The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against British rule. For nearly 100 years, that rule had been presided over by the British East India Company, the rebellion began on 10 May 1857 in the form of a mutiny of sepoys of the Companys army in the garrison town of Meerut,40 miles northeast of Delhi. It then erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions chiefly in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, though incidents of revolt also occurred farther north and east. The rebellion posed a threat to British power in that region. On 1 November 1858, the British granted amnesty to all rebels not involved in murder, though they did not declare the hostilities formally to have ended until 8 July 1859. The rebellion is known by names, including the Sepoy Mutiny, the Indian Mutiny, the Great Rebellion, the Revolt of 1857, the Indian Insurrection. Many Indians did rise against the British, however, very many also fought for the British, after the outbreak of the mutiny in Meerut, the rebels very quickly reached Delhi, whose 81-year-old Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, they declared the Emperor of Hindustan. Soon, the rebels had captured large tracts of the North-Western Provinces. The East India Companys response came rapidly as well, with help from reinforcements, Kanpur was retaken by mid-July 1857, and Delhi by the end of September. However, it took the remainder of 1857 and the better part of 1858 for the rebellion to be suppressed in Jhansi, Lucknow. Other regions of Company controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, in the Punjab, the Sikh princes crucially helped the British by providing both soldiers and support. In some regions, most notably in Awadh, the took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence. However, the rebel leaders proclaimed no articles of faith that presaged a new political system, even so, the rebellion proved to be an important watershed in Indian- and British Empire history. India was thereafter administered directly by the British government in the new British Raj, on 1 November 1858, Queen Victoria issued a proclamation to Indians, which while lacking the authority of a constitutional provision, promised rights similar to those of other British subjects. In the following decades, when admission to these rights was not always forthcoming, the victory was consolidated in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar, when the East India Company army defeated Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. After his defeat, the granted the Company the right to the collection of Revenue in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar. The Company soon expanded its territories around its bases in Bombay and Madras, later, the Anglo-Mysore Wars, in 1806, the Vellore Mutiny was sparked by new uniform regulations that created resentment amongst both Hindu and Muslim sepoys. After the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Wellesley began what became two decades of accelerated expansion of Company territories and this was achieved either by subsidiary alliances between the Company and local rulers or by direct military annexation
Image: Indian Rebellion of 1857
India in 1765 and 1805 showing East India Company-governed territories in pink.
India in 1837 and 1857 showing East India Company-governed territories in pink