Indian Rebellion of 1857 | A short recap

  • 1757: The British East India Company begins its rule over India after defeating the Mughal Empire in the Battle of Plassey.
  • 1856: The British annex the Indian state of Awadh, angering many Indian soldiers (sepoys) in the British Indian Army.
  • March 29, 1857: Sepoys in the town of Barrackpore refuse to use the new Enfield rifles, which require biting off the ends of greased cartridges that are rumored to be coated in cow and pig fat. This is seen as a religious insult to both Hindus and Muslims.
  • May 10, 1857: Sepoys in Meerut rebel, killing their British officers and freeing Indian prisoners. The rebels march towards Delhi.
  • May 11, 1857: Rebels capture Delhi and declare the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar as the Emperor of India. Many other Indian princes and nobles also support the rebellion.
  • June 1857: The British recapture Delhi after a prolonged siege. Bahadur Shah Zafar is captured and exiled to Rangoon (now Yangon), where he dies in 1862.
  • July 1857: The British regain control of most of India’s major cities, but pockets of resistance continue to exist.
  • November 1857: The last significant rebel stronghold, Lucknow, is recaptured by the British.
  • January 1858: The British Parliament passes the Government of India Act, transferring the administration of India from the East India Company to the British Crown.
  • June 1858: The rebellion officially comes to an end with the capture of the rebel leader, Tantia Tope.
  • 1858-1861: The British embark on a brutal campaign of revenge against Indians suspected of supporting the rebellion, executing thousands and confiscating their land.
  • 1947: India gains independence from British rule.

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