Mutiny of 1857

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The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.[3] The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region,[4] and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858.[3] The rebellion is also known as India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, theRevolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion, and the Sepoy Mutiny. Other regions of Company-controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency—remained largely calm.[3] In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both soldiers and support.[3] The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana did not join the rebellion.[5] In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence.[6] Rebel leaders, such as the Rani of Jhansi and Rani of Tulsipur Ishwori Kumari Devi of Tulsipur-State, became folk heroes in thenationalist movement in India half a century later;[3] however, they themselves "generated no coherent ideology" for a new order.[7] The rebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858, and forced the British to reorganize the army, the financial system, and the administration in India.[8] India was thereafter directly governed by the Crown in the new British Raj.[

East India Company expansion in India

Main article: Company rule in India
Although the British East India Company had earlier administered the factory areas established for trading purposes, its victory in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 marked the beginning of its firm foothold in Eastern India. The victory was consolidated in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar (in Bihar), when the defeated Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, granted the right for "collection of Revenue" of the provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to the Company. The Company soon expanded its territories around its bases in Bombay and Madras: the Anglo-Mysore Wars (1766–1799) and the Anglo-Maratha Wars (1772–1818) led to control of vast region of India south of the Narmada River.

The expansion did not occur without resistance. In 1806 the Vellore Mutiny was sparked due to new uniform regulations that created resentment amongst both Hindu and Muslim sepoys.[9]

After the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Wellesley began what became two decades of accelerated expansion of Company territories.[10] This was achieved either bysubsidiary alliances between the Company and local rulers or by direct military annexation. The subsidiary alliances created the Princely States (or Native States) of the Hindumaharajas and the Muslim nawabs. Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir were annexed after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849; however, Kashmir was immediately sold under the Treaty of Amritsar (1850) to the Dogra Dynasty of Jammu and thereby became a princely state. The border dispute between Nepal and British India, which sharpened after 1801, had caused the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16 and brought the Gurkhas under British influence. In 1854, Berar was annexed, and the state of Oudh was added two years later. For practical purposes, the Company was the government of much of India.

[edit]Causes of the rebellion

Main article: Causes of the Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 did not occur as a result of one specific event; it was an accumulation of several events, over time, resulting in its eventual outbreak.

The sepoys were a combination of Hindu and Muslim soldiers. Just before the Rebellion there were over 200,000 Indians in the army...
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