1.What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi that was refused by the British?
Rani Laxmi bai demanded that the company should accept her adopted son and nominate him as the heir after the death of her husband, which was against the doctrine of Lapse of the British.
2. What did the British do to protect the interests of those who converted to Christianity?
In 1850, the British passed a new law to make the conversion to Christianity easier. This law allowed an Indian who had converted to Christianity to inherit the property of his ancestors.
3. What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?
The new cartridges were suspected to contain the coating of fat of pig or cows. In order to operate the cartridges, the soldiers need to remove the cover with their mouth, which was considered against their religion and sentiments.
4. How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
After the British took back the control after the rebellion, the British tried and sent the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to prison in Rangoon, along with his wife and he died there in the jail in pathetic condition.
1. What could be the reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857?
Reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857 were the failure of traditional rulers to develop their independent leadership. The rulers failed socially, economically and politically. There was also a lack of unity among the rulers itself and no one came forward for the revolt against the Britishers.
2. What impact did Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and the ruling families?
With the announcement of Bahadur Shah Zafar as the leader of the revolt by the sepoys, the people felt strong and supported and thus regiment after regiment mutinied and took off to join other troops at nodal points like Delhi, Kanpur and Lucknow. After them, the people of the towns and villages also rose up in rebellion and rallied around local leaders, zamindars and chiefs who were prepared to establish their authority and fight the British. Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao who lived near Kanpur, gathered armed forces and expelled the British garrison from the city. He proclaimed himself Peshwa. He declared that he was a governor under Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr, the son of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, was proclaimed the new Nawab. He too acknowledged the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah Zafar. His mother Begum Hazrat Mahal also took an active part in organising the uprising against the British. In Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai joined the rebel sepoys and fought the British along with Tantia Tope, the general of Nana Saheb.
3. How did the British succeed in securing the submission of the rebel landowners of Awadh?
British succeeded in securing the submissions of the rebel landowners of Awadh by providing them with their traditional inheritance rights, and they were exempted from taxes. Their rights and claims were also not denied.
4. In what ways did the British change their policies as a result of the rebellion of 1857?
The important changes brought by the British after the revolt were:
– The British parliament passed the Act of 1858, according to which the powers of the East India Company were transferred to the British crown for more responsible management.
– A member of the British Cabinet was appointed Secretary of State for India and made responsible for all matters related to the governance of India, and was given a council to advise him.
– The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, that is, a personal representative of the Crown.
– All ruling chiefs of the country were assured that their territory would never be annexed in future, but they have to hold their kingdoms as subordinates of the British Crown.
– It was decided that the proportion of Indian soldiers in the army would be reduced and the number of European soldiers would be increased.
– More soldiers would be recruited from among the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans, instead of recruiting soldiers from Awadh, Bihar, central India and south India.
– The land and property of Muslims was confiscated on a large scale and they were treated with suspicion and hostility, and they were believed to be the cause for the rebellion.
– The British decided to respect the customary religious and social practices of the people in India.
– Policies were made to protect landlords and zamindars and give them the security of rights over their lands.