1857 Revolt Of India ( Important Facts)

1857 Revolt Of India ( Important Facts)

 

 

Famous Leaders of the Revolt

 

 

Delhi-Bahadur Shah II Jawan Bakht Prince Mirza Mirza Khan Bakht Kha (Nicholson, Hudson)

 

Kanpur – Revolution led by Nana Shaheb with the help of his lieutenants Tatya Tope & Azimulla ( Campbell )

 

Lucknow – By Beghum of Avadh, Hazrat Mahal, with the help of peasants, Zamindars & sepoys      (  Campbell  )

 

Jhansi – By Rani lakshmi bai (Widowed queen of Gangadhar rao) along with Tatya tope ( Hugh Rose )

 

Bihar – Led by Kunwar singh (a ruined zamindar) ( William Taylor Vincent Eyr )

 

Bareilly – By Khan Bahadur

 

Faizabad – By Maulvi Ahmadullah

 

Aasam – Kandepeshwar Singh And Maniram Dutta

 

Orissa – Ujjawal sahi & Surendra sahi

 

Mathura – Devi Singh

 

Meruth – Kadam Singh


Tantia Tope, Ramchandra Panduranga, Scindia Nobel Mansingh

 

Governor general Lord Canning.

 

British Prime Minister Palmston

 

Mughal Emperor Bahadurshah Jafar

 

Commander In Chief Collin Campbell

 

Who did not participate ?

 

Gulab Singh of Kashmir

 

Salar Jung of Hyderabad

 

JungBahadur of Nepal

 

Begum of Bhopal

 

Sikhs

 

Dipankar Rao (Scindia’s Minister)

 

Indian intellegentia class.

 

 

WHO SAID WHAT ABOUT 1857 REVOLT

 

Sir J. Lawrence and J. Seeley- 1857 was a mutiny led by selfish army

 

Ler Rees- War of fanatic religionalists against Christians.

 

J.G. Medley- A war between blacks and black supported whites

 

T.R. Helmes- Conflict between civilization and barbarism.

 

J. Outram and W. Taylor- A Hindu-Muslim conspiracy.

 

S.N. Sen- Inherited in the constitution of British Rule.

 

Disraeli- A NATIONAL REVOLT

V.D. Savarkar- First War of Indian Independence

 

Smith Discontent and unrest widespreadly prevalent.

 

R C Majumdar – Neither “first” nor “national” nor ‘a war of independence”.

 

S N Sen – An effort by the conservative elements to turn the clock back

 

S B Choudhary – Civil Rebellion.

 

Marxists – A soldier-peasant struggle against foreign and feudal bondage

 

Malleson – Sepoy Mutiny

 

British Historians – A Mutiny, due to the use of greased cartridges.

 

Ellenborough: Legitimate War;

 

 

 

Important Books

 

History of the Indian Mutiny: T R Holmes

 

A History of the Sepoy in India: J W Kaye

 

Indian Mutiny of 1857: G B Malleson.

 

1857: S N Sen 

 

The Sepoy Revolt -its causes and consequences: H Mead.

 

Indian first war of inde-pendence: Vir Savarkar

 

The Great Rebellion Asok Mehata

 

Fisrt war of Independence – Carl Marks

 

An Essay On the Cause of Indian revolt(1860) sir Sayed Ahamad Khan

 

The Sepoy Mutunity and the rebellion of 1857

 

British Paramountancy and India Renaissance R C majumdar

 

Civili Rebeliion in Indian Mutinies & Theory Of Indian Mutiny Sashi Bhusan Chaudhary.

 

Rebellion 1857 A Symposium Puran Chandra Joshi

 

Canning: rebellion by Brahmans on religious pretences

 

 

 

 

 

FATE OF THE LEADERS

 

  • Bahadur Shah II : Deported to Rangoon, where he died in 1862. His sons were shot dead.

 

  • Nana Sahib and Begum Hazrat Mahal : Escaped to Nepal.

 

  • Rani Jhansi : Died in the battle field.

