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.
After the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Wellesley began what became two decades of accelerated expansion of Company territories. 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.
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...