Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Revolt of 1857

The Revolt of 1857 marked the completion of the first hundred years of British rule in India. The period was witnessed an extensions of political power and economic exploitation. It created dissatisfaction and distrust both among the Indian elite and the masses. As about the nature of the rebellion, there is also considerable controversy regarding actual causes. Historian both British and Indian, have over emphasized the importance of military grievances and the greased cartridge affair. But recent research has established beyond doubts that the “greased cartridge” was not only the cause or only important. On the contrary there are a variety of causes: Political, social, religious and economic which combined to produce the rebellion.

After the battle of Plassey and Buxar the East India Company steadily proceeded to gain control over the Indian native states. With Dalhousie’s Doctrine of lapse the policy of annexation reached its culmination. Under this doctrine, Indian rulers under British protection suspended their native armies, instead maintaining British troops within their states. They surrendered control of their foreign affairs to the British. In return, the East India Company would protect them from the attacks of their rivals. In the course of eight years Dalhousie annexed eight states. He abolished pension to Nana Saheb of the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II was dislike by the Hindus. His proposal to remove the Mughal Emperor Bahadur II from his ancestral place in Delhi created suspicion among the Hindus. Lord Canning even declared that the title of the Mughal emperor would be abolished after the death of bahadur Shah and his place would be taken over by the British. The titles of the rulers of Karnataka, Tanjore and Travancore were abolished

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