 

  • Tantia Tope : Was captured and executed in 1859.

 

 CAUSES OF 1857 REVOLT

 

Immediate Reasons

 

 

  • The reports about the mixing of bone dust in Atta (flour) and the introduction of the Enfield rifle enhanced the sepoys‘growing disaffection with the Government.

 

  • The cartridge of the new rifle had to be bitten off before loading and the grease was reportedly made of beef and pig, the sepoys felt their religion was in grave danger

 

  • The greased cartridges did not create a new cause of discontent in the Army, but supplied the occasion for the simmering discontent to come out in the open

 

  1. Political Causes:

 

Lord Dalhousie was the Governor-General of India till 1848-1856. Under him the British followed an expansionist policy in India. Dalhousie through his policies had added considerable territories to the British Empire in India.

 

The policy of annexation reached its climax when he implemented the policy of Doctrine of Lapse and annexed the Indian states on charges of mis-governance and absence of an heir. In the course of eight years Dalhousie annexed Satara (1848), Sambhalpur (1850), Jhansi (1853), Nagpur (1853), Jaipur (1849) and Bhagat (1850).

 

 

This policy enraged the Indian rulers against the British government. As part of the Doctrine of Lapse policy, the titles and pensions of some Indian princes were confiscated.

 

The pension of Baji Rao ll’s son Nana Sahib was discontinued after his father’s death and Rani of Jhansi had been deprived of her right to rule in violation of the recognized Hindu law.

 

Dalhousie further proposed to abolish the title of the Mughal emperor after the death of Bahadur Shah II.

 

  • The East India Company created a lot of discontent and disaffection among the dispossessed ruling families and their successors by her conquest.

 

  • A large number of dependents on the ruling families who lost their means of livelihood and other common people were disillusioned and disaffected with the alien rule.

 

  • Lord Dalhousie annexed the Punjab and added humiliation to the ruling family. Dalip Singh, the minor son of Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab, was deposed, and exiled to England. The properties of the Lahore Darbar were auctioned.

 

Doctrine of Lapse

 

  • By applying the Doctrine of Lapse, Dalhousie annexed the principalities of Satara, Jaipur, Sambhalpur, Bhagat, Udaipur, Jhansi, and Nagpur.

 

  • Doctrine of Lapse manifested the lack of sensitivity of the British towards the ancient right of adoption among the Hindus.
  • Lord Dalhousie annexed the kingdom of Oudh in 1856 on the pretext of mismanagement. The dethronement of Wajid Ali Shah sent a wave of resentment and anger of throughout the country.Report Of Outraum on Misgovernance

 

  • The kingdom of Oudh was exploited economically and the Nawabs were reduced to a position of complete dependency on the British. The Nawabs, negligence towards the administration of the state, was used as an excuse by Dalhousie to merge it with the British Empire.

 

Humiliation of the Mughals

 

  • Since 1803, the Mughal emperors had been living under the British protection. His claims to honour and precedence were recognized.

 

  • The seal of Governors General bore the inscription humble servant.

 

  • Amherst made it clear to the emperor, that his Kingship was nominal; it was merely out of courtesy that he was addressed as King.

 

  • The emperor was forced to give up residence in the Red Fort, and abandon his prerogative of naming his successor.

 

  • The treatment meted out by the governors-general to the Mughal emperor greatly alienated the Muslims who felt that the British wanted to humble their

 

Suspension of Pension

 

  • The annual pension of Rani Jindan the Queen of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was reduced from 15,000 pounds to 1,200 pounds.

 

  • The pension to Nana Sahib and of Lakshmi Bai, of Jhansi was

 

  • The titular sovereignty of the Nawab of Carnatic and Tanjore was also abolished.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE AND ECONOMIC CAUSES Rule of Law

 

  • The British introduced the Rule of Law, which implied the principle of equality in the eyes of the law irrespective of the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong.

 

  • The poorer and the weaker sections did not get any benefit from the new system due to complicated procedure of the British administration.

