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THE UPRISING OF 1857 Investigate the causes of the uprising and consider the implications of the two terms mutiny and war of independence Why did the British prefer the term mutiny Why did the certain Indians prefer to see the incident as a war of independence What were the consequences of the upheavel As with any conflict or controversy there are always two sides to the debate and the events in India during 1857 are certainly no exception Given the situation in India during the nineteenth century it is hardly surprising that such a polarisation of opinion exists regarding the context of the rebellious events during that year The British being in control of the subcontinent and their sense of superiority over their Indian subjects would naturally seek to downplay any acts of rebellion While the Indian subjects on the other hand would arguably wish to exaggerate and over emphasise the importance of these events as a means of promoting the nationalist cause for self determination The truth of the events themselves does it lie towards the British account or the Indian pro nationalistic side or could there be a certain amount of truth in both sides of the debate Metcalf in his account cites three indisputable factors behind the outbreak of rebellion in 1857 Primarily he sees accumulating grievances of the Sepoy Army of Bengal as the most important factor The reasons behind this deterioration of morale amongst the army lay with several reasons Much of the Sepoy army was comprised of Brahmins and other high caste Hindus who assisted in promoting a focus of sedition The generally poor standard of British officers plus the lack of improvement to the overall position of those men serving in the army also increased the level of tension At this point it should be remembered that the Bengal Army differed from those of Bengal and Madras as the Bombay and Madras
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