Indian rebellion of 1857
The Indian rebellion of 1857 started as a sepoys mutiny of the army of the East India Company on 10th May 1857. For this reason, it is also known as the Sepoy Mutiny. Although it started in the Meerut town, it later escalated to other civilian rebellions and mutinies in central India and the plains of the upper Gangetic. Major hostilities were confined in the current Bihar, Utter Pradesh, Delhi and Madhaya Pradesh regions.
Use of new ammunition for the new riffles that were to be used in fighting was the immediate cause of this rebellion. This is because the riffles used cartridges that the user had to bite open first in order to use. The anger was caused by the thought of the Muslims that the cartridges had fat from pig yet to them a pig is an unclean animal.
On the other hand, Hindu soldiers believed that the cartridges had fat from cow. On 27th January, an order from Colonel Richard Birch stated that the cartridges should not have grease. He also allowed sepoys to use anything that they wanted in greasing the cartridges. However, this worsened the situation because it made the sepoys to believe that what they had heard about cartridges having beef and pork fat was true.
In the 1850s, British rulers took some areas under the Indians by force and incorporated them in the British Kingdom. Such regions included the Oudh and Agra kingdom and parts of Utter Pradesh.
This act by the Governor General Lord Dalhousie was against the customs of the Hindu and it showed lack of respect for the ancient royal houses in India such as the Mughals and the Peshwas. All these factors led to the Indian rebellion of 1857.
This rebellion was a major historical event in India. Following the rebellion, the British East India Company was denied the right to rule in India from November 1858. The U.K started ruling India directly via a representative known as the Governor General. India also became part of the large British Empire.
After the rebellion, the Princes, the Indian people and chiefs were accorded equal treatment by the British law. Queen Victoria became the Empress of India in 1877 and India was ruled by the Viceroy of India on her behalf.
Bahadur Shah II, who was the last Mughal Emperor was captured by the British and kept in Yangon, Burma. He died in 1862 and his dynasty that had ruled for more than 100 years ended upon his death.
The British started employing the Indians in the higher castes as well as other rulers in government. Indians were also employed in the lower levels of the civil service. The British also stopped interfering with the religious matters of the Indians and taking lands from the remaining rulers and princes. British soldiers were also increased in India and only the British soldiers were allowed to handle and use artillery.
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