June 15, 2024

aug 2, 1858 - British Raj


The British East India Company initially owned just the Bengal region of India, but after a series of wars with the Maratha and the Sikhs, most of India came under the control of Britain by the 1850s.

Over time, the multiple take-overs of land, the feeling of a wide ethnic gap between the Indian and British soldiers, as well as the various British taxes and reforms took it's toll on the Indian population. Indian royals had lost various titles and domains due to the company's actions and felt that the British were interfering with traditional Indian systems. Eventually it only took a small spark to light an all-out rebellion.

That spark came in 1857 when the British East India Company provided a new form of ammunition for their rifles. To load the rifle, the gunpowder cartridge had to be bitten open to release the powder, but in this case the grease used on the cartridge was derived from cow and pork fat. Hindus of course were religiously forbidden from consuming said animals and thus it became the final straw for the Indian people.

On Sunday 10th May Indian troops led the first revolt in the city of Meerut and quickly captured the city of Delhi as well as some north-western provinces. The British East India company however, were quick to react and over the next eighteen months fought the Indian rebels in various places before proclaiming victory in November 1858.

This rebellion proved to be an important turning point for the nation, as following the end of the rebellion the British government completely dissolved the East India Company and the country fell under the direct control of the British Crown. In the June of the same year, the army, financial system, and administration were all reorganized under a new governmental regime known as British Raj.

The British Raj had direct control over the majority of India and influenced the remaining states that were still ruled by Indian princes. The subcontinent as a whole no longer traded with other nations but now only supplied resources to the British Empire.

Added to timeline:


aug 2, 1858
~ 165 years ago