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TN Textbook Class XIl History SIVA PRASAD
THE GREAT REVOLT OF 1857
Delhi The leadership at Delhi was nominally in the hands of Bahadur Shah, but the real control was exercised by General Bakht Khan. On the side of the British the combined effort of Nicholson, Wilson, Baird Smith and Neville Chamberlain enabled the recapture Delhi by September 1857 In Delhi, Emperor Bahadur Shah Il was arrested and deported to Rangoon, where he remained in exile till he died in 1862.
Kanpur . At Kanpur the revolt was led by Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Baji Rao ll, the last Peshwa. . Nana Saheb expelled the English from Kanpur with the help of the sepoys and proclaimed himself the Peshwa. Nana Saheb in his efforts against the British was ably supported by two of his lieutenants One was Tantia Tope, the other was Azimullah. . Sir Hugh Wheeler the commander of the British garrison at Kanpur surrendered on the 27 June 1857. But, soon Kanpur was recaptured by the British commander Sir Colin Campbell
Lucknow . The principal person responsible for the revolt in Lucknow was the Begum of Oudh . With the assistance of the sepoys, the zamindars and peasants, the Begum organised an all out attack on the British . Sir Colin Campbell suppressed the revolt
Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, the widowed queen of Gangadhar Rao played a heroic role in this revolt. Rani Lakshmi Bai was affected by Dalhousie's Doctrine of Lapse, was joined by Tantia Tope. The combined efforts of Rani and Tantia Tope saw the capture of Gwalior. Meanwhile, Sir Hugh Rose defeated Tantia Tope and stormed Jhansi on 3 April 1858 He then captured Gwalior. . The Rani of Jhansi died a soldier's death on 17 June 1858. .Tantia Tope was captured and hanged on charges of rebellion
Bihar . Kunwar Singh, a ruined and discontented zamindar of Jagdishpur near Oudh, was the chief organiser of the revolt in Bihar. . He fought the British in Bihar. Kunwar Singh sustained a fatal wound in the battle and died on 27 April 1858 at Jagdishpur. . Ultimately the 1857 Revolt came to an end with the victory of the British. Viceroy Canning proclaimed peace throughout India
Causes for the Failure of the Revolt The first and foremost cause was that the Revolt failed to embrace the whole of India. . Different sections of society such as moneylenders, merchants and modern educated Indians were actually against the Revolt. The lack of interest shown by the intellectuals in the movement was a serious setback. . The resources of the British Empire were far superior to those of the rebels. . Similarly, the insurgents lacked a carefully concerted general plan or a strong central organisation to plan the movements of the army and oversee their strategy. On the other hand, the British possessed better equipment. . In addition, the British were aided by new scientific inventions such as the telegraph system and postal communications. This enabled the British to keep in touch with all parts of the country and to manoeuvre their troops according to their needs.
Significance and Effects of the Mutiny The Revolt of 1857 though completely suppressed had shaken the very foundations of British rule in India, for the simple reason that the Revolt exhibited the popular character. It brought together the disgruntled sections of society to rise against the British rule. . The common people rose up in arms often fighting with spears and axes, bows and arrows, lathis and scythes, and crude mulkets However, this civilian revolt was not universal but sporadic and inconsistent. Nevertheless, it added a new dimension to the character of the 1857 Revolt. . Another significant aspect of the 1857 Revolt was the Hindu-Muslim unity.
Significance and Effects of the Mutiny . As far as the effects of the Revolt are concerned, it brought about fundamental changes in the character of Indian administration which was transferred from the East India Company to the Crown by the Queen's Proclamation of 1 November, 1858. . At the same time the Governor-General received the new title of Viceroy. Lord Canning had the unique opportunity to become the Governor- General as well as the first Viceroy according to the Act of 1858.