NCERT Class 8 History Chapter 5 - When People Rebel

Chapter 5 - When People Rebel

Question 1: What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi that was refused by the British?
Answer:
Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi wanted the company to recognise her adopted son as the heir to the kingdom after the death of her husband. The company confident of its superiority and military powers turned down her plea.

Question 2: What did the British do to protect the interests of those who converted to Christianity?
Answer:
In 1850, a new law was passed to make the conversion to Christianity easier. This law allowed an Indian who had converted to Christianity to inherit the property of his ancestors.

Question 3: What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?
Answer:
Sepoys refused to do the army drill and objected to using the new cartridges, which were suspected of being coated with the fat of cows and pigs.

Question 4: How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
Answer:
The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment in Rangoon with his wife. His sons were shot dead before his eyes. He died there after four years in 1862.

Question 5: What could be the reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857?
Answer:
The reasons for the confidence of the British rulers were as follows:
• Since the mid-eighteenth century, Nawabs and rajas had lost 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 taken away by stages.
• The Company began to plan how to bring the Mughal dynasty to an end.
• In 1849, Governor-General Dalhousie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort and given another place in Delhi to reside in.
• In 1856, the Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and after his death none of his descendants would be recognised as kings and would be called as princes.

Question 6: What impact did Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and the ruling families?
Answer:

• Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion inspired and enthused the people and other ruling families.
• It gave them the courage, hope, and confidence to act.
• The people of the towns and villages rose up in rebellion and rallied around local leaders, zamindars, and chiefs.
• 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 Zafar.
7 Birjis Qadr of Lucknow and his mother Begum Hazrat Mahal took an active part in organising the uprising against British.
• He acknowledged the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
• Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi along with Tantia Tope joined the rebel sepoys and fought against the British.

Question 7: How did the Company plan to bring the Mughal dynasty to an end?
Answer:
The Company began to bring the Mughal dynasty to an end.
• The name of the Mughal king was removed from the coins minted by the Company.
• In 1849, Governor General Dalhousie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort and given another place in Delhi to reside in.
• In 1856, Governor General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and after his death none of his descendants would be recognised as kings-they would just be called Princes.

Question 8: In what ways did the British change their policies as a result of the rebellion of 1857?
Answer:
The British regained control by the end of 1859 and decided to change their policies and introduced new ones and these changes were:
• The British Parliament passed a new Act in 1858 and transferred the powers of the Company to the British crown in order to ensure more responsible management of Indian affairs.
• The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, that is, a personal representative of the crown.
• All ruling chiefs of the country were assured that their territory would never be annexed in future (if they acknowledged the British Queen as their Sovereign Paramount).
• The British decided to respect the customary religious and social practices of the people in India.
• The land and property of Muslims was confiscated on a large scale and they were treated with suspicion and hostility.
• Policies were made to protect landlords and zamindars and give them security of rights over their lands.

Question 9: What reforms did the British introduce in the Indian society?  How did the people of India respond to them?
Answer:
The British introduced several reforms:
• They passed laws to stop the practice of sati and to encourage the remarriage of widows.
• They promoted English language education.
• In 1850, the Company passed a new law that made the conversion to Christianity easier.
Many Indians began to feel that the British were destroying their religion, their social customs and their social way of life.  But at the same time there were other Indians who readily accepted the reforms introduced by the British.  In fact, they wanted to change existing social practices.

Question 10: Why did the chiefs and rulers support the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in the Revolt?
Answer:

• The Mughal dynasty had ruled over a large part of the country.
• Most smaller rulers and chieftains controlled different territories on behalf   of the Mughal ruler.
• Threatened by the expansion of British rule, many of them felt that if the Mughal emperor could rule again, they too would be able to rule their own territories once more, under the Mughal authority.

Question 11: How did the British try to win back the loyalty of the people after they recaptured Delhi?
Answer:

• The British announced rewards for loyal landholders by allowing them to continue to enjoy traditional rights over their lands.
• Those who had rebelled were told that if they submitted to the British and if they had not killed any white people, they would remain safe and their rights and claims to land would not be denied.

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