Students of ICSE Class 10 should refer to First War of Independence 1857 ICSE Class 10 History Questions below which have come in past board exams. You should always go through questions that have come in previous years. This will help you to understand the pattern of questions in ICSE Class 10 History and prepare accordingly. This will help you to get better marks in ICSE Class 10 Board Exams
ICSE Class 10 The First War of Independence 1857 Questions and Answers
Please refer to solved questions for chapter The First War of Independence 1857 provided below. These questions and answers are expected to come in the examinations. Students should learn these so that they are able to answer the questions properly in exams and get good marks. Refer to Important Questions for ICSE Class 10 History and Civics for all chapters on our website.
The First War of Independence 1857 Questions and Answers
Short Answer Type Questions
(1) What is meant by the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’? Who introduced it?
Ans. Doctrine of Lapse was a policy of annexation of Indian states followed by Lord Dalhousie. The Doctrine meant that when the ruler of a dependent state died without a natural heir, the state was passed on to the East India Company. The heirs adopted without the consent of the company, could inherit only the private property of the deceased ruler and not his territory which would come under the Compay’s rule.
(2) Name any two states that fell victim to the Doctrine of Lapse.
Ans. Satara and Jhansi. Other states annexed under the policy were Sambalpur, Nagpur, Udaipur and Jaitpur.
(3) What was Nana Saheb’s grievance against the British?
Ans. The British had refused to recognise him as the legitimate heir to the throne of Peshwa BajiRao II, because he was his adopted son and hence refused pension to him. He was forced to live at Kanpur far away from his seat at Poona.
(4) Under what pretext was Awadh annexed by the British?
Ans. Awadh was annexed to the Company’s dominions on the grounds that it was not being managed properly. On the pretext of alleged misrule Awadh was annexed on February 13, 1856.
(5) Why was the War of 1857 hailed as the First War of National Independence?
Ans. The Revolt of 1857 was considered as the First War of National Independence because this was the first revolt in which kings, soldiers, peasants and other common people, both the Hindus and the Muslims were inspired by the antiforeign feeling.
(6) Which announcement of Lord Canning, in 1856, affected adversely the Mughal dynasty in India?
Ans. In 1856, Lord Canning announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, his successor would not be allowed to use the imperial titles with their names and would be known as mere princes.
(7) Mention the ways in which British tried to expand their political power in India?
Ans. The British tried to expand their political power in India by adopting four ways, i.e., by Outright Wars, by the system of Subsidiary Alliance, by adopting the Doctrine of Lapse and on the pretext of alleged misrule.
(8) How did Indian rulers lose their sovereignty due to Subsidiary Alliance?
Ans. Subsidiary Alliance was introduced by Lord Richard Wellesley.
Under this system, the Indian rulers, who agreed to the Alliance :
(i) Accepted the British as the supreme power
(ii) Agreed to maintain British troops at their own cost
(iii) Virtually lost their independence.
(iv) A British resident was stationed in their court to exercise political control on the princes and obstruct their affairs with other Europeans. (v) They had to cede a part of their territory in lieu of payments owed by them for the military protection they sought from the British.
(vi) Surrendered their foreign relation to E.I.C. and agreed that they would not enter into any alliance with any other power and would not wage wars.
(9) What was the of grievance of the Talukdars and Zamindars ?
Ans. Confiscation of land by the government due to their failure to deposit the amount towards the land revenue collection rights was a major grievance of the Taluqdars and Zamindars.
(10) Which administrative changes affected the traditional Indian way of life ?
Ans. (i) Introduction of a new judicial and legal system.
(ii) Changes in the pattern of education.
(iii) Introduction of new means of transport.
(11) Mention the laws that defied the religion of the Indian people.
Ans. (i) General Service Enlistment Act of 1856 : New recruits were required to serve anywhere in India or overseas which was contrary to Hindu religion.
(ii) The Hindu Law of Property, 1850 (Religious Disabilities Act) :
According to this law, a Hindu convert would remain the heir of his ancestral property despite changing his religion.
(iii) Widow Remarriage Act, 1856.
(iv) Other Prohibitions : Government prohibited Sati system, female infanticide, child remarriage.
(12) What apprehension/fear developed due to introduction of railways and telegraphs?
Why did the Indians resent introduction of railways and telegraphs?
Ans. Introduction of railways meant that people from lower castes, including untouchables would be accomodated in same compartment as people of superior castes. It was a misbelief that telegraph poles were erected to hang the Indians.
(13) Mention any two activities that caused the fear that the British Government was determined to convert Indians into Christians.
Ans. (i) The teaching of Christian doctrine was made compulsory in the schools. Bible was introduced in government schools.
(ii) Jails and army had to maintain a Christian missionary.
(14) Name any two Acts which interfered with the religious and social life of the people.
Ans. (i) The Act of 1850 which changed the Hindu Law of Property, was called as Religious Disabilities Act. It gave Christian converties the right to claim ancestral property and created the impression that the government was supporting conversion.
(ii) The Widow Remarriage Act 1856.
(15) Mention any two social reforms advocated by the British which aimed to improve the condition of women.
Ans. (i) Abolition of Sati (1829)
(ii) Widow Remarriage Act (1856)
(16) Introduction of English education was not welcomed by all Indians. Give two reasons.
Ans. (i) Indians especially Pandits and Maulvis thought that the British wanted to discourage Islamic and Hindu studies.
(ii) Indians thought that the main motive of the British was to induce the people to become Christians.
(17) How did British ruin Indian trade and handicrafts?
Ans. (i) They imposed heavy duties on silk and cotton textile exported from India.
(ii) British goods were imported in India without any duty or at a very nominal duty.
(iii) The Indian handmade goods were unable to compete with the cheaper, machine-made British products. This ruined the Indian industry, deprived the artisans of their income and reduced the avenues of employment for labour.
(18) Explain the drain of Indian wealth to England.
Ans. (i) British East India Company carried away India’s wealth to England by paying high salaries to British officials.
(ii) By requiring Indian Princely states to pay a heavy cost for maintaining the company’s forces by the residents.
(iii) The company paid 400 lakh pounds annually to the British government in England out of their receipts from trade in India.
(iv) The drain also included British expenditure on purchase of military goods and army, office establishments, intrest on debts etc.
(19) Write any one step which was taken by the British Government to cripple the Indian handicrafts.
