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SPEEDY Railway Book (English)

First war of Independence in India

First war of Independence in India

India's First war of Independence

Important points related to Revolt of 1857:
  • First unfurl the flag of revolt of 1857 – Mangal Pandey.
  • Mansing- was not a Revolt of 1857.
  • Lord Canning- was the Governor General of India during the revolt of 1857.
  • Bahadur Saha Zafar – was the Indian ruler who was made the prisoner of this Revolt.
  • “It was wholly unpatriotic and selfish Sepoy Mutiny with no native leadership and no popular support”- opinions by John Seeley.
Special Causes of Revolt:
The combination of Political, Economic, Socio religious and military causes is the source of the Revolt of 1857.

Military Causes:
  1. Use of animal fats in making of greased Cartridge.
  2. Indian soldiers were not paid equal salary for equal rank & English soldiers paid more salary.
  3. Chances of promotion were almost nil.
  4. No allowance as promised in pushing abroad.
  5. Lost of cast & religious identities due to pushing abroad.
  6. Regular humiliations of soldier by officers.

Political Causes:

  1. Doctrine of Lapse policy of Dalhousie acquire many princely State and they joined the Revolt.
  2. Annexation of Awadh led to unrest among the people & the soldiers as large numbers soldiers of E.I.C. came from Awadh including Mangal Pandey. They eill loyal to the nawab besides this area was brought under permanent settlement which brought extra tax.
  3. On March 29, 1857, an Indian sepoy 34 native infantry, Mangal Pandey, killed two British officers – Hugeson and Baugh ont he parade at Barrackpore. The slogan raised during that time “Maro Firangi Ko”. Bahadur Saha-II was of India.
Economic Cause:
  1. High rate of taxation made people poor which led to resentment among Farmers/Peasants.
  2. Unemployment due to de-industrialisation.
Cultural Cause:
  1. The Hindu orthodox may not happy with reform laws like Anti-Sati law, widow remarriage.
  2. The Hindu Priest class felt threatened due to some Christian Mystery activities.
  3. The Muslim elites lost important position in Government after 1837, where English was made official language All these played key role in igniting the Revolt.
Centres of Leaders:

Mangal Pandey
Bahadur Saha, Zeenat Mahal, Subedar Bakht Khan
Khan Bahadur Khan
Laxmi Bai
Begum Hazrat Mahal
Luck now
Malvi Ahwade ul lah
Nana Sahib (real name- Dhondu Pant), Tantya Tope (Ral anme-Ram Chandra Pandu Ram Tope), Azim –ul -dad
Maharaja Kanwar Singh
Arrah (Jagdishpur, Bihar)
Maulvi Pir Ali
Soldiers of Meerat
Meerat Cantt (10th may beginning of the revolt)

Cause of the failure:
  1. It was not well organised, e.g. Officially revolt on 30th May were decided but it already happened on 10th May in Meerat.
  2. The quality of Leadership was poor.
  3. Not an all India revolt.
  4. South India and West India were not affected by this.
  5. Not supported by all classes likes Zamindars, Mahajans & most princess helped the British.
  6. Middle educated class remained neutral.
  7. Lack of arms and ammunition. 
Quotes (Nature of the movement):

  • Taylor: “Sepoy Mutiny”.
  • Outram: “Muslim’s Conspiracy against British”.
  • V.D.Savarkar: “Indian first war of Independence”.
  • R.C.Majumdar: “Neither first nor national war of Independence”.
  • Irfan Habib: “Different for different people”.

  1. In 1858, the British parliaments pass an act for better. Government in India.
  2. The British Crown took charge of India and ended the rule of Company.
  3. “Viceroy would be appointed in India. Lord Canning was first Viceroy of India. He was also Governor-General Viceroy (British India + Princely State).
  4. Board of control was abolished.
  5. In 1858, the Queen Victoria issued a proclamation known as Queen Proclamation. 1. Law Annexation of States. 2. No conversion of force. 3. No discrimination would be made in the recruitment of services.
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