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The Indian Mutiny

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Introduction

From 1601 to the 1750s, British involvement in India was limited to a trading agreement where the EIC controlled all trading from Europe to Asia, allowing it to become the world's largest and most powerful companies. However, when Britain became involved in the nation's social and cultural practices, one of the world's most destructive mutinies arose. Over time, the EIC became involved in India's politics, culture and social practices all leading to Indian mutiny. However, the Company's initial interest in the nation was purely economic and as their profit increased, so did their power. The Company's control resulted in many changes in the country, such as the ability trade possessed to transform small villages into large towns and the loss of village self-sufficiency due to improvements in communication and transport. The developments of the industrial revolution allowed Britain to by lots of raw materials and manufacture it themselves for a lower cost. This forced the closure for the demand for manufactured goods, resulting in the loss of Indian income and a significant gain in British revenue. Another main cause of the Indian mutiny was the fixed land tax the Indian peasants were forced to pay , rather than tax based on their income. ...read more.

Middle

The economic, political and social changes began the belief that the Indian people needed to rebel against the British, to fight for their freedom. When the British became involved in their religious and cultural practices, the Indian mutiny was set alight, beginning the Indian people's fight for independence. Events: As the Indian resentment towards the British grew, the events of the Indian mutiny became increasingly violent and gruesome. They began as demonstrations of rebellion, though they later grew to attacks and war-like sieges. - 22nd January there were fires in Calcutta - A month later on 25th February, the 19th regiment mutinied at Berhampore - On 29th March in Barrackpore, Mangal Pande shot his sergeant major as an act of rebellion against the Enfield Rifle - April, more fires in Allahbad, Arga and Ambala - May in Meerut, similar to Barrackpore, 85 sepoys in 3rd cavalry rebelled and refused to handle new cartridges. However, this began the stage where the attacks began more aggressive. They then released prisoners from jail and went to a European cantonment, killing all the Europeans and setting the building alight - 5th-25th June in Cawnpore, they released prisoners from jail, looted the treasury and began a siege on a British area and held 1000 British men and 300 women captive. ...read more.

Conclusion

- Their territories were guaranteed by the British and some were financially rewarded for their loyalty and service. - Regarded by the British as members of the ruling order - not a group to be disregarded and dispossessed. - They were to be taught British administrative techniques. However policy was half-hearted and superior attitude of the British persisted. British realised power of Indian landowners - there peasants were loyal to them. - Landowners were treated as important people by the British and care was taken to make them feel valued members of the ruling order by giving them honorary magistracies etc. - However as these landowners came closer to the British they lost their closeness to the peasants The largest cause for the Indian mutiny involved the British involvement in their cultural and social practices. There was acknowledgement that India would not easily be converted to Western traditions. - British considered that is was important that the Indian Upper Class that was very traditional in its approach be respected. - The Indian Upper Class was seen as keeping those below them under control. - Measures allowing widow's to remarry were abandoned. - However, British continued to feel that Indians were backward and did not know a good thing when they saw it - British continued to feel culturally superior. ...read more.

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