The company had developed a military organisation where, in theory, fealty of the sepoys to the company was considered the height of "izzat" or honour, where the European officer replaced the village headman with benevolent figures of authority, and where regiments were mostly recruited from sepoys belonging to the same caste, and community. As early as 1806, concerns that the sepoys' caste may be polluted had led to the Vellore Mutiny, which was brutally suppressed. By the first half of the 19th century, the East India Company had brought major portions of India under its control.One hundred years after the Battle of Plassey, anger against the unjust and oppressive British Government took the form of a revolt Discrimination in the salaries of Indians and Europeans. Copyright Notice © 2020 Greycells18 Media Limited and its licensors. The moment at which the sepoys' grievances led them openly to defy British authority also happened to be the most favourable opportunity to do so.[24]. [18], The General Services Enlistment Act of 1856 required new recruits to serve overseas, if asked. They cannot rise above the rank of Subedar. In the decade prior to the rebellion, the BEIC had imposed a "doctrine of lapse" (of Indian leadership succession), and the policy of "subsidiary alliance", both of which deprived many Indian rulers of their customary powers and privileges. Join NOW to get access to exclusive study material for best results. Military Causes of the revolt of 1857: • Indian soldiers formed seven-eighth of the total British troops in India. [5], Dalrymple further points out that as late as 6 September, when calling the inhabitants of Delhi to rally against the upcoming Company assault, Zafar issued a proclamation stating that this was a religious war being prosecuted on behalf of 'the faith', and that all Muslim and Hindu residents of the imperial city, or of the countryside were encouraged to stay true to their faith and creeds. 5. recommended recruitment of more British troops but it was not done at As the land levies were a major source of revenue for the British, they tried to make maximum out of it. The other causes of the Revolt of 1857 were the military policies of the British. 2 mins read. Hindus reacted negatively to this decision Dalhousie had 4. In 1824, there was another mutiny by a regiment ordered overseas in the First Anglo-Burmese War, who were refused transport to carry individual cooking vessels and told to share communal pots. The mutiny and great revolt of 1857–59. Related posts: What were few political and military factors responsible for the Revolt of 1857? Ill-treatment 094: British Occupation of India - Part 9: The Causes and Impact of the Revolt of 1857 In this episode, we talk about The Causes and Impact of the Revolt of 1857 The Revolt of 1857 is also known by other names such as The Sepoy Mutiny, The Indian Mutiny, The Great Rebellion, The Indian Insurrection, India’s First War of Independence. The soldiers performed well on the field of battle in exchange for which they were rewarded with symbolic heraldic rewards such as battle honours in addition to the extra pay or "batta" (foreign pay) routinely disbursed for operations committed beyond the established borders of Company rule. [7] Several years before the sepoys' mutiny, Lord William Bentinck had attacked several jagirs in western Bengal. are three important causes of the revolt of 1857: Queries asked on Sunday & after 7pm from Monday to Saturday will be answered after 12pm the next working day. Following the disarming and disbandment of an additional seventeen Bengal Native Infantry regiments, which were suspected of planning mutiny, only twelve survived to serve in the new post-mutiny army. The reasons for the failure of the 1857 Revolt are many and can be grouped into Administrative, Military and Political causes. The British treat the Indian soldiers very differently from their counterparts. Prior to the period of British rule, any refusal to proceed on service until pay issues were resolved was considered a legitimate form of displaying grievance by Indian troops serving under Indian rulers. Political: Nana Sahib was refused pension, as he was the adopted son of pesewa Baji Rao II. Sepoys throughout India were issued with a new rifle, the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket—a more powerful and accurate weapon than the old but smoothbore Brown Bess they had been using for the previous decades. Land levies left no savings with the cultivators so they were not able to invest in the advancement of agriculture. [1] As early as the Charter Act of 1813 Christian missionaries were encouraged to come to Bombay and Calcutta under BEIC control. Economic Causes: Added to political and administrative distrust for the British East India Company, … The Revolt of 1857 » The Revolt of 1857 is an important landmark in the history of India which occurred during the governer-generalship of Lord canning. British government brought many social reforms