Outline the events of the Sepoy rebellion. Compare and contrast how India was governed before and after 1857.
India was once under the British rule in direct or indirect way. After the East India
Company was founded in 1600, British has spent 250 years taking over the colonies
and trade of the Dutch, repelled the French, and beat back Indian challenges. The
Mughal empire was decayed, and by 1858 British obtained the vast continent from the
Mughal emperor’s dethronement. British controlled India in their rule since then, until
the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857, although British still controlled the India after the rebelli-
on, but in different ways. This essay will out line the events of the Sepoy Rebellion,
compare and contrast how India was governed before and after 1857.
In May 1857, the Hindu sepoys started a rebellion, also included the Muslim sepoys,
peasants and elites who were discontented with British rule. It is known as the ‘Sepoy
Rebellion’ in history. According to Bulliet et al (2009,p608), there were three main rea-
sons led to this event. Firstly , the Bengali sepoys used to be the main sepoys under
the EIC rule for decades of years. However after 1848, the EIC began to recruit differ-
ent ethnic groups to the army, and this caused the discontented of the Bengali sepoys.
Secondly, the EIC offended the Hindus religion. In 1856, there was a new law which
permitted ‘service assignment overseas in the growing Indian Ocean empire’ (Bulliet
et al. 2009,p608), the high-caste Hindus strongly against this law due to their religion,
because they were not allowed to travel on the ocean. The last reason of the rebellion
was also caused by a religious issue. In 1857 the EIC replaced the standard musket to
Enfiled rifle, which was more accurate, but the problem was that the soldiers need to
use their teeth to open the ammunition cartridges. However those cartridges covered
with cattle and pigs’ fat. Most of the soldiers were Hindus and Muslims, ‘Fat from cattle offended Hindus; fat from pigs offended Muslims’ (Bulliet et al, 2009 p610). As a result
of those three reasons, the ‘Sepoy Rebellion’ began in 1857, then it was put down by
British in March 1857. But this rebellion brought changes to India. And it was also
counted as the beginnings of the independence movement later.
Due to the ‘Sepoy Rebellion’, British changed the ways of government India They were
mainly shown in there ways. To begin with, India was under the control of the East Ind-
ia Company before the 1857. ‘As Mughal power weakend in the eighteenth century,
British, Dutch, and French companies expanded into India’ (Bulliet et al, 2009, p606).
With the help of the ‘Company Men’, those European enterprise in India for a long time.
In 1691, the East India Company established a fortified outpost in Calcutta by convinc-
ed the nawab. Until 1818, the EIC gained large territories through administrative meas-
ures in India. The rebellion shocked the British and therefor the British changed their
rule in India. The EIC was removed, India polices was controlled by a new secretary in
London. In Delhi, there was a new governor-general which ‘acted as the British monar-
ch’s viceroy on the spot’ (Bulliet et al, 2009, p611). There was a new bureaucracy
controlled the Indian masses in a strong way. And most of the members in ICS who
graduates from Cambridge and Oxford University they ‘visited the villages in their
districts, heard lawsuits and complains, and passed judgments’(Buliet et al,2009,p612).
Another change is the different policies after 1857. There were two ways of policies
before 1857. ‘westernization, Anglicization, and modernization’, another policy was the
bolstering of the traditions. The EIC disarmed the warriors, changed the landholding in
to private ownership. They allowed the Christian missionaries who were...
Bibliography: Bulliet, R.W., Crossley, P.K., Headrick, D.R., Hirsch, S.W., Johnson,L.J., and Northrup
D. 2009: The Earth and its People: A Global History: Brief Fourth Edition, Boston:
Houghton Milfin Company.
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