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====India before the Mutiny====
[[File: Mutiny 3.jpg|200px|thumb|left|The last Mughal]]
India was not formerly a colony of Britain in 1857 but in fact, it was dominated by the British. The East India Company
had been set up as a trading company in India and over a matter of centuries had come to dominate the sub-continent. This company had its own large army and was supported by the British government, which was technically the sovereign power in the territories. <ref> Bandyopadhyay, Sekhara (2004), From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India, New Delhi: Orient Longman, p. 523</ref> . The British via the East India Company were able to dominate India by 1820 and they ruled the sub-continent by what were known as ‘subsidiary alliances’ with local rulers , including both Hindus and Muslims. British officials had begun a policy of land seizures and they began to replace the old Hindu and Muslim elites. Increasingly when a Hindu Prince died his lands were confiscated by the British , using a variety of stratagems of doubtful legality<ref> Bandyopadhyay, 121</ref> . This alienated many of the old elite who had often been independent rulers even during the heyday of Mughal power. Moreover, the decline of the Hindu princes meant that many Brahmins were unable to secure financial supports. What united both Hindus and Muslims was a dislike for the Western Missionaries whom they saw as imposing a foreign religion on the people. Many of the reforms of the British governor Lord Dalhousie were also bitterly resented and they were seen as an attack on traditional beliefs and value such as the caste system <ref>Hibbert, Christopher (1980), The Great Mutiny: India 1857, London: Allen Lane, p. 472 </ref> . There were also economic issues , the East Indian Company was accused of imposing oppressive taxes on the Indian population and impoverishing many. Moreover, the introduction of free-market reforms resulted in many Indians losing their lands to moneylenders.
====The Indian Mutiny 1857-1858: the Rebellion====