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Sample essay on the Causes of the Indian Revolution of 1857

Sample essay on the Causes of the Indian Revolution of 1857

The Indian revolution of 1857 was as a result of quite a number of incidences that had economic, political and social impacts. One of the causes of the war was the British policy that was viewed as an economical exploitation of Indians. The policies created high revenue demands by the British. The strict collection of the revenues by the British even angered the Indians more. Artisans and craftsmen also lamented the ruin caused on their businesses by the influx of cheap British manufactured goods. The British also went ahead to withdraw royal patronage that benefited Indians who earned their livelihoods from religious and cultural pursuits. The corrupt and unresponsive British administration further added onto the misery of the people.

Politically, the British policy of territorial annexations caused the displacement of a large number of chiefs and rulers. The ruling section of the society was angered by the vigorous manner in which the policies of Subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse were being applied. The people greatly resented the annexation of Awadh on allegations of misgovernment considering the loyalty with which the Nawabs of Awadh had served the British. The anger on the people was further aggravated by the failure of the British government to provide an alternative employment to those who lost their jobs as a result of the dissolution of the Nawab’s administration.

The conservative sections of India looked upon the social reforms introduced by the British with lots of suspicion. Indians looked upon reforms like abolishment of ‘sati’, legalization of remarriage of widows and introduction of western education to women as interference in their culture. The British attitude of superiority is yet another reason that even further enhanced the resentment. Educated Indians were denied appointments and promotions to high offices, turning them against the British.

Over the years, there had been growing fear among Indians that the British were determined to destroy their religions and convert them to Christianity. The policy of taxing lands belonging to mosques and temples led to further support of the idea of the determination of the British to destroy the Indian religious beliefs and practices. The notion that their religion was under threat united Indians against a common enemy.

Apart from just the general Indian population’s resentment against the British, Indian soldiers who were part of the British troops in India felt oppressed. British officers looked upon Indian sepoys as inferior human beings who were treated with contempt. Their pay was much less than the British soldiers despite serving the same course. The sepoys were also against the Act of 1816 that required new recruits to travel overseas considering that traveling across the sea meant the loss of caste according to the Hindu belief.

As a result of the above reasons among others, there were a series of revolts that that created widespread unrest in India. In the course of the Indian Revolution, the rebel Indian soldiers were joined by the local infantry in fighting British rule.

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