Course, Failure and Results of 1857 Revolt- History Guide for Class 8

Course, Failure and Results of 1857 Revolt- History Guide for Class 8

Information about Course, Failure and Results of 1857 Revolt


Course, Failure and Results of 1857 Revolt


Class 8


Class 8 History

Topics Covered

  • Course of the Revolt of 1857
  • Suppression of the Revolt of 1857
  • Causes of the Failure of the Revolt of 1857
  • Results of the Revolt of 1857

Course of the Revolt of 1857

The sepoys broke out into an open revolt at Meerut in April, 1857. They refused to touch the greased cartridges. They were court-martialed and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. The regiments in Meerut revolted on May 10, 1857. They broke open the prison and released the imprisoned soldiers. They marched to Delhi on May 11 and rebelled under Bahadur Shah Zafar II.
The Revolt then spread to other places. It was led by Nana Saheb in Kanpur along with his General, Tantya Tope and by Begum Hazrat Mahal in Awadh. Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi led the revolt in Central India and fought valiantly.

The Revolt also spread to Bareily, Agra, Benaras and other places. The Sikh leaders in Punjab, Nizam of Hyderabad and Scindia of Gwalior did not join the revolt. The Madras and the Bombay Regiments also did not join the revolt. The Afghans and the Gurkhas remained loyal to the British.

The Revolt was started by the sepoys but the participation of the peasants and the artisans gave the Revolt its real strength. It reflected the Hindu-Muslim unity. Although the Revolt was a great event but it was effectively suppressed by the Britishers.

Suppression of the Revolt of 1857

  • British military officers freed Delhi, the epicentre of the Revolt, from the rebels.
  • The Kashmiri Gate was blown up. Hundreds of people were massacred.
  • Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the Mughal Emperor, was tried for treason and exiled to Rangoon.
  • His sons were cruelly shot down as they were held guilty of the murder of the English men, women and children.
  • The control of Delhi and imprisonment of Bahadur Shah Zafar by the British broke the backbone of the mutiny.
  • Lucknow was recaptured in 1858. Rani Lakshmi Bai was killed in the battle and Tantya Tope was captured and hanged to death.
Thus, ended the episode of the historic Revolt, also called the First War of Independence.

Causes of the Failure of the Revolt of 1857

  • The Uprising had been planned for months, but it broke out before the appointed date. It did not go according to the plan as the revolutionaries failed to spread it beyond Central India and Delhi. If the plan had gone as per the schedule, the revolt would have broken out in many parts of India simultaneously and it would have been very difficult for Lord Canning, the Governor-General at that time, to control the revolt.
  • There was no unity among the rebels. The ideas of nationalism had not yet developed. There was no common ideology amongst the rebels. The sepoys of Bengal wanted to revive the glory of the Mughals while Nana Saheb and Tantya Tope tried to re-establish the Maratha power and Rani Lakshmi Bai fought for her lost kingdom.
  • The rising was not widespread. It was limited to North and Central India. In the North, the Sikhs, the Nizams and the Scindias were unaffected by the Revolt and the Gurkhas not only remained loyal to the Britishers, but helped the British in suppressing the mutiny.
  • The rebels could not match the sophisticated and modern weapons and the disciplined army of the British. Moreover, an organised communication system and military strategies led to British victory.
  • The leadership of the Revolt was neither strong nor gave direction to the rebels. The Indian rulers fought to liberate their own territories and did not think about the freedom of the whole country. Moreover, the Company officials got timely help from the government of Britain.

Results of the Revolt of 1857

  • The rule of the East India Company ended with Queen Victoria's Proclamation of November 1, 1858. She assumed the title of the Empress of India.
  • The British crown took over the administration of India. A Secretary of State was appointed by the British Parliament to look after the governance of India with the help of a council.
  • The Governor-General was given the title of Viceroy—The Representative of the British Crown.
  • The British reorganised the army to prevent any future revolts.
  • The policy of ruthless conquests and annexations of Indian territories was given up.
  • The Indian princes were given the assurance that their States would not be annexed and were granted the right of adoption.
  • Full religious freedom was guaranteed to the Indians.
  • They were also given the assurance that high posts would be given to them without any discrimination. 
By the end of 1859, British authority in India was fully re-established. But the Revolt proved to be the first great struggle for freedom. It became a source of inspiration for the later freedom struggles and its heroes became household names in the country.

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