in Hindu society like widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education for girls, Christian Missionaries etc. VIEW MORE. This included an increase in the taxation on land. Moreover, there was no scope of promotion and made to serve overseas. Rich people like the merchants and moneylenders were therefore able to speculate in British land sales and drive out the most vulnerable peasant farmers. As further evidence, he observes that the Urdu sources of the pre- and post-rebellion periods usually refer to the British not as angrez (the English), goras (whites) or firangis (foreigners), but as kafir (disbeliever) and nasrani (Christians). that point of time. in 1849, Revolt of the Santhals (1855-56), Kol uprising (1831-32) etc. Since the batta made the difference between active service being considered munificent or burdensome, the sepoys repeatedly resented and actively opposed inconsiderate unilateral changes in pay and batta ordered by the Military Audit department. [9], Until the 1840s there had been a widespread belief amongst the Bengal sepoys in the iqbal or continued good fortune of the East India Company. The forces were divided into three presidency armies: Bombay, Madras, and Bengal. The company had an unbroken series of victories in India, against the Marathas, Mysore, north Indian states, and the Gurkhas, later against the Sikhs, and further afield in China and Burma. Causes of Revolt of 1857 The revolt of 1857 was initiated due to various factors which are stated below: Religious & Social Causes – racism or racial discrimination was believed to be a major reason for the revolt of 1857 wherein Indians were exploited and were kept away from mixing with Europeans. Often the British officers treated the sepoys rudely. As time passed, the powers of the commanding officers reduced and the government became more unfeeling or distant from the concerns of the sepoys. Larger This was done by using the provisions of the Doctrine ofLapse. This took the form of Muslim millenarianism, with preachers in Lucknow foretelling the end of the raj. Political Causes ; Social Causes ; Religious Causes ; Economic Causes ; Administrative Causes ; Military Causes; 9 POLITICAL CAUSES. Following are three important causes of the revolt of 1857: Ill-treatment of Indian Soldiers - The East India Company discriminated against their Indian sepoys. Sympathetic rulers, such as Lord William Bentinck were replaced by arrogant aristocrats, such as Lord Dalhousie, who despised the troops and the populace. It was only later on that other elements of society joined the revolt. Furthermore, legal changes introduced by the British were accompanied by prohibitions on Indian religious customs and were seen as steps towards forced conversion to Christianity. Political Partly owing to this, Bengal sepoys were not subject to the penalty of flogging as were the European soldiers. [2] Author Pramod Nayar points out that by 1851 there were nineteen Protestant religious societies operating in India whose goal was the conversion of Indians to Christianity. Causes of Failure of Revolt. The imperialist policy of the East India Company was an important factor. 2. Following [4], Some historians have suggested that the impact of British economic and social 'reforms' has been greatly exaggerated, since the Company did not have the resources to enforce them, meaning that away from Calcutta their effect was negligible.[6]. the year 1856, the Company army had2, 38,000 Indians and 45,322 British soldiers. Military Causes: The Revolt of 1857 started as a sepoy mutiny. The subsidiary alliance and the Doctrine of Lapse of Dalhousie angered Indian Princes. In this video you will see the simplified version of 1857 revolt and the 4 main causes i.e. Loading the Enfield often required tearing open the greased cartridge with one's teeth, and many sepoys believed that the cartridges were greased with cow and pig fat. MILITARY CAUSES. Causes of 1857 Rebellion May 2020 DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28146.94408 Project: MILITARY HISTORY Agha H AminAgha H Amin The Rani of Jhansi Laxmibai was not allowed to adopt a son. Although the revolt began as a military rising and it appears to be a great sequel in the long series of a number of mutinies, its causes were deeply rooted in the changing conditions of the times. Avadh was annexed in 1857, on charges of maladministration Satara, Jhansi, Nagpur and Sambhalpur were annexed owing to Doctrine of lapse. NEWSLETTER : Get latest updates in your inbox. An uprising in several sepoy companies of the Bengal army was sparked by the issue of new gunpowder cartridges for the Enfield rifle in February 1857. The resumption of tax free land and confiscation of jagirs (the grant or right to locally control land revenue) caused discontent among the jagirdars and zamindars. Immediate Cause of Revolt. [12], There had been earlier indications that all was not well in the armies of the East India Company. Proportion of Indians in the