Introduction to Revolt of 1857
The great revolution of 1857 took a place only during Lord Canning’s rules as Governor-General. The revolution of 1857 started from Meerut on May 10, 1857, which gradually spread to places like Kanpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Delhi, Awadh, etc. This revolution has started in the form of a military rebellion but later changed its form to a mass rebellion against the British power, which was called India’s first war of independence. There is no consensus about the nature of this great revolution of 1857. Scholars have propounded their different opinions about this, which are as follows:- ‘Sepoy Rebellion’, ‘Freedom Struggle’, ‘Feudalist Reaction’, ‘People’s Revolution’, ‘National Rebellion’, ‘Muslim Conspiracy’, ‘Christian A religious war against religion‘ and ‘the struggle of civilization and barbarism‘ etc.
Political Causes of the Revolt of 1857
- Lord Wellesley Subsidiary Treaty- In the year 1798, the then Governor-General of India, Lord Wellesley, had made a subsidiary treaty with all the states of India, under which British troops would be stationed on the territory of all the allied kings, the cost of the maintenance of those troops was the king. A British resident would be appointed in the king’s court, who would send every news to the governor-general and the king would neither make any treaty with any other ruler nor break the British treaty.
All these things were forcibly imposed on the rulers, due to which there was widespread resentment in their minds.
- Lord Dalhousie’s Policy of Lapse- In the year 1848 and the then Governor-General Lord Dalhousie made law under which if an Indian ruler has no heir, then the British government will rule that state in the future.
This law came to be called the Law of Grab. Various rulers started showing their anger on this law, and this anger got more air during 1857.
- Ban on Jhansi’s successor and Nana Saheb’s pension stopped- When the King of Jhansi Gangadhar Rao died, Rani Lakshmibai expressed her desire to make an adopted son the successor, but the British government did not allow her and started her rule over Jhansi, due to which the Queen of Jhansi and the British government in the people. Anger started growing towards him.
Nana Saheb was the adopted son of Peshwa Bajirao II. After the death of the Peshwa, the British Empire took the place of the Maratha Empire and also stopped the pension received by Nana Saheb, due to which the people of Kanpur started opposing the British Government.
- British capture of Satara and Nagpur- After the death of Shahji, the ruler of Satara in the year 1848, Satara was also occupied by the British Empire under the Lapse Act, due to which anger towards the British government began to arise among the soldiers of Satar.
Soon after, the British government did the same to Nagpur as it had done to Satara. Negative thoughts about the British government were starting to arise in the minds of the soldiers and farmers of both regions.
- Grabbing land from landlords and farmers- The British government had taxed the different provinces of India more and more and made some important laws. When a farmer and landlord could not fulfill their conditions, then they used to take possession of his land and property.
This caused widespread resentment in the minds of both the farmer and the landlord.
Economic Causes of the Revolt of 1857
- Preclude from Livelihood from Indian artisans- Due to the Industrial Revolution in England, machine-made products were sold in India at very cheap prices, due to which the means of the employment of Indian artisans were snatched away and the British government had also imposed more taxes on them, due to which the minds of those artisans The feeling of dissatisfaction started taking birth in me.
- British Trade policy- Due to the business policy of the British, the trade of all Indians in India came to a standstill. For sending Indian products abroad, excessive duty had to be paid, in which there was more possibility of loss instead of profit. No one was ready to buy Indian products in India because their price was higher than the products of England, due to which Indian trade almost came to an end and anger started increasing in the minds of Indian traders.
- The policy of permanent settlement and excessive taxes of the British Empire- Under the policy of Permanent Settlement, the British Government made the landlords of India the owners of the land. The zamindars who deposited a certain amount of tax in the government treasury and collected maximum amount of tax from the farmers. The government had imposed a huge amount of tax on the general public also, due to which the general public also started opposing the government.
Social and Religious Causes of the Revolt of 1857
- Religious Disabilities Act of 1856- The British government enacted a law in 1856 under which only those who converted to Christianity were considered entitled to their ancestral property and they were given the facility of promotion in jobs, admission in educational institutions. Due to this law, the priests converted Hindus and Muslims on a large scale, due to which the Indian religious society started getting angry with the British.
- Reform work in Indian society- The British Empire saw some evils of Indian society at that time and decided to correct them, such as Lord William Bentinck in the year 1829 with the help of Raja Ram Mohan Roy abolished the practice of Sati and banned child marriage. So Indian Hindus considered it against their religion and started opposing the British government.
- English education- The British had started English schools to educate the Indian society, in which they started providing education to Indians, due to which people of all religions of India started to feel that they definitely want to make Indians Christian, so they started English. Started schools.
- Criticism of other religions by Christian preachers- Christian preachers started misrepresenting the scriptures and doctrines of other religions in order to make their religion the best in India, due to which there was widespread anger against the British in India.
Military Causes of the Revolt of 1857
- Indian soldiers to fight at sea- In the year 1856, a law was passed according to which one could be sent across the sea to fight, but Hindu soldiers considered it against their religion to cross the sea.
- Indecent behavior with Indian soldiers- The British soldiers used to misbehave with the Indian soldiers during the parade. They used to make fun of their civilization, culture, and religion in front of the Indians, due to which the resentment of the Indian soldiers started increasing against the British government.
- Discrimination against Indians in salary, promotion, and posting- The British administration adopted a discriminatory policy with the Indian soldiers, they only increased the salary and rank of British soldiers and officers. He also used to deploy Indians in disturbed areas while British soldiers were deployed in calm and clean areas.
The immediate causes of the revolt of 1857
Grease cartridges- The immediate cause of the revolt of 1857 was the new fat cartridges given to the soldiers. These new handicrafts were coated with the fat of pigs and cows, which were torn from the mouth and put in the guns. Both Hindus and Muslims were included in the British army and they refused to use it considering it against their religion. But the British government did not listen to his words. The use of these fat cartridges was first opposed by the soldiers of Barrackpore Cantonment. Knowing the truth of these acts, Mangal Pandey got angry and even killed a British officer.
Spread of the Revolution of 1857
- Soon after the capture of Delhi, the rebellion spread to central and northern India.
- On June 4, a rebellion started in Lucknow under the leadership of Begum Hazrat Hazmat Mahal, in which Henry Lawtens was assassinated.
- On June 5, Kanpur was captured under the leadership of Nana Saheb, Nana Saheb was declared Peshwa.
- Rani Lakshmi Bai led the rebellion in Jhansi.
- After the fall of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai along with Tatya Tope led the revolt in Gwalior. Ultimately Lakshmibai attained Veergati while fighting the British General Heroes.
- On the death of Rani Lakshmi Bai, General Hughes said, “The woman who sleeps here among the Indian revolutionaries is a man.”
- Tatya Tope’s real name was Ramchandra Pandurang. He went to Nepal after the fall of Gwalior where a landlord was caught for the betrayal of Mansingh and hanged on 18 April 1859.
- In Jagripur, Bihar, the landlord Kunwar Singh raised the flag of the revolt of 1857.
- Maulvi Ahmadullah led the revolt of 1857 in Faizabad.
- The British, worried about Ahmadullah’s activities, had announced a reward of 50 thousand rupees for his capture.
- Khan Bahadur Khan led the revolt of 1857 in Rohilkhand, which was captured and hanged.
- Raj Kumar Surendra Shahi and Ujjwal Shahi led the rebellion at Sambalpur in Orissa.
- Maniram Dewan led the rebellion in Assam.
- Bengal, Punjab, and most parts of South India did not participate in the rebellion.
- The British recaptured Delhi in September 1857 after a long and terrible war.
Major Leaders of the Revolt of 1857
|Name of Rebel leader||Date of Rebellion||Center|
|Bahadur Shah Zafar, Bakht Khan||11th May 1857||Delhi|
|Nana Saheb, Tantya Tope||June 5, 1857||Kanpur|
|Begum Hazrat Mahal, Birjis Qadir||June 4, 1857||Lucknow|
|Rani Lakshmi Bai||4 June 1857||Jhansi|
|Kunwar Singh, Amar Singh||June 12, 1857||Jagdishpur|
|Maulvi Ahmadullah||June 1857||Faizabad|
|Liaquat Ali||June 1857||Allahabad|
|Khan Bahadur||June 1857||Bareilly|
Consequences of the Revolt of 1857
- After the rebellion, the Company rule in India was abolished and the rule of India was placed under the British Crown.
- The Governor-General of India now came to be called the Viceroy.
- A 15-member Indian Council was set up with India Secretary.
- After the revolt of 1857, the proportion of Europeans to Indian soldiers in the army was increased on the report of the Peel Commission set up by the British Government for the reorganization of the army.
- Abandoning the policy of conquest and annexation towards Indian princely states, the government allowed the adoption of kings.
Aapane abhi padha: 1857 Ki Kraanti: Bhartiya Svatantrata Sangraam Ke Pramukh Kaaran, Parinaam Va Pramukh Vidrohee Neta.