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Consequences of the Rebellion

By the end of 1859 the British had regained control of the country. The rebellion made the British enforce new laws and reforms.


1. The British Parliament passed a new Act in 1858 and transferred the powers of the East India Company to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs.

  • A member of the British Cabinet was appointed Secretary of State for India.
  • He was responsible for all matters related to the governance of India.
  • He was given a council to advise him, called the India Council.
  • The Governor-General of India was now given the title of ‘Viceroy’.
  • He was the personal representative of the Crown.
  • British government was now directly responsibility for ruling India.

2. Indian nawabs, rajas and chiefs were assured that their territory would not be annexed in future.

  • Indian rulers were allowed to pass on their kingdoms to their heirs, including adopted sons.
  • They had to accept the British Queen as their Sovereign Paramount.
  • The Indian rulers were to hold their kingdoms as subordinates of the British Crown.

3. Indian soldiers in the army would be reduced and the number of European soldiers would be increased.

  • The soldiers would be recruited from among the Ghurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans and not from Awadh, Bihar, Central India and South India.

4. The land and property of Muslims was confiscated on a large scale.

  • The Muslims were treated with suspicion and hostility, for the Britishbelieved that they were responsible for the rebellion in a big way.

5. The British decided to respect the customary religious and social practices of the people in India.

6. Policies were made to protect landlords and zamindars and give them security of rights over their lands.

Thus a new phase of history began after 1857.

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