Ans. (i) An Act was passed in 1720 which prohibited the use of Indian silks and calicoes (a cotton cloth which was exported to England from Calicut in India) in England.
(ii) India was made to accept readymade British goods either duty-free or at nomial duty rates, while Indian products were subjected to high import duties in England.
(20) How was India converted into an agricultural colony of the British?
Ans. (i) The peasants were forced to cultivate commercial crops which could be used as raw material in England to boost industrial output.
(ii) The manufacturers in England required raw material like cotton, jute and indigo, so they used to purchase these products from Indian farmers at a very low rate.
(21) With reference to the British rule in India, mention two economic factors, which became the cause of the First War of Independence, 1857.
Ans. (i) Heavy duties on Indian silk and cotton textiles in Britain destroyed Indian industries. On the other hand, British goods were imported in India at a nominal duty.
(ii) The peasantry bore the heavy burden of exorbitant taxes to provide money for the trade and profits of the Company, the cost of administration and the wars of British expansion in India.
(22) What aspects of the revenue policy of the Company were resented by the peasants?
Ans. (i) Increase in the rate of land revenue.
(ii) Making compulsory cash payment of land revenue.
(iii) Confiscation of land for delay in payment of land revenue .
(iv) Refusal to grant relief in land revenue in times of natural calamities.
(v) Compulsion to cultivate cash crops required as raw material by the English industry.
(23) Why were a large number of peasants rendered landless?
Ans. Peasants were forced to mortgage their lands and take loans from the zamindars and moneylenders to pay land revenue in cash. No relief was granted in payment of land revenue even during the famines. Their failure to repay the loans resulted in confiscation of the land, making them landless.
(24) Which Governors followed the policy of the confiscation of land? In which provinces?
Ans. (i) Lord William Bentick in Bengal.
(ii) Lord Dalhousie in Awadh and Deccan.
(25) How did the Company destroy Indian cottage and village industries?
Ans. The British dumped their low priced manufactured goods in Indian markets.
The Indian markets were flooded by these cheap imports from England, thereby making it difficult for the Indian artisans and craftsmen to compete with their prices.
Concessions on import duties and exemption from taxes for imported British goods had an adverse effect on Indian cottage industries. Moreover the British imposed heavy duties on Indian goods that were exported to England.
(26) Which event angered the Indian sepoys before the Revolt of 1857?
Ans. (i) Disbanding of Troops : The Indian soldiers and officers of the annexed states were disbanded and thus unemployed.
(ii) General Service Enlistment Act, 1856 : As per this Act, Indian soldiers could be sent overseas on duty. It was a taboo for a Brahmin soldier to cross the seas. Hence this Act was taken as a danger to their caste by the Brahmins.
(27) What gave confidence to Indian troops to revolt?
Ans. (i) Defeat of British troops in the First Afghan War :
The defeat of the British in the First Afghan War increased the selfconfidence of the Indian soldiers. After the war, they felt that they too could challenge the British in India.
(ii) Faulty distribution of troops :
Absence of British forces at key places such as Delhi and Allahabad provided an opportunity to the Indians to rise in revolt.
(28) Mention any one provision of the ‘General Services Enlistment Act of 1856.’
Ans. The General Services Enlistment Act of 1856 provided that all recruits of the Bengal Army should be ready for service anywhere, whether within or outside India. Overseas deployment was not acceptable to the Brahmin soldiers.
(29) What was the immediate cause of the Revolt of 1857?
Ans. The immediate cause of the Revolt was the introduction of Enfield rifles.
There was a rumour that the cartridges to be used for the rifles were
greased with the fat of cows and pigs. This sparked off the Mutiny.
On 10th May, 1857 all the three sepoy regiments at Meerut rose in revolt.
(30) What were the causes of discontent among the Indian soldiers of the British army which culminated into the Revolt of 1857? Mention any two.
Ans. (i) The promotion prospects for Indian officers were bleak. They were not promoted beyond the post of a ‘Subedar’. Indian soldiers were paid poorly as compared to their British counterparts who were paid eight
(ii) The old fashioned musket was replaced with Enfield Rifles, whereby the cartridges were covered with fat of cow and pigs. This immediately led to the revolt.
(31) Mention the main centres of Revolt
Ans. (i) Meerut – Mutiny commenced after sepoys refused to use greased cartridges.
(ii) Delhi – Revolutionaries declared Bahadur Shah II as emperor.
(iii) Lucknow – (Capital of Awadh) Hazrat Mahal rebelled against British.
(iv) Kanpur – Nanasahib Peshwa raised the uprising with Tatia Tope.
(v) Jhansi and Gwalior – Rani Laxmibai fled from Jhansi after the fortress was sieged and joined Tatia Tope.
(32) What was the main cause of the failure of the Revolt of 1857?
Ans. The Revolt failed because of :
(i) Lack of planning, organisation and leadership.
(ii) Superior resources of the British.
(iii) Lack of spirit of nationalism.
(iv) Premature beginning.
(33) State any two direct consequences of the First War of Independence.
Ans. (i) Constitutional changes brought an end to the Company’s rule and Indian empire went under direct control of the Crown.
(ii) Queen’s proclamation of 1858 assured that British Government would not annex Indian states. Doctrine of Lapse was abandoned.
(34) Which assurances were given to the people in Queen’s proclamation?
Write any four features of Queen Victoria’s proclamation.
Ans. Assurances in Queen’s proclamation:
(i) To give equal treatment to all subjects – Indians and Europeans
(ii) To admit Indians to all offices, without caste discrimination. Education and ability would be the basis of all appointments.
(iii) Not to interfere in social and religious beliefs of the people.
(iv) Grant a general pardon to all those who had taken part in the War except those who were found guilty of murder of British subjects.
(v) Advance industries and promote public utilities in India.
(35) Which changes in military organisation were introduced?
Mention the changes brought about by the British Government in the army after the Revolt of 1857.
Ans. Changes in the Army organisation :
(i) The strength of European troops in India was increased. The ratio of
European to Indian troops was fixed at 1:2 (Bengal army) and 2:5 (Madras and Bombay armies). The general principle adopted was that the number of Indian sepoys should not exceed twice that of the European troops.
(ii) European troops were kept in key geographical and military positions.
(iii) The earlier policy of excluding Indians from the officer corps was stricly maintained.
