The Revolt of 1857 was a result of a number of political, social, economic and I military causes, mentioned as under:
a) The political causes:
The British rulers (Lord Weleseley and Dalhousie) annexed many territories on some pretext or the other. The Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II, the Nawab of Awadh Wajid AH Shah, the Rani of Jhansi Lakshmi Bai etc. was the worst sufferers by the British policy. Besides, the administration was corrupt. So people felt dissatisfied.
b) Socio-religious causes:
The Britishers treated the Indians shabily. They made separate laws and courts for the Europeans. They passed many Acts (although these were reforms for Indian society) which the Indians did not like. Besides, there was conversion of the Indians to Christianity. These factors created hatred and enmity among Indians for the British rule.
c) Economic causes:
The economic policies of the British rule ruined the peasantry, artisans and craftsmen. They became landless wage earners. Traders too were eliminated as the Britishers took entire trade in their own hands.
d) Military causes:
The Indian soldiers were treated as inferior and were paid lower wages. Higher posts were reserved for the Europeans.
e) Immediate cause:
New types of cartridges were introduced. The rumour spread that these cartridges were greased with the fat of cows and pigs. It sparked the religious feelings of the Hindus and the Muslims. On 10th May, 1857, Mangal Pande and some other soldiers refused to fill those cartridges. And thus began the uprising which the Britishers termed as ‘Mutiny.
f) Main Centres of the Revolt:
Barrackpur, Meerut, Delhi, Bareilly, Kanpur, Jhansi, Faizabad and Lucknow were the chief centres of the Revolt of 1857.
Some Important Leaders of the Revolt:
Mangal Pande, Bahadur Shah-II, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Nana Saheb, Bakht Khan, Maulvi Ahmed Ullah, and Begum Hazrat Mahal etc. were the leading figures of the Revolt.fd