From 1757 to 1858, the British East India Trading Company controlled most of India. During this time, the Company hired local soldiers, called “sepoys”; to help protect trade throughout the region. Over time, the local Indian people became increasingly frustrated with the British presence in their homeland. They felt that the British were interfering with their rights and their religious beliefs.
The sepoys who had worked closely with the British were the first to rebel in 1857. They gathered the support of other local Indian leaders, but because they were disorganized, the rebellion failed to gain greater rights for the Indian people.
Instead, in 1858, the British government ended the British East India Trading Company’s control and began governing India directly. This era became known as the British Raj and lasted until India gained its independence in 1947.