(iv) The sophisticated weapons and ammunition were never placed under the chagre of Indians.
(36) Discuss the national impact of Revolt of 1857.
Ans. (i) Policy of divide and rule.
(ii) Increased economic exploitation of India.
(iii) British apathy towards social reforms.
(iv) Three British Indian Presidencies namely Bombay, Calcutta, Madras were established. This led to decentralisation in Indian administration.
(v) Rise of Nationalism.
(37) Name any two Indian rulers who remained loyal to the British during national uprising in 1857.
Ans. Sindhia of Gwalior and Nizam of Hyderabad.
(38) Name the Act that transferred the Government of India from the Company to the Crown. When was it passed?
Ans. The Government of India Act was passed on August 2, 1858.
(39) When, where and by whom was Queen Victoria’s Proclamation made public in India?
Ans. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation was made public by Lord Canning at Allahabad on November 1, 1858.
(40) What was the impact of Queen’s Proclamation on the social evils which were prevailing in the Indian society ?
Ans. Before 1857 two laws i.e. the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 and
Abolition of Sati (1829) were passed, but no such steps were taken after Queen’s proclamation because of the policy of non-intervention in social and religious matters as stated in the Proclamation.
(41) Who was the first Viceroy of India?
Who became first Viceroy of India under the Act of 1858 ?
Ans. Lord Canning.
(42) Name the last Mughal emperor of India.
Ans. Bahadur Shah Zafar.
(43) Discuss the motives of British foreign policy after the Revolt in 1857.
Ans. India’s foreign policy was dictated by the interests of the British Government.
It fulfilled the two aims of the British –
(i) Protection of its Indian Empire; and
(ii) Expansion of British economic and commercial interests in Asia and Africa.
India under the British had to wage wars with her neighbours like Nepal and Burma (Myanmar) in which Indian soldiers had to shed their blood and the Indian taxpayers had to meet the heavy cost of the war.
(44) Describe the composition of the India Council.
How was the India Council constituted?
Ans. In of British India the administrative power was to be exercised by the Secretary of State for India, aided by a Council. The Secretary of State was to be assisted by a 15 member India Council. Seven of them were to be elected by the Court of Directors and rest of the eight members were to be appointed by the Crown. Of these, more than half of the members were to be persons who had served or resided in India for at least 10 years.
(45) Who headed the administration of India after the Revolt of 1857?
Ans. The administration of India was headed by Secretary of State and Viceroy. The Secretary of State was a member of the British Cabinet and was responsible to the Parliament. Thus, the ultimate power over India remained with the British Parliament.
Actual governance was to be carried on, as before, by the Governor- General who was also given the title of Viceroy or Crown’s personal representative.
The Viceroy reported to the Secretary of State.
(46) What was the ratio of Indian troops in British Army?
Ans. The strength of European troops in India was increased. The ratio of Europeans to Indian troops was fixed at 1 : 2 (Bengal Army) and 2 : 5 (Madras and Bombay Armies). Practically the same ratio was maintained till the First World War. The general principle adopted was that the number of Indian sepoys should not exceed twice that of the European troops.
(47) What measures were taken to desist the Indian soldiers from rising again against the British ?
Ans. (i) Only European troops were kept in key geographical and military positions.
(ii) The earlier policy of excluding Indians from the officer corps was strictly maintained.
(iii) The sophisticated weapons and ammunition were never placed under the charge of Indians.
(iv) Discrimination on the basis of caste, region and religion was practised in the recruitment to the Army.
(48) Indian soldiers were deprived of allowances. Mention any two
Ans. The extension of British dominion in India adversely affected the service conditions of the sepoys. They were required to serve in areas away from their homes without extra payment and additional Bhatta (foreign service allowance). The Post Office Act of 1854 withdrew the privilege of free postage enjoyed by the sepoys.
(49) State the impact of the Revolt on the East India Company.
Ans. The control of the Indian administration was transferred from the East India Company to the Crown by The Government of India Act 1858. The Company’s Board of Control and the Court of Directors were abolished. All
the powers were transferred to a Cabinet Minister in the British Parliament known as the Secretary of State.
(50) How does the Revolt 1857 signify Hindu – Muslim unity?
Ans. The principal leaders such as Nana Saheb, Tantia Tope, Laxmibai and Kunwar Singh recognised Bahadur Shah Zafar, a Muslim, as their emperor.
Both the Hindus and the Muslims fought together to push the British out of the country. This was for the first time that they were fighting for a common cause. This had a great impact on the Hindu -Muslim unity.
(51) What was the nature of revolts against the British before the First War of Independence?
Ans. The revolts that took place before the First War of Independence against the British were mostly local, scattered and isolated. They did not pose a serious challenge to the British. Nonetheless these revolts established a local tradition of struggle against the British Rule.
(52) When and where was the Battle of Plassey fought?
Ans. June 1757, Bengal.
(53) When was the Battle of Buxar fought? Which territories came under the British through this Battle?
Ans. 1764. Bengal, Bihar and Odissa.
(54) Who won the Third Anglo-Maratha War? Which territories came under the winning side’s control?
Ans. The British East India Company won the Third Anglo-Maratha War. With this victory, the whole of Peshwa’s dominion, and all Maratha territories north and south of river Narmada came under the British control.
(55) Who introduced the Subsidiary Alliance System? Name any two signatory princely rulers?
Ans. Lord Richard Wellesley introduced the Subsidiary Alliance System. Two signatory princely rulers to sign the Alliance were – Nizam of Hyderabad and Nawab of Awadh.
(56) Why did Rani Laxmibai become a bitter enemy of the British?
Ans. Rani Laxmibai became a bitter enemy of the British due to the Doctrine of Lapse. When the ruler of Jhansi died in 1853, leaving no natural heir, the widowed Rani was put on pension and the adopted son Anandrao was not recognised as the lawful successor to the throne, thus creating grievances against the British.
(57) Give two consequences of the annexation of Awadh.
Ans. (i) The annexation of Awadh led to the dissolution of the Nawab’s army and administration, which threw thousands of nobles, soldiers and officials out of jobs.
(ii) The soldiers had to pay higher taxes on their lands in Awadh which was one of the reasons that made them rise against the British in 1857.
(58) Explain the term “Absentee Sovereignty”. Why was it resented by the Indians?
