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. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalioron 20 June 1858.
The rebellion is also known as India’s First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt 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. In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both soldiers and support. The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana did not join the rebellion. In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence.
Rebel leaders, such as the Rani of Jhansi, became folk heroes in the nationalist movement in India half a century later; however, they themselves “generated no coherent ideology” for a new order. 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. India was thereafter directly governed by the Crown in the new British Raj.
Causes of Revolt
- 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.