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Document A: Gardiner’s English HistorySamuel Rawson Gardiner (1829-1902) was an English historian and a professor of history at King’s College in London. He wrote several books on English history. The excerpt below comes from a book he wrote for young students. The Indