Class 12 history chapter 11 notes, Rebels and the raj notes

Rebels and the raj notes: Class 12 history chapter 11 notes

ClassClass 12
ChapterChapter 11
Chapter Namerebels and the raj notes
CategoryHistory Notes

Class 12 history chapter 11 notes, Rebels and the raj notes here we will discuss the cause, place and all related to the Revolt of 1857.

Firangi : –

🔹 Firangi, a term of Persian origin, possibly derived from Frank (from which France gets its name), is used in Urdu and Hindi, often in a derogatory sense, to designate foreigners.

Mutiny : –

🔹 Mutiny is a collective disobedience of rules and regulations within the armed forces.

Revolt : –

🔹 Revolt is a rebellion of people against established authority and power. The terms ‘revolt’and ‘rebellion’ can be used synonymously.

Revolt in terms of 1857 : –

🔹 In the context of the revolt of 1857 the term revolt refers primarily to the uprising of the civilian population (peasants,zamindars, rajas, jagirdars) while the mutiny was of the sepoys.

1857 Revolt : –

🔹 The 1857 Revolt is an important part of the Indian history that began as a sepoy mutiny of the British East India Company. Though it was first started in the town of Meerut but later it was erupted into all the other mutinies. The major aggressions were happened to the present day northern Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi region.

List some of the important centres of revolt : –

🔸 The most prominent centres were : – (1) Delhi (i) Bareilly (iii) Kanpur (iv) Lucknow (v) Azamgarh (vi) Jhansi.

🔸 Some other important centres were : – (i) Meerut (ii) Allahabad (iii) Banaras (iv) Barrackpur (v) Satara (vi) Jabalpur (vii) Saharanpur (viii) Calcutta.

Main sources for the reconstruction of the revolt of 1857 : –

🔹 The primary sources for reconstruction of the event of 1857 are :

  • Records on rebel point of view: rebel proclamations and notifications, and also some letters of rebel leaders.
  • Official accounts memo’s and notes of officials, versions of colonial administrators and military men in letters, diaries, autobiographies and official histories.
  • Stories of the revolt published in British newspapers, and magazines.
  • Pictoral images produced by the British and Indians paintings, pencil drawings, etchings, posters, cartoons, bazaar prints.

Beginning of the Revolt ( Revolt In Meerut ) : –

🔹 Late in the afternoon of 10 May 1857, the sepoys in the cantonment of Meerut broke out in mutiny. It began in the lines of the native infantry, spread very swiftly to the cavalry and then to the city. The ordinary people of the town and surrounding villages joined the sepoys.

Results of the Meerut rebellion : –

🔹 The sepoys captured the bell of arms where the arms and ammunition were kept and

  • proceeded to attack white people,
  • and to ransack and burn their bungalows and property.
  • Government buildings the record office, jail, court, post office, treasury, etc. were destroyed and plundered.
  • The telegraph line to Delhi was cut.

🔹 As darkness descended, a group of sepoys rode off towards Delhi.

Revolt In Delhi : –

🔹 On May 11, 1857, the cavalry army reached Delhi and requested Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Namaz to accept the leadership of the rebellion against the British. It was the month of Ramzan.

🔹 Surrounded by the sepoys, Bahadur Shah had no other option but to comply. The revolt thus acquired a kind of legitimacy because it could now be carried on in the name of the Mughal emperor.

🔹 Through 12 and 13 May, North India remained quiet. Once word spread that Delhi had fallen to the rebels and Bahadur Shah had blessed the rebellion, events moved swiftly. Cantonment after cantonment in the Gangetic valley and some to the west of Delhi rose in mutiny.

Revolt of 1857 a symbol of Unity : –

🔹 In 1857, the Rebels established unity among themselves by : –

  • The rebel proclamations in 1857 repeatedly appealed to all sections of population irrespective of their caste and creed.
  • The Nawabs and Muslim rulers took care of the sentiments of Hindus too.
  • The rebellion was seen as a war in which both Hindus and Muslims had equally to lose or gain.

Reasons for the rebellion of 1857 : –

🔸 Economic Causes : – The British imposed heavy taxes on the peasants and exploited the Indian resources for their own benefit. They also disrupted the traditional trade and commerce of India by imposing tariffs and monopolies.

🔸 Political Causes : – The British annexed many Indian states by applying the Doctrine of Lapse and the policy of misgovernance. They also interfered in the succession and administration of the native rulers.

🔸 Social and Religious Causes : – The British introduced reforms that were seen as an attack on the customs and beliefs of the Indians. They banned practices like sati and widow remarriage, and promoted western education and Christianity. They also disrespected the religious sentiments of the sepoys by issuing cartridges greased with animal fat.

🔸 Military Causes : – The Indian sepoys were discriminated against by the British officers in terms of pay, promotion, and privileges. They were also required to serve overseas, which violated their caste rules.

Nature of leadership and supporters in Revolt of 1857 : –

🔹 The revolt involved various sections of Indian society, such as peasants, artisans, zamindars, nawabs, and religious leaders. The revolt also had different regional and local leaders, who fought against the British in different parts of India. Some of the prominent leaders of the revolt were : –

🔸 Bahadur Shah Zafar : – The rebels needed leadership and organization to fight against the British. They appealed to the old Mughal emperor to accept the leadership of the revolt. At first Bahadur Shah rejected this demand. But when the sepoys defied the Mughal court etiquette in the Red Fort, he agreed to be the nominal leader of the rebellion.

