Indian sepoys formed more than 87% of British troops in India. To load both the old musket and the new rifle, soldiers had to bite the cartridge open and pour the gunpowder it contained into the rifle's muzzle, then stuff the paper cartridge (overlaid with a thin mixture of beeswax and mutton tallow for waterproofing) into the musket as wadding, the ball being secured to the top of the cartridge and guided into place for ramming down the muzzle. NEWSLETTER : Get latest updates in your inbox. 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. Sepoys throughout India were issued with a new rifle, the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musketâa more powerful and accurate weapon than the old but smoothbore Brown Bess they had been using for the previous decades. 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). VIEW MORE. Causes for the Revolt of 1857 The Revolt of 1857, also known as The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was caused by various factors which were political, social, economic and military in nature. Mason, Philip (1974), page 190 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. Causes of Failure of Revolt. Results of revolt of 1857. Social distance between officers and Indian soldiers. 4. Military causes included the major discontent among the Indian soldiers and a feeling of discrimination which they felt from the English soldiers. deployment if required. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 226-228 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. 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 Rani of Jhansi Laxmibai was not allowed to adopt a son. The Company interfered in the internal matters of Indian States and followed the policy of divide and rule. 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. The military causes of Sepoy Mutiny primarily led to the outbreak of the 1857 revolt. 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.. 3. The old aristocracy, both Muslim and Hindu, who were seeing their power steadily eroded by the BEIC, also rebelled against British rule. The rifling inside the musket barrel ensured accuracy at much greater distances than was possible with old muskets. Military Causes: The Revolt of 1857 started as a sepoy mutiny. 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. 3 mins read. 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. They too had a number of grievances.  Thus, the Hindu soldiers viewed the Act as a potential threat to their faith. One thing did not change in this new weapon â the loading process, which did not improve significantly until the introduction of breech loaders and metallic, one-piece cartridges a few decades later. 2. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 291-292 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. CAUSES OF REVOLT However much of this sense of the invincibility of the British was lost in the First Anglo-Afghan War where poor political judgement and inept British leadership led to the massacre of Elphinstone's army (which included three Bengal regiments) while retreating from Kabul. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 203-204 A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. 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. The first sepoy who rebelled by aiming his loaded weapon at a British officer was Mangal Pandey who was later executed.. The imperialist policy of the East India Company was an important factor. The rifle's cartridges contained 68 grains of FF blackpowder, and the ball was typically a 530-grain Pritchett or a Burton-MiniÃ© ball. Brahmins to cross the seas. 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 reasons for the failure of the 1857 Revolt are many and can be grouped into Administrative, Military and Political causes. , The General Services Enlistment Act of 1856 required new recruits to serve overseas, if asked. Military Causes of the revolt of 1857: • Indian soldiers formed seven-eighth of the total British troops in India. Causes of 1857 Revolt The issue of greased cartridges and military grievances has been over-emphasized, as the factor for the Revolt of 1857. In , 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. , 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". Many sepoys believed that the cartridges that were standard issue with the new rifle were greased with lard (pork fat) which was regarded as unclean by Muslims and tallow (cow fat) which angered the Hindus as cows were equal to a goddess to them. Other irregular units were raised in frontier areas from communities such as Assamese or Pashtuns to maintain order locally. 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. Ill-treatment 5. Causes of 1857 Rebellion May 2020 DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28146.94408 Project: MILITARY HISTORY Agha H AminAgha H Amin Hindus reacted negatively to this decision The mutiny and great revolt of 1857–59. which was taken in complete disregard to their religious beliefs. The serving high-caste sepoys were fearful that this requirement would be eventually extended to them, violating observance of the Kala Pani prohibition on sea travel. Before the rebellion, there were reports that "holy men" were mysteriously circulating chapatis and lotus flowers among the sepoys. Because of all these reasons Kings, Princes, their courtiers and disbanded soldiers an… C. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION. of Indian Soldiers -, The East India Company 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. Copyright Notice © 2020 Greycells18 Media Limited and its licensors. 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. Sepoy’s Mutiny. 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 • The Indian sepoys were looked upon as inferior beings and treated with contempt by their British officers. Political British and Indian military drills of the time required soldiers to bite off the end of the Beeswax paper cartridge, pour the gunpowder contained within down the barrel, stuff the remaining paper cartridge into the barrel, ram the paper cartridge (which included the ball wrapped and tied in place) down the barrel, remove the ram-rod, return the ram-rod, bring the rifle to the ready, set the sights, add a percussion cap, present the rifle, and fire. 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. Saul, David (2003), page 294 "The Indian Mutiny", Penguin Books. The British deliberately crippled Indian trade and … 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. Larger , There had been earlier indications that all was not well in the armies of the East India Company. Lord Dalhousies policy of annexation and the Doctrine of lapse had made the Indian rulers angry and insecure. Christian organisations from Britain had additionally created 222 "unattached" mission stations across India in the decade preceding the rebellion. It was only later on that other elements of society joined the revolt. Enlistment Act of 1856 required Indian soldiers to be sent overseas for Sympathetic rulers, such as Lord William Bentinck were replaced by arrogant aristocrats, such as Lord Dalhousie, who despised the troops and the populace. list any three military causes of the revolt of 1857. Indian soldiers were given Enfield rifle, the … During 1857 there was … 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. Revolt of 1857 – Causes . " Those European men and women who had previously converted to Islam such as Sergeant-Major Gordon, and Abdullah Beg, a former Company soldier, were spared. Following The musketry books also recommended that, "Whenever the grease around the bullet appears to be melted away, or otherwise removed from the cartridge, the sides of the bullet should be wetted in the mouth before putting it into the barrel; the saliva will serve the purpose of grease for the time being" This meant that biting a musket cartridge was second nature to the Sepoys, some of whom had decades of service in the company's army, and who had been doing musket drill for every day of their service.  