 

Unpopular British Administration

 

  • The English officials were not accessible to the people. Thus, the people could not place their grievances before them, as they did during the period of the Mughals.

 

  • The people also disliked the new system of British administration which functioned as a machine and lacked personal touch.
  • The English laws were quite strange and the common people could not understand them.

 

Exclusion of lndians from Administrative Posts

 

  • The British were of the opinion that the Indians were not suitable for the higher posts in their administrative structure. They lacked faith in the sincerity of the Indians.

 

  • Contempt for Indian and racial prejudice were other reasons why the Indians were denied higher positions in the administration.

 

  • Complete exclusion of Indians from all position of trust and power in the administration, and the manning of all higher offices both in the civil government and the military forces by the British brought forth discontent and a sense of humiliation among the people.

 

ECONOMIC CAUSES

 

Ruin of the Mercantile Class

 

  • The British deliberately crippled Indian trade and commerce by imposing high tariff duties against Indian goods. On the other hand they encouraged the import of British goods to India. As a result by the middle of the nineteenth century Indian exports of cotton and silk goods practically came to an end.

 

Destruction of Indian Manufacturers

 

  • The British policy of promoting the import of cotton goods to India from England destructed all Indian manufacturers, in the cotton textile industry.
  • When British goods flooded Indian market and threatened the outright destruction of Indian manufacturers, the East India Company’s government that ruled India did not take any step to prevent the tragedy.

 

  • Free trade and refusal to impose protective duties against machine-made goods of England ruined Indian manufacturers.

 

Pressure on Land

 

  • The millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, smelters, smiths and others from town and villages, had no alternative but to pursue agricultural activity that led to a pressure on land.

 

  • India was transformed from being a country of agriculture into an agricultural colony of British Empire.

 

Impoverishment of peasantry

 

  • Land being the chief source of income for Indians, the East India Company introduced various experiments and measures to extract the maximum share of agricultural produce.

 

 

Inam Commission 1852.

 

  • Various methods of revenue settlement led to the impoverishment and misery of the peasants.

 

  • Peasants were exploited by moneylenders, who usually confiscated their land for failure to repay their debt.

 

  • English settlers monopolized plantation industries like indigo and tea.

 

  • The inhuman treatment of the indigo cultivators by the European plantation owners was one of the darkest and most tragic episodes in the history of British rule in India.

 

  • The economic policies of the British affected the interests of the Indian traders, the manufacturers, craftsmen and the peasants.

 

SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CAUSES

 

Social Legislation

 

  • Lord William Bentinck abolished the practice of Sati in 1829, with the support of educated and enlightened Indians such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

 

  • Lord Canning enacted the Widow Remarriage Act, drafted by Lord Dalhousie in 1856.

 

  • These legislation were viewed by the orthodox sections in the society as interference by the British in their social and religious practice

 

  • The two laws of 1832 and 1850, removing disabilities due to change of religion, particularly conferring the right of inheritance to change of religion, particularly conferring the right of inheritance to Christian converts, were quite unpopular among the Hindus.

 

Lex Loci Act.1850

 

Missionary Activities

  • There was a strong movement grew in England to spread Christianity in India and convert its Hindus and Muslims subjects to that faith.

 

  • By the Charter Act of 1813, Christian missionaries were permitted to enter the Company’s territories in India to propagate their religion and spread Western education.

 

  • The Christian missionaries took every opportunity to expose the abuses in the Hindu as well as the Islamic religion.

 

  • They denounced idolatry, ridiculed the Hindu gods and goddesses and criticized the philosophy and principals of Hinduism and Islam.

 

  • The teaching of Christian doctrines were made compulsory in educational institutes run by the missionaries.

 

  • Thus, the interference of the British authorities in social customs and practices through social legislation and the encouragement given by the government to Christian missionaries in their proselytizing activities created a sense of apprehension and hatred in the minds of Indians.

 

 

MILITARY CAUSES

 

Service Conditions

 

  • The sepoys of the Bengal army, were Brahmins and Rajputs had special grievances of their own. Among them were unsatisfactory conditions of service, encroachment upon their religious customs, and offences against their dignity and self-respect.