Ans. Absentee Sovereignty means that India was being ruled by the British Government from England, at a distance of thousands of miles.
o This fact was however resented by the Indians since the earlier rulers of India like the Mughals who conquered India, had in course of time settled in India and spent the revenues they collected from the Indians in India itself.
o But in case of British, the Indians felt that their wealth is being drained to England by the alien-rulers and not being used for their own welfare.
(59) State the impact of land revenue policies of the British on the peasantry of Bengal.
Ans. Increase in land revenue forced many peasants into indebtedness or into selling their lands. The traditional zamindars were replaced by merchants and moneylenders. These new landowners had no concern for the peasants.
They pushed rents to exorbitant levels and evicted their tenants in case of non-payment. The economic decline of the peasants affected the cultivation and led to many famines.
(60) Describe the inhuman treatment meted out to the Indigo Cultivators.
Ans. Indigo trade was highly profitable to the British but the conditions under which the peasants had to work were inhuman. The peasnts were forced to cultivate only indigo in the fields chosen by the British planters. If they planted anything else, their crops were destroyed and their cattle were carried off as punishment.
(61) How did the British implement the policy of Divide and Rule after 1858? Write any two instances.
Ans. (i) British alienated the people from their rulers by giving them special protections and concessions.
(ii) The government cleverly used the attractions of government service to create split along religious lines among the educated Indians.
(iii) The British also encouraged hatred and ill-feelings among the Hindus and Muslims so that they could never challenge the British Empire of India.
(62) State the hardships caused to the people of Awadh after annexation in 1856.
Ans. (i) People of Awadh had to pay higher land revenue and additional taxes on food, houses, ferries and justice.
(ii) The dissolution of Nawab’s army and administration threw thousands of nobles, officials and soldiers out of jobs.
(iii) The British confiscated the estates of the taluqdars or zamindars.
(iv) 75000 sepoys in company’s army were from Awadh. These sepoys had to pay higher taxes on the land their families held in Awadh.
(63) There were many causes that led to the uprising of 1857. In this context explain the role played by Lord Dalhousie.
Ans. Lord Dalhousie was the Governor General of India from 1846 to 1856. He annexed Indian states by using different methods
(i) The Doctrine of Lapse : According to this Doctrine, if a ruler of a dependent state died without leaving a natural heir, the state would pass over to the British. The doctrine did not recognize adopted children as rightful heirs. Satara, Sambalpur, Jhansi and Nagpur were annexed under this policy.
(ii) Annexation of Awadh : Awadh was annexed in 1856 by Dalhousie on the grounds of misgovernance. It created dissatisfaction among the people of Awadh.
(iii) Ill-treatment to Bahadur Shah Zafar : The House of the Mughals was also humbled when Lord Dalhousie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah II, the Mughals would have to leave the Red Fort. It hurt the sentiments of the Muslims.
(iv) Ill-treatment to Nana Saheb : Dalhousie refused to grant pension to Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Bajirao II. Nana Saheb was also forced to live at Kanpur away from his family seat at Poona.
(64) How did the uprising of 1857 give rise to nationalism
Ans. (a) The revolt created an amazing sense of unity between the Hindus andthe Muslims.
(b) The sacrifices of the great Indian leaders during the Revolt of 1857 gave birth to the nationalist movements.
(c) This was the first time that Indians were fighting against the Britishers with a common aim i.e. end of British rule.
(1) The First War of Independence of 1857, was the culmination of people’s dissatisfaction with the British rule. In this context enumerate the following causes.
(a) Economic causes.
(b) Military causes.
(c) Political causes.
Ans. (a) Economic causes :
(i) An Act was passed in 1720 which prohibited the use of Indian silk and calicoes in England. This was done to reduce the popularity of Indian textile products in England.
(ii) Heavy duties on Indian products in England were imposed whereas British products were imported in India without any duties.
(iii) The Industrial Revolution gave a final blow to the Indian industries which were mostly cottage industries as British could afford to sell their goods at cheaper rates.
(iv) The trade and commerce of the country were monopolized by the East India Company.
(v) Thus the art of spinning and weaving which gave employment to thousands of artisans became extinct. Manufacturing towns like Surat, Dhaka, Murshidabad were left helpless.
(vi) Exorbitant land revenues and taxes impoverished the farmers. They lost their lands to money-lenders out of indebtedness.
(b) Military Causes :
(i) The Indian soldiers were given low salaries, they were paid eight times lesser as compared to their British counterparts.
(ii) The Indian soldiers could not rise to a rank higher than that of a Subedar.
(iii) The Indian soldiers were considered inferior and were ill-treated.
(iv) The General Services Enlistment Act 1856 provided that all recruits to the Bengal Army should be ready for service anywhere. This Act caused great alarm in the minds of the Hindu soldiers, as to travel across the sea was forbidden as per Hindu religious beliefs.
(v) The affair of greased cartridges forced the soldiers to revolt against the British. The rumour of cartgidges smeared with cow and pig fat led to rebellion amongst the orthodox Indian sepoys of British army.
(c) Political Causes :
(i) Lord Dalhousie’s policy of annexation and the Doctrine of Lapse made the Indian rulers angry and insecure. The prominent states which fell victim to the Doctrine were : Satara, Jhansi and Nagpur.
(ii) Lord Canning declared that Bahadur Shah’s successor would not be allowed to use the imperial title i.e. the ‘King’.
(iii) Lord Dalhousie stopped the pension of Nana Saheb.
(iv) The kingdom of Awadh was annexed in 1856 on the grounds of alleged misrule.
(2) ‘Numerous causes were at work in causing the great upsurge of 1857’ Explain the following with reference to the above statement.
(a) The introduction of Railways and Telegraphs.
(b) The introduction of Enfield Rifles.
(c) The laws or Act that interfered with the religious customs of the people.
Ans. (a) (i) The railway was introduced to exploit the Indian resources.
(ii) It was looked upon as a means to break social order and caste rules, as in the railway compartments people of all castes had to sit together.
(iii) There was a rumour that telegraph poles were erected for the purpose of hanging the people who were against the British rule.
(b) (i) While there prevailed a simmering discontent in the country, the sepoys too were agitated over the issue of greased cartridges.
(ii) In January 1857 A.D., the Company had introduced Enfield Rifle in Bengal Army.
(iii) Cartridges used in the rifles were greased with fat of cow and pig.
