A history of the mutiny of the sepoy in india

India in andshowing East India Company-governed territories in pink India in andshowing East India Company-governed territories in pink Although the British East India Company had established a presence in India as far back as[24] and earlier administered the factory areas established for trading purposes, its victory in the Battle of Plassey in marked the beginning of its firm foothold in eastern India. After his defeat, the emperor granted the Company the right to the "collection of Revenue" in the provinces of Bengal modern day BengalBihar, and Odishaknown as "Diwani" to the Company. The subsidiary alliances created the princely states of the Hindu maharajas and the Muslim nawabs. The border dispute between Nepal and British India, which sharpened afterhad caused the Anglo-Nepalese War of —16 and brought the defeated Gurkhas under British influence.

A history of the mutiny of the sepoy in india

Beginning in Meerut on 10 Maythe rebellion spread throughout north and central India to such cities as Delhi, Agra, Cawnpore, Gwalior, and Lucknow before the British reconquered these territories and officially declared peace on 8 July The Mutiny proved to be the greatest internal challenge to the British Empire in the nineteenth century and included the cooperation of civilians from many strata of Indian society.

Participation came mainly from the East India Company's army units, whose South Asian recruits were known as sepoys, an Anglo-Indian term derived from the Persian word sipahi soldier. The vast majority of soldiers who served in the Indian army were native South Asians.

History of India, Sepoy Mutiny

This disparity existed in the eighteenth century but by the number of Europeans in the East India Company's army ofhad fallen below 15 percent.

The East India Company's military forces were composed of the three armies raised from its separate presidencies, or administrative districts: Bengal, Madras, and Bombay.

The Bengal army constituted the largest of the three and a significant portion of its regiments were stationed in north and central India as well as the Punjab. In addition, some 23, troops from the Queen's army were positioned in India at the time, providing additional support to beleaguered British garrisons.

Above all, it was the support from the recently recruited Sikhs of the Punjab, carefully cultivated by the British since the end of the Anglo-Sikh wars of the s, which proved decisive to Britain's ultimate victory. So, too, was the disinclination of the Bengali intelligentsia to throw in their lot with what they considered a backward revolt by landowning gentry.


Overall, mutineers suffered from a lack of cohesion and a viable vision for the future; they were not self-conscious nationalists. Led primarily by the old nobility and petty landlords, the popular insurrection received support from the lower orders of Indian society.

Peasants destroyed any property that represented the authority of the East India Company: They also sought revenge upon indigenous moneylenders and local magnates who had purchased land at government auctions and were seen as benefiting from Company rule. The rebels appealed to bonds of local community and village solidarity, frequently invoking religious sentiments.

They did not seek to upset traditional hierarchies of caste or religion and sought the support of higher authorities, such as that of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II also known as Bahadur Shah Zafar, — To load the rifle, the end of the cartridge containing the powder had to be bitten off so that the charge would ignite.

To allow for easier passage in India's warm climate, the paper of which the cartridge was composed was heavily greased with tallow, rather than wax or vegetable oil. Rumors spread among soldiers that the grease used was derived from pig and cow fat, and therefore offensive to the religious tenets of Muslims and Hindus, respectively.

In Aprilmembers of the 3rd Light Cavalry, a native regiment, refused to attend a firing drill with the new Enfield rifles.

As a result, a court-martial convicted and sentenced eighty-five of these soldiers to imprisonment with hard labor for ten years. On 9 May all of the troops at Meerut were assembled on a parade ground to witness the 3rd Light Cavalry's humiliating march off to jail in shackles.

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On Sunday, 10 May, during church services, the mutineers struck out in Meerut and killed about fifty European men, women, and children. Shocked European officers and troops, outnumbered by their South Asian counterparts, quickly found themselves powerless to stop the movement.

Sufficient warning could not be sent to Delhi or Agra, as the newly laid telegraph lines from Meerut had been cut.

The Sepoy Mutiny's immediate trigger was the cartridge crisis, but it also grew out of a larger context of quietly mounting fears and grievances directed against the political, economic, social, and religious policies and practices of British rule.

This policy applied to those parts of the subcontinent that were still governed by nominally autonomous Indian princes, who were often financially and militarily dependent upon their British ally. Dalhousie believed India's princely states were corrupt, an affront to English standards of justice and an impediment to the consolidation of British power.

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His policy enabled the company to annex territories whenever they could be shown to be misgoverned or if a government-sanctioned male heir was not produced. Following the annexation of Satarathe Doctrine of Lapse was then applied against the dynastic houses of SambalpurBithoorJhansiNagpurCarnaticand Tanjore The most important and unpopular annexation of all, however, was that of Awadhruled by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

Dirges were recited and religious men rushed to Lucknow to denounce the annexation. The Bengal army's recruits were mainly high-caste Hindus from Awadh, and its dynasty's lapse was a great blow to them, not least because they had received extra pay known as "batta" while serving outside the Company's territories.

Now that it belonged to the Company, the extra pay was withheld. Sikhs from the Punjab also now enlisted in native regiments of the Bengal army, to the disgust and anger of many Awadh sepoys who saw Sikhs as unclean.

A history of the mutiny of the sepoy in india

Sepoys, whose loyalty was divided between the Company and the native states from which they were recruited, regarded recent British setbacks in the Afghan and Crimean Wars as proof that the Company was not invincible.

By the s East India Company officials had come to view India's landed aristocracies as anachronisms. The imperial government decided to collect taxes directly from peasants, displacing the landed nobles as intermediaries.Feb 17,  · Their mutiny encouraged rebellion by considerable numbers of Indian civilians in a broad belt of northern and central India - roughly from Delhi in the west to Benares in the east.

The Indian Mutiny, a widespread revolt against the East India Company in –58, was centred in the United Provinces. Sparked by a mutiny of soldiers at Meerut on May 10, , the revolt spread within months to more than 25 cities.

There was a mutiny at Vellore in , of the Bengal army in Java in , Barrackpore in , Gwalior in , Afghanistan during and Burma in and The Sepoy Mutiny was a violent and very bloody uprising against British rule in India in It is also known by other names: the Indian Mutiny, the Indian Rebellion of , or the Indian Revolt of Indian History Timeline Till Sepoy Mutiny Banking, General Knowledge, India, Indian history Expansion of British East India Company control in India in the first half of the century leads many Indians to fear subjugation of social and religious customs, causing growing resentment to the British presence.

SEPOY MUTINY causes consequences bibliography. The Sepoy Mutiny was a widespread and ultimately ineffective uprising against British imperial rule in India led by members of the Bengal army.

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