What caused the Great Sepoy Rebellion of 1857-8.

The role of the Indian sepoys was a central one as without their initial rising, other classes would not have been able to initiate such a high level of revolt. The hatred of sepoys attracted all other classes as well and this in turn resulted in the great sepoy rebellion and one of the major rebellions in the history of India. It is often referred to as the first Indian nationalist uprising. Although people from all over India were involved, the major areas of rebellion included the Northern areas of India and Bengal. The Indian sepoys tried to popularize the event by asking the last Mughal emperor to re-establish the Mughal Empire. Through this, they did gain wider support. however, the emperor did not have much power left. Therefore, the revolt was not successful to be turned into a widespread national revolt as the British were able to control it to some extent.

Although the rebellion started as a military cause, it took on hold as majority of Indians joined this to show their resentment against the British. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the British took hold of Bengal and took advantage by introducing reforms and policies against the peasants and traders. Along with this, other major causes including religious, political, social resulted in the great rebellion of 1857.

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The most important cause of this great rebellion included the growing resentment of the Indian sepoys towards their British masters. These sepoys were basically peasants and therefore, supported the farmer community of India at that time. Therefore, the adverse policies of the British government for the agricultural sector greatly affected the feelings of the sepoys as well as they could relate to the actual feelings of the farmer community. Secondly, these sepoys were greatly dissatisfied with the discriminatory promotion and payment policies.

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