What would have happened if the 1857 revolt was won by India

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
What if the Indian rebels won the 1857 revolt? What would have been the future of India and how would history have panned out? Would the liberated states up north have tried to annex the relatively dormant south? Would India have reverted to kingdomhood or been a democracy? Would the modernization process have taken shape in the coming century? Did India need the stabilizing effect of the British rule for another almost 100 years?
 

SSDD

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
3,900
India
Then India would be a weak federation under various regional rulers under nominal rule of Mughal Emperor. Famines would not happen, Britain would have less power and British rule in Burma would be somewhat difficult.
 
Dec 2014
453
Wales
Britain would have sent more troops and won it all back
This. In fact it's pretty much what happened. Most of the ports remained in British hands, large areas of territory were either neutral or remained under British control - the British would have (and indeed did) dispatched large regular forces as opposed to East India Company troops and re-conquered the area lost. The difference between 1857 and India in the 20th century is that India in the 20th century had come to think of itself as a nation, rather than a collection of kingdoms all with independent rulers and politics. When India decided it wanted independence - as opposed to the kingdoms of Rajputana, Hyderabad, etc. - then Britain never really had a chance of preventing it.
 

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,873
a very good post chean. At exactly what time in history did India think of itself as a nation. Do you think this happened in the late 1890's or late 1910's to early 1920. Do you think India could have become independent after World War 1. This might have probably happened before Muslim League peak and could have seen a much larger India
 
Dec 2014
453
Wales
a very good post chean. At exactly what time in history did India think of itself as a nation. Do you think this happened in the late 1890's or late 1910's to early 1920. Do you think India could have become independent after World War 1. This might have probably happened before Muslim League peak and could have seen a much larger India
To be honest my knowledge of Indian history after 1860's and prior to Independence is quite limited, but I would find the answer to that question quite interesting as well. I know that the British government taking control of India from the East India Company after the Revolt caused some major changes to the way India was seen in London. The revolt raised the subject of Indian independence with the liberals in the British government at least as early as the 1880's, though at the time they were very much in the minority.

But at what point a real Independence movement grew in India itself I couldn't say. I suspect one of our Indian posters could answer that a lot better than me. It is interesting to wonder if - or rather when - India would have been granted Dominion status in the same way Canada, Australia and New Zealand were if it had not gained independence.
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,566
Sweden
Its hard to say. On the one hand the Mughal King Bahadur Shah would have been made at least the nominal leader of a state based in North India. The Delhi rebels were however a mix of various factions who all had huge differences and only one similar goal which was to get the Brits out of the country. In the immediate aftermath of the British withdrawal hence these factions would fight an internal war and the Mughals wouldnt be able to do much to control things as Bahadur Shah was already an aged man and none of his sons ever showed any skill in ruling other than maybe Mirza Mughal. The new "Mughal" state could thus either end up as a Muslim dominated state under the likes of Bakht Khan and his Rohillas or if the Hindu faction emerged stronger become some kind of a more secular state or maybe even result in the deposition of Bahadur Shah and the emergence of a new Hindu dynasty. Either way there would be turmoil.

In the North West (Pakistan) The Afghans would probably reemerge and join together with the Pashtuns and Balochis formerly under the British posing a threat to Punjab, Kashmir and Sindh (all of which could possibly become part of Afghanistan as well depending on whether the Afghans are able to pacify the Sikhs and Muslim Potoharis).

In central India the Marathas would probably reemerge under Nana Sahib and other Hindu rebels might flock under their banner like the Rani of Jhansi. However I dont have much knowledge of Central, Southern or Eastern India to comment on how things would look there in the immidiate aftermath of the British withdrawal. One thing that is safe to say though is that the British would return and South India would probably be their first target when they returned.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,069
Navan, Ireland
The localised sepoy rebellion was unlikely to succed since it was effectively localised. But if it did the Indian sub-continent splits into numerous smaller realms.

Now perhaps they'll all live peacefully together apparently famines will cease and everything will be perfect.

Perhaps they will not but be at each others throats, each trying to gain more power and or an advantage. War famine etc.

The British? well its unlikely they'd be pushed completely out of India, most likely the most powerful of the competing states -- so they will win most likely.

Perhaps the British don't want to win I mean a continent in turmoil presents them with an excellent business opportunity.