1857 Sepoy Rebellion

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Reasons that led to the conflict

-in the years leading up to it, the British East India Company had been expanding its holdings.

-Indian princes were angered by the British expansion

-British devised The Doctrine of Lapse, which gave them the right to veto a prince's adopted heir receiving the territory. Instead, the territories were taken as British holdings. This interfered with the Hindu custom of passing down territorial control from one prince to another (by blood or adoption)

-by 1857, the British had installed "Sepoys" to help them control their new territories. Many were unhappy with the British that they served

-A type of rifle was introduced to India that contained an ammunition cartridge coated with cow or pig fat. Sepoys were instructed to bite it before loading; this was offensive to Hindu and Muslim soldiers, against their vegetarian religious beliefs

-the cultural and religious divide between the Indians and the British led to mutual disrespect. The British outlawed Indian customs and converted them to Christianity

Delhi

-after 85 Sepoys refused to bite the animal fat cartridges, and were imprisoned and sentenced to ten years of hard labor, Sepoys assembled and turned on their commanding officers..

-marched on Delhi and attempted to start a widespread rebellion. Succeeded in taking Delhi and proclaimed Bahadur Shah II the emperor of all India.

-British strike back, fighting/killing many Indians along the way. Laid siege to Delhi for roughly two months before regaining control of it

-British arrested Bahadur Shah

-June: the Sepys serving in Kanpur (Cawnpore) rebelled. The British surrendered

Cawnpore

"The Cawnpore Massacres"
-Nana Sahib: an Indian prince who was denied ascension to the throne by the BEIC. He promised to aid the British troops in Kanpur (Cawnpore) but turned on them and joined the mutiny. He and the Sepoys killed British soldiers and civilians

-The surviving British were led to Bibi-Ghar (the house of the women) in Kanpur (Cawnpore). There, three men entered and killed all with knives

-British retook Kanpur (Cawnpore) and killed all Sepoy prisoners

-a peace treaty was signed and the rebellion ended. Casualties much higher on Indian side

Consequences of the rebellion

-The Sepoy War of 1857 marked the beginning of widespread direct British rule in India (i.e. The British Raj)

-British Crown took control of India from the British East India Company. Transfer from indirect rule to direct rule

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