The Revolt of 1857

The Revolt of 1857

The revolt of 1857 was a major event in the history of India. It ended the control of the East India Company and led to the re-establishment of direct British rule in India.

Historical Significance

Historians continue to debate the causes of the revolt. However, some scholars believe that this uprising marked the beginning of the Indian national independence movement.

Political Causes

The revolt of 1857 was an attempt by Indians to abolish the British East India Company. It lasted for one year but was unsuccessful and brought about many changes to the Indian society.

The main political cause of the revolt was Lord Dalhousie’s policy of annexation. His policy of annexation led to the severance of the native princely states in different parts of India.

He also introduced the Doctrine of Lapse which said that the lands of a ruler who died without a male heir would be forfeit to the British. This was considered a very unfair policy by Indians.

This led to the exploitation of the common people. This made them irritated with the British and hence they joined the revolt against the Company. They wanted to break the system by which the Company collected taxes.

Economic Causes

One of the major causes of the revolt was the economic exploitation of India by the British. British land revenue policies like permanent settlement in Bengal, Mahalwari settlement in Central India and Ryotwari settlement in southern India ruined the prospects of Indian peasants and zamindars.

As a result, these people could not afford to maintain their households. The peasants also became dependent on money-lenders and traders at usurious rates, who would often evict them from their land.

The aristocratic households in India were also impoverished as a result of the British policies of land revenue. In Awadh, 21,000 taluqdars had their estates confiscated and lost their status in the villages.

This paved the way for widespread rebellion by the Indian rulers and their subjects. Many Hindu princely states, which had been under subsidiary alliances with the British, became dissatisfied with the British policies of conquest. These included the doctrine of lapse (the belief in British dominance over Indian leadership), and the policy of annexation, which deprived their rulers of their customary powers and privileges.

Religious Causes

The revolt of 1857 was primarily a war of religion. It was a result of British attempts to interfere with Indian social and religious customs.

Lord Dalhousie’s policies of territorial expansion and westernization, along with his support for widow-marriage and women’s education, hurt Hindus’ sentiments. They also feared that the British would force Hindus to convert to Christianity.

In addition, the British had begun to tax religious places, such as temples and mosques. They regarded these taxes as an attack on their religion and a violation of the law.

Nevertheless, there were many other causes that could have triggered the revolt. Some of them included the new Enfield rifle, which was designed to use cartridges greased with pig or cow fat. These cartridges horrified both Hindu and Muslim sepoys. They thought that the British were trying to contaminate their religions with their weapons.

Social Causes

The revolt of 1857 was a major turning point in the history of India. It was the first rebellion against British rule and it inspired future generations of Indians to fight for independence.

There were several reasons that led to the outbreak of the revolt. These included a lack of economic and social development under the British rule.

Another reason was the constant exploitation of India by the British East India Company. This caused great harm to the people of India, including the peasants and artisans.

The British policy of racial discrimination was also one of the main causes of the revolt. The British viewed the Indians as racially inferior and culturally backward. They were not allowed to mix with the Europeans and thus they suffered greatly under their rule.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price