CBSE Class 8 Social Science Revolt of 1857 Notes

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CBSE Class 8 Social Science Revolt of 1857 Notes. Learning the important concepts is very important for every student to get better marks in examinations. The concepts should be clear which will help in faster learning. The attached concepts made as per NCERT and CBSE pattern will help the student to understand the chapter and score better marks in the examinations.


The British rule angered the people in every part of the country. In the process of conquest, the British not only enraged the rulers whose kingdoms were annexed and their nobles, but also a large number of other people. There were Number of revolts between 1765 and 1856 in different parts of the country. Many of these were revolts by Peasants and Tribals and also by Soldiers. There were others led by dispossessed rulers and Zamindars and chiefs.

Some Minor Revolts before the Revolt of 1857 :-
(i) The first major revolt in Bengal was led by Sanyasis and Fakirs and spread to many areas of eastern India. Most of these rebels were peasants who formed their armies.
(ii) There were a number of tribal revolts during this period, the revolts of the Bhils in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Kols in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Gonds and Khonds in Orissa, Kolis in Maharashtra, Mers in Rajasthan.
(iii) From 1795 to 1805, an anti-British rebellion broke out in southern parts of the country. The rebellion was led by the Zamindars, or Poligars.
(iv) There were mutinies by the sepoys of the Company's army, Vellore Mutiny in 1806 and the Barrackpore Mutinty in 1824. The mutiny was brutally suppressed and hundreds of sepoys were sentenced to death.
(v) Another powerful revolt during this period was that of the Wahabis, the followers of a Muslim sect founded by Sayyid Ahmad Barehvi. They urged the people to join in a holy war to overthrow the British rule. The anti-British activities of the Wahabis continued from 1830 till after the revolt of 1857. Most of
these revolts were, however, localized occurrences. Even though it took the British a long time to suppress some of them, they did not pose a serious danger to the British rule in India.

(i) Political causes (ii) Social and economic causes (iii) Religious causes (iv) Military causes (v) Immediate causes

* Political Causes : The causes of discontent among the Indian rulers were as follows:
(i) The policy of conquest pursued by the British had created unrest among many rulers, and chiefs.
(ii) The strict enforcement of the policies of Subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse made people angry
(iii) The annexation of Oudh and the Carnatic kindgom, on grounds of misgovernment, was greatly resented,
(iv) The Mughal Emperor himself was told that his successors would not be recognised as kings and he had to leave the historic Red Fort.
These actions of British created unrest among the ruling families who had lost their power and put fear in others that a similar fate awaited them.

*Social and economic Causes
(i) British started interfering in the social and religious customs like the abolition of the practice of Sati, widow remarriage, conversion of Hindu into Christians and the promotion of western education were considered to be damaging the fabric of the traditional Indian society.

Economic exploitation
(a) The country's village economy and self-sufficiency had been shattered by the Britishers.
(b) In cities, artisans, musicians, writers, poets and other had lost their livelihood.
(c) The revenue policy was very discriminatory and disasterous. At some places the peasants were being cruelly exploited by the zamindars.
(d) Their Industrial policy destroyed the basic industries of India.

*Religious Causes
(a) The division of society along the caste and communal lines had greatly disturbed right thinking people.
(b) The sentiments of the people were hurt when the government levied tax even on the land which belonged to temples and mosques.
(c) People got angry when they were forcibly converted into Christians.

*Military causes : The Indian sepoys under the British troops had many grievances.
(i) Soldiers were subjected to all kinds of humiliation by their British officers.
(ii) They were paid meagre amount as salary.
(iii) They were never rewarded for courage or meritorious performance in the battles.
(iv) At every stage their religious sentiments were hurt, like they were not allowed to wear marks which showed their caste and sect.
(v) Under the Central Service Enlistment Act in 1856, the Indian soldiers were required to serve anywhere even outside India. Indian soldiers considered it a taboo, i.e., Kalapani.

* Immediate Causes : The immediate and major cause of the revolt was the "Incident of Greased Cartridge". At this time the new Enfield Rifles were introduced in which cartridges were greased with the fat of pigs and cows. And it was a sin for both the Hindu and the Muslim soldiers to use their teeth to tear off one end of those cartridges before use. However, this offended the religious sentiments of Muslims and Hindus alike. It was one 23rd January 1857, an Indian sepoy, Mangal Pandey, refused to use the new cartridges. All these resulted into the final show of the revolt that broke out on 10th May, 1857.

(i) Infact, from the point of view of its extent and the nature of its participation, the revolt is considered as the first struggle for Indian Independence.
(ii) Large number of common people laid down their lives in the struggle was in no way less than the number or Indian soldiers in the British Army who fell.
(iii) It was also for the first time that so many Indian rulers came together to oust the foreign power from the country.
(iv) Despite these facts the British administrators of the time chose to call it a 'sepoy mutiny'.
(v) However, there is no denying the fact that the revolt was an organised movement. It possessed a national philosophy and represented a national outlook.
(vi) In principle it was directed against the foreigners and represented a desire for independence in whatever form .

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