CBSE NCERT Class VIII (8th) | Social Studies | History

Chapter  :  When People Rebel


CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer


Q1. What is a rebellion?
Ans. It is an organized revolt against established authority when people are unsatisfied.

Q2. Why is the revolt of 1857 known as the first war of independence?
Ans. The revolt of 1857 is known as the first was of independence as before this war, no one was so united in battles.
But in this battle many social groups of the country came together to fight it like Nawabs, rajas, zamindars, peasants all came together to fight this battle. Such kind of battle was not expected.

Q3. Why is the revolt known as sepoy mutiny?
Ans. In this revolt, all the sepoys marched to the Britisher’s buildings, houses, police station and burnt them. They killed the British. The main role in these deeds was of sepoys. Therefore, the Revolt 1857 is also called sepoy mutiny. Sepoy means soldiers and muting means ‘March’.

Q4. Describe the causes of Revolt of 1857.
The cause of the Revolt of 1857 are:-
1. Political Cause  (Nawabs lose their power)
·        Since the mid – eighteenth century, nawabs and rajas had seen their authority and honour.
·        Residents had been stationed in many courts, the freedom of the rulers reduced, their armed forces disbanded, and their revenues and territories were taken away by stages.
·        Many ruling families tried to negotiate with the company to protect their interests.

Ex: - Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi wanted the company to recognize her adopted son as the heir to the kingdom after the death of her husband.
Nana sahib, the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II, pleaded that he be given his father’s pension when he later died. However, the company, confident of its superiority and military power, turned down these please.

2. Economic Cause
·        In the countryside peasants and zamindars resented the high taxes and the rigid methods of revenue collection. Many failed to pay back their loans to the moneylenders and gradually lost the lands they had tilled for generations.
·        Some of the new rules, moreover, violated their religious sensibilities and beliefs.
·        Sepoys also reacted to what was happening in the countryside. Many of them were peasants and had families living in the villages. So the anger of the peasants quickly spread among the sepoys.

3. Social Cause:-
·        The British believed that Indian society had to be reformed laws were passed to stop the practice of sati and encourage the remarriage of widows. English – language and education was actively promoted.
·        After 1830, the company allowed Christian missionaries to function freely in its domain and even own land and property.
·        In 1850, a new law was passed to make conversion to Christianity easier. Many Indian began feeling that the British were destroying their religion, their social customs and their traditional way of life.

4. Military Cause:-
·        The Indian sepoys in the employ of the company also had reason for discontent as their pay, allowances and conditions of service.
·        They also didn’t get enough promotional avenues and overseas allowances.

5. Immediate Cause
·        New cartridges were being coated with the fat of cows and pigs which the Indian thought was destroying their traditional culture.

Q5. Describe the events during the sepoy mutiny.
·        On 29 March 1857, a young soldier, Mangal Pandey, was hanged to death for attaching his officers in Burkhpur.
·        Some days later, some sepoys of the regiment at Meerut refused to do the army drill using the new cartridges, which were suspected of being coated with the fat of cows and pigs.
·        As a result Eighty –five sepoys were dismissed from service and sentenced to the years in jail for disobeying their officers. This happened on 9th May 1857.
·        On 10th May, the soldiers marched to the jail in Meerut and released the imprisoned sepoys.
·        British officers were killed, arms and ammunitions were seized, building set on fire.
·        Triumphant soldiers gathered around the walls of the Red –Fort where the Badshah lived, demanding to meet him. The soldiers themselves proclaimed Bahadur Shah Zafar as their leader. He had to accept it.

Q6. List out the consequences of the Revolt.
Ans. After the revolt, the British had to change some of the rule.
1.      The British Parliament passed a new act in 1858 and transferred the powers of the East Indian Company to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs. A member of the British cabinet has appointed secretary of state for Indian and made responsible for all matters related to the governance of India. He was given a council to advise him, called the Indian Council. The Governor –General of India was given the title of viceroy, that is a personal representative of the crown. Through these measures the British Government accepted direct responsibility for ruling India.
2.      All ruling chiefs of the country were assured that their territory would never be annexed in future. They were allowed to pass on their kingdoms to their heirs, including adopted sons. However, they were made to acknowledge the British Queen as their sovereign  Paramount. Thus the Indian rulers were to hold their kingdom as subordinates of the British Crown.
3.      It was decided that the proportion of Indian soldiers in the army would be reduced and the number of European soldiers would be increased. It was also decided that instead of recruiting soldiers from Awadh, Bihar, Central India and South India, more soldiers would be recruited from among the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans.
4.     The land and property of Muslims was confiscated on a large scale and they were treated with suspicious and hostility. The British believed that they were responsible for the rebellion in a big way.
5.     The British decided to respect the customary religious and social practices of the people in India.
6.     Policies were made to protect landlords and zamindars and give them security of rights over their lands.

