Indian Rebellion of 1857A 1912 map of Northern IndiaThe Revolt of 1857-59 showingthe centres of rebellionincluding the principal ones:Meerut, Delhi, Cawnpore(Kanpur), Lucknow, Jhansi, andGwalior.Date 10 May 1857 - 1859Location India (cf. 1857)ResultRebellion Suppressed,Final collapse of the Mughal Empire;end of Company rule in IndiaControl taken by the British CrownTerritorialchangesBritish Indian Empire created out offormer-East India Company territory,some land returned to native rulers,other land confiscated by the Crown.
The Revolt of 1857 We could subdue the mutiny of 1857,formidable as it was, because it spreadthrough only a part of the army, becausepeople did not actively sympathize with it,and because it was possible to find nativeIndian races who would fight on our side.But the moment a mutiny is butthreatened, which shall be no meremutiny, but the expression of a universalfeeling of nationality, at that moment allhope is at an end, as all desire should be atan end, of our preserving our Empire -- SirJohn Seeley (quoted byTarling)
Indias First War ofIndependence Indias First War of Independence, termedSepoy Riots by the British was an attempt tounite India against the invading British and torestore power to the Mogul emperor BahadurShah.The resistance disintegrated primarily dueto lack of leadership and unity on the part ofIndians, as also to cruel suppression by theBritish Army. It was a remarkable event in Indianhistory and marked the end of the Mughalempire and sealed Indias fate as a British colonyfor the next 100 years.
Causes for the Revolt There were many causes that ultimately leadto this revolt. For the sake of conveniencethey can divided into the followingcategories. 1.Social and Religious Causes2.Political Causes3.Military Causes
A. Change in pattern of trade and commerceDuring the first two hundred years of its rule , the British East India Companyconfined its activities to trade and commerce. But in the 18th century the pattern oftrade underwent a drastic change.With the onset of the the industrial revolution inEngland, many new industries came up and the dependance on Indian textiles cameto an end. India became a raw material producing country and raw material whichwas purchased from India at very low costs was processed into finished goods in thefactories in England and then exported back to India. British traders made enormousprofits in this two way trade.C. Disgruntled Zamindars andTaluqdarsThe estates of many landlords were taken over by the East India Company when thenative provinces came under the companys dominion.The estates of 21,000Taluqdars were confiscated when Oudh was annexed.The dispossesed landlordsfound themselves without a source on income, ashamed to beg,unable to work andthus condemned to penury.B. Ruination of Artisans and CraftsmenD. Disbanded soldiers were seething with anger and were determined to revenge.
E. Activities Of MissionariesThe Indians had a lurking suspicion in their minds that theywould be converted to Christianity under the new regime.Churches and chaplains were established at Govt. expenses, even civil and military officers propogated the Christiangospel.F. New LawsThe introduction of certain laws unsettled the mind of theIndians. Some of them were :Sati Ban ActWidow Remarriage ActThey even looked upon the reforming zeal of British officials withsuspicion. They were against introduction of railways as all thecastes would have to travel in the same compartment. Theywere shocked when a law was passed allowing Hindu converts toChristianity to inherit their ancestral property.
A. Lord Dalhousies Policy Of Annexation (Doctrine of Lapse)According to this policy the rulers of native princes could not installtheir adopted son on the throne.This was opposed to Nana Sahib -the adopted son of PeshwaBajiRao II as he was refused the pensionhis father had been getting. Rani LaxmiBai was also not allowed toinstall her adopted son on the throne.The house of the Mughalswas humbled when it was announced that the successors ofBahadur Shah Zafar would not be allowed to use the title of Kingand would not be allowed to use the Historc Red Fort as thierpalace and had to move to a place near the QutbMinar.C. Exposure of myth of British InvincibiltyThe British had suffered very heavy losses in the 1st Afghan War , the rebellion ofthe Santhal tribes of Bihar and Orissa and the CrimeanWar. Moreover the peoplebelieved that the British rule had started after the battle of Plassey in 1757 andwould end after the completion of a centuryB. British disregard of treaties and pledges
D. Enfield RiflesThis was perhaps the immediate cause of the revolt. The Britishintroduced new rifles which had cartridges greased with the fat ofcows and pigs.The cover had to be plucked out by the teet beforeusing.The Hindu and Muslim sepoys refused tot ouch thesecartridges.A. Ill-Treatment of Indian Soldiers inThe East India CompanyB. Deprivation of foreign service allowance (Bhatta)C. General Services Enlistment ActAccording to this act the Indian soldiers in the EI Company had theobligation to serve wherever required.The extension of British frontiersinvolved their presence in strange, different lands.They dreaded sea voyageand considered it against their customs
