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What were the causes for the failure of the 1857 Revolt in India

January 19, 2018 0 Comment


An overview on the 1857 revolt

Before moving on to why the revolt of 1857 failed and saw an early death in India? It is important for us to know what constituted the formation or what led to the ignition of the revolt of 1857?

As many historians had described that the revolt of 1857 was an awakening and some of them have even stated it as the ‘First War of Independence’ of India.

It is true that it was India’s actual or official rebel against the prevailing British Raj it is also true that the revolt was not formed because of one single factor, many small but significant factors led to the Revolt of the 1857.

In this context we shall go through some of the important factors that led to the formation of the revolt and how people of India rebelled against the British Raj?

To begin with it was the continuous oppression of the British Raj that filled the vessel of tolerance of the Indian souls and that it burst resulting the revolt of 1857.

To begin with the revolt was ignited when there was an introduction of a new weapon in the Sepoy regiment of the Indians. The new weapon was to be chewed with teeth and then to be proceeded to be used further.

The substance that constituted the part in the weapon that had to be chewed was some greasy meaty substance that was not acceptable by both the Hindu and the Muslim community of India.

The strong belief system did not allow either of the communities to follow their command but there was a strong force from the British officials that bound them to follow their order. Anyone who disobeyed their order was executed or punished severely.

This led to an outrage amongst Sepoy and soon emerged one of the prominent figures of the revolt of 1857. Mangal Pandey led the outraged Sepoy and led them to fight against the insignificant measures that the British officials imposed on them.

This was one of the most prominent incident that led to the revolt of 1857. Another incident was the imposition of the Doctrine of Lapse.

This led to the extension of the regions that came under the Colonized British control. This policy was the outcome of Lord Dalhousie. This too led to an outburst amongst the people of India, especially the regions which had prominent rulers. Regions such as Jhansi, Nagpur, Samabalpur and many such Indian regions.

The rulers of these regions such as Rani Lakshmi Bai from Jhansi led a strong opposition and hence objected the imposition of the Doctrine of lapse. Many other prominent rulers too led their own rebel troops and opposed against the imposition of the British Raj. This was another important factor.

When speaking about the rulers and the left behind emperors in the kingdoms of India it would be wrong to not mention the injustice they were facing due to the British officials and also by them which was a spark that ignited the revolt.

The European officials did not treat them with respect. They would not pay heed to the needs of the rulers and would refuse to work alongside with them.

There were Hindu as well as Muslims rulers and the European officials would treat them wrong and sometimes even discriminated, this resulted in them losing faith in the officials and thus the revolt of the 1857 was initiated. Some other reasons that led to the formation of the revolt of 1857 were the economical discrimination.

The Indian Sepoy were underpaid whereas their European counterpart were not. There was discrimination not only in the lower level, it prevailed in every level of the economy.

The traders were also paid less. Then there was an introduction of different land and trade policies by the British that made the economy unstable for Indian merchants, workers and even zamindars.

There were many instances that led to the Zamindars being broken and some even landless. They were forfeited from their own lands due to the clever policy system of the European System.

This was another cause of outrage that resulted to the rise of the revolt of 1857.  Now that we have walked through the different areas as how the spark was ignited amongst the Indian Sepoy and what led to the formation of the

Revolt of 18557. Let us move on to what led to the fall of the revolt and why the early so well impulse outraged revolt did not reach its epitome.

What led to the failure of the Revolt

The failure of the revolt was not uncalled-for by the Historians as they termed it the First War of Independence of India. However, the fall was inevitable and why it happened can be hinted by the previous discussion.

First reason would be that even though there was an outrage and that the Sepoy rebelled against the imposed rules and regulations they were not able to hold the grasp of their rage for too long.

The troops were present, but there were troops led by different rulers and led by different motives. There was no common goal that was constructed and hence everyone stopped when their goals were met or either clashed against each other when the motives did not satisfy the other region.

Second, the British Raj was supported by some of the prominent Indian rulers. Hence, as previously mentioned before the Indian rebel troops were not united and were not under any one leader.

It became easy for the British Raj to discard the troops easily. On top of that there was no support from the prominent rulers. It would be foolish to not mention how big and dominant the English army was.

There were too many English army against the handful of the Indian rebel troops. It was inevitable for the Indian troops to fight against such massive army.

Speaking of fighting, the weapons and arms of the Indian troops were not too advanced to fight efficiently the impending British force. Whereas the British force was way more advanced in terms of arms and weaponry.

It was seen that even the prominent rulers were too in a discontent state when it came to supporting each other and fighting under one roof. The prominent rulers lost their lives while fighting the war.

Rani Lakshmi Bai was killed in the battle ground. And others were too led down by the enormous army of the British. And this led to the lack of proper guidance of the troop.

Peshwa Nana Sahib too lost the war while his general Tantia Tope carried on the rebel. This is clearly visible by the statement mentioned earlier that without a proper leader and guidance and even a singular motive the revolt was just a sudden outrage and died an early death.

However, there were some positive points that should not go unseen. Even though the revolt was a failure, we cannot ignore the fact that it created the Indian reformers and leaders who used their history to launch a complete rebel action.

We cannot ignore that the Hindu and Muslim community of India were working under one roof that they were united which was believed otherwise.

There was a rise of outrage and impulse to fight against the oppression and mainly to fight for the complete Independence of India.

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