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British rule in 1857 was not a spontaneous reaction of alien rule but the emption of the volcano of discontent which had kept smoldering for about a century. The causes of the War of Independence were political, economic, religious, social and military. (A). Political Causes The English East India company got strongly implanted in the Sub-Continent after its historic victory over Nawab of Bengal in the Battle of Plassey fought in 1757. Soon after wards in 1764 the British recorded another important triumph in the Battle of Buxar. They annexed many states. 1. Doctrine of Lapse Lord Dalhousie applied Doctrine of Lapse for the expansion of the British Empire. According to this doctrine the rulers of the states were not allowed to adopt sons. As a result their states were annexed when they died. 2. Annoyance of Rules of States Lord Dalhousie left no stone unturned for the expansion of the English territory. He annexed states on the grounds of Doctrine of Lapse and misgovernment. As such the rulers of the affected states like Sindh, Punjab, Jhansi and Oudh became sworn enemies of the Company. 3. Confiscation of Estates It was a convention of the past rulers that the nobles were granted large estates. The British Government reversed this policy and confiscated thousands of such estates. (B). Economic Causes of War The new agrarian policy of the British, destruction of local industry, permanent settlements, large scale unemployment, monopoly of trade by the English and the Stamp Act were some important economic causes of the war. 1. New Agrarian Policy In the agrarian the Zamindars were asked to provide documentary proof of their holdings. They were deprived of their lands when they failed to furnish documentary proof of their ancestral estates. In addition the rate of taxes on the lands was increased. This class was in the front rank when he war of Independence broke out in 1857. 2. Destruction of Local Industry As a result of the Industrial revolution of England cheaper and superior goods flowed into the markets of the Sub-Continent. The local industry could not compete with the imported stuff. As a result the local industry suffered badly. This resulted in frustration among the lower classes.
post and telegraph. 3. Permanent Settlement The after effects of the permanent settlement of land were very disastrous for the land owners. Social Causes 1. Mockery of Cultural Heritage The British were afraid of the Muslim cultural heritage which was very rich in all aspects. These inventions made the Indians suspicious of the intentions of the British. 4. 2. (C). Thus the people were denied the right of free justice. 6. They had to deposit regularly a fixed amount which was not always possible. 5. The defaulters were very often degraded.3. Propagation of Christianity Although at the outset the English had shown respect towards all religions yet with the passage of time they changed their mind and devised ways and means for the propagation of Christianity in Indo-Pakistan. As a result they were not appointed on important jobs. Religious Causes 1. Domination of Trade by the English The British enacted such tows which facilitated their trade in Indo-Pakistan. The Jihad Movement though failed to achieve immediate aims yet it succeeded in Kindling a flame of freedom. (D). Many sea ports were declared free ports and custom duty on imported goods was wiredrawn. Court Fee Stamps The English Government declared court fee compulsory to be paid in the form of court stamps. The . 4. Introduction of New Inventions In the first half of the 19th century the British introduced in Indo-Pakistan many inventions like railway. Moreover they made English as medium of education. These steps mined the local industry. Anti-Religion Laws The British Government enacted many laws which were contradictory to the fundamentals of various religions of Indo-Pakistan. Jihad Movement Syed Ahmed Shaheed launched die Jihad Movement in the second decade of the 19th century. Unemployment The British did not trust the Indians. This policy resulted in unemployment for the educated classes. It was a sort of large scale effort by the Muslims to snatch freedom from alien rule.