(iv) The soldiers had to bite the end of the cartridge with their mouth before using it. The Sepoys felt that it was an attempt to defile both the Hindu and the Muslim religions.
(v) The news of the greased cartidges spread to all military stations, causing general resentment among the Indian soldiers.
(c) (i) Religious Disabilities Act of 1850 : It changed the Hindu Law of Property. It enabled a convert from Hinduism to inherit the property of his father. The Hindus regarded it as an incentive to give up one’s religious faith.
(ii) Taxes on religious places : Company’s administration imposed taxes on the properties of temples and mosques which earlier had been free from all taxes.
(iii) The Widow Remarriage Act : It was passed in 1856, and was a progressive measure. Earlier Sati System and female infanticide had been prohibited.
(iv) Activities of Christian Missionaries : The British began to interfere with the local religious and social customs. They denounced idol worship and dubbed local beliefs as ignorance. After 1813, there was an increase both in the numbers and activites of the Christian missionaries. The Indians thought that the Government was supporting missionaries who would convert them to Christianity.
People did not react favourably to these measures. They raised the cry that their religion was in danger.
(3) Using the following points, explain the important causes which led to the Revolt of 1857 A.D. :
(i) The British policy of territorial expansion.
(ii) Economic exploitation of India.
(iii) Interference in the social and religious life of the Indians.
Ans. (i) The British policy of territorial expansion was one of the main factors responsible for the Revolt 1857. The British generally used the below stated methods of expansion :
(a) Under the Doctrine of Lapse many princes were denied the right to adopt. Jhansi, Satara and Nagpur were annexed under this doctrine. Under the direct annexation policy, Sindh was captured in 1843 and Punjab in 1849.
(b) The British also followed the policy of Subsidiary Alliance. An Indian ruler accepting the Subsidiary Alliance was made to keep a large British force within his territory and had to pay for its maintenance. In lieu of this payment, sometimes a part of the ruler’s territory was ceded to the British.
(c) Some states were annexed on the pretext of misgovernance. For example : Awadh. Due to these policies, the Indian kings and princes were feeling insecure. So some of them joined the revolutionaries.
(ii) (a) An Act was passed in 1720 which prohibited the use of Indian silk and calicoes in England. This was done to reduce the popularity of Indian textile products in England.
(b) Heavy duties on Indian products in England were imposed whereas British products were imported in India without any duties.
(c) The Industrial Revolution gave a final blow to the Indian industries which were mostly cottage industries as British could afford to sell their goods at cheaper rates.
(d) The trade and commerce of the country were monopolized by the East India Company.
(e) Thus the art of spinning and weaving which gave employment to thousands of artisans became extinct. Manufacturing towns like Surat, Dhaka, Murshidabad were left helpless.
(f) Exorbitant land revenues and taxes impoverished the farmers. They lost their lands to money-lenders out of indebtedness.
(iii) (a) In the 19th century, some social reforms were introduced like the abolition of sati, child marriage, female infanticide and polygamy. But these were not welcomed by the people.
(b) The Christian Missionaries were increasing and were adopting undignified methods to spread Christianity. This generated fear and suspicion in the minds of common people.
(c) The British parliament passed the General Services Enlistment Act in 1856. As per this Act Indian soldiers could be sent overseas on duty. Since crossing the seas was a taboo for Brahmin soldiers the Act was taken as a danger to their caste.
(4) With respect to the causes of First War of Independence 1857 explain the following
(i) Drain of Wealth
(ii) Decline of Peasantry
(iii) Decline of Landed Aristocracy
Ans. (i) Drain of Wealth:
(a) Till the Battle of Plassey (1757), the European traders used to bring gold into India to buy Indian cotton and silk.
(b) After the conquest of Bengal, they began to purchase raw material for their industries in England from the surplus revenues of Bengal and profits from duty-free inland trade.
(c) Thus, began the process of plundering India’s raw materials, resources and wealth by Britain.
(d) The transfer of wealth from India to England for which India got no proportionate economic return, is called the Drain of Wealth.
(e) The drain included the salaries, incomes and savings of Englishmen, the British expenditure in India on the purchase of military goods, office establishment, interest on debts, unnecessary expenditure on the army, etc.
(ii) Decline of Peasantry:
(a) The peasants were discontent with the official land revenue policy
and the consequent loss of their land.
(b) The peasantry bore the heavy burden of taxes to provide money for the trade of the company, for the cost of administration and the wars of British expansion in India.
(c) Increase in the land revenue forced many peasants into indebtedness or into selling their lands.
(d) The traditonal zamindars were replaced by merchants and moneylenders. These new landowners had no concern for the peasants.
(e) They pushed rents to exorbitant levels and evicted their tenants in case of non-payments.
(f) The economic decline of the peasants affected cultivation and led to many famines.
(iii) Decline of Landed Aristocracy:
(a) The landed aristocracy which included the taluqdars and the hereditary landlords were deprived of their estates.
(b) According to the provisions of the Inam commission (1852), 20,000 estates were confiscated when the landlords failed to produce evidence like title-deeds by which they held the land.
(c) These confiscated lands were sold by public auction to the highest bidders.
(d) Moneylenders did not understand the needs of the tenants and exploited them.
(5) Using the following points, briefly explain the causes of the Revolt of 1857:
(i) Myth of British invincibility.
(ii) Inefficient Administration.
(iii) Poverty and Faminies.
Ans. (i) British were considered invincible before the Afghan War but this myth was shattered when they were badly defeated in the First Afghan War. This gave Indians confidence that British could be defeated. The revolt by Santhal tribe also humbled the British. There was a common belief among the Indians that the British came to power in 1757, and their rule would come to an end in 1857.
(ii) (a) All high posts were kept reserved only for the English irrespective of their efficiency and performance. This caused frustration amongmthe educated Indians.
(b) The British officials were living life of luxury at the cost of Indians. They never did anything for the welfare of Indians. They were not easily approachable.
(c) The British officials were unaware of the types of problems faced by Indians because they were not part of the Indian society. The racial arrogance of the English officials played a major role in widening the gap between the ruler and the public. Most of the British officials were corrupt and inefficient.
(d) Administration of justice was complex. The police oppressed the poor and the rich got away with the crimes.
(iii) (a) British economic exploitation, decay of indigenous industries, high taxation, the drain of wealth, stagnation of agriculture and exploitation of the poor peasants reduced the Indians to extreme poverty.
