the power of trying

3) Socio-Religious Reform Movements –
The Socio-religious reform movements of the 19th century were great pioneers of Indian nationalism. The impact of Western education, which led to a rational, humanitarian and scientific approach to life, made the educated Indians realize the need to reform their religion and society. The result was the birth of socio-religious reform movements touching almost every segment of Indian Society.
Prominent reform movements were:
(i) Brahmo Samaj [founded by Raja Rammohan Roy]
(ii) Arya Samaj [founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati]
(iii) Ramakrishna Mission [founded by Swami Vivekananda] and
(iv) Satya Shodhak Samaj [founded by Jyotirao Phule]

Prominent leaders:
(i) Raja Rammohan Roy –
• In 1829 he founded the Brahmo Sabha, which was later renamed, Brahmo Samaj. The Bahmo Samaj believed in Monotheism or worship of one God. It condemned idol worship and laid emphasis on prayer, meditation, charity etc.
• He started a campaign for the abolition of Sati and purdah system.
• He condemned polygamy.
• He discouraged child marriages and advocated the right of widows to remarry.
• It was because of his efforts that, William Bentinck, the Governor- General of India, passed a law in 1829 making the practice of Sati illegal.
• He was the father of Indian Renaissance and the prophet of Indian Nationalism.

(ii) Jyotirao Phule –
• IN 1854, he established a school for untouchables and started a private orphanage for the widows.
• He wanted to liberate the depressed classes and make them aware of their rights by educating them.
• He founded the Satya Shodhak Samaj with the aim of securing social justice for the weaker sections of society.
• He pioneered the widow remarriage movement and worked for the education of women.

The Socio-religious reform movements contributed to the onset of Indian Nationalism in the following ways:
(i) Swami Dayanand and Swami Vivekananda proclaimed the superiority of Indian culture and civilization.
(ii) The reformers condemned untouchability and the caste system.
(iii) They taught people not to ignore the importance of women, who could participate in the national movement.
(iv) The reform movements drew their inspiration from India’s cultural heritage and promoted a feeling of pan-Indianism and a spirit of nationalism.

4) Role of the Press –
Some of the prominent newspapers started in the latter half of the 19th Century were: Amrit Bazar Patrika, The Bengali, The Tribune, The Times of India, The Hindu etc. in English. Many newspapers and magazines in the vernacular languages were also brought out. These newspapers played a significant role in developing a strong national sentiment among the Indians in the following manner:
(i) It was through the press that the message of patriotism and modern liberal ideals of liberty, freedom, equality, home rule and independence, spread among the people.
(ii) The press exposed the true nature of British rule in India.
(iii) It made possible the exchange of views among different social groups from different parts of the country and organizing political movements.
(iv) Indians became aware of what was happening in the world, which helped them shape their own policies and programmes.


Many public associations were started in different parts of India after 1858, which were the forerunners of the Indian National Congress. These included: [1] East India Association [1866], [2] Indian Association [1876], [3] Indian National Conference [1883].

1) East India Association –
(i) It was founded in London in 1866 by Dadabhai Naoroji
(ii) It voiced the grievances of Indians and suggested remedial measures.
(iii) Dadabhai Naoroji, also known as the Grand Old Man of India, was of the opinion that the British were basically just as good. He wanted to place the true state of affairs in India to the British so that the problems of the Indians may be resolved.
(iv) The association had its branches in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

2) Indian Associations [1876] –
(i) It was headed by Surendranath Banerjee.
(ii) It had branches in Bengal and in town outside Bengal.
Its objectives were:
(i) Creation of a strong body of public opinion.
(ii) Integration of Indians based on common political interests.
(iii) Promotion of friendly relations between Hindus and Muslims
(iv) Mass participation in public movements.
(v) It launched agitations against License Act, the Arms Act and the Vernacular Press Act and against lowering the age limit from 21 to 19 years for the I.C.S. examinations.

3) Indian National Conference [1883] –
In 1883, Surendranath Banerjee convened the All India National Conference at Kolkata. It offered a model to the Indian National Congress which was formed two years later. The National Conference merged with the Indian National Congress in Dec. 1886.


1) The Indian National Congress was founded by A. O. Hume, a retired English Civil Servant on Dec. 28, 1885.
2) The first session of the Congress was held from Dec. 28 to 31 at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College, Mumbai under the Presidentship of W. C. Banerjee.
3) The Viceroy, Lord Dufferin, favored the formation of the Congress because he wanted it to act as a ‘safety – valve’ for popular discontent thereby, safeguarding the British interest in India.

1) To promote friendly relations between nationalist political workers from different parts of the country.
2) To develop and consolidate the feelings of national unity irrespective of caste, religion or province.
3) To formulate popular demands and present them before the government.
4) To train and organize public opinion in the country.

1) The First session of the Congress under the president ship of W.C. Banerjee was attended by 72 delegates from all parts of India, including eminent persons like – Dadabhai Naoroji, Justice Ranade, Badruddin Tyabji etc.
2) Second session [1886] was held at Kolkata under the president ship of Dadabhai Naoroji
3) The Surat Session [23rd Session] was held in 1907 under the president ship of Rash Behari Ghosh.


Chapter 2 : Growth of Nationalism
growth of nationalism class 10 icse notes

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