Amazing and Interesting Facts About the Revolt of 1857- Facts You Must Know about

Updated December 20, 2022

The Revolt of 1857 is also called the Indian Mutiny, the Sepoy Mutiny, India’s First War of Independence or India’s first struggle for independence, widespread but unsuccessful rebellion against British rule in India in 1857–59. It is an important land mark on in the history of India which occurred during the viceroyalty of Lord Canning. It started on 10 May 1857 at Meerut by Indian sepoys (troops) in the service of the British East India Company and spread in Northern, Central and Western India. This war brought about the end of the British East India Company’s rule in India, and led to the direct rule by the British Government (British Raj) of much of the Indian Subcontinent for the next 90 years.

From Indian’s point of views, it is the First War of Independence. Different name has been given to the Revolt of 1857, but In India it is often called the First War of Independence and other similar names. It’s not just a small to be summed up in in such a narrow aspect because there is lot to know and discuss about the Revolt of 1857. So, we have tried to bring you the whole topic of the Revolt of 1857 in best possible way. We have put the most significant point in our article, so that you can get maximum benefits out of it. So, do follow the below article to know more about the Revolt of 1857 and keep visiting the site to get such more important and interesting topics.

Discussed below are some Amazing and Interesting Facts About the Revolt of 1857 on different Aspects like Causes, Nature, Impact and Important Personality, Books & Places of The Revolt, and so on.

Period of occurrence of the Revolt

1. The revolt of 1857 is an important landmark in the history of India which occurred during the viceroyalty of lord Canning.

2. The revolt was the conscious beginning of the Independence struggle against the Britishers that began on May 10, 1857, at Meerut as sepoy mutiny which was was initiated by sepoys in the Bengal Presidency against the British officers. This war of Independence marked the end of rule by the British East India company and post this, India was directly ruled by the British government through representatives called as Governor-General.

Causes of the Revolt of 1857

3. The revolt of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, socio-religious and military causes.

4. Political cause: Nana sahib was refused pension as he was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II. Avadh was annexed in 1856, on charge of mal-administration. Satara, Jhansi & Sambhalpur were annexed owing Doctrine of Lapse.

5. Economic cause: Heavy taxation, forcibly evictions, discriminatory tarrif policy against Indian products and destruction of traditional handicrafts that hit peasants and artisans

6. Socio-religious cause: British social reforms (abolition of sati in 1829, legislation of widow remarriage in 1856 etc.) hurted the sentiments of orthodox and conservative people.

7. Military cause: Discrimination with Indian soldiers.

8. Immediate Cause: Introduction of Enfield Rifle whose cartridge were said to have a greased cover made up of beef and pork sparked off the revolt

The Beginning and spread of the Revolt

9. On March 29 in 1857 an Indian sepoy of 34 Native Infantry, Mangal Pandey, killed two British officers, Hugeson and Baugh on parade at barrackpore near Calcutta. The Indian soldier present, refused to obey orders to arrest Mangal Pandey. However, he was later on arrested, trialed and hanged.

10. The mutiny really started at Merut on 10th may 1857. The occasion was the punishment of some sepoys for their refusal to use the greased cartridges. The soldier alongwith other groups of civilians, went on a rampage shouting ‘Maro Firangi Ko’. They broke open jails, murdered Europeans, burnt their houses and marched to Delhi after sunset.

11. The appearance of the marching soldiers next morning (i.e. 11th May) in Delhi was a signal to the local soldiers, who in turn revolted, seized the city and proclaimed the 82 years old Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’ as Shahenshah-i-Hindustan (Emperor of India).

12. Within a month of the capture of Delhi, the revolt spread to the different part of India especially North India, Central India and western India. South remained quite and Punjab & Bengal were only marginally affected.

Important Leaders

13. Here is the List of Important Leaders Who Started the Struggle against British rule are Presented in the Table Below Along with Center, Date of Beginning, Date of Ending of the Revolt and British suppressor.