(b) Famines ravaged the country in the second half of the 19th century. There were twelve major and numerous minor famines between 1765 and 1857.
(c) The famines were the result of drought, other natural calamities as well as bad administration. The British government did nothing to lessen people’s misery.
(6) With reference to resentment of the native rulers against the British, explain the following :
i) Doctrine of Lapse and its implications.
(ii) Attitude towards Mughal Dynasty.
(iii) Annexation of Awadh.
Ans. (i) Doctrine of Lapse: According to the Doctrine of Lapse, if an Indian ruler of a dependent State did not have his real son to succeed him, he was not allowed to adopt a successor without Company’s consent. The state was annexed by the British East India Company.
(a) By this Doctrine of Lapse, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India (1846-1856), annexed three Maratha dependent States of Satara, Nagpur, Jhansi and several minor principalities. For example, when Jhansi’s ruler died in 1853 without a child, the widowed Rani Laxmibai was pensioned off, and her adopted son, Anand Rao, was not recognized by the Company, and Jhansi was annexed.
(b) The Doctrine of Lapse caused wide spread discontent among the rulers and the people of the Indian Princely States.
(ii) Attitude towards the Mughal Dynasty : Even the nominal and the titular status of the Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah, was sought tobe taken away. Lord Dalhousie declared that the emperor and his successors would have to leave the royal palace, i.e., the Red Fort. Later Lord Canning, the next Governor-General, announced in 1856 that Bahadur Shah’s successor would not be allowed even to use the title of the King. Similarly, the regal titles of the Nawabs of Carnatic and Tanjore were abolished. Such discourtesies were resented by the people and the Indian rulers.
(iii) Unjust Annexation of Awadh : On February 13, 1856, Lord Dalhousie annexed Awadh on the ground of maladministration by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. It was actually a case of high-handedness and betrayal on the part
of the Company itself. Nawab Wajid Ali was sent to Calcutta on a pension of Rupees 12 lakh per annum and Awadh was annexed on the pretext of its bad management. Consequently, a number of Taluqdars, nobles, officials and soldiers were deprived of their estates, titles and jobs. This policy of confiscation caused wide-spread resentment against Company rule.
(7) In the 19th century, the British began to interfere with the local religious and social customs. In this context briefly describe :
(a) Fear regarding mass conversions to Christianity and loss of religion and caste.
(b) Interference in social customs.
(c) Policy of social discrimination.
Ans. (a) (i) The teaching of the Christian doctrine was made compulsory in the schools set up by the Christian missionaries.
(ii) The officials openly preached the Christian doctrine in mosques and temples.
(iii) The missionaries openly and everywhere condemned the Hindu scriptures, idol worship and Hindu – Muslim doctrines and customs.
(iv) Many temptations were offered to make conversion by giving bribes, promotions and rewards.
(v) The study of Bible was introduced in government schools.
(vi) Prisoners in jails were instructed in Christianity.
(vii) Police force was used for converting people to Christianity.
(viii)The missionaries established chaplain and churches for the propagation of Christianity.
(ix) A Christian priest was maintained in the army.
(b) (i) General Service Enlistment Act of 1856 : Under this Act, new recruits were required to serve anywhere in India or overseas. This caused a great alarm amongst the Indian soldiers as according to the Hindu customs, crossing the sea was contrary to their religion.
(ii) Religious Disabilities Act, 1850 : According to this law, if a person belonging to the Hindu religion changed his religion, he could remain the heir of his ancestral property. According to the people, the law was enacted to promote the conversion of Hindus to Christianity.
(iii) Widow Remarriage Act, 1856 : Widow Remarriage Act legalised the widow remarriage. This was also not liked by the orthodox Hindus who favoured Sati. The government had also prohibited the Sati system, female infanticide and child marriage. All these measures were not liked by the common people.
(c) (i) The British were of the opinion that their culture and religion were superior, scientific and humane.
(ii) The English often ill-treated the Indians. They heaped insults and even indignities upon them. They could even kill them without fear of punishment under law. The native Indians were supposed to salute an Englishman, or dismount his horse till the Englishman passed from that site.
(iii) The Indian soldiers were not given a rank higher than that of a Subedar. All higher ranks were reserved for the Englishmen. They were also paid higher salaries than the Indian soldiers. This discrimination affected the morale of the Indian troops and made them unhappy and frustrated.
(iv) Besides the discrimination in pay and rank, the English officers in the army ill-treated the Indian soldiers. They treated them as servants, inferior to their English masters. The British authorities forbade the sepoys from wearing caste or sectarian marks, beards or turbans.
(v) The British believed in racial superiority and maintaining social distance to preserve their authority over the Indians. Special railway compartments, parks, hotels and clubs were reserved for Europeans only.
(8) The Great Uprising of 1857 was an important event which produced far reaching results. Explain the following with reference to the Great Uprising :
(i) The changes introduced in the administrative set up of the British territory in India.
(ii) Rights granted to Indian princes.
(iii) Rise of nationalism.
Ans. (i) (a) The Government of India Act was passed which ended the East
India Company’s rule in India in 1858. While the authority over India was earlier in the hands of the Directors of the Company and the Board of Control, now the power was to be exercised by the Secretary of State for India, aided by a Council. The Secretary of State was a member of the British Cabinet and was responsible to the Parliament.
(b) The Secretary of State was to be assisted by a 15-member India Council. Seven of them were to be elected by the Court of Directors and rest of the eight members were to be appointed by the crown.Of these, more than half were to be persons who had served or resided in India for at least 10 years.
(c) Actual governance was to be carried on, as before, by the Governor- General who was also given the title of Viceroy or Crown’s personal representative. Lord Canning was the first Viceroy under this Act.
(ii) (a) All the treaties entered by the Indian rulers with the East India Company were to be honoured.
(b) It was declared that British Government would not annex the Indian states. Doctrine of Lapse was abolished.
(c) Their rights of adoption and succession were also recognised.
(d) Since the Indian princes were promised they would continue as rulers of their states, they willing by came junior partners or agents of the British crown.
(iii) (a) The uprising of 1857 was the first struggle of the Indian people for freedom from British imperialism.
(b) It paved the way for the rise of the national movement. The sacrifices made by revolutionaries like Rani Laxmi Bai, Nana Saheb and Mangal Pandey served as a source of inspiration for the for the future freedom fighters.
