Economic and Military Causes of Revolt of 1857
Before the arrival of British, Indian village economy was self sufficient and farmers were happy in traditional way of cultivation.
But British changed the entire structure of our economy and introduced the concept of revenue and zamindari which ruined the Indian farmers.
British were interfering in India’s politics, society, religion and now in the economy as well and this became a major cause of revolt of 1857.
Let us study about the economic causes of revolt of 1857
When British introduced land revenue systems the peasants were exploited by moneylenders and zamindars.
The rent was so high that peasants were not able to pay and they had to take loan from moneylenders.
When they were not able to repay the loans or the rent on time they were beaten up and exploited by zamindar and moneylender.
Not only peasants but local artists like poets, painters and artisans also lost their jobs.
This is because whenever British annexed any Indian kingdom they remove all these artists from the king’s court.
Indian weavers also suffered because British machine made goods flooded the Indian markets and Indian weaving and handicraft industry ruined.
Not only on economic front but on military grounds also, British policies were very discriminating and Indian sepoys had to suffer a lot.
Let us study about the military causes of revolt of 1857
Indian sepoys were paid much less salary and promotion as compared to the British soldier.
The company passed General Service Enlistment Act in 1856 which made it compulsory for sepoys to serve in other countries.
In Hinduism it was not allowed to cross sea so Hindu sepoys felt that British are trying to change their religion.
Indian sepoys could not rise above the post of subedar and they were not given extra allowance for serving in other countries.
Let us revise
The zamindars and peasants were forced to pay high taxes which they resented which led to them not being able to pay off loans and losing their lands
Local weavers, artists, poets and handicraft artisans lost their jobs and there was large scale unemployment.
Indian sepoys were also suffering due to British policies. They were not given higher salaries and promotion.
They had to serve other countries and were not allowed to wear caste marks like tilak, turban and keeping beards.