CentreDate of BeginningDate of EndingIndian LeadersBritish suppressor
Delhi11th May 185720th Sep. 1857Bahadur Shah II ‘Zafar, & Bakht Khan (Commanding General)John Nicholson
Kanpur4th June 18576th Dec. 1857Nana Shahib & his loyal Commander Tantiya TopeColin Campbell
Lucknow4th June 185721st March 1858Begum Hazrat MahalColin campbell
Jhansi4th June 185718th June 1858Rani Laxmi BaiHuge rose
Allahabad5th June 1857March, 1858Liyaqat AliColonel Neil
Jagdishpur (Bihar)Aug, 1857Dec., 1858Kuer Singh & Amar singhWilliam Taylor & Vincet Eyre

 14. Khan Bhadur Khan (Bareilly), Maulavi Ahmadullah (Faizabad), Azimullah Khan (Fatehpur), Devi Singh (Mathura), Kadam singh (Merut) etc. were the other important leaders in the revolt.

Causes of Failure of the Revolt

15. The Revolt of 1857 was an unsuccessful but heroic effort to eliminate foreign rule. The main causes of failure were, disunity of Indians and poor organisations, lack of complete nationalism as scindias, Holkar, Nizam and others actively helped the British, Lack of coordination between sepoys, peasants, zamindars and other classes and everyone had different motives for participating in the revolt.

Significance of the Revolt

16. The important element in the revolt lay in Hindu- Muslim unity. People exhibited patriotic sentiments without any touch of communal feelings. It no doubt began as a mutiny of soldier, but soon turned into a revolt against British rule in general.

Nature of the Revolt

17. There were two main views about the nature of the revolt of 1857 viz. Sepoy Mutiny and National struggle / War of Independence.

18. Scholars like Syed Ahmad Khan, Munshi Jeevan Lal & Durgadas Bandyopadhyaya, Stanley, john Lawrance, John Seeley, Malleson, R.C. Mazumdar, according them the nature of the revolt was a Sepoy Mutiny.

19. Scholars like Benjamin Benjamin disraley, Karl Marx, V.D. Savarkar, K.M. Pannikar, Ishwari Prasad, A.I. Srivastava, Tarachand, according them the nature of the revolt was National struggle/ War of Independence.

20. There were some other views too over the revolt. According to medley it was Racial Struggle/ Black-White Struggle. Historian like Rees had a different opinion, according to him it was a Religious Struggle/ Hindu-Muslim-Christian Struggle. T.R. Holmes had a different perspective over the revolt, according to him it was a Civilization-Barbarism Conflict/ English-Indian Conflict. And according to Taylor & Qutram it was a Hindu-Muslim conspiracy against Christian.

Important Books on 1857

21. Here is the List of Important Books on 1857 Present in the Table Below along-with Their Author and Year of Publication.

BookYear of PublicationAuthor
The First War of Independence 1857-18591859Karl Marx
Causes of Indian Revolt1873Sayed Ahmad Khan
The First War of Indian Independence1909V.D. Savarkar
The Sepoy Mutiny & the Rebellion of 18571957R.C. Mazumdar
Civil Rebellion in Indian Mutiny1957S.B. Chowdhary
Rebellion 1857- A Symposium1957P.C. Joshi
18571957S.N. Sen

Impact of the Revolt of 1857

22. In August 1858, the British Parliament passed an act, which put an end to the rule of the Company. The control of the British government in India was transferred to the British Crown.

23. A minister of the British Government, called the secretary of the state for India was made responsible for the governance of India.

24. The British Governor-General of India was now also given the title of Viceroy, who was also the representative of the monarch.

25. Marked the End of the British Imperialism and Princely States were assured against annexation. Doctrine of lapse was withdrawn.

26. After the revolt, the British pursued the policy of ‘divide and rule’.

27. Far reaching changes were made in the administration and increase of white soldier in the army.

28. Total expense of the suppression was thrown on the Indian people.

29. It has been said that Julius Caesar was more powerful than Julius Caesar alive. The same may be said about the Revolt of 1857. Whatever might have been its original character, it soon became a symbol of challenge to the mighty British Empire in India and remained a shining star for the rise and growth of the Indian national movement

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