Challenging Imperialism in India

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The 1857 uprising marks India’s initial war of independence. The revolt is attributed to the efforts of disgruntled sepoys, Muslim elites that were dissatisfied with British rule, and the organization of a number of Indian leaders. The main reason for the war is that the Indians were dissatisfied with British efforts to erode their traditions, especially following the introduction of Christianization. Indians intended to get back what they to Great Britain. Though the Indians thought that they would be successful in their revolt, the British army managed to defeat them. As a result of the uprising, Britain gained complete control of India.

Trade between Europe and Asia opened up during the 1500s with sea routes becoming the alternative to overland routes. The travelling of the English traders along the coast of India marked British interests in India. In 1600, some of the traders established the East India Company, which later became one of the wealthiest and most influential trading organizations on the globe. Following the establishment, the company constructed trading centers and forts in premeditated regions all over India. Similarly, the French East India Company constructed posts and forts challenging Great Britain for authority over Indian trade. In 1757, East India Company, using British and Indian military, was able to defeat the French in the War of Plassey. In the next 100 years, Britain widened its territory in India through battles and commercial actions.

There was a rapid expansion of British authority notable in the annexation of the Punjab, 1848, and of the Awadh, 1856. The last defeat of the Punjab had frustrated many soldiers in the Bengal military that had acquired extra pay, or batta, for ...

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Pati, Biswamoy. The Great Rebellion of 1857 in India: Exploring Transgressions, Contests and Diversities. London: Routledge, 2010.

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