 

  • They had a strong sense of resentment, as their scale of salary was very low compared to their English counterparts.

 

  • In the guise of enforcing discipline, the British authorities prohibited the Hindus and the Muslim sepoys displaying their religious marks.

The Hindu sepoys were forbidden to wear vermilion mark on their forehead, or turban on their head. The Muslims sepoys were forced to shave off their beard. These restrictions wounded the religious sentiments of the sepoys.

 

Withdraw of Allowances

 

  • The British authorities used to withdraw the allowances after the conquest and annexation of a province and post the same troops in those very provinces on reduced salaries. These measures demoralized the sepoys.

 

  • In 1844 four Bengal regiments refused to move to Sindh till extra allowance was sanctioned. Mutinous spirit was also displayed in 1849 by the sepoys in various provinces.

 

The General Service Enlistment Act Lord Canning 1856

 

  • The Hindu soldiers nursed grievances against the British as they were forced to go on expedition to Burma and Afghanistan, which violated their religious beliefs.

 

  • To live among Muslims and to take food and water from them was disliked to their ancient customs.

 

  • Besides, crossing the seas was prohibited by the religion as the one who crossed the forbidden seas was bound to lose his caste.

 

  • In order to prevent any kind of resistance from the sepoys against their deployment abroad, Lord Canning’s government passed the General Service Enlistment Act in 1856.

 

  • By this act all future recruits to the Bengal army were required to give an undertaking that they would serve anywhere their services required.

 

THE BEGINNING AND SPREAD OF THE MUTINY AND REVOLT

 

  • Above mentioned factors prepared a general ground for discontent and disaffection among different section of the Indian people, which required a mere spark to explode into a conflagration.

 

  • The greased cartridges provided this spark.

 

  • In 1856, the government decided to replace the old fashioned muskets by the New Enfield rifles In Place of Brown Base Riffle . In order to load the Enfield rifle, the greased wrapping paper of the cartridge had to be bitten off by the soldier.

 

  • In January 1857, a rumor began to spread in the Bengal regiments that the greased cartridges contained the fat of cows and pigs.

 

  • The sepoys became convinced that the introduction of the greased cartridge was a deliberate attempt to defile their religion.

 

  • The cow was sacred to the Hindus, and the pig was a taboo for the Muslims.

 

  • On March 29, 1857, the Indian soldiers at Barrackpore refused to use the greased cartridges and one sepoy, Mangal Pandey, attacked and killed a British officer.

 

  • At Meerut, in May 1857, the sepoys of the 3rd cavalry regiment at Meerut also refused to use the greased cartridges and broke out in open rebellion on 10th May and shot their officer and headed towards Delhi.

 

  • General Hewitt, was then the commanding officer at Meerut.

 

  • On 12 May 1857, the rebels seized Delhi and overcame Lieutenant Willoughby, the incharge of the magazine at Delhi.

 

  • Bahadur Shah-II was proclaimed the Emperor of India.

 

  • Very soon the rebellion spread throughout Northern and Central India at Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Bareilly, Banaras, Jhansi, parts of Bihar and other places.

 

  • Unfortunately, a majority of Indian rulers remained loyal to the British and the educated Indians and merchants class kept themselves aloof from the rebels.

 

  • India, south of the Narmada remained undisturbed.

 

  • At Lucknow, Henry Lawrence, the British resident, was ousted and killed.

 

  • Kanpur was lost to the British on 5th June 1857 and Nana Sahib was proclaimed the Peshwa.

 

  • General Huge Wheeler surrendered on June 27.

 

  • Rani Lakshmi Bai, the widow of late Gangadhar Rao, was proclaimed the ruler of the state after the troops at Jhansi mutinied in June 1857.

 

  • In Bihar a local zamindar, Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur revolted.