(c) The heroic struggle also established valuable traditions of resistance to the British rule.
(9) The Revolt of 1857, though unsuccessful, produced far reaching consequences. In this context, briefly explain the following :
(i) Changes introduced in the administrative set-up.
(ii) Re-organisation of the Army.
(iii) Policy of Divide and Rule.
(iv) Economic exploitation
Ans. (i) (a) End of Company’s Rule : The Revolt ended the Company’s rule in India and the Indian empire came under the direct control of the British Crown. Queen Victoria became the Empress of India.
(b) Position of Secretary of State : The Act of 1858 abolished the Company’s Board of Control and the Court of Directors. All their powers were transferred to a Cabinet Minister, known as the Secretary of State. He was to be advised by a Council consisting of 15 members.
(c) Position of Governor-General : The designation of the Governor- General was changed. He was designated as the Viceroy while representing the British government in England. It was his duty to run the Indian administration on behalf of the Crown. He was under the control of the Secretary of State for India.
(d) Appointments to the Civil Service : It was decided that appointments to the Civil Service were to be made by open competition under rules made by the Secretary of State.
(ii) (a) A Royal Indian Army was created by merging the armies of the Company and the Crown together under a Commander-in-Chief.
(b) The ratio of Europeans and Indians in the Army was fixed at 1:2 in Bengal and 2:5 in Bombay and Madras.
(c) All officials in the Army were to be only Europeans.
(d) Only European troops were to be stationed at strategic places.
(e) Indians in the army were not to be placed on higher rank than that of a Subedar.
(f) Caste, creed and colour of the recruits would be taken into consideration at the time of recruitment.
(g) Army regiments to be organized on the basis of religion or caste.
(h) Indian soldiers were excluded from the artillery and arsenals.
(iii) The English adopted the policy of Divide and Rule. To weaken the unity of the Hindus, the Muslims and people of other religions and communities :
(a) They gave unfair and unjust concessions to the zamindars. They appointed the sons of zamindars to government jobs and discriminated against such educated Indians who generally criticised the government and demanded reforms.
b) The British government adopted a systematic policy of dividing the Hindus and the Muslims. First, they discriminated against the Muslims in the services and favoured the Hindus.
(c) The British adopted this policy of Divide and Rule in the armyalso. They divided the people into martial and non-martial races.
(d) The British encouraged the sentiments of provincialism and regionalism by favouring one against the other.
(e) The British divided the Indian people into two categories, namely, people of British India and people of Indian States.
(iv) The uprising of 1857 ended the era of territorial expansion and ushered in the era of economic exploitation in the following manner:
(a) India was turned into a typical colonial economy, exporting raw material and importing finished goods.
(b) The salary and allowances of the Secretary of State and members of the India Council, the civil servants and military officers were a large drain on the country’s resources.
(c) Peasants were impoverished under the British rule. The indigo peasants of Bihar revolted on a large scale in 1866-68.
(d) Rural industries such as handicrafts, spinning and weaving collapsed.
(e) The Indians had to pay heavy interests and dividends on the British invested their surplus capital in India in railways, plantations, coalmines, juice mills, shipping etc.
(10) The Great Rising of 1857 is a glorious landmark which produced far reaching results . Explain with reference to :
(a) The British Government’s decision on the EIC’s rule in India.
(b) Queen Victoria’s proclamation of 1858.
(c) The rights granted to the Indian Princes and people.
Ans. (a) The most significant result of the Revolt of 1857 was the end of the rule of the East India Company and assumption of the Government of India directly by the Crown. This was done by the Government of India Act of 1858 which had the following provisions :
(i) It transferred the power to govern India from the East India Company to the British Crown.
(ii) While the authority over India was earlier in the hands of the Directors of the Company and the Board of Control, now the power was to be exercised by the Secretary of State for India, aided by a Council. The Secretary of State was a member of the BritishCabinet and was responsible to the Parliament. Thus, the ultimate power over India remained with the British Parliament.
(iii) The Secretary of State was to be assisted by a 15-member India Council.
(b) Queen Victoria’s Proclamation : Queen Victoria was reigning in England during the Revolt. The Queen’s Proclamation incorporating the transfer of governance from East India Company to the British Crown was made public at Allahabad, on November 1, 1858, by Lord Canning, the first Viceroy of India. The proclamation promised that the Government of India would :
(i) follow a policy of non-intervention in social and religious matters of Indians.
(ii) treat all subjects-Indians and Europeans-as equals (education and ability would be the basis of all appointments) ;
(iii) grant a general pardon to all those who had taken part in the war except those who were found guilty of murdering of British subjects.
(iv) do its best to advance the industries in India.
(c) (i) The Queen’s Proclamation of 1858 declared that the government would not interfere in the religious beliefs and practices of Indian people. Full religious freedom was guaranteed to the people.
(ii) (a) The Doctrine of Lapse was abandoned and the right to adoption was recognised.
(b) The Indian princes were assured that their territories would never be annexed.
(c) The government declared that all the Treaties and Agreements would be honoured.
Notes for The First War of Independence 1857
Causes of the revolt of 1857
• These are broadly categorized into four parts:
Policy of Annexation followed by Lord Dalhousie :
• Doctrine of Lapse Introduced by Lord Dalhousie.
• Stated that heirs adopted without the approval of the Company would only inherit the private property of the owner and the territories would be seized by the Company.
• Examples – Jhansi, Satara, Nagpur, Sambalpur etc seized in this manner.
• This doctrine caused widespread discontentment among Indian rulers.
Disrespect Shown to Bahadur Shah Zafar
• Bahadur Shah was the last Mughal ruler of India.
• In 1849, Lord Dalhousie announced that Shah’s successor will no longer be permitted to reside at theRed Fort and will have to move to a place near Qutub Minar. It was also
declared the successors would be deprived of the right to be called Emperor and would be regarded as mere princes.
• This decision hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
Ill-Treatment to Nana Saheb
• Nana Saheb was the adopted son the last Peshwa – Bajirao II.
• The British refused to grant Nana Saheb the pension they were paying to Baji Rao II
• Nana Saheb had inherited enormous wealth which he utilized in sending emissaries to different parts of the country to gather support for a revolt movement.
• In general, Nana Saheb was annoyed.
