To start off the Sepoys were a group of Indian soldiers that worked for the European forces. These soldiers worked for the East Indian Company’s army. In May 1857 they started a mutiny, or a rebellion. This brought on many other rebellions, and basically a war for independence. There were many economic, religious, political, and military reasons behind the revolts. The Indians themselves had pure hatred for the British. This also was not an overnight deal.
It took about a year, it was more of a war then a simple rebellion.
The sixteenth and seventeenth century
During the sixteenth and seventeenth century the East Indian Company, traded the Indians for textiles, and other goods for gold and other metals. This was going really good, but the British government put a ban on the Indian textiles. Then in turn the Industrial Revolution was happening and the British were able to make their own textiles.
So they stopped buying them from the Indians. But they bought their basic materials from them. This made it really hard for the small families that made their living on making textiles to sell.
With the new changes, and the East Indian Company making a huge profit on this new system, the unemployment rate in India was going up. These people were getting very upset with the British rule. Soon the economy was completely controlled by the East Indian Company, and they did nothing to improve the conditions for the people. The British then started taking peoples land from them, this enraged them. When they were taken over by the British the men in the army lost their jobs as well, this caused about 60,000 families to loose everything.
Last but not least, all of the people who held any political job lost their job as well. The Indian people were loosing everything they had. The British had missionaries go to the Indian territories, to make them convert to Christianity. The missionaries constantly made fun of the ways of the Muslim and Hindu people. They even went as far as to put taxes on the property that the Muslims and Hindus built their temples and mosques on. The Sepoy’s that worked for the company were upset that they would continue to push Christianity on them. They were forced to work wherever they were needed.
Convertional of the Indians
The missionaries pushed even more for the Indians to convert when there was a law passed saying that Hindus were allowed to convert to Christianity. Around the Indians their whole world was changing. The British were taking over everything. They were forcing English education. Building new Railroads and telegraph lines. In the Hindu religion they are set apart from each other in a caste system, in the belief that you are reborn again in to higher or lower caste, depending on your previous life and the things you did good or bad. It is like a social status.
With this new pubic transportation involving the new railways meant that the people from the different castes would have to ride together. This upset a lot of people. They felt as if the outsiders were coming in and changing their whole way of life. The Indians were getting denied jobs left and right. They were only allowed to be a certain rank in the military. The British were discriminating them in their own country. The Indian soldiers were put through ridicule instead of getting credit for putting together the East Indian Company like they should have.
Once the British took over they paid them very poor and they had poor living conditions, compared to the British. The Indians were forced to be low ranked. As previously stated the Sepoys were forced to be gone overseas, which they really didn’t like. They forced the Hindus who were in a higher caste fight in remedial jobs and forced them to fight over seas , this really made them angry because in their religion it forced them to go down in the caste system. The British then did things that really offended the Muslim and Hindi people by using pig and cow fat for greasing the rifles.
The Muslims and Hindu people
The Muslims and Hindu people thought of those things as sacred. Over all the British treated the Indians like dirt. The revolt was supposed to start on May 31, 1857. this is not what happened though. Because the British kept pushing the buttons of the Indians the Revolt started about twenty days early, on May 10th . It broke out in Meerut. They had no real plan about what they were doing during the revolt. They were basically just winging it. This was automatically doomed from the start.
Every action needs a plan or people don’t know what they are doing. The Indians who were rebelling, let their rage take control and didn’t think about that detail. They also didn’t have the full support of some of the Indian Princes, who gave their support to the British. During their rampages, there were a few certain incidences that happened. Such as, on May 9th members of a couple Calvary regiments were forced to a life of hard labor because they refused to use their teeth to grab the greased part of the rifles.
Then the next day two other regiments turned against their British leader, and went on a killing rampage, taking out every christian they found, including women and children. Then On May 11, the Sepoy from Meerut join the ones from Delhi. They rebelled and killed a British officer, two women, and two other people. Then went around and burned houses of Christians. Finally the British started revolting back. They made their way to Delhi, taking out many Indians on their way. On September 20th they recaptured Delhi.
Cite this essay
Sepoy Rebellion. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/sepoy-rebellion-new-essay