Indian Rebellion of 1857

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 is considered the first revolt of the Indian people against British rule.

From roughly 1757 to 1858, the British East India Trading Company was the main governing body of India. Over the course of that century, the Company expanded its territories in India for trading purposes. The Company recruited local soldiers, or Sepoys, to rule the vast territory. However, by 1857, the Indian Hindu Society was becoming increasingly frustrated with British influence. Indians were losing control of governing their country, and their religious beliefs were clashing with those of the British. These differing beliefs led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The rebellion began as a mutiny of the Sepoys of the East India Trading Company. The Sepoys saw themselves as elite, and as partners to the British. However, when the British began to undermine them, they retaliated with rebellion. They refused British authority and were quickly joined by the Indian aristocrats which the British had disaffected. The revolt was disorganized though. The various rebellious factions had a hard time uniting behind one common goal so on June 20, 1858, the British were finally able to assert their control once again.

At that point, the British crown took over the governing of India as the new British Raj, without help from the East India Trading Company. The new governing body said they would rule without imposing “[their] convictions on any of our subjects.”