The Annexation of Oudh(Awadh,Lucknow) On the pretext of misrule/mismanagement
• In 1856, Lord Dalhousie annexed Awadh under the pretext of alleged misrule.
• The Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah was removed from the throne.
• This threw many thousands of nobles, officials, and soldiers out of their job.
• This caused resentment among the people of Awadh, which played a major role in the uprising of 1857.
• The Indians could not approach the British
• The British could humiliate Indians
• Indians found themselves out of place with English Laws and English Language
• British officers looked upon Indians as inferior and excluded them from high ranks.
• A rumor was spread that there’s a change in power every hundred years.
• British came to power in 1757; Indians, in 1857, felt that the British rule had come to an end and they ought to be ousted.
• With this belief, the Indians rose in revolt against the British.
Interference with social customs:
• Reforms like the abolition of Sati was introduced by Lord William Bentick in 1829.
• Widow Remarriage Act was passed and western education was opened to girls. This move was not welcomed by the Indians.
• These social reforms were aimed at improving the conditions of Indian society.
• However, while introducing such reforms the feelings of people were not taken into consideration.
Railways and Telegraph:
• FIRST TRAIN MUMBAI TO THANE(1853)
• The introduction of modern innovations such as railways and telegraphs were
misunderstood by the people.
• There were rumors that the telegraph poles were erected to hang anti – British people.
• The orthodox Indians noted that in the railway compartments, the high and low castes were made to sit side by side.
The policy of racial discrimination:
• British officers were rude towards Indians and believed that they could kill them at their own will.
• Indians were not given high posts in British offices.
• Such acts of unjust discrimination alienated the British from Indian masses.
Fears regarding conversions to Christianity:
• The activities of the Christian missionaries created a sense of alarm among Hindus and Muslims.
• The teaching of Christian doctrines was made compulsory in the missionary and government schools.
• Bible was introduced in jails, idol worship was criticized and officials openly preached Christian doctrines. The police force was also used for conversion.
• A feeling of panic rose among Indians who believed they would all be converted to Christianity.
Social and Religious Reforms:
• Sati was abolished.
• Child marriage and polygamy were forbidden.
• Widow Remarriage was legalized.
• British intervened in religious affairs.
Introduction of New laws:
• British started to collect taxes from religious institutions.
• 1850: Lord Dalhousie passed a law which enabled a convert to Christianity to inherit his ancestral property.
• British exploited economic resources of India.
• The British policy to export raw material was harmful for Indian handicrafts.
• The British confiscated Jagirs.
• The British annexed Awadh.
• Educated Indians were unemployed.
• Poverty increased.
• The Indian Soldiers were considered inferior.
• The wages of Indian Soldiers were very less.
• Lord canning passed General Enlistment act.
The Immediate cause
• 1857: Enfield Rifle was introduced.
• Greased Cartridges were to be used in them.
• A rumor spread that they were greased with fat of the cow and pig.
• It hurts sentiments of Hindu Muslims soldiers.
• They started revolt.
Main Events of The War
• The rumor about the greased cartridges spread like wildfire.
• 29-3-1857: Revolt started by Mangal Panday in Bengal(Barrackpor).
• He was hanged.
• Resulted revolt started in Meerut,kanpur,Jhansi etc.
• 6-5-1857: revolt started at meerut.
• 86 sepoy refused to use cartridges.
• They dismissed.
• They killed officials.
• Soldiers gone to Delhi.
• They declared Bahadur Shah Zafar as Emperor of India and Leader of revolt.
• Later Bahadur Shah Zafar caught and deported to Rangoon(Mayanmar).
• 1862: he died.
• Revolt led by Nana Sahib Peshwa
• He was adopted sun of Peshwa Baji Rao II.
• With the help of Azimullah Khan and Tope he fought against British.
• British defeated Nana Sahib.
• He fled.
• Revolt led by Begum of Awad.
Banras And Allahabad
• Revolt led by Maulvi Liaquet Ali.
• Revolt led by Kanwar Singh.
• He helped Nana Saheb.
• Revolt led by Brave lady Jhansi ki Rani Lakshmi bai.
Results of Great Uprising
• End of the company’s Rule.
• Change in the designation of the Governor-General.
• Change in policy toward the Indian States.
• Abolition of Peshwaship.
• They introduced Policy of Divide and rule.
• Rise of Nationalism.
MCQ Questions for Class 10 ICSE History First War of Independence 1857
Check Our MCQ Questions for Class 10 ICSE History First War of Independence with Answers free Pdf download.MCQ Questions for Class 10 ICSE History First War of Independence are prepared according to the latest exam pattern of Icse boards. We have Provided you MCQ on First War of Independence ICSE Class 10 with Answers to make your preparation to score good marks in the Class 10 exam.
Which of the following person not related to 1857 revolt?
(a) Tatya tope
(b) Bhagt Sing
(c) Nana Saheb
(d) Rani Lakshmi Bai
Because of —- Rani Lakshmi bai declared war against British
(a) Non Align movement
(b) Subsidiary alliance
(c) None of these
(d) Doctrine of lapse policy
Following which region 1857 revolt spread –
(c) All of these
Which of the following was the result of the mutiny 1857 –
(a) British banned Royal Enfield
(b) Both a & b
(c) None of these
(d) The governance of British government started
Sepoy declared the Mughal king —– as the emperor of India (1857)
(a) Alam Shah
(b) Shikandar Shah
(c) None of these
(d) Bahadur Shah II
—– of Kanpur rose in rose in revolt
(a) Nana Shaheb
(b) Begum Hazrat
(c) Amar Singh
(d) Rani Lakshmi Bai
Rani Lakshmi Bai was the queen of –
From where 1857 revolt started?
MCQ on first war of independence ICSE Class 10 are given here. You can easily download MCQ on First War of Independence 1857 ICSE Class 10 free of charge to score well in the exam. These books cover the whole ICSE syllabus as recommended by the Council. Preparing from these books will help in making concepts. Students can utilize this MCQ on First War of Independence 1857 ICSE class 10 for their board exams. Besides, this MCQ are great study material to prepare for competitive exams.
We hope the given MCQ Questions for Class 10 ICSE History First War of Independence with Answers Pdf free download will help you. If you have any issue in regard to MCQ on First War of independence ICSE Class 10. Drop a comment below and we will guide you as soon as possible.