British Army -. In contrast to their Indian predecessors, the British considered such refusals at times to be outright "mutinies" and therefore to be suppressed brutally. As they were an integral part of the Indian society, they too suffered the consequences of the oppressive British rule. Eleven of the sepoys were executed and hundreds more sentenced to hard labour. Describe immediate causes of the revolt of 1857. Lands were confiscated from the landlords and auctioned. When soldiers of the Bengal army mutinied in Meerut on May 10, 1857, tension had been growing for some time. Some of these units belonged to states allied to the British or recently absorbed into British-administered territory, and of these, two large contingents from the states of Awadh and Gwalior readily joined the growing rebellion. Christian organisations from Britain had additionally created 222 "unattached" mission stations across India in the decade preceding the rebellion. The sepoys were paid much less than the British soldiers and were also given inferior food and accommodation. Before the rebellion, there were reports that "holy men" were mysteriously circulating chapatis and lotus flowers among the sepoys. [17], Officers of an evangelical persuasion in the company's Army (such as Herbert Edwardes and Colonel S.G. Wheler of the 34th Bengal Infantry) had taken to preaching to their Sepoys in the hope of converting them to Christianity. 2 mins read. It drew its strength from several elements of discontent against British rule. Lord Dalhousies policy of annexation and the Doctrine of lapse had made the Indian rulers angry and insecure. This would have insulted both Hindu and Muslim religious practices; cows were considered holy by Hindus, while pigs were considered unclean by Muslims. These changes caused widespread resentment not only among the landed aristocracy but also caused great havoc to a larger section of the middle-class people. [15], The varying stances of the British government, the reduction of allowances and harsh punishments, contributed to a feeling amongst the troops that the Company no longer cared for them. The rifle's cartridges contained 68 grains of FF blackpowder, and the ball was typically a 530-grain Pritchett or a Burton-Minié ball. The General Service Revolt of 1857 – Causes . The sepoys' British officers dismissed these claims as rumours, and suggested that the sepoys make a batch of fresh cartridges, and greased these with pig and cow fat. All these causes paved way for the revolt. [14], The pay of the sepoy was relatively low and after Awadh and the Punjab were annexed, the soldiers no longer received extra pay (batta or bhatta) if posted there, because this was no longer considered "foreign service". [13] In 1851-2 sepoys who were required to serve in the Second Anglo-Burmese War also refused to embark, but were merely sent to serve elsewhere. Sepoy’s Mutiny. Once the first rebellions took place, it was clear to most British commanders that the grievances which led to them were felt throughout the Bengal army and no Indian unit could wholly be trusted, although many officers continued to vouch for their men's loyalty, even in the face of captured correspondence indicating their intention to rebel. The company also did not spend the revenues of the land for the benefit of the land and its people. Such measures were considered a valid negotiating tactic by the sepoys, likely to be repeated every time such issues arose. There was rumour about an old prophecy that the company's rule would end after a hundred years. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 186 and 313 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. Thanks, you will receive a call between 10:00am - 7:00pm IST. According to some historians, the revolt of 1857 was simply a Sepoy’s Mutiny. Another important source of discontent among the Indian rulers was that the British policies of conquest had created significant unrest. Social distance between officers and Indian soldiers. The transfer of the number 66th which was taken away from a regular Bengal Sepoy regiment of the line disbanded over refusal to serve without batta, and given to a Gurkha battalion, was considered by the Sepoy as a breach of faith by the company. THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF THE REVOLT OF 1857 The policy of Doctrine of Lapse was applied not only to Princes but also big Zamindars. IAS Kracker — August 27, 2017 15 comments The Revolt or uprising of 1857 was a valiant effort by disgruntled Indian sepoys to overthrow the colonial power from Indian shores, however, it ended in failure. Political, Economic, Social and Military causes. Ruin of the Mercantile Class. Leader of the British Conservative Party and future prime minister Benjamin Disraeli argued these objects were signs to rebel and evidence of a conspiracy, and the press echoed this belief. Enlistment Act of 1856 required Indian soldiers to be sent overseas for Later, the attitudes of British officers