UPSC Mains History Question Paper

The General Studies Paper 1 of UPSC mains comprises the broad topics history, art and culture, geography and society. History is an important topic in this paper with questions being asked from the freedom struggle, world history and post-independence India.

In this article, we have compiled all the history questions asked in the IAS mains exam from 2013 to 2019.

Aspirants can check their preparation in alignment with  UPSC Syllabus by referring to the links mentioned below:

UPSC Mains History Question Paper from 2013 to 2019

Candidates can check the questions asked in the UPSC Mains History paper from 2013 to 2019 for better IAS Exam preparation.

Modern History

2019

  1. The 1857 Uprising was the culmination of the recurrent big and small local rebellions that had occurred in the preceding hundred years of British rule.

2018

  1. Why indentured labour was taken by the British from India to other colonies? Have they been able to preserve their cultural identity over there?

2017

  1. Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the specter of a fragmented polity.

Freedom Struggle

2019

  1. Many voices had strengthened and enriched the nationalist movement during the Gandhian phase. Elaborate.

2017

  1. Why did the ‘Moderates’ fail to carry conviction with the nation about their proclaimed ideology and political goals by the end of the nineteenth century?
  2. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th-century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period?

2016

  1. Explain how the Uprising of 1857 constitutes an important watershed in the evolution of British policies towards colonial India.
  2. Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle especially during the Gandhian phase.
  3. Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.

2015

  1. How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.
  2. It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.

2014

  1. The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
  2. Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.
  3. In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?

2013

  1. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss.
  2. Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom.
  3. In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India. Elaborate.

Post-Independence 

2019

  1. Examine the linkages between the nineteenth century’s “Indian Renaissance” and the emergence of national identity.

2018

  1. Throw light on the significance of the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times.
  2. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India.

2017

  1. Highlight the importance of the new objectives that got added to the vision of Indian Independence since the twenties of the last century.
  2. Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India.

2013

  1. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success.
  2. Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan “Jai Jawana Jai Kisan”.
  3. Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre-and post-independent India.
  4. Analyze the circumstances that led to Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the agreement.
  5. Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play decisive roles in the emergence of Bangladesh.

Candidates can check the Modern History Notes at the linked article.

World History

2019

1. Explain how the foundation of the modern world was laid by the American and French Revolutions.

2016

  1. The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.

2015

  1. Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
  2. To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically

2014

  1. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?
  2. What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?
  3. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

2013

  1. “Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experienced.
  2. Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.
  3. American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate.
  4. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the great economic depression?

Art and Culture, Geography and Indian Society are also important topics in Mains GS 1. Aspirants can previous year questions of these subjects from the links mentioned below:

  1. Art & Culture Questions of UPSC Mains GS 1
  2. Indian Society Questions of UPSC Mains GS 1
  3. Geography Questions of UPSC Mains GS 1

You can practise writing answers for these questions and improve your answer writing skills for the UPSC mains exam. Similarly, for other General Studies papers, you can get all previous year questions in one place from the links mentioned in the table below:


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