What were the direct and indirect results of the Revolt of 1857?

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a. The Direct Results:

The direct effects of the Revolt of 1857 may be summed up in the following words: Firstly, the Revolt of 1857 exposed the danger involved in allowing a commercial organization to rule over a country.

Consequently, the British Parliament by an Act transferred the control of the Indian government from the East India Company to the British Crown.

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The said Act passed on 2 August, 1858, was known as the Act for the Better Government of India.

Secondly, Queen Victoria, by a Proclamation announced on 1 November, 1858, directly assumed the responsibility of the Indian administration in her own hands.

And it was in accordance with the Queen’s Proclamation that the honorific title of Viceroy was added to the Governor-General of India.

That is to say, the supreme executive and legislative authority in India henceforth came to be called the ‘Governor-General and the Viceroy’. Lord Canning, so far known as the Governor-General of India, also became the first Viceroy of the country.

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Thirdly, in her Proclamation Queen Victoria also announced certain changes in the governmental policy to be pursued by the British in India.

She made it clear that the British government had no desire of further territorial expansion in India. The Queen also categorically stated that the British government in India would in no way interfere with the established customs or religion of the Indian people.

Fourthly, the Revolt of 1857 led to an extensive reorganization of the army and the civil administration. It must, however, be remembered that in spite of all these bold theoretical statements hardly any change occurred in the basic exploitative nature of the British rule in India.

b. Indirect Results:

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Far more important than the direct results were the indirect ones which followed the Revolt of 1857. Firstly, the Revolt further widened the difference between the ruler and the ruled.

Secondly, during the post-Revolt years the British rulers, in order to maintain their supremacy in India, deliberately followed a policy of communal disharmony.

The seed of communal discord planted by the English in India sprouted like a poison tree, and bore the fruits of communalism.

Thirdly, true that the British government in India did not pursue a policy of territorial expansion in India during the post-1857 days, the period was yet marked by a new era of economic exploitation by the British in India.

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Fourthly, from now on the British pursued a policy of opposing the educated middle class and supporting the landlords and the native princes.

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