Beginning of Revolt of 1857

 

  • Started by Mangal Pandey on 29th march 1857, refusing to use greased rifle cartridges (Greased composed of fat taken from beef & pig) & killing his officer at Barackpore, Bengal

 

  • Mangal Pandey was hanged & his regiment disbanded with sepoy guilty of rebellion punished

 

  • A chain reaction started & in May 1857, at Meerut 85 sepoys were sentenced imprisoned for refusing to use greased cartridges

 

  • Hence sepoys break out in open rebellion; shot their officers; released fellow sepoys & headed Delhi.

 

  • Next Morning, Army captured Delhi & proclaimed Mughal king Bahadur Shah Jafar, Emperor of India

 

  • But real power lied with general Bakht Khan who had led the revolt of Bareilly troops and brought them to Delhi

CENTERS OF THE REVOLT

 

  • Delhi: A rebellion was led by Bakht Khan. In September 1857, Delhi was recaptured by the English in which John Nicholson, the commander was wounded and later died. The emperor was arrested and his two sons and grandsons were publicly shot by Lieutenant Hudson himself.

 

  • Kanpur: Nana Saheb was the leader at Kanpur. General Huge Wheeler surrendered on June 27. Nana Saheb was joined by Tantia Tope. Sir Campbell occupied Kanpur on December 6th. Tantia Tope escaped and joined Rani of Jhansi.

 

  • Lucknow: Rebellion here was led by Begum Hazrat Mahal and Ahmaddullah. Henry Lawrence and other Europeans at the British residency were killed by the rebels. The early attempts of Havelock and Outram to recover Lucknow met with no success. It was finally rescued by Colin Campbell in March 1858.

 

  • Jhansi: Rani Lakshmi Bai led the revolt who was defeated by Huge Rose and she fled to Gwalior and captured it. She was supported by Tantia Tope. Gwalior was recaptured by the English in June 1858 and the Rani of Jhansi died on 17th June. Tantia Tope escaped southward. In April, one of the Sindhia’s feudatory captured him and handed to the English who hanged him.

 

  • Bareilly: Khan Bahadur Khan proclaimed himself the Nawab Nazim of Bareilly, however, the rebellion was crushed by Colin Campbell in May 1858 and Bareilly was recaptured.

 

  • Arah: Kunwar Singh and his brother Amar Singh led the rebellion. They were defeated by William Taylor and Vincent Ayar. Kunwar Singh was killed on 8th May, 1858.

 

  • Faizabad: Maulavi Ahmeddullah led the rebellion but was defeated by the English.

 

  • Allahabad & Banaras: The rebellion at Banaras and adjoining areas was mercilessly suppressed by Colonel Neill who put to death all rebels suspected and even disorderly boys.

Suppression of Revolt

 

  • The British captured Delhi on September 1857 after prolonged and bitter fighting

 

  • Bahadur Shah was taken prisoner & was exiled to Rangoon where he died in 1862

 

  • Thus the great House of Mughals was finally and completely extinguished

 

  • Finally Revolt came to an end in 1858 with British victory & Lord canning proclaimed peace over India

 

 

Points of Prominence

 

  • 1857 revolt Shook the very foundation of British Government

 

  • Led to Hindu – Muslim unity

 

  • Common man rose to fight against the government which imparted the consciousness of belonging to one country among people

 

  • Racial hatred and suspicion between the Indians and the English was aggravated

CAUSES OF FAILURE OF THE REVOLT

 

  • The revolt of 1857 was poorly organized, restricted in its scope and there was lack of unity among the rebel leaders. There was no impact of the rebellion in the South. Even in North India, Rajasthan, the Punjab, Sind, Sindhia’s dominion of Gwalior, etc. remained quite.

 

  • The leaders of the rebellion did not have any common ideals and were ‘wrapped up’ in their own individual grievances. The only common bond of unit among them was their anti-British sympathies.

 

  • The resources of the British Empire were far superior to those of the rebels who were poorly organized and lacked resources.

 

  • The Indian princes such as the Schindhia, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Gaekwad of Vadodara and the Princes of Rajasthan remained loyal to the British.

