Q. 153.7( 7 Votes )

What were the causes of the Sepoy Mutiny?

Answer :

The Revolt of 1857 is also known as ‘Sepoy Mutiny’, ‘Great Revolt ‘, and the First War Of Indian Independence. The causes of the Sepoy Mutiny were-

Political Causes-


With the policy of Doctrine of Lapse, Dalhousie annexed the states of Satara, Sambalpur, Nagpur, and Jhansi. It was a major extension. Dalhousie announced in1849 that the successor of Bahadur Shah II would have to leave the Red Fort.


The annexation of Udaipur and Baghat were canceled and they were restored to their ruling house.


The adopted son of Peshwa Nana Sahib was denied the pension after his father’s death.


The annexation of Awadh, on the grounds of maladministration, outraged the people of India.


Economic Causes-


The land revenue system, introduced by the British, caused great misery among the peasants.


Under the zamindari system, the peasants were oppressed by the zamindars and exploited by the moneylenders.


The annexation of Indian states was followed by large scale unemployment and also an economic disaster.


Britishers also ruined the artisans and craftspersons.


Military Causes-


An important cause of military discontent was the General Service Enlistment Act 1856, which made it compulsory for the Sepoys to cross the seas, whenever required.


The Post Office Act of 1854, withdrew the free postage facility for them.


The extension of British dominance in India had adversely affected the service condition of the Sepoys.


Social and Religious causes-


The British started interfering in the social practices of Indians.


They believed that there was a need to reform Indian society.


They passed some laws to stop the practice the social evils like Sati, to encourage the remarriage of widows.


Many Indians believed that Britishers were interfering in the social customs and traditional way of life.


Immediate Causes-


Use of greased cartridges in the army was the reason for revolt.


Hindus and Muslims Sepoys were enraged as news spread that these cartridges were composed of beef and pig fat.


This would endanger their religion.


Another reason was also that in the army Hindus were not allowed to put Tilak mark on forehead and Muslims were not allowed to wear a round cap and kept the beard.


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