Good Books to read: Sumit Sircar, Bipan Chandra and A.R. Desai
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1.The nature of the British conquest was such that peasants , the tribes and dispossessed nobility and their retainers rebelled through out India before the Great Revolt of 1857. Comment
2. What were the Civil Rebellions and what was their base of support?
3. Enumerate the causes of the Civil Rebellions.
4. Why did the Rebellions fail?
5. Name some of the rebellions.
6. How did the British deal with them?
7. What was the impact of these rebellions on the Revolt of 1857?
8.How did these rebellions differ from the Mainstream National Movement
6 thoughts on “Class Work 4th May 2013 Blog 3 NM: Civil Rebellions”
1. The British conquest was characterized by a piecemeal nature and the steady colonization of the economy and society. The previously powerful feudal classes were left with next to nothing and the social fabric was destroyed as the ordinary people now lost the patronage of the Maharajas and Zamindars. Economically, the British tried to extract as much money as possible from India and this led to a staggering increase in land revenue. Even the systems introduced by the British like the judiciary, police etc. were biased towards the rich. Thus, the conquests affected the broad spectrum of people ranging from the elite to the poor.
2. Civil rebellions were the uprisings that took place before the Great Revolt due to the universal discontent and seething anger towards the British. They were led by the dispossessed feudal classes and took place all over India. Their support base comprised of patrons of previous local rulers, handicraft producers, zamindars who lost their land in auctions, peasants who were unemployed and tribals who lost their forest rights.
3. The causes of the civil rebellion were
• Local rulers and zamindars were dispossessed from their previous high positions
• Oppressive land revenue charged by the British
• In spite of paying the high land revenue, there were no developmental works carried out for the people
• Oppressive judges and brutal police
• The agrarian economy was ruined and this lead to numerous famines
• Corruption even at the lowest levels
• The hurt to the pride that a foreigner was ruling over them
• Heavy import duties in England badly affected the merchants and handicraft producers
• Without the previous ruling class, the scholars and priests were unemployed as their main patrons were no longer in power.
4. The civil rebellions failed because they were localized and dealt with mostly local problems. There was no unity among the different rebellions happening throughout the country. So, it was easy for the British to quell these rebellions using brute military force in different places.
5. The Sanyasi Rebellion, Revolt by the Raja of Vizianagaram, Revolt by the Palegars of Tamil Nadu, Revolt by the Dewan Velu Tampi of Tranvancore, Revolts by chiefs of Saurashtra, Revolts by Bhila and Rani Kittur Chennamma were some of the Civil rebellions.
6. The British quelled these revolts by using brute force. In some cases like the revolt by Dewan Velu Thampi of Travancore, they publicly hung the dead body once again to deter other people from revolting.
7. These local rebellions culminated in the Revolt of 1857. These rebellions inspired the people to stand up against oppression and thus provided a morale boost to the rebels who took part in the Great Revolt.
8. These rebellions were not united in the national level. There was no strategic planning for these revolts and the leaders were at best riding on emotions of the people. There was very little support from the media when compared to the National Movement.
The revolt of 1857 was an endeavour that showed that people in India were no longer ready to condone the tyranny of British rulers, although the revolt did not succeed due to many reasons as described in the revolt of 1857.The establishment of British power was a perpetuated process which procreated envy, antagonism and dissension at every stage. This popular contention took three broad forms: civil rebellion, tribal uprising and peasant movements.
The civil rebellion began as British rule was established in Bengal and Bihar and they occurred one after the other in different areas as the foreign rule started extending its reach. There was hardly an year without armed opposition or a decade without a major armed rebellion in one part of the country or other. From 1763 to 1856 , there were more than forty major rebellions ,apart from minor ones.
The avidity to collect land revenue and reap as large amount as possible produced a catastrophe in Indian village. The umbrage and unhappiness of the farmers was due to their exploitation . Though land revenue was collected by them ,but not even a part of that was spent on the development of agriculture or the welfare of cultivators. The New court and legal system gave a further fillip to the dispossessors of land and encouraged the rich to oppress the poor.
The suppression of civil rebellions was major cause as to why the revolt of 1857 did not spread in south India and most of eastern and western India. The historical significance of these civil uprising lies in that they established strong and valuable local traditions of resistance to British rule. The Indian people were to draw inspiration from traditions in the later nationalist struggle for freedom.
The civil rebellions, were the culmination of the innumerable revolts that occurred in India and were led by the deposed rajas and nawabs or their descendants, uprooted and impoverished zamindars, landlords and poligars
The backbone of the rebellions, their mass base and striking power came from the peasants, ruine artisans and soldiers.
Some important civil rebellions include – The Sanyasi Revolt, Diwan Velu Thampi Revolt, Kittur Uprising, Poligars Revolts, Bhil uprisings, Revolt of Gadkaris etc.
CAUSES OF CIVIL REBELLION
1) The major cause of all these civil rebellions taken as whole was the rapid changes the British introduced in the economy, administration and land revenue system. These changes led to the disruption of the agrarian society, causing prolonged and widespread suffering among its constituents.
2) The colonial policy of intensifying demands for land revenue and extracting as large an amount as possible produced a veritable upheaval in Indian villages. The fact that not even a part of the enhanced revenue was spent on the development of agriculture or the welfare of the cultivator aggravated the unhappiness of farmers
3) Thousands of zamindars and poligars lost control over the land and its revenue either due to the extinction of their rights by the colonial state or by forced sale of their rights over land because of their inability to meet the exorbitant land revenue demanded.
4) The new landlords, bereft of any traditional paternalism towards their tenants, pushed up rents to ruinous heights and evicted them in case of non-payment.