 

  • Educated Indians were repelled by the rebels due to their appeals to superstitions and their opposition to progressive social measures and were mistaken to take Britishers as their helpers in accomplishing the task of modernization.

 

  • Scindia of Gwalior, the Holkar of Indore, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Raja of Jodhpur, the Nawab of Bhopal, the rulers of Patiala, Sindh and Kashmir and the Rana of Nepal provided active support to the British.

 

  • The military equipment of the rebels was inferior.

 

  • Comparative lack of efficient leadership.

 

  • The modern intelligent Indians also didn’t support the cause.

 

  • The mutiny at Vellore (1806), at Barrackpore (1824), at Ferozpur (1842), mutiny of the 7th Bengal cavalry, mutiny of 22nd N.I. in 1849, Revolt of the Santhals (1855-56), Kol uprising (1831-32) etc. were among the high degree of protests by the people that culminated in the revolt of 1857.

IMPACT OF THE REVOLT

 

  • The control of Indian administration was transferred from the East India Company to the crown by the Government of India Act, 1858.

 

  • It ended the era of annexation and expansion and the Queen’s proclamation declared against any desire for “extension of territorial possessions” and promised to respect the rights of dignity and honour of native princes as their own.

 

  • The Act of 1858 ended the dualism in the control of Indian affairs and made the crown directly responsible for management of Indian affairs. Following this, fundamental changes in the administrative set up were made in the executive, legislative and judicial administration of India by passing the Indian Councils Act of 1861, the Indian High Court Act of 1861 and the Indian Civil Service Act of 1861.

 

  • The British policies towards Indian States changed radically and the states were now treated as the bulwark of the empire against future contingencies.

 

  • The Indian army was thoroughly reorganized and the number of European troops in India was increased. All the superior posts in the armed forces were reserved for the Europeans.

 

  • The policy of associating Indian members with legislative matters and administration was started. A humble beginning in this direction was made by the Indian Councils Act of 1861.

 

  • The revolt left a legacy of racial bitterness. The entire Indian people were dubbed as unworthy of trust and subjected to insults, humiliations and contemptuous treatment.

 

  • The era of territorial expansion gave place to the era of economic exploitation in a more subtle way. The policy of ‘divide and rule’ between Hindus and Muslims was started.

 

  • The attitude of the British towards social reforms contrary to what it was before 1857. They now sided with orthodox opinion and stopped encouraging social reformers.

 

NATURE OF THE REVOLT

 

  • Historians are of different opinions regarding the nature of the Revolt of 1857.

 

  • British historians interpreted the revolt as a mutiny of the sepoys.

 

  • Ignoring the grievances of the local people and their participation in the movement, the British historians felt that the rebellion was engineered by the sepoys, and some landholders and princes having vested interest.

 

  • Recent researches on 1857 however argue that self-interested motives did not have much significance before the combined opposition to the unpopular British regime.

 

  • Some historians view the Revolt of 1857 as the first war of Indian independence.

 

  • Those who don’t agree with this interpretation argue that the rebel leaders did not make an attempt to establish a new social order. They tried to restore the old Mughal rule by inviting Bahadur Shah II.

 

  • It is said that “Although Indian initiatives and priorities were so central in the experience of change there was no national revolt in 1857. The discontented were fractured in loyalty and intention, often looking back to a society and a policy which were no longer viable”. Thus, it was not revolution but just a restoration.

 

  • Recent studies on the Revolt of 1857, however, focus on the popular participation in the revolt.

 

  • Besides the sepoys and Taluqdars, rural peasantry participated in large numbers in the revolt. In the case of Awadh, it has been shown that taluqdars and peasants jointly launched the attack.

 

  • Even in many places when taluqdars made peace with the British, peasants continued their movement.

 

  • The sepoys had linkage with their kinsmen in the villages and the revolt of the sepoys influenced the civilian population to ventilate their grievances against the British rule. Thus the Revolt of 1857 took the character of a popular uprising.

