On 10 May 1857, sepoys of the Bengal army shot their British officers and marched on Delhi to restore the aged Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, to power. Existing ‘loyalist’ forces were unable to quell the rebellion and reinforcements had to be called from China. It took until December 1857 for Sir Colin Campbell's army to reoccupy the key strategic points along the Ganges valley. The causes of the mutiny lay in attempts to impose British‐style army discipline—the celebrated issue of cartridges greased with animal fat being symptomatic of wider problems. The events of 1857 marked a watershed in Indo‐British relations. Afterwards, the British came to doubt the possibilities of a rapid social transformation and treated their Indian subjects with increasing suspicion. The army was reorganized to improve British surveillance.
Subjects: British History.