🔸 Rani Lakshmi Bai : – In Jhansi, Rani lakshmi Bai assumed the leadership of the uprising. She resisted the British invasion of Jhansi and fought bravely with her troops. She later joined forces with Tantya Tope and died in the battle of Gwalior.

🔸 Nana Saheb : – He was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II, who had been deprived of his pension and title by the British. He led the revolt in Kanpur and declared himself the Peshwa. He was assisted by his commanders Tantya Tope and Azimullah.

🔸 Birjis Qadr : – In Awadh, the displacement of the popular nawab Wajid Ali Shah and the annexation of the state were still very fresh in the mind of the people. In luck now; people celebrated the fall of British rule by declaring Birjis Qadr, the young Nawab as their leader.

🔸 Kunwar Singh : – He was a zamindar of Jagdishpur in Bihar, who had been dispossessed by the British. He joined the revolt at the age of 80 and fought against the British in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. He died of his wounds in 1858.

🔹 Shah Mal mobilised the villagers of pargana Barout in Uttar Pradesh; Gonoo, a tribal cultivator of Singhbhum in Chotanagpur, became a rebel leader of the Kol tribals of the region.

How the mutinies began : –

🔹 The sepoys began their action with a signal: in many places it was the firing of the evening gun or the sounding of the bugle. They first seized the bell of arms and plundered the treasury.

🔹 Proclamations in Hindi, Urdu and Persian were put up in the cities calling upon the population, both Hindus and Muslims, to unite, rise and exterminate the firangis.

Steps taken by the rebels in the rebellion : –

  • They attacked government buildings the jail, treasury, telegraph office, record room, bungalows – burning all records.
  • Everything and everybody connected with the white man became a target.
  • When ordinary people began joining the revolt, the targets of attack widened.
  • In major towns like Lucknow, Kanpur and Bareilly, money- lenders and the rich also became the objects of rebel wrath.
  • Peasants not only saw them as oppressors but also as allies of the British. In most places their houses were looted and destroyed.

Reasons why Moneylenders and rich people along with the white became objects of rebel : –

🔹 wrath during the revolt of 1857 because : –

  • Peasants saw them along with the white as oppressors and source of injustice.
  • They were seen as allies of the British. Thus everything and everybody connected with the white became rebel target.

planning and coordination of revolt : –

  • There was communication between the sepoy lines of various cantonments
  • Sepoys or their emissaries moved from one station to another.
  • People were thus planning and talking about the rebellion.
  • panchayats were a nightly occurrence in the Kanpur sepoy lines.
  • the sepoys lived in lines and shared a common lifestyle and that many of them came from the same caste, it is not difficult to imagine them sitting together to decide their own future.
  • The sepoys were the makers of their own rebellion.

Role of common people in spreading the message of rebellion : –

🔹 Not everywhere were the leaders people of the court ranis, rajas, nawabs and taluqdars. Often the message of rebellion was carried by ordinary men and women and in places by religious men too.

🔹From Meerut, there were reports that a fakir had appeared riding on an elephant and that the sepoys were visiting him frequently. Elsewhere, local leaders emerged, urging peasants, zamindars and tribals to revolt.

Shah Mal : –

🔹 Shah Mal was a peasant leader who rebelled against the British East India Company during the Indian Revolt of 1857. He was based in the village of Bijrol in Uttar Pradesh and led the Jats of Baraut pargana in attacking the British forces and their allies.

🔹 He also established contact with the rebels in Delhi and made Baghpat a strategic supply base for them. He died in a battle with the British troops in Baraut on July 18, 1857. He is remembered as one of the heroes of the uprising and a symbol of peasant resistance.

Role of Rumours and prophecies in the Revolt of 1857 : –

  • Some of the rumours and prophecies that circulated before and during the revolt were:

🔹 The cartridges of the new Enfield rifle were greased with the fat of cows and pigs, which would pollute the caste and religion of the Hindu and Muslim sepoys who had to bite them before loading the gun.

🔹 The British had mixed the bone dust of cows and pigs into the flour that was sold in the market, which would also defile the religious purity of the Indians.

🔹 The British wanted to convert the Indians to Christianity by destroying their temples, mosques and sacred places.

🔹 The British rule would come to an end on the centenary of the Battle of Plassey, on 23 June 1857, as predicted by astrologers and seers.

🔹 The lotus and chapati, which were symbols of resistance and communication, were distributed among the villages and cantonments to spread the message of revolt.

🔹 These rumours and prophecies aroused the emotions and sentiments of the people, and motivated them to join the revolt against the British.

Why did people believe in the rumours?

🔹 Rumours circulate only when they resonate with the deeper fears and suspicions of people.

🔸 Example : – It seemed to the people that all that they cherished and held sacred – from kings and socio-religious customs to patterns of landholding and revenue payment was being destroyed and replaced by a system that was more impersonal, alien and oppressive. This perception was aggravated by the activities of Christian missionaries. In such a situation of uncertainty, rumours spread with remarkable swiftness.

Resident : –

🔹 Resident was the designation of a representative of the Governor General who lived in a state which was not under direct British rule.

Subsidiary Alliance : –

🔹 Subsidiary Alliance was a system devised by Lord Wellesley in 1798. All those who entered into such an alliance with the British had to accept certain terms and conditions:

  • The British would be responsible for protecting their ally from external and internal threats to their power.
  • In the territory of the ally, a British armed contingent would be stationed.
  • The ally would have to provide the resources for maintaining this contingent.
  • The ally could enter into agreements with other rulers or engage in warfare only with the permission of the British.

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