5) The new courts and legal system gave a further fillip to the dispossessors of land and encouraged the rich to oppress the poor. Flogging, torture and jailing of the cultivators for arrears of rent or land revenue or interest on debt were quite common.
6) The ordinary people were also hard hit by the prevalence of the corruption at the lower levels of the police, judiciary and general administration. The police were the scourge of the people.
7) The ruin of Indian Handicrafts industries, as a result of the imposition of free trade in India and levy of discriminatory tariffs against Indian goods in Britain, pauperized millions of artisans. The misery of the artisans was further compounded by the disappearance of their traditional patrons and buyers, the princes, chieftains, and zamindars.
8) The traditional rulers and ruling elite had financially supported scholarly and priestly classes like religious preachers, priests, pundits, maulvis, scholars etc.With the coming of the British and the ruin of the traditional landed and bureaucratic elite, this patronage came to an end, and all those who had depended on it were impoverished.
9) Another major cause of the rebellions was the very foreign character of British rule. Like any other people, the Indian people too felt humiliated at being under a foreigner’s heel. This feeling of hurt pride inspired efforts to expel the foreigner from their lands.
FALL OF THE REBELLIONS:
• The major point for the fall of the rebellions was due to their localized nature. Much of these rebellions were not wide spread and isolated from each other. Almost all of such rebellions of those times were motivated by same sentiments but they lacked the cumulative approach to fight for the same cause of uprooting the Britishers
• Another major reason of the fall of several such reasons was the lack of any national leadership. Mostly these rebellions were leaded by old Zamindars or nawabs that had scar against the British government mainly because of their loss of land or jagirs in the hands of the British Empire.
The nature of Brtish conquest was such that peasants, the tribes and dispossessed nobility and their retainers rebelled through out india before the Great Revolt of 1857. Comment
The oppressive governance of british enforced many rules which resulted in confiscation of lands and rights of feudal leaders like Zamindars, tasildars, poligars etc. when they couldn’t pay the high revenue fixed by british. They lost their dignity, princely status. The kings or Nawabs’ ruling area were annexed to british government ,when there were no successor or the king died. British government didn’t allow the adopted child to succeed the thrown. So all these caused disposition of the leaders. These made feudal leaders to rebel. These leaders were supported by Peasants and artisans whose lives were dependent on them through patronage and loyalty.
What were the Civil Rebellions and what was their base of support ?
Artisans, Peasants and tribals were the base of support for the civil rebellion. The British governace annexed lands of zamindars by through appressive laws. Those who had their livelihood depended on the zamindars joined the revolt and supported them. Namely artisans had patronage with zamindars, peasants had paternal relationship by zamindars and tribals who lost their rights in the forest.
Enumerate the causes of the Civil Rebellions.
1. Rapid change in the administration
2. Permanent settlement act caused zamindars, poligars , taluqdars to loose land. They were actioned to new people who were only interested in collecting revenue as much as possible and did nothing in return to farmers.
3. System of law was brutal
4. Extortion of land revenue
5. Zamindars, poligars and other premier classes who lost their princely status and previliges were unemployed and lead civil revolts.
6. Economical system focused on huge revenue and nothing was done in return.
7. Many hand craft industries were died down due to high excise duty in England. And England had no excise duty for their goods.
Why did the rebellions Fail ?
Civil rebellions failed due to lack of collaboration as a whole. Most of them were localized revolt. Another reason was that English was very strong in terms of army deployment, advanced weapons which were used to crush the revolts.
Name Some of the rebellions.
Revolt by raja of vijayanagaram in 1794
Poligars revolt in 1790
Diwan Veluthampi of Travancore in 1805
Bhils revolts in 1818
How did the British deal with them?
British used brutal force to crush the civil rebellions. Their advanced weaponry were advantageous over the rebellions protests.
What was the impact of these rebellions on the Revolt of 1857 ?
The great revolt is infact the culmination of civil revolt. Tribal revolt and peasants revolts. The soldiers of east india company’s army were none but from peasant families. So all the exploitation that peasants were going through were directly impacting the soldiers who grew impatience towards the british rule.
How did these rebellions differ from the mainstream National Movement.
National movements had single agenda, great leadership, organization and unity that spread across the country . There was clear understanding of affect of colonial rule of the british hence they were mainly focused on uproot the british rule completely, where as the rebellions were mainly local, focused on local problems and they lack coordination. Though they had leadersthip, there was no collobaration between the leaders. Neverthless all the rebellions had great inspiration for National Movement. They served as platforms for many great leaders who participated and led National Movements.
Failure Of Rebellions:
Before the uprising of Revolt of 1857, the Britisher’s in India underwent many localized revolts from various sections of the society. These revolts were culmination of a century long tradition of fierce popular resistance to British domination.
• Rebellions failed due to their localized nature. They were not wide spread and isolated from each other. Almost all of such rebellions of those times were motivated by same sentiments but they lack of cumulative approach to fight for the same cause of uprooting the Britisher’s.
• The other reason was the lack of any national leadership. They were leaded by old Zamindars or nawabs that had scar against the British government mainly because of their loss of land or jagirs in the hands of the British Empire.
The suppression of the civil rebellion was a major reason why the Revolt of 1857 did not spread to many places of Southern, Eastern and Western India.
causes of rebellions
1.rapid changes the British introduced in the economy, administration and land revenue system.
2.Thousands of zamindars and poligars lost control over the land
3.The new landlords, bereft of any traditional paternalism towards their tenants, pushed up rents to ruinous heights and evicted them in case of non-payment.
4.The new courts and legal system gave a further fillip to the dispossessors of land and encouraged the rich to oppress the poor
some civil rebellions
Treaty of Amritsar