Causes of Failure of Revolt of 1857

The sudden and unexpected rising of the sepoys forced the British officials, to leave Delhi Oudh, Rohilkhand and other places which almost passed under the control of the sepoys. However, the British began to recover them within some months. There were several factors responsible for the British success. Thus, it is important to analyze the causes of the failure of the Revolt of 1857.

Localized and Poorly Organized Revolt

The Revolt of 1857 was localized and poorly organized. Due to lack of communication facilities, the sepoys of the widely dispersed cantonments could not act simultaneously in a concerted manner. The revolt did not spread to wider regions of the country. The armies of the Bombay and Madras presidencies remained loyal to the British. There was hardly any disturbance to the south of the Narmada, Sindh, the Punjab, the Northwestern Frontier province and Nepal remained unaffected.

The revolt without a clear Leader

The need of the time was a leader with military capability and political skill who could fuse the scattered elements into a consolidated force of great momentum with a definite policy and plan of action. Such a leader was hard to emerge. Bahadur Shah II was an old and exhausted man lacked organizing ability. Nana Sahib, through possessed some ability, 10 lacked military leadership. Other leaders such as Rani Lakshimi Bai, Kunwar Singh, and the Begum of Oudh were local leaders and lacked all- India standing. This led to the failure of the Revolt of 1857.

No mass support

The sepoys could not get the support of the population. The revolt did not attract common people who remained passive and indifferent to the Revolt. In many places the revolt was confined to the sepoys only. There was lack of intimate link between the sepoys and common people. Even among the sepoys, many remained loyal to the British.

Lack of Common Ideal among Sepoys

The sepoys lacked common ideal before them. The sepoys at Delhi decided to recovery the glory of the Mughal. At Gwalior and Kanpur, Nana Sahib was proclaimed a Peshwa. Rani Lakhmi Bai fought for her Jhansi. The orthodox section among the Hindus and the Muslims were concerned with their religions. There was no unity among the Hindus and the Muslims.

No support of ruling princes

The ruling princes did not support the sepoys. On the other hand they actively assisted the British in suppressing the revolt. Sir Dinkar Rae, the minister of Gwalior, Sir Salar Jang, the minister of Hydrabad, Sang Bahadur of Nepal, and Dost Muhammad, the ruler of Afghanistan were indifferent to the Revolt and actively helped the British against the sepoys. 6.6. Luckily for the British by 1856 the Crimean and the Chinese wars had come to an end This enabled the British to send additional troops to India to put down the revolt. The sepoys had few guns and muskets. They fought chiefly with swords and spears. On the other hand the British soldiers were equipped with latest weapons and used the telegraph and railways to their advantages. They could send message about the revolt much in advance so that precautionary measures could be taken at the other end.


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