Events Of The Revolt Feb 1857 Feb 19, 1857 - Chupatties, little cakes which are the common food of the people, were sent fromtown to town as a signal of revolt , and on February 19,1857, the first troops mutinied. This wasonly the beginning; the message of the chupatties spread further and further, but ...GeneralHearsey, the commander of the Bengal division, instantly took what steps he could to prove tothe sepoys that the government had no intention of making them break their caste, but it wastoo late. Chupatties, little cakes which are the common food of the people, were sent from townto town as a signal of revolt , and on February 19,1857, the first troops mutinied. This was onlythe beginning; the message of the chupatties spread further and further, but even now the ... Mar 1857 Mar 29, 1857 -The revolt was sparked off on March 29, 1857. • MangalPandey, a Brahmin Sepoy, fired at the AdjucantSurgeant Bath. •The 3rd cavalry regiment at Meerut refused to touch thegreased cartridges and broke out in open rebellion.Apr 1857 Apr 5, 1857 - After the death of MangalPandey on April 5, 1857, the revolt spread all over thenation. During the days of the revolt, Kunwar was already 80 years of age. But deep within, hewas as energetic as a lion.The thirst for liberation of the country seemed to ...After the death ofMangal Pandey on April 5, 1857, the revolt spread all over the nation. During the days of therevolt, Kunwar was already 80 years of age. But deep within, he was as energetic as a lion.Thethirst for liberation of the country seemed to rejuvenate his ageing. body. Under hisinstructions, there was revolt in the cantonment of Danapur. He urged a gang of rebels to attackAgra and in no time, he looted the treasury and established kingship over the Agra ...
May 1857 May 1857 - Fixed date for revolt May 1857. 13. Bahadur Shah (the Mughal emperor) was exiled toRangoon and died there Prince Feroz Shah excaped in the Jungles of Sironj. 14 . Lord Canning was theGovernor General of India at the time of Mutiny.Jun 1857 Jun 1857 - 71. 1857. Cawnpore, India.This place garrisoned by native troops who broke into revoltJune, 1857. An adopted son of Nana Sahib, a leader of the revolt, offered to assist the English, buttreacherously turned against them, and notwithstanding a treaty that ...71. 1857. Cawnpore, India.This place garrisoned by native troops who broke into revolt June, 1857. An adopted son of NanaSahib, a leader of the revolt, offered to assist the English, but treacherously turned against them, andnotwithstanding a treaty that Europeans should be sent down the Ganges in safety on surrender oftheir treasury and war material, massacred great numbers, without regard to age or sex.Jul 1857 Jul 1857 - Fig. 7.The Angel of Resurrection statue stands in the middle of the memorial well monumentin Kanpur and commemorates those who were killed in the Sepoyrevolt in July 1857. being erected bythe Government. We passed the earthworks thrown up by Havelock when ...Fig. 7.The Angel ofResurrection statue stands in the middle of the memorial well monument in Kanpur andcommemorates those who were killed in the Sepoy revolt in July 1857. being erected by theGovernment. We passed the earthworks thrown up by Havelock when he retook the city, and in whichhe was for a time besieged. Then we returned to the eating house, had our dinner, and drove to theold intrenchment of General Wheeler where the church is being built.The ceremony was ...
Aug 1857 Aug 9, 1857 -When Sir Hope Grant, on whose personal staff atAldershot I had the honour of serving for two and ahalf years, allowed me to read the private journals which he had kept during the Indian Revolt of 1857-8-9, I felt atonce that others besides myself would ...When Sir Hope Grant, on whose personal staff at Aldershot I had the honourof serving for two and a half years, allowed me to read the private journals which he had kept during the IndianRevolt of 1857-8-9, I felt at once that others besides myself would gladly peruse a narrative of which so much wasnew, so much interesting, and wherein all was derived from a source indisputably authentic.The military literaturerelating to this period is, on the whole, scanty in quantity ... Sep 1857 Sep 1857 - General Jorge Cordova succeeded him, but had not been long in office when a new revolt in September1857, originating with the garrison of Oruro, spread over the land, and compelled him to quit the country. His placewas taken by Dr Jos6 Maria Linares, the ...General Jorge Cordova succeeded him, but had not been long in officewhen a new revolt in September 1857, originating with the garrison of Oruro, spread over the land, and compelledhim to quit the country. His place was taken by Dr Jos6 Maria Linares, the originator of the revolution, who, takinginto his own hands all the powers of government, and acting with the greatest severity, caused himself to beproclaimed dictator in March 185S. Oct 1857 Oct 7, 1857 -TWO SERMONS, preached on the Day of Humiliation on account of the INDIAN REVOLT,Wednesday,October 7, 1857, in the Parish Church ofTaunton Saint Mart Magdalene ; by Robert ErnestWallis, Curate. Publishedby request.Dec 1857 Dec 17, 1857 -TheWar of Reform broke out on December 17, 1857, with none other at the head of the revolt thanPresident Comonfort himself.The conservatives, under the leadership of Don FelixZuloaga, had won over the chiefexecutive by the notorious plan ofTacubaya...TheWar of Reform broke out on December 17, 1857, with none otherat the head of the revolt than President Comonfort himself.The conservatives, under the leadership of Don FelixZuloaga, had won over the chief executive by the notorious plan ofTacubaya, which called for a restoration of Churchprerogatives, and the maintenance of Comonfort in power. Comonforts treason, together with the wealth thatbacked the coup ofTacubaya and the careful propaganda that had preceded ...