 

Historians on the Nature of the Revolt

 

Historians have described the nature of the rebellion of 1857 variously. Some call it a sepoy mutiny since the initial thrust of the revolt in the form of the cartridge episode was given by the soldiers. These scholars also contend that the revolt was not related to the general people so much as the sepoys and they formed the bulk of the rebels.

 

Nationalists as V.D. Savarkar opine that the revolt was the first war of independence. They feel that the revolt sparked off the discontent of the Indians towards the foreign rule and they fought bitterly to drive away the foreigners from their homeland. According to them, the Hindus and

 

Muslims participated equally in the revolt and displayed a new bond of unity against the British.

 

The Marxists view the revolt as a soldier-peasant struggle against feudal bondage. They contend that the Indian soldier was a peasant in uniform and wanted to throw away the feudal domination infused by the British.

 

On the whole one may look at the revolt as a product of the accumulated discontent of the people against the foreign government.

 

Delhi:

 

On 12th May Delhi was seized and Bahadur Shah II was proclaimed the emperor of India. The real command was in the hands of Bakht Khan who had led the revolt at Bareilly and brought the troops to Delhi.

 

Kanpur:

 

Here the revolt was led by Nana Saheb who declared himself the Peshwa and governor of Bahadur Shah. Tantya Tope did most of the fighting. Rebels defeated General Windham outside Kanpur.

 

Lucknow:

 

The revolt was led by Hazrat Mahal, the Begum of Awadh. She had proclaimed her young son Brijis Kadiras the Nawab of Awadh against the wishes of the British. Henry Lawrence, the British resident was killed at Lucknow.

 

Jhansi.

 

After some initial vacillations, Rani Laxmi Bai assumed the leadership of the mutiny. After being defeated at Jhansi, she captured Gwalior with the help of Tantya Tope and Afghan guards.

 

Bareily:

 

Khan Bahadur Khan proclaimed himself as the Nawab and led the revolt there. The other centres of the revolt were Benaras, Allahabad, Gwalior, Nasirabad in Rajputana, Indore, Aligarh and Kota. At all these places the sepoys killed the senior officers and other Europeans on whom they could lay their hands, in many cases not even sparing women and children. They also released prisoners from jail, plundered the treasury and burnt land records at many pieces.

 

However the superior British forces soon suppressed the revolt. Bahadur Shah II proved to be a weak leader. Delhi was recaptured on 20th September 1857 by John Nicholson. Bahadur Shah was arrested and deported to Rangoon where he died in 1862. The rebels were defeated by General Havelock in Kanpur. Nana Saheb after being defeated refused to surrender and escaped to Nepal. At Jhansi Hugh Rose suppressed the

 

revolt and Rani Laxmi Bai died on the battle field. Benaras, Bareilly and Gwalior were also recaptured by British officers.

 

 

Changes After 1857 Revolt

 

(a) Policy Change:

 

The Queen’s Proclamation of November 1858 announced the policy of the British government to be followed from now on in India. It announced that the policy of territorial extension was to be abandoned. The native rulers were assured of the safety of their territory, rights and honour if they cooperated with British.

 

The right of a ruler to adopt a child in the absence of a natural heir was accepted. The government regarded the native rulers as the bulwark against the masses and henceforth followed a policy of protecting this reactionary segment of the Indian society.

 

A policy of divide and rule was actively pursued to keep the Hindus and Muslims divided.

 

(b) Administrative Changes:

 

On January 1st 1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed as the Queen Empress of India and the administration of India was transferred the East India Company to the British Crown. India was to be administered by the Secretary of State and his fifteen-member council through the Viceroy. The Governor-general became the viceroy and the representative of the Crown in India.

 

(c) Reorganization of the Army:

 

Te army was re-organized to strengthen British control over the country and avert any further rebellions in future. The number of British soldiers was increased and all the higher posts and key positions were filled up by the British.

 

(d) Communal and Racial Bitterness:

 

The revolt of 1857 created a big gap between the different religious communities especially the Hindus and the Muslims as each blamed the other for its failure. The Indians, however, developed a deep racial bitterness towards the English and opposed the inferior status granted to them.

 

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