CBSE Class 8 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 5

Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes

CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes – When People Rebel

Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes will be helpful for students to quickly review and learn the chapter for the exams. Students can learn more about specific policies and the people who supported them by using the Extramarks Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes. The revision notes will summarise topics such as sepoys and peasants, as well as the conflict between Nawabs and the Company. Students will be able to master their knowledge of the chapter with the help of these notes.

When People Rebel Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes

Access CBSE Class 8 Social Science (History) Chapter 5 – When People Rebel 1857 and After Notes

Nawabs Losing Power

  • Nawabs’ and Rajas’ power had been eroding since the mid-eighteenth century. They gradually lost their power and honour.
  • The inhabitants had been stationed in various courts, the rulers’ freedom had been curbed, their armed forces had been dismantled, and their revenues and territories had been gradually removed.
  • Several family leaders attempted to bargain with the Company to protect their interests. For example, after her husband’s death, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi requested the Company to recognise her adopted son as heir to the kingdom.
  • The Company even began planning how to bring the Mughal dynasty to an end. The name of the Mughal emperor had been removed from the Company’s coins.

The Peasants and the Sepoys

  • Farmers and zamindars in the countryside were dissatisfied with high taxes and rigid methods of collecting receipts.
  • The land that many people cultivated for centuries was slowly being taken away from them as a result of their inability to repay their payments to lenders.
  • There were controversies around the Company’s utilisation of Indian burials. They were dissatisfied with their pay, benefits, and working conditions.
  • Furthermore, some of the new rules went against their religious beliefs and sensitivities.
  • Even though they consented to travel by land, the sepoys objected to being told to travel by sea to Burma in 1824 to fight for the Company.
  • The events of the campaign also influenced sepoys. Many of them were farmers with families in the villages. As a result, the peasants’ rage spread quickly among the sepoys.

Responses to Reforms

The English believed that reforming Indian society was necessary. Legislation encouraging widows to remarry and outlawing Sati had both been passed. The teaching of the English language was vigorously promoted. After 1830, the Company permitted Christian missionaries to operate freely in its field, including the ownership of lands and possessions. A new statute was enacted in 1850 to facilitate Christian conversion. This law allowed an Indian who converted to Christianity to inherit his ancestors’ property.

A Mutiny Becomes a Popular Rebellion

  • Although conflicts between leaders and the governed were common, they became widespread as a result of popular opposition to the collapse of state power.
  • Many people began to believe that they share a common enemy and were working together to fight it.
  • The English East India Company faced a huge uprising that started in May 1857 and threatened the Company’s presence in India after almost 100 years of conquest and rule.
  • Around Meerut, there were multiple sepoy revolts, and a sizable number of people of all walks of life rebelled.

From Meerut to Delhi

  • On April 8, 1857, a young soldier named Mangal Pandey was executed by hanging for assaulting his superiors in Barrackpore.
  • Some sepoys from the Meerut Regiment refused to train the army with the new cartridges because they believed they were greased with pig and cow fat.
  • On May 9, 1857, 85 sepoys were returned from service and sentenced to ten years in prison for disobeying their officers.
  • The other Indian soldiers’ response at Meerut was astounding. On May 10, the army entered Meerut Prison and freed the sepoys who were detained there.
  • The Meerut sepoys arrived in Delhi early the next morning after driving through the night of May 10. As word of their arrival spread, the regiments stationed in Delhi prepared for rebellion.
  • The Mughal dynasty ruled over a large portion of the country. The majority of the leaders and smaller leaders ruled over various lands on behalf of the Mughal king.

The Rebellion Spreads

  • There was no uprising for nearly a week after the English were routed from Delhi as it took time to convince the newcomers to travel after which the mutiny broke out.
  • Regiment after regiment mutinied and fled to join other troops in places like Delhi, Kanpur, and Lucknow.
  • The British troops were ousted by Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the deceased Peshwa Baji Rao who lived close to Kanpur.
  • In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr, the son of ousted Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, was named the new Nawab. Additionally, he recognised Bahadur Shah Zafar’s authority.
  • Rani Lakshmibai joined the rebel graves in Jhansi and fought the English alongside Tantia Tope, Nana Saheb’s general. Rani Avantibai Lodhi of Ramgarh raised and led an army of four thousand against the British because they had taken over the administration of her state in the Mandla region of Madhya Pradesh.