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. The mutiny at Vellore (1806), at Barrackpore (1824), at Ferozpur (1842), mutiny of the 7th Bengal cavalry, mutiny of 22nd N.I. The sepoys were paid much less than the British soldiers and were also given inferior food and accommodation. recommended recruitment of more British troops but it was not done at The sepoys rejected this, pointing out that they might very well forget and bite the cartridge, not surprising given the extensive drilling that allowed 19th century British and Indian troops to fire three to four rounds per minute. The General Service , 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), page 236 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. Causes of the Revolt of 1857. Indian troops to overwhelm their British colleagues. 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. Military Causes. The revolt of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, socio-religious and military causes. This is again seemed to be a biased analysis. , 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.. Political Causes: The British policy of territorial annexations led to the displacement of a large … The forces were divided into three presidency armies: Bombay, Madras, and Bengal. There was rumour about an old prophecy that the company's rule would end after a hundred years. Rich people like the merchants and moneylenders were therefore able to speculate in British land sales and drive out the most vulnerable peasant farmers. , In 1857, the Bengal Army contained 10 regular regiments of Indian cavalry and 74 of infantry. British government brought many social reforms in Hindu society like widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education for girls, Christian Missionaries etc. Partly owing to this, Bengal sepoys were not subject to the penalty of flogging as were the European soldiers. Often the British officers treated the sepoys rudely. This led to extreme resentment among the successors of rulers who died without a natural heir. , 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. It drew its strength from several elements of discontent against British rule. 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. In contrast to their Indian predecessors, the British considered such refusals at times to be outright "mutinies" and therefore to be suppressed brutally. Mason, Philip (1974), page 226 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. " Their rule in India had begun with the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Economic and Military Causes of Revolt of 1857. Related Questions to study. Lands were confiscated from the landlords and auctioned. 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. As the land levies were a major source of revenue for the British, they tried to make maximum out of it. In contrast, foreign Christians such as Revd Midgeley John Jennings, and Indian converts to Christianity such as one of Zafar's personal physicians, Dr. Chaman Lal, were killed. , 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. 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. Under the British rule, there was a severe deterioration of the condition of Indian agriculture. This reinforced the belief that the original issue cartridges were indeed greased with lard and tallow. This meant that when they came to be threatened by modernising regimes in Calcutta, from the 1840s onwards, the sepoys had become accustomed to very high ritual status, and were extremely sensitive to suggestions that their caste might be polluted. 2 mins read. So, the reason for any revolt or revolution is that masses are not happy by the ruling authority. What […] He also passed decrees allowing Hindus who had converted to Christianity to be able to inherit property, which had previously been denied by local practice. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 186 and 313 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston.  As early as the Charter Act of 1813 Christian missionaries were encouraged to come to Bombay and Calcutta under BEIC control. In some districts like Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, Bose and Jalal argue that "the revolt took on a distinctly millenarian flavour. Join NOW to get access to exclusive study material for best results. The sepoys were local soldiers, the majority Hindu or Muslim, that were recruited into the Company's army. They cannot rise above the rank of Subedar. The Revolt of 1857 was started by the company’s sepoys. the year 1856, the Company army had2, 38,000 Indians and 45,322 British soldiers. Such measures were considered a valid negotiating tactic by the sepoys, likely to be repeated every time such issues arose. The British treat the Indian soldiers very differently from their counterparts. Avadh was annexed in 1857, on charges of maladministration Satara, Jhansi, Nagpur and Sambhalpur were annexed owing to Doctrine of lapse. Thanks, you will receive a call between 10:00am - 7:00pm IST. MILITARY CAUSES. Mason, Philip (1974), pages 305-306 "A Matter of Honour", London: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. The Revolt of 1857 took place due to various reasons rather than any single event. The policy of Doctrine of Lapse was applied not only to Princes but also big Zamindars. , The Bengal Army also contained three "European" regiments of infantry and many artillery units manned by white personnel. This was done by using the provisions of the Doctrine ofLapse. Political, Economic, Social and Military causes. , At the beginning of the nineteenth century, British officers were generally closely involved with their troops, speaking Indian languages fluently; participating in local culture through such practices as having regimental flags and weapons blessed by Brahman priests; and frequently having native mistresses. 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.  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. For instance, once the rebellion was underway, Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar met the sepoys on 11 May 1857, he was told: "We have joined hands to protect our religion and our faith." He also resumed the practice of tax free lands in some areas. Economic Causes: Added to political and administrative distrust for the British East India Company, … were among the high degree of protests by the people that culminated in the revolt of 1857. , After the rebellion, there was rumour in Britain that Russia was responsible.. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 occurred as the result of an accumulation of factors over time, rather than any single event. A group of historians and writers has asserted that the Revolt was the result of a widespread and well-organized conspiracy. They later stood in Chandni Chowk, the main square, and asked the people gathered there, "Brothers, are you with those of the faith? 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. , 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. 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. The Indian soldiers were also sent across the sea which was forbidden as per Hindu religious beliefs. Economic Causes. All of the Bengal Native Cavalry regiments and 45 of the infantry units rebelled at some point. Moreover, there was no scope of promotion and made to serve overseas. 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. As early as 1806, concerns that the sepoys' caste may be polluted had led to the Vellore Mutiny, which was brutally suppressed. The revolt of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, socio-religious and military causes. This took the form of Muslim millenarianism, with preachers in Lucknow foretelling the end of the raj. The British Governor-General of India from 1848 to 1856 was Lord Dalhousie who passed the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 which allowed widows to remarry, like Christian women. 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