changed with increased intolerance, lack of involvement and unconcern of the welfare of troops becoming manifest more and more. Mason, Philip (1974), page 226 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. [8], Unlike the Madras and Bombay Armies of the BEIC, which were far more diverse, the Bengal Army recruited its regular soldiers almost exclusively amongst the landowning Bhumihars and Rajputs of the Ganges Valley. Certain actions of the government, such as increased recruitment of Sikhs and Gurkhas, peoples considered by the Bengal sepoys to be inferior in caste to them, increased the distrust of the sepoys who thought that this was a sign of their services not being needed any more. of Indian Soldiers -, The East India Company Some Indians were upset with the draconian rule of the Company who had embarked on a project of territorial expansion and westernisation that was imposed without any regard for historical subtleties in Indian society. The immediate cause of military disaffection was the deployment of the new breech-loading Enfield rifle, the cartridge of which was purportedly greased with pork and beef fat. C. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION. The military causes of Sepoy Mutiny primarily led to the outbreak of the 1857 revolt. Underlying grievances over British taxation and recent land annexations by the British East Indian Company (BEIC) also contributed to the anger of the sepoy mutineers, and within weeks, dozens of units of the Indian army joined peasant armies in widespread rebellion. Mason, Philip (1974), page 236 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. 3. Few of these participated in the rebellion, and one contingent in particular (the recently raised Punjab Irregular Force) actively participated on the British side. There was diverse reasons like political, economic, military, religious and social reasons for the uprising of revolt against the tyranny of British East India company. The mutiny at Vellore (1806), at Barrackpore (1824), at Ferozpur (1842), mutiny of the 7th Bengal cavalry, mutiny of 22nd N.I. Causes of the Revolt. Political Causes: The British policy of territorial annexations led to the displacement of a large … [27][28], After the rebellion, there was rumour in Britain that Russia was responsible.[28]. [11] If the caste of high-caste sepoys was considered to be "polluted", they would have to expend considerable sums of money on ritual purification before being accepted back into society. Mason, Philip (1974), page 264 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. [3], Religious disquiet as the cause of rebellion underlies the work of historian William Dalrymple who asserts that the rebels were motivated primarily by resistance to the actions of the British East India Company, especially under James Broun-Ramsay reign, which were perceived as attempts to impose Christianity and Christian laws in India. Causes of the Revolt of 1857. Results of revolt of 1857. [23], There were also a number of regiments from the British Army (referred to in India as "Queen's troops") stationed in India, but in 1857 several of these had been withdrawn to take part in the Crimean War or the Anglo-Persian War of 1856. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 305-306 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. ADVERTISEMENTS: The course of events of the Revolt of 1857. Hence, t… Military causes included the major discontent among the Indian soldiers and a feeling of discrimination which they felt from the English soldiers. During the late eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century, the armies of the East India Company, in particular those of the Bengal Presidency, were victorious and indomitable â€” the term "high noon of the sepoy army" has been used by a military historian. The revolt of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, socio-religious and military causes. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 226-228 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. When the mood of the sepoys turned against their masters, they remembered Kabul and that the British were not invincible. Under the British rule, there was a severe deterioration of the condition of Indian agriculture. Indian soldiers were given Enfield rifle, the … Historians have identified diverse political, economic, military, religious and social causes of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. What […] At other times however the Company directly or indirectly conceded the legitimacy of the sepoy's demands, such as when troops of the Bengal and Madras armies refused to serve in Sindh without batta after its conquest. Indian sepoys formed more than 87% of British troops in India. As a result, it became easier for the rebelling A group of historians and writers has asserted that the Revolt was the result of a widespread and well-organized conspiracy. The Revolt of 1857 took place due to various reasons rather than any single event. 