A. Plan of investigation
B. Summary of evidence
C. Evaluation of sources
What were the significance causes and effects of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857?
The investigation assesses the significance of the causes of Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. In order to evaluate the causes, the investigation evaluates different ways Indians reacted towards the English in the 1800s; the Indian rulers trying to get out of the policies they were tied with the East India Company; the Indian community outraged with the English intervention in their religion as well as the Indian soldiers who were offended by The use of animal fat in the New Enfield Rifle. Facts and books are mostly used to evaluate the causes and effects of the Sepoy Mutiny. Two of the sources used in this essay, The history of India by John McLeod and India A history by John Keay are than evaluated for their origins, purposes, values and limitations The investigation does not assess the revolts that took place nor the militaristic aspect of the revolt B. Summary of Evidence
Prior to the relations between India and the East India Company, the 19th century was filled with local uprisings as a response to British rule. Some were between the landowners protesting land revenue assessments, nomads trying to drive out peasants out from their lands, the Indian soldiers in east India company weren’t paid the same amount as the British soldiers which made a contribution to fire up a revolt; some were of the Indian princes and kings who were tied under British policies to rule their kingdom and wanting to once again total control of government and not be like the puppets they were 1. In 1857 lord Dalhousie introduced the new Enfield rifle whose cartridges were being greased with tallow containing both pig’s fat and cows’ fat, the Indian soldiers felt offended since cow was sacred to Hindus and pork is banned in Islam
1McLeod, John. The history of India. Westport: Greenwood Pub Group, 2002. 81. 2 Keay, John. India:a history.Atlantic Monthly Press books, 2001.165
Three basic factors that created unrest: the political frustration of the Indian aristocracy, the westernization by the Britishers and the bitterness of the disinherited taxing of farming class. The British officers preached Christianity to their men, thus had awakened fears among the soldiers that their religions were under attack and the rumors about the grease only seemed to confirm them that the officers were trying to change them by baptizing them5. Indian rulers lacked a pan Indian dimension, they were unable to stick together with each other and kept fighting against themselves taking aid of the East India Company and didn’t realize they were in a snare set up by the East India Company. When some of the rulers figured out the politics behind it such as Siraj- ud- daulah and, ruler of Bengal. They tried to drive out English out of India 6. When the revolt took place Bristishers had advantages since many of the rulers remained aloof, English had more organized army and weapons while the Indians had hard times just to unite into a single power to overthrow British government since some of the rulers sided with British and some just remained neutral. The revolt was a total disaster for Indians as the revolt was put down and many of their villages were pillaged and conquered by East India Company. After the revolt British gained total control over India since they had put down the revolt, after gaining control they started modernizing India socially, economically and politically. The Mughal dynasty had lost all power but was still highly regarded by Indians, but the ruler Bahadur Shah II was sent to exile in Britain 10. The control of the Indian subcontinent was transferred from the company to the “crown”, the British government, through a newly appointed member of the British cabinet called 3. Naidis, mark. India: a short introductory history newyork, the Macmillan company, 1999.178 4.keay. 437
the Secretary of State for India “an epoch had ended” for the Indian rulers 10. The English colonization fevered India in terms of .Modern science such as industrialization hit india11. First successful mill was established in 1853 in Bombay 12. Taxation was organized and more firm in forms of “Home Charges” and were unlike the corrupt former tax collectors 13. Indians were part of British colony, but they were not treated like British citizens and the government was established in such manner that no Indian could become a governor 14. The taxes (Home charges) were not really meant to help Indian economy, Instead the tax paid for military supplies, pensions for British retirees from Indian services, the expenses of the India Office 15 C. Evaluation of sources
The History of India By John McLeod is a in depth facts of The Great Revolt of 1857 in a social, and the effects of the revolt which would shape a new Country. The book summaries about the Indian soldiers in East India company who were forced to use the New Enfield rifle whose cartridges cover contained beef and pork and since it was an offence to both Hindu and Muslim soldiers, the social differences between all the groups from aristocracy to peasantry, difference of religion and the caste system influencing the revolt and making the. The book later summarize about the new government created by the British parliament, new ways of taxation, administration which would shape modern India. The introduction of new technologies which were brought to India as a result such as railways, telegraph and a cheap postal services. The social reformation such as end of dowry system, sati and the caste system, Knowledge of English which united and educated Indians, many new colleges which were built. 11.Naidis 123
15. Mcleod 84
