The biggest rebellion in Indian history led by the combined efforts of great leaders, peasants, sepoys united to fight the common enemy. The phase that created history and impact on the Britishers in India. Learn about all the policies, the last Mughal emperor, the revolt of 1857, and how all this led to a change in British reforms. In this blog, we bring you When People Rebel class 8 study notes!
Table of contents
Nawabs Lose their Power
In mid 18th century, the nawabs and rajas across India started to lose their authority, power, and honor. Ruling families tried to negotiate with the company to protect their interests. For Example-Rani Lakshmi Bai after the death of her husband Peshwa Baji Rao II wanted recognition for their adopted heir Nana Saheb, However, all pleas were turned down by the company.
To annexed one of the last territories Awadh, a subsidiary alliance was imposed in 1801 The same was taken over in 1856 declaring the misgovernance in the territory and ensuring the proper administration in the territory British rule should be imposed. To end the Mughal dynasty, after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar Governor-General Dalhousie announced that the family will be shifted from the red fort to someplace else in Delhi. Bahadur Shah Zafar will be the last king of Mughals because from now on heirs will be called a prince.
The Peasants and The Sepoys
Many peasants lost their lands because they were unable to pay back to the moneylenders. The high paying taxes and rigid method of revenue collection were one of the reasons for resentment among the countryside peasants.
Indian sepoys employed in the company were asked to go to Burma to fight for the Company via sea route which all the sepoys denied but agreed via a land route. Due to this Indian sepoys were punished but in 1856, a law was passed stating if required sepoys employed with the company have to travel via sea routes. Some of the other reasons sepoys were unhappy were pay, allowances, and conditions of service.
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Responses to Reforms
Many new laws were passed to stop the practice of Sati and the remarriage of widows from being reforms in India by Britishers. After 1830, Christian missionaries were allowed to function freely in their domain and own land and property and conversion into Christianity became easier. This law allowed Christians to inherit and own their property. Education in the English language was highly promoted.
A Mutiny Becomes a Popular Rebellion
In March 1857, the biggest rebellion was faced by the East India Company that even threatened their existence in India. It was the beginning of sepoy mutiny from Meerut to several other parts of northeastern India. It was considered the biggest armed resistance to colonialism in the nineteenth century anywhere in the world.
From Meerut to Delhi
On 29 March 1857, Mangal Pandey who was an Indian Sepoy was hanged to death attacking officers in Barrackpore. In the same year, some of the sepoys refused to use the cartridges that were suspected of being coated with the fat of cows and pigs. Later, on 9 May 1857, almost 85 sepoys were sentenced to ten years in jail for disobeying the rules of the company.
To end the British rule in India, sepoys from Meerut jailed were released by soldiers. The sepoys reached Delhi in the early morning and demanded to meet the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Bahadur Shah Zafar accepted the demand and called other chiefs and rulers through letters to organize a confederacy of Indian states to fight the British. Britishers never expected this to happen and with the Mughal emperor supporting the rebellion, it took a drastic change.
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The Rebellion Spreads
The rebellion that started from Meerut has now spread across the regions as well. After a week, the regiment mutinied and took off to join other troops at nodal points like Delhi, Kanpur, and Lucknow. Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao gathered sepoys in Kanpur and defeated the British forces. In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr was proclaimed as the new Nawab. Rani Lakshmibai joined the rebel sepoys in Jhansi fought against the British forces along with Tantia Tope. The British lost many battles during this period.
The Company Fights Back
To convict the rebels reinforcements from England were bought and new laws were passed. Bahadur Shah Zafar was sentenced to life imprisonment in September 1857 and Delhi was recaptured by Britishers. Rani Lakshmibai and Tantia Tope were defeated and killed in June 1858 while Lucknow was being recaptured by the British forces. The victories against the British had earlier encouraged rebellion similarly the defeat of rebel forces encouraged desertions. To win back the loyalty of the people Britishers announced rewards for loyal landholders.
Many sepoys, leaders were killed, hanged, sentenced to life imprisonment. While some battles were won and lost. In 1859, Britishers gained back their control in the country. Some of the important changes introduced by the British were:
- In 1858, a new rule was passed to transfer the control of East India Company to the British crown for the better administration of India.
- All ruling chiefs assured that their territory would never be annexed in the future and their kingdom will be passed on to their heirs including the adopted ones as well.
- The proportion of European soldiers will be increased and Indian soldiers will be reduced and more Indian soldiers will be recruited from Gurkhas, Sikhs, and Pathans.
- A policy was made to secure of rights of landlords and zamindars over their lands.
- Respecting all customary religions and social practices of the people in India by all Britishers.
Questions Based on When People Rebel Class 8
Now that you are through with the when people rebel class 8 notes, test your knowledge with these questions:
What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi that was refused by the British?
After the death of Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai wanted recognition for Nana Saheb as heir to the kingdom. The company refused this demand.
What did the British do to protect the interests of those who converted to Christianity?
In 1850, a new law was passed that made the conversion into Christianity easier and allowed Indians that have converted into Christianity to inherit the property of their ancestors.
How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
When Delhi was recaptured by the Britishers the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was sentenced to life imprisonment and he died in Rangoon jail in November 1862.
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