Q7. Describe the contribution of the following in the revolt of 1857.
1.     Rani Lakshmibai:- Jhansi
Joined the rebel sepoys and fought the British along with Tantia Tope.
2.     Bakht Khan:-
A soldier from Bareilly, took charge of a large force of fighters who came to Delhi. Became a key military leader of the rebellion.
3.  Kunwar Singh:- Bihar
Joined the rebel sepoys, and battled with the British for many months.
4.  Mangal Pandey:-
Fought the Britishers for the rifles.
5.  Nana Saheb:-
Adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao who lived near Kanpur, gathered armed forces and expelled the British garrison from the city. He proclaimed himself Peshwa.
6.  Tantiya Tope
Joined the rebel sepoys and fought the British with Rani Lakshmibai general of Nana Saheb.
7.  Begum Hazrat Mahal:- Mother of Wajid Ali Shah, took own active part in organizing the uprising against the British.

Q8. What was the demand of Rani Lakshminai of Jhansi that was refused by the British? Ans. Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi wanted the company to recognize her adopted son as the heir to the kingdom after the death of her husband.

Q9. What did the British do to protect the interest of those who converted to Christianity? Ans. In 1850, a new law was passed to make conversion of Christianity easier. This law allowed an Indian who had converted to Christian to inherit the property of their ancestor.

Q10. What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?
Ans. The new cartridges were coated with the fat of cow and pig. And cow was a religions creature for the Hindus. Indians also thought that this was destroying their culture.

Q11. How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
Ans. The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment.
·        His sons were shot dead before his eyes.
·        He and his wife Begum Zinat Mahal were sent to prison in Rangoon in October 1858.
·        Bahadur Shah died in Rangoon jail in November 1862.This was how he lived the last years of his life.

Q12. What could be the reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857?
  •    The company used the method of subsidiary alliance to annex the kingdom. They even took the territory reason that it was misgoverned.
  •    They almost finished the Mughal dynasty and made plans to clear it off. Some Indian joined the British army and thus, the British felt confident of their position in India before May 1857.
  •    There were no rebellions as well as the British thought no Indian can even have the courage to rebel against them. They had built a supremacy over the country. The nawabs and kings were afraid of raising voice against the East India Company.

Q13. What impact did Bahadur Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and the ruling families?
  •    The soldiers marched to the Red Fort and persuaded Bahadur Shah willing to challenge the mighty British power but the soldiers persisted.
  •   The ageing emperor had to accept their demand. He wrote letters to all chief and rulers of the country to come forward and organize a confederacy of Indian states to fight the British.
  •    Nana Saheb, gathered armed forces and expelled the British garrison from the city. He proclaimed himself Peshwa, he declared that he was a governor under Emperor Bahadur Shah.
  •    Birjis Qadar, was proclaimed the new Nawab. He too acknowledges the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah.
  •   After the revolt the company decided to repress the revolt, Bahadur Shah was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment. His sons were shot dead before his eyes. He and his wife Begum Zinat Mahal were sent to prison in Rangoon and he died there itself.

Q14. How did the British succeed in securing the submission of the rebel landowners of Awadh?
·        The British tried their best to win back the loyalty of the people.
·        They announced rewards for loyal landholders would be allowed to continuous to enjoy traditional right over their lands.
·        Those who had rebelled were told that if they submitted to the British and if they would remain safe and their rights and claims to land would not be denied.
Never these hundreds of sepoys, rebels, nawabs and rajas were tried and hanged.

Q15. Name the groups that participated in this revolt.
Ans. The groups that participated in this revolt are:-
·        sepoys
·        Peasants
·        Zamindars
·        Tribals
·        Rajas and
·        Nawabs

Q16. How did the mutiny became a popular rebellion?·        A very large number of people begin to believe that they have a common enemy and rise up against the enemy
·        Sepoys mutinied in several places beginning from Meerut and a large number of people from different sections of society rose up in rebellion.
·        After a hundred years of conquest and administration, the English East India Company faced a massive rebellion that started in May 1857 and threatened the Company’s very presence in India.

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