General History, India History, Uncategorized

Causes of the War of Independence 1857 or the Sepoy Mutiny

Causes of the War of Independence 1857 or the Sepoy Mutiny

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien


Introduction by Aleeza Javed

The War of Independence of 1857 was a very critical event towards independence for the Indian sub-continent. The rebellion began on 10th May 1857 in the town of Meerut. It ended on 1st November 1858 with a general amnesty after a bloody conflict on both sides, although the fighting didn’t totally end until 8th July 1859. The mutiny or rebellion came close to ending British power in India and the British had to gather troops and ships from across the Empire to first hold the Indians and then push them back. Many causes led to the rebellion and these are listed below.


Political causes by Sarah Fatima

1 = Lord Dalhousie applied the Doctrine of Lapse

2 = Nana Sahib was denied a pension after his father’s death

3 = Bahadur Shan’s son was not allowed to live in the Red Fort

4 = The British denied all treaties and agreements of the government



The Bengal army by Granger

Economic causes by Wanda Khan

1 = The policy of economic exploitation by the British and extensive destruction of the traditional economic structure caused widespread resentment among Indian society

2 = people were hanged or tortured if they failed to pay taxes

3 = the traditional industries collapsed under the pressure of the industrial fields


Military causes by Rameesha Pervaiz

1 = the Sepoys had helped the British established their empire in India but were not awarded or promoted at all

2 = the was discrimination between the Indian and British soldiers

3 = an Indian soldier got much less salary as compared to a Western soldier

4 = the Indian soldiers were much more numerous than the British soldiers and this encouraged the Sepoys to rise against the British

5 = the senior British officers did not pay any respect to the Indian soldier at all


Social causes by Mahroosh Fatima

1 = Lord Wellesley described the Indians as vulgar, ignorant, rude, familiar and stupid

2 = the efforts of missionaries to convert people to Christianity also angered the Indians


The immediate cause by Afsah Shahzad

1 = there was an issue of the grease cartridges that had a grease cover that had to be bitten off before loading the Enfield Rifle = the rumour was that this grease was made from cow fat or pig lard – not permitted to Hindus and Muslims. The soldiers took it as a challenge to their religion and were extremely angry with the British.




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29th April 2014 to 5th September 2019