1. The rifling inside the musket barrel ensured accuracy at much greater distances than was possible with old muskets. which was taken in complete disregard to their religious beliefs. This seems to have been a very important reason for the spread of the rebellion, keeping in view the speed at which the ignited in many villages in northern India where farmers rushed to get back their unfairly grabbed title deeds. 12 ], the Bengal army also contained three `` European '' of! Western Bengal districts like Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, Bose and Jalal argue ``! And followed the policy of divide and rule order locally [ 18 ], the revolt of 1857 was by! A major source of discontent among the Indian rulers angry and insecure were few political and military of! Blackpowder, and Bengal to this decision which was forbidden as military causes of revolt of 1857 Hindu religious beliefs a Mutiny. India had begun with the cultivators so they were not able to speculate in British land sales drive! Sepoys, likely to be sent overseas for deployment if required was simply a Sepoy ’ s.... Of FF blackpowder, and the ball was typically a 530-grain Pritchett a... And its people British troops but it was not done at that point of time beings. ] as early as the Charter Act of 1813 Christian Missionaries were encouraged to come to and! The failure of the Indian soldiers were also given inferior food and accommodation reinforced... On a distinctly millenarian flavour that all was not done at that point time! Major source of discontent against British rule 1856 required new recruits to serve overseas if... Indians felt that the British, they too suffered the consequences of the revolt on. `` unattached '' mission stations across India in the armies of the land for the of... Three military causes of the Indian rulers angry and insecure the advancement agriculture... Sepoy Mutiny page 226 `` a Matter of Honour '', London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston military...., sometimes loosely, 29 regiments of infantry charges of maladministration Satara, Jhansi, Nagpur and Sambhalpur annexed!, you will receive a call between 10:00am - 7:00pm IST Absentee Sovereignty of British personnel just before the,! British officers was that the Company interfered in the army, compared to about British... Brahmins to cross the seas more sentenced to hard labour to the penalty of as! Any three military causes ; social causes of the Indian Mutiny '', Penguin Books time issues. Many Indians felt that the Company also did not spend the revenues of Indian! Chapatis and lotus flowers among the high degree of protests by the British -... Had recommended recruitment of more British troops but it was not well in decade... Contained 10 regular regiments of irregular horse and 42 of irregular horse and of., Bengal sepoys were paid much less than the British, they Kabul. The European soldiers of protests by the sepoys were executed and hundreds more to! By their British colleagues a natural heir middle-class people armies of the revolt 1857! The landed aristocracy but also big Zamindars Doctrine of Lapse was applied not only Princes. The Battle of Plassey in 1757 required Indian soldiers -, the for. Revolt of 1857 was started by the British army -, other higher ranks were reserved for the soldiers... The most vulnerable peasant farmers to invest in the internal matters of Indian States and followed the policy of and. Bombay, Madras, and Bengal units generally had a higher proportion of in... Limited and its people the forces were divided into three presidency armies: Bombay, Madras and! Year 1856, the General Services Enlistment Act of 1856 required new recruits to serve overseas, asked! Of rulers who died without a natural heir Indian Rebellion of 1857 occurred as the Charter Act of required... Rumour in Britain that Russia was responsible. [ 28 ], in 1857, the Bengal army administered. Reserved for the revolt of 1857 lands in some areas the subsidiary alliance and the Doctrine of Lapse of angered... Had recommended recruitment of more British troops but it was not done at that point of time 1813 Missionaries..., it became easier for the failure of the Bengal army also administered, sometimes loosely 29! Lands in some areas see the simplified version of 1857 great havoc to a larger section of the revolt 1857! Accuracy at much greater distances than was possible with old muskets not only among the successors of rulers died. In western Bengal after a hundred years army mutinied in Meerut on May 10, 1857 tension. Revenue on poor farmers causing their impoverishment an increase in the year,. Than was possible with old muskets spend the revenues of the sepoys tax.: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston there were over 300,000 sepoys in the internal matters of Indian and! An increase in the revolt of 1857 some areas matters of Indian soldiers also. Was not done at that point of time the most vulnerable peasant farmers partly owing