Notes on Revolts of 1857 in India Causes
Sepoys were treated as inferior to British soldiers, despite being paid less and being required to serve in areas far away from their homes.
The greased cartridge incident: In 1857, sepoys were issued new Enfield rifles with greased cartridges. Rumors spread that the grease was made from cow and pig fat, which would have been offensive to Hindus and Muslims, respectively.
The British East India Company's policy of expansion and annexation of Indian kingdoms had alienated many Indian rulers.
The Doctrine of Lapse, which allowed the British to annex any kingdom whose ruler died without a male heir, was seen as particularly unjust.
British economic policies, such as the free trade policy, had ruined many Indian industries and artisans.
The high land revenue taxes imposed by the British had also caused widespread hardship among the peasantry.
Social and religious causes:
The British introduced many social and religious reforms that were seen as an attack on Indian traditions and culture.
For example, the British outlawed sati and child marriage, and they promoted the spread of Christianity.
Course of the Revolt The Revolt of 1857 began on May 10, 1857, at Meerut, a British military cantonment near Delhi. A group of sepoys mutinied and killed their British officers. The sepoys then marched to Delhi and proclaimed Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor, as their leader. The revolt quickly spread to other parts of India, including Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi, and Bareilly. Indian rulers, such as Nana Saheb and Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, joined the revolt. The British were initially caught off guard, but they eventually regrouped and began to suppress the revolt. The revolt was finally crushed in 1858, after a series of bloody battles. The British victory was due in part to their superior military technology and resources. However, the revolt also showed the British that they could not take their rule of India for granted. Impact of the Revolt The Revolt of 1857 had a profound impact on both India and Britain. In India, the revolt led to the end of the British East India Company's rule and the direct rule of India by the British Crown. The British also introduced a number of reforms in the wake of the revolt, such as the Indian Civil Service and the Indian Army reforms. In Britain, the revolt led to a reassessment of British policy in India. The British became more cautious and less aggressive in their dealings with Indian rulers and the Indian people. The Revolt of 1857 is also seen as a watershed moment in the Indian freedom struggle. It was the first major uprising against British rule, and it inspired future generations of Indian revolutionaries. Conclusion The Revolt of 1857 was a complex event with multiple causes and consequences. It was a watershed moment in Indian history, and it continues to be debated and studied by historians today.