• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10

To what extent did the British policy of Anglicisation precipitate the Indian rebellions of 1857?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent did the British policy of Anglicisation precipitate the Indian rebellions of 1857? The Indian rebellions of 1857 took two different forms. The first was the Bengal army mutiny, the second was that of a peasant or 'popular' uprising.1 Both encompassed the higher caste soldiers, and the lower caste peasants and each were, inevitably, catalysed by differing factors. The British policy of Anglicisation is often perceived as the most accountable because the uprisings occurred at a time when Dalhousie was instigating sweeping changes, concerning the economy but also more civil affairs such as religion and land revenue. It is true that these westernising policies precipitated the rebellions in the short term but long term grievances are more to blame. The Indian rebellions were an opportunity to express dissatisfaction with a dominating ruler who had not only imposed anglicized policies but also policies that had changed the structures of the economy and society, long before 1857. The British policy of Anglicisation was adopted in the economic, social, religious and governmental spheres. Washbrook suggests that government policy sought to draw India 'more closely under the authority of Britain and converting its culture and institutions to western and Anglicist norms and forms'.2 Governors-General, such as William Bentick, put through legislation against the custom of sutee, while lower officials promoted evangelical Christianity. Macaulay highlights the transforming nature of western education creating 'brown Englishmen'.3 However from an Indian perspective, these changes only affected a few intellectuals around major metropolitan centres such as Calcutta. The Anglicization of religious and scholastic institutions, in the long term, would not have spurred the rebellion of peasants in northern India. ...read more.

Middle

It was the deteriorating conditions of the peasants, as a result of these changes, that can be held responsible for the peasant uprising of 1857. The ryotwari system permitted the taxation of peasants, and these areas were squeezed to compensate for deficiencies in Bengal.18 The East India Company also had monopolies over domestic economic issues for example the production of salt, opium, tobacco and betel. There was a shift in interest regarding the export market. Indian textile trade was absorbed by British industrialisation and interest in south East Asia took over trade in India, opium sales of the 1830s and 40s totalled forty percent of India's total amount of exports.19 The economy suffered a depression in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, port cities such as Madras were offset be de-industrialisation and de-urbanisation. In a general climate of Depression the peasant rebels took the opportunity to attack institutions that were creating it. Indian's social economy became more peasant-based and agrarian where indigenous populations were forced to adopt agrarian forms of production. The population became more 'sedentary' as wandering peasants were grounded and tax tied them to their land, for example the peasant in Bombay was threatened with losing his land if he did not cultivate after one year.20 The social structure also became homogenised, tax meant there were little or no distinctions between anyone in the agrarian community. Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-98) backed this idea by citing the causes of the Indian Rebellion to 'the Government for having deprived them of their position and dignity and for keeping them down'.21 It was a response to multiple grievances and there was no coherent strategy. ...read more.

Conclusion

It did, however, serve to make the British aware of their loosening grip on power, initiating a hard-line, racially motivated colonial policy in the late nineteenth century. 1 Roy, T., The Politics of Popular Uprising: Bundelkand in 1857 (New Delhi, 1995), p. 1. 2 Washbrook, D., 'India, 1818-1860: The Two Faces of Colonoialism', The Oxford History of the British Empire: The Nineteenth Century, ed. Porter (Oxford, 1999), p. 396. 3 Ibid., p. 398. 4 Hyam, Briatin's Imperial Century (Basingstoke, 2002), p. 142. 5 Washbrook, 'India, 1818-1860', p. 398. 6 Moore, R., "Satan Let Loose Upon the Earth": The Kanpur Massaxres in India in the Revolt of 1857', Past and Present (1990), p.95 7 Washbrook, 'India, 1818-1860', p. 417. 8 Ibid., p. 396 9 Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century, p. 151. 10 Ibid., p. 153 11 Patrick Brantlinger, 'The Well at Cawnpore: literary Representations of the Indian Mutiny of 1857', Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (London, 1988), p. 207. 12 Ibid., p. 208. 13 Ibid., p. 223. 14 Johnson, British Imperialism (Basingstoke, 2003), p. 29. 15 'Proclaimation of Queen Victoria to her Indian Subjects' in Samson, The British Empire (Oxford, 2001), p.172 16 Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century, p.140. 17 Samson, British Empire, pp. 170-172. 18 Washbrook, 'India', p. 412. 19 Ibid., p. 402. 20 Roy, T. The Politics of Popular Uprising, p. 25. 21 Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century, p. 144. 22 Mukherjee, R., "Satan Let Loose upon the Earth", p. 97. 23 Ibid., p. 145. 24 Burton, A., Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain: A Reader (Basingstoke, 2001),p.p.102-104. 25 Samson, British Empire, p. 107. 26 Washbrook, 'India', p. 148. 27 Ibid., p. 148. 28 Burton, Politics and Empire, p. 103. 29 Mukherjee, "Satan Let Loose", p. 107. Susannah Pool HST263 Zoe Laidlaw 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Determining the Elite within Politics and the Judiciary.

    Studies concerning the social profile of successive elites in British society traditionally focus on the proportion educated at public schools and/or Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge), as compared to those experiencing other types of education. "Just under five per cent of Britons are educated at public schools, most of whose pupils pay sizeable fees.

  2. Gandhi's Impact on the Liberation of Indian Women.

    Gandhi strongly believed that women and men were of equal sex and women should not be treated any differently. Gandhi stated, "Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacities. She has the right to participate in very minutest detail in the activities of man and she has an equal right of freedom and liberty with him"v.

  1. 'The Simple Bard, unbroke by rules or Art'. (Burns epigraph to the Kilmarnockedition). How ...

    This convivial carefree existence gives little heed to what will happen in old age: To right or left eternal swervin, They zig-zag on; Till curst with Age, obscure an' starvin, They aften groan (p. 51) As well as spontaneous rhyme, giving little heed to structure and rules, Burns presents a

  2. Discuss the extent to which public and social policies have impacted upon the theory ...

    This idea was strongly linked to small villages where everyone within the community village knew their place, where status was ascribed and social and geographical mobility was limited. This whole way of life was governed by a homogenous culture where the family and the church reinforced values and morals.

  1. LABOR MARKET ISSUES

    Examining the wage functions of white and blue collar natives in ? random effects panel model using ? vast sample of micro data, we actually find that foreigners negatively affect the wages of Germans on the whole. Relatively small gains are made by white collar employees with less than 20

  2. By considering the extent to which individuals and their actions are determined and limited ...

    With these two is created a sense of the unknown, and it is often made obvious of how uncommon their behaviour is, and so to emphasise this, they are juxtaposed against women of very contrasting characteristics with Sue set against Arabella, and Sarah against Ernestina.

  1. Unit 4 Assessment: Power & Politics

    getting voted into government and pressure groups which try to exert influence over those in power to follow polices they favour. So no one group dominates the power or influence over power, it is shared amongst a range of groups.

  2. Positivism: "Love, Order, Progress" - Auguste Comte (1795 - 1857) and Emile Durkheim (1858 ...

    because it was the most complex and difficult, it shared with all the other sciences the same scientific method. This method is the distinguishing characteristic of science and one science is therefore only distinguished from another because of the different aspects of reality that are studied.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work