Events Of The Revolt ViolenceThe violence started on May 10, 1857 in Meerut, when Pandey, asoldier in the Army shot his commander for forcing the Indian troopsto use the controversial rifles. Indians constituted 96% of the300,000 BritishArmy and the violence against British quickly spread(Hence the name Sepoy Mutiny).The local chiefs encouragedscattered revolts in hopes of regaining their lost privileges.Siege of DelhiBahadur Shah II, pensioned descendant of the Mugal dynasty, waspopularly acclaimed emperor. On June 8 a British relief forcedefeated an army of mutineers at Badli Sari and took up a positionon the famous ridge, overlooking the city of Delhi. Nominally thebesieging force, they were themselves besieged by the mutineers,who made a daring attempt to intercept their train.The arrival ofmore British reinforcements finally led to the defeat of the mutineersby John Nicholson, commander of the relief force. After six days ofstreet fighting, Delhi was recaptured.This action was the turningpoint in the campaign and is known as Siege of Delhi. Bahadur Shahwas captured and was exiled to Burma.MangalPandeyBaha BahadurShah II
British Take Control In spite of the loyalty of the Sikh troops, conquered only eight years before, and ofthe Gurkhas, the British commander, Sir Colin Campbell, had a difficult task. Inaddition to quelling the disturbance, he also had to protect the GangesValley and allof Hindustan against possible attacks from central India, to the south. Forces weredispatched from Madras and Bombay. However, the revolt had quickly spread toKanpur and Lucknow. Kanpur, on the Ganges 250 miles southeast of Delhi,surrendered to the mutineers on June 28, 1857, and was the scene of a massacrebefore it was recaptured by the British on July 16. Lucknow, 45 miles to thenortheast, had been immediately besieged by the mutineers and was relieved byHenry Havelocks troops on September 25, five days after the final reoccupation ofDelhi, the other chief center of the mutiny. However, Havelocks forces, even whenjoined by those of James Outram, were not strong enough to disarm and remove theenemy garrison, and they had to be relieved on November 16 by troops under ColinCampbell.The civilians of Lucknow were evacuated, but not until the siege of Mar. 9-16, 1858, had enough British troops massed to defeat the rebel army. The final stage of the mutiny took place in central India, which was aroused by aroving band of rebels under the Maratha GeneralTatyaTope. After his capture andexecution in April 1859, the leaderless mutineers were soon pacified.
Why It Failed? * Native Indian states, influenced by theexample of powerful Hyderabad, did not jointhe rebels * Sikh soldiers of the Punjab area remainedloyal to the British throughout.The Sikhswere a strong, well trained army, who theBritish had conquered using Indian soldiers. *The aging Bahadur Shah was neither abrave general, nor an astute leader of thepeople
Epilogue In England, the mutiny proved the last straw on the heavyload of criticism and opposition which the East IndiaCompany had carried for some time. In August 1858, by theAct for the Better Government of India, its politicalauthority was entrusted to a secretary of state. In August1858 the British crown assumed control of India from theEast India Company and in 1877 QueenVictoria wascrowned empress of India.The mutiny played a pivotal rolein Anglo-Indian history.The British afterward becamecautious and defensive about their empire, while manyIndians remained bitter and would never trust their rulersagain. It was not until the emergence of Indian NationalCongress and Mahatma Gandhi that Indians re-gatheredtheir momentum for home rule
Gallery Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, oneof the principal leaders of theGreat Uprising of 1857, whoearlier had lost her kingdom asa result of Lord DalhousiesDoctrine of LapseSir Syed Ahmed Khan founder of theMuhammedan Anglo-OrientalCollege, later the Aligarh MuslimUniversity, wrote one of the earlycritiques, The Causes of the IndianMutiny, in 1859.
GalleryCharles Canning, the Governor-General ofIndia during the rebellion.
Bahadur Shah Zafar the last Mughal Emperor, crownedEmperor of India, by the Indian troops, he was deposed bythe British, and died in exile in Burma
Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-Generalof India from 1848 to 1856, whodevised the Doctrine of Lapse.