This attitude greatly agitated Muslim religious feelings. 1. 1857 sepoys in Meerut refused to use the new cartridges. Disbanded armies of annexed slates The British disbanded the armies of the annexed states. Then no 29th March 1857. Meerut was sacked and British officers and other Europeans were put to .000 European troops.11. Meerut Rebellion On April 24. Greased Cartridge The use of greased cartridge proved as the immediate cause of the war of Independence. Consequently he was executed. Disputed Cartridges In January 1857 the British announced that they were introducing a new rifle with a paper cartridge covered in grease to keep the powder dry. As a result he was caught and hanged. This ratio tilted the balance in favor of the natives. Thus they adopted a policy of ridiculing the Muslim culture. Dearth of English Troops It is estimated that before the start of the war of Independence there were 3. His fellows did not join him. This action left thousands of the local soldiers unemployed.000 native troops as against 40. Thus the war was triggered on and the flames of war soon spread to all puts of the country. It was treated as army rebellion and they were court martialled and put into prison. This situation agitated the religious feelings of both the Muslims and Hindu Soldiers. Insulting treatment with the People A hundred year rule over the Sub-Continent had given the English an air of superiority.English wanted to prove their culture as superior to others. Events of the War The first incident of the war took place on 26th February 1857 when the native soldiers of the 19th Native infantry at Behrampur refused to used the greased cartridges. Military Causes 1. However. it was rumoured the grease on the cartridge was made from the fat of both cows and pigs. They considered themselves a super creation and often resorted to insulting attitude towards the people of the Sub-Continent. The sepoys were so angered by this that they refused to use the new cartridges. all the 34th native infantry was disbanded on 6th May 1857. It was rumored that the cartridges were greased with the fat of the cow or pig. 2. (E). However. As a result they were encouraged to launch the war of Independence. the end had to be bitten off. he shot the major. but their fellow soldiers broke into prison and freed them. 3. 2. Before the cartridge could be loaded. Mangal Panda a native soldier of the 34th native infantry fired at his British officers. But the real trouble began two months later. 2. In March a sepoy named Mangal Pandey defied his British officers and when his officers ordered to arrest him.
Karachi. 6. he was later captured and executed. the Rani of Jhansi. Although he was 80 years old but he defeated English troops badly near Arrah but he died as a result of fatal wound. Lucknow was also regained by the British in September 1857. Jehlum. A ratio of one and two was maintained with the native soldiers. the main centre of rebellion was Jhansi. Their heads were then presented to the Emperor as a lesson. Lucknow was also taken and British rule ceased to exist throughout what is now called Uttar Pradesh. Nizam Lohar. Pindi. Bihar Canner Singh was the leader of war of Independence in Bihar. 7. winning the support of both Muslim and Hindu. In September 1857 Delhi was regained. Then the soldiers marched to Delhi and captured it. Mirza Sultan and Mirza Abu Bakar were brutally murdered. 5. Frontiers and Sindh. The freedom fighters set British homes and offices to the fire. Unrest was spread in Punjab. Bahadur Shah Zafar became unifying symbol for the uprising. Unfortunately the freedom fighters were defeated. British rulers disarmed the local army people but the condition continued to deteriorate persistently. 4. Jhansi After the fall of Lucknow. Retrieval of Power However British proved to be too powerful to be defeated by an uncoordinated uprising across many areas. But in June 1958 the British killed Lakshmibai (dressed as a man) in battle. The rulers of the states of Jind. an Indian general of great ability. English killed thousands of local soldiers indiscriminately in Multan. Mardan and Hazara districts. but his sons Mirza Mughal. 3. . Patiala. Jhansi and Allahabad as well as Delhi. Ceased British Rule The revolt spread quickly and the British lost control of Mathura. Sialkot prison was broken and the prisoners were freed. In Punjab Rae Ahmed Kharal. The Mughal Emperor. The fighters were assembled on the bank of Ravi and fought with the British troops under the command of Nicholson at Trimu Ghaat. Jaggey and Jeony fought against British bravely. 1. Hyderabad. Frontiers and Sindh As the reaction of Meerut rebellion. Peshawar. Here the sepoys were led by Lakshmibai. She was assisted by Tatya Topee. Consequences of the War Followings were the consequences of the war. Hindus and Sikhs helped British in taking the War of Independence to such tragic end. Gawaliar and Hyderabad and also some rich Muslims. Punjab. Sahiwal. Although Tatya Topee escaped. After the war the number of Europeans soldiers was increased in Indo Pakistan. Kanpur. Bahadur Shah surrendered peacefully.death.
The British thought that the Muslims were responsible for the war or Independence. Many of the leading Muslims were hanged. The failure of the war greatly encouraged the Christian missionaries to resume the propagation of their religion.2. Accordingly the hand of repression fell more heavily on the Muslims than on the Hindus. One ugly effect of the war of Independence was that the Muslims were subjected to oppression by the English. 3. .
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