The Company Fights Back

  • Concerned about the magnitude of the uprising, the Company decided to suppress it with all its might.
  • It brought assistance from England, passed new laws that made it easier to convict the rebels, and then moved to the storm centres of the uprising. In September 1857, the rebel forces were driven out of Delhi.
  • Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor, was tried and sentenced to life in prison.
  • In March 1858, Lucknow was captured. In June 1858, Rani Lakshmibai was killed in the battleground. A similar fate awaited Rani Avantibai, who chose to embrace death after the initial victory at Kheri, despite being surrounded by the British on all sides.
  • Tantia Tope escaped to the central Indian forests, where he resumed his guerrilla campaign with the aid of numerous tribal chiefs and peasants. He was captured in April 1859, put on trial, and killed.


The British had taken back control of the nation by the end of 1859 but were unable to implement the same policies. The British Parliament passed a new Act in 1858 that transferred the authority of the East India Company to the British Crown in order to ensure more responsible management of Indian affairs. All of the country’s top leaders have been assured that their territory will never be annexed again. They were allowed to pass their kingdoms on to their heirs, including their adopted sons. The British chose to respect people’s traditional religious and social practices in India. Policies had been put in place to protect landowners and zamindars and ensure their rights to their lands are secure.

The People and Their Policies

The policies implemented changed as the 18th Century progressed. These policies will be discussed in the upcoming sections.

The Loss of Power of the Nawabs

During the mid-eighteenth century, the Rajas and Nawabs lost their power and authority over the people. As a result, most of the ruling families decided to negotiate some terms with the East India Company to protect their interests. For example, Rani Lakshmibai, Queen of Jhansi, requested that her adopted son be recognised as the heir after her husband’s death, but the Company denied her request.

The Sepoys and the Peasants

Some rural zamindars and peasants refused to embrace the Company’s heavy taxation practices and other ways of making money. The majority of people had to give up their land as a result of not paying back their loans to some moneylenders. Some Indian Sepoys working for the East India Company weren’t happy with the benefits, wages, or working conditions they received. These sepoys agreed to travel by land rather than by sea when they were due to be sent to Burma for the war.

Responses to Certain Reforms

The British began to pass laws that led to the reformation of Indian society, including the prohibition of the Sati tradition. The British also commissioned widow remarriage. Aside from that, there was a promotion of English education. After 1830, Christian missionaries were granted permission to operate independently if they had their own domain, as well as property and land.

The Beginning of Mutiny and the Rebellion

In March 1857, when people rose up against a single common adversary, the East India Company encountered one of the greatest uprisings. The uprising started in Meerut and was led by people from different communities. This uprising was widely recognised as the most significant and powerful armed opposition against colonialism.

The Spread of the Rebellion

The rebellion began in Delhi and spread when there was no British uprising. The revolt included numerous troops from Kanpur, Delhi, and Lucknow. After Peshwa Baji Rao, Nana Saheb’s father passed away, armed troops gathered in support of Nana Saheb, who proclaimed himself the new Peshwa. The British had to concede defeat in a number of battles.

The East India Company, on the other hand, quickly brought reinforcements and support from England. New laws were enacted to apprehend and convict all of the insurgents. In September 1857, Delhi was captured, and the emperor at the time, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was imprisoned for life.

Similarly, when rebels such as Rani Lakshmibai were defeated, the British intended to reward the people for their loyalty. They vowed to spare those who surrendered and to protect those who had not killed any white people during the rebellion.

The Aftermath of the Rebellion

By 1859, the country was once again under British control. During the rule, some necessary changes were also made. More information can be found in the Class 8 History Chapter 5 Notes.

  1. The Crown received control and authority from the Company the following year to effectively administer operations in India. From among the British Cabinet members, a secretary was chosen to handle Indian government concerns.
  2. The ruling chiefs were given assurances that their territories would not be annexed. In addition, the chiefs were permitted to safely transfer their kingdoms and property to their heirs.
  3. The percentage of European soldiers rose, and there was a drop in the number of Indian soldiers in the army.
  4. Muslims were frequently treated with hatred and distrust, and their property and lands were heavily seized.
  5. In general, the cultural and religious practices of Indians were honoured.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What request made by Rani Laxmi Bai, Queen of Jhansi, did the British reject?

After her husband’s passing, Rani Laxmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi, urged the British to recognise her adopted son as the King’s heir, but the British refused.

2. How did Bahadur Shah Zafar's last few years of life go?

Bahadur Shah Zafar’s latter years were miserable since the time he was detained by the British and transferred to Rangoon Jail, where he passed away.

3. How did the British manage to convince the rebellious Awadhi landowners to submit?

The defeat of British forces in some battles sparked uprisings against the British in various Indian states. A massive popular rebellion erupted, particularly in the state of Awadh. Following the defeat of the riot forces, the British used a multi-pronged strategy to suppress the rebels and the revolt. It was promised that they would be able to keep and enjoy their traditional rights to their land. The British had promised the rebels that they would be safe as long as they turned themselves in and did not murder any white people. Additionally, their claims and rights to their land would not be rejected.