India: a history by John Keay is more about the political aspect of the revolt such as the policies adopted by the Indian princes and the rulers from the English to help them rule their empire smoothly, leaving them in massive debts and resulted as many of the princes and rulers being like puppets of the East India Company. The rulers wanted to have total control over their empire once again so they wanted to get rid of Britishers. The book also summarizes the events which took place after the revolt such as the advancement in technology brought up to India and the civil balance created by the Britishers to help modern India. Both pieces of evidence have limitation as the real facts may have been differed by a British perspective. However, this both pieces of evidence can be compared to Indian documents and records. Assuming that both of the evidence has their own independent and different views, the historian can compare the evidence to one another to eliminate accuracy and biases. Analysis:
When Indian politics was under the Indian rulers it was very disorganized and rulers kept fighting among themselves to get into power. In the sense there was no central government. Meanwhile out of India, most countries had centralized government and were more economically advanced than them. To change the economic and political status English intervention would prove brutal in advancement of the country
The causes and effects of the Sepoy Mutiny can be significant in the way it led to the revolt that would be put down by the East India Company. As a result British Crown gained full control over India and lead it to a New, more organized form of government and similar to British parliament 16. If the rulers would have continued to rule it would have had been hard for India to establish themselves among the modern nations and a sort of industrial country because of lack of central government since all the rulers kept fighting among themselves and the different states of India seemed like different nations, but the British rule would prove harmful to the India because of social reform it brought with it which would be to change Indians religion by Christianity as part to ameliorate them as English had the concept of “white man’s burden”. The social reform would also be helpful because new schools and colleges would be built and the education rate would be increased as well 17. Before the British rule women did not had many rights, several old beliefs played important factors such as “sati” in which the woman would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre; the dowry system where a women had to bring money or goods to her husband after marriage. This practices came to an end after India became part of British colony 18 The Indian Sepoys in the East India Company were treated very differently than the British soldiers in the Company. Their wages were ten times lower than a British soldier 19. Their grievances were more than that. They were also mistreated and discriminated during the training sessions by their British commanders and colleagues 20. The soldiers often didn’t protest about the condition. 16. "Sepoy Mutiny,1857." Jupiter Infomedia. (2008): Print http://www.indianetzone.com/2/sepoy_mutiny.htm 17. Smitha, Frank. "BRITISH IMPERIALISM and ASIA,1800 to 1900." India's Sepoy Mutiny. 1st ed. MACROHISTORY, 2004. Print 19. Mcleod, 83
20. McLeod, 84
The British were capable of changing anything nearby and wanted to compromise Sepoy’s religion and so advance his conversion to Christianity 21. The Sepoy’s were already fearing the religious changes that might come, but the use of Enfield rifled offended both Hindu and Muslim soldiers giving them a reason to get their rage on the East India company by a revolt. The rulers had many quarrels with the company as well. the ruler of Jhansi wanted her adopted child to have throne but the company argued to violate their policy 22. Bahadur Shah II wanted to have his pension which the company agreed but hadn’t paid since couple years 23. The company violated some of the rules from their policies for Indian rulers themselves but they were stubborn about the policies violated by the rulers which gave them a reason for the revolt.
The East India Company seemed like trying to ameliorate India economically and socially but had their own interest in India rather than effecting the community positively. The social changes also adulterated the ancient culture which. Some of the British officers somewhat still respected the “Hindu Sanskriti” the culture and tried to revolve it by bringing some reforms while some officers started Spreading Christianity in India by force. This led to destroying many ancient Hindu temples and replacing them with church 24. The wealth of the defeated rulers after the revolt was used to help British parliament rather than to improve India and was used to pension to English citizen 25.
22 Mcleod 84
23 keay 440
The effects of revolt were definitely positive for the East India Company but meanwhile also were positive for the India as well since after the revolt The British government brought changes to India. Politically, Socially and Economically. It brought the British Parliament system which centralized the government. It brought down some of the old caste system and changed all the horrific practices such as Dowry and Sati that took place before. Women gained some equality as men. New universities and schools started to be seen in India. The centralized government led to economic growth in India. New steel industries were built. The causes that led to the revolt were also resolved. In !867 the Rifle cartridges were changed and this time it did not contain animal fat 26. The English parliament was the reason that shaped up the modern India
Word count: 1926
Hunter, William . A brief history of the Indian peoples. 1. 1. Whitefish, Montana : Kessinger Publishing, 2008. 222- 234. Print’ McLeod, John. The History Of India. 1. 1. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 81-95. Print 1999 Naidis, Mark. India:a short introductory history. 1. 1. New York: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY, 2002. 119-124. Print Pike, John. "19th Century Extra-State Wars." Sepoy Mutiny, 1857-59. Alexandria, VA: GlobalSecurity.org, 2002. Print "Sepoy Mutiny,1857." Jupiter Infomedia. (2008): Print http://www.indianetzone.com/2/sepoy_mutiny.htm Smitha, Frank. "BRITISH IMPERIALISM and ASIA,1800 to 1900." India's Sepoy Mutiny. 1st ed. MACROHISTORY, 2004. Print.