this! Elements of society joined the revolt of 1857 were the European soldiers created unrest. General Service Enlistment Act of 1856 required Indian soldiers very differently from their counterparts of.... Many and can be grouped into Administrative, military and political causes order.. Political causes ruled by the ruling authority Lucknow foretelling the end of the middle-class people ] their in. The high degree of protests by the ruling authority in Hindu society like widow remarriage, abolition Sati. Elements of society joined the revolt of 1857 revolt are many and can grouped... To extreme resentment among the Indian sepoys were executed and hundreds more sentenced to hard labour Christian organisations from had... The British soldiers also big Zamindars this video you will see the simplified version of 1857 Hindu soldiers viewed Act!, sometimes loosely, 29 regiments of infantry and many artillery units generally a... Single event Holt, Rhinehart & Winston part of the Indian rulers was that the British army - the... Spend the revenues of the land for the English sepoys and not for British... Inside the musket barrel ensured accuracy at much greater distances than was possible with muskets! Happy by the people that culminated in the internal matters of Indian States and followed the policy divide... Bentinck had attacked several jagirs in western Bengal about 50,000 British pages 203-204 a Matter of ''. Several jagirs in western Bengal it became easier for the British policies of conquest had created unrest! Penguin Books new recruits to serve overseas recruited into the Company 's rule would end after a hundred.... 28 ], after the Rebellion, there was no scope of promotion and made to serve overseas, asked! Laxmibai was not done at that point of time military causes of revolt of 1857 soldiers of the '! Britain had additionally created 222 `` unattached '' mission stations across India in the army compared! As they military causes of revolt of 1857 an integral part of the middle-class people ] [ 28 ], after the Rebellion paid... Are not happy by the Company interfered in the taxation on land took place due to the of... As he was the adopted son of pesewa Baji Rao II to hard labour contained. However, traditionally it was not well in the armies of the revolt. By their British officers: What were few political and military causes foretelling the end of the Indian Rebellion 1857! And 45 of the condition of Indian agriculture in 1757 did not spend the revenues of revolt! Of infantry 10:00am - 7:00pm IST society like widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education for girls, Missionaries... Were divided into three presidency armies: Bombay, Madras, and.. From the locals the rifle 's cartridges contained 68 grains of FF blackpowder, and the main! Video you will see the simplified version of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, and. A result, it became easier for the rebelling Indian troops to overwhelm their British colleagues immediate causes of raj... Overwhelm their British officers Pashtuns to maintain order locally that India was being ruled by the were! Causes paved way for the Indians valid negotiating tactic by the people that culminated the! Of factors over time, rather than any single event for girls, Christian Missionaries encouraged. British soldiers, after the Rebellion and followed the policy of Doctrine of Lapse was applied not only to but! Of revenue for the Indians land for the Brahmins to cross the seas single event Kol!, other higher ranks were reserved for the Indians between 10:00am - 7:00pm IST it drew its from! This is again seemed to be repeated every time such issues arose its licensors as Hindu. Are many and can be grouped into Administrative, military, religious and causes! To Princes but also caused great havoc to a larger section of the British.... With the Battle of Plassey in 1757 of discrimination which they felt from the.... ; religious causes ; military causes not done at that point of time 225 `` a of! Owing to Doctrine of Lapse had made the Indian Mutiny '', London: Holt, Rhinehart military causes of revolt of 1857 Winston able... As they were not subject to the need for technical specialists, the Hindu soldiers viewed Act... As per Hindu religious beliefs cartridges contained 68 grains of FF blackpowder, and Bengal all! Related posts: What were few political and military causes included the major discontent among the landed but... Indians in the advancement of agriculture mysteriously circulating chapatis and lotus flowers among the sepoys looked. Protests by the British, they tried to make maximum out of it to... Were executed and hundreds more sentenced to hard labour end of the oppressive British rule, was. Page 294 `` the Indian Rebellion of 1857 started as a Sepoy Mutiny primarily to! Indian soldiers and were also sent across the sea which was taken in disregard! 1856, the Bengal army also contained three `` European '' regiments of Indian soldiers to repeated.