1. Several localised rebellions had occurred before the Revolt of 1857. Which of the following is the correct ascending chronological order of the events? (1) Santhal Rebellion (2) Kol Uprising (3) Barrackpore Mutiny (4) Vellore Mutiny Select the correct answer using the code given below: (a) 3-4-2-1 (b) 2-4-3-1 (c) 2-3-1-4 (d) 4-3-2-1 Answer: (d) Explanation: Revolt of 1857 was a no sudden occurrence. Hundreds of uprisings had taken place before 1857. • In 1806, sepoys at Vellore mutinied due to discrimination in the ranks but were crushed with terrible violence. • In 1824, 47th regiment of sepoys at Barrackpore refused to go to Burma by the sea route. The regiment was disbanded, and the leaders were hanged. • In 1831, Kol tribesmen rebelled against the British rule for imposing on them outsiders as moneylenders and landlords. • In 1855, Santhals proclaimed a government of their own in the area between Bhagalpur and Rajmahal. Source: Old Modern India NCERT by Bipan Chandra, Chapter 6, Pages 103-108
2. The Revolt of 1857 was much more than a product of sepoy discontent. It was a product of accumulated grievances. Which among the following can be considered as the causes for the Revolt of 1857? (1) Corruption at lower levels of administration (2) The policy of Subsidiary Alliance by Lord Dalhousie (3) Reverses suffered by the British in wars like Afghan War and Crimean War. (4) Middle and upper classes excluded from high posts in the administration. (5) Annexation of Hyderabad by Lord Dalhousie. (6) Humanitarian measures taken by the British government on the advice of reformers. Select the correct answer using the code given below: (a) 1, 3, 4 and 6 only (b) 4, 5 and 6 only (c) 3 and 4 only (d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Answer: (a) Explanation: Economic exploitation of the country, dislike for company’s administration and foreignness of the regime together had led to the outburst of discontent against British rule. Revolt of 1857 began with a mutiny of the sepoys but soon engulfed major sections and regions. The following are considered to be the reasons: • The impoverishment of peasants, artisans and handicrafts owing to British land and revenue policies and withdrawal of patronage to art. • Corruption at a lower level of administration and complex judicial system. • Foreign nature of rule with the British not establishing any social connections. • Middle and upper classes exclusion from well paid higher posts in the administration. • Annexation of Awadh by Lord Dalhousie under the pretext of mal-governance. • The doctrine of Lapse policy by Lord Dalhousie put to use in case of Jhansi and Peshwa • Reverses suffered by British in foreign wars like Afghan war and Crimean war. • Conservative sentiments aroused by humanitarian measures taken up by the British on the advice of Indian reformers, in issues like Sati, Widow Remarriage, Education etc. Source: Old Modern India NCERT by Bipan Chandra, Chapter 6, Pages 103-108.
3. Which of the following is correct about the post-1857 policy changes by British Government? (a) Authority of India was transferred from the Secretary of State assisted by a Council to the Board of Control and the Court of Directors. (b) An Executive Council was established to assist the Governor-General whose members would head different departments. (c) An Imperial Legislative Council was established in 1861 in which there was no provision for inducting Indian members. (d) The Act of 1861 further strengthened centralisation in legislation. Answer: (b) Explanation: The Revolt of 1857 gave a severe jolt to the British administration in India and made its re- organization inevitable. The Government of India’s structure and policies underwent significant changes in the decades following the Revolt. By the Act of Parliament of 1858, the power to govern India was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown. The authority over India, wielded by the Directors of the Company and the Board of Control, was now to be exercised by a Secretary of State for India aided by a Council. The Act of 1858 provided that the Governor-General would have an Executive Council whose members were to act as heads of different departments and as his official advisers. The Indian Council Act of 1861 enlarged the Governor’s Council to make laws, which was known as the Imperial Legislative Council. The Governor-General was authorized to add to his Executive Council between six and twelve members of whom at least half had to be non-officials who could be Indian or English. The Act of 1861 marks the turning point for this wave of centralisation when Legislative councils were to be established in Bombay, Madras and Bengal. After 1883, the administration was strictly centralized. But the extreme centralization proved to be harmful to the Government especially in the field of finance. Value Addition: Feature of Indian Councils Act, 1861 : • It transformed the India's executive council into a cabinet run on the portfolio system. • The Executive Council was enlarged by addition of fifth member. • The Viceroy was allowed, under the provisions of the Act, to overrule the council on affairs if he deemed it necessary • The Viceroy was allowed to issue ordinances lasting six months if the Legislative Council is not in session in an emergency. • It restored the legislative powers of Bombay and Madras Presidencies taken away by the Charter Act of 1833. • The legislative council at Calcutta was given extensive authority to pass laws for British India as a whole, but the legislative councils at Bombay and Madras were given the power to make laws for the "Peace and good Government" for only their respective presidencies. • The Governor General was given the power to create new provinces for legislative purposes and could appoint Lieutenant Governors for the provinces. Source: Old Modern India NCERT by Bipan Chandra, chapter 7, Pages 121-125.
4. Which of the following was given the name Damin-i-koh or was simply called Damin? (a) Land of Santhals (b) Land of Tribals (c) Land of Farmers (d) Land of Britishers Answer: (a) Explanation: East India Company wanted to increase the agricultural land and revenue. First, they tried to pacify Paharias of Rajmahal Hills to achieve their objectives. But having failed to subdue the Paharias and transform them into settled agriculturists, the British turned to the Santhals. The Paharias refused to cut forests, resisted touching the plough, and continued to be turbulent. The Santhals, by contrast, appeared to be ideal settlers, clearing forests and ploughing the land with vigour. The Santhals were given land and persuaded to settle in the foothills of Rajmahal. By 1832 a large area of land was demarcated as Damin-i-Koh. This was declared to be the land of the Santhals. They were to live within it, practise plough agriculture, and become settled peasants. The land grant to the Santhals stipulated that at least one-tenth of the area was to be cleared and cultivated within the first ten years. The territory was surveyed and mapped. Enclosed with boundary pillars, it was separated from both the world of the settled agriculturists of the plains and the Paharias of the hills. After the demarcation of Damin-i-Koh, Santhal settlements expanded rapidly. From 40 Santhal villages in the area in 1838, as many as 1,473 villages had come up by 1851. Over the same period, the Santhal population increased from a mere 3,000 to over 82,000. As cultivation expanded, an increased volume of revenue flowed into the Company’s coffers. Source: Themes in Indian History – Part 3, Theme – 10, Page 271.
5. With respect to the British rule in India, what does the term ‘Imperial Preferences’ imply? (a) The system of nominating Indian princes to Imperial Legislative Council (b) Special privileges given to British imports (c) British expenditure on Military expeditions outside the territory of India (d) The system of exempting some territories from land revenue by the Secretary of State. Answer: (b) Explanation: Under the British rule, the Indian owned Industries such as cement, iron and steel and glass were denied protection while foreign dominated industries were given the protection they desire. Moreover, British imports were given special privileges under the system of ‘Imperial Preferences’ which Indian vehemently protested. Source: Old Modern India NCERT by Bipan Chandra, Chapter 8, Page 149