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Retaliation by the Company

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Retaliation by the Company - Lesson Summary

The Great Rebellion, in May 1857 as a mutiny of the sepoys in Meerut, erupted into civilian revolts and smaller mutinies in central India and the upper Gangetic Plains. The scale of the Revolt of 1857 intimidated the Company, and it decided to use all its might to repress it.

The scale of the upheaval frightened the Company, and it began to strengthen its military by bringing in men and material from England and passing new laws to convict the rebels easily. In September 1857, the Company recaptured Delhi, and in October, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In March 1858, the Company recaptured Lucknow, and in June, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi was killed. Tantia Tope was killed in April 1859. Hundreds of rebels, nawabs, sepoys, kings and civilians were tried and executed by the British.

By the end of 1859, the Company regained its control over India. According to a new act in 1858, the ruling powers of India were transferred to the British Crown. The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, who was a representative of the Crown. The British annulled the policy of Doctrine of Lapse and recognized the right of an adopted son. They also decided to increase the proportion of European soldiers in the army.

The British held the Muslims responsible for the revolt, and so confiscated their property and treated them with hostility. The revolt also made the British respect the traditions and religions practised in India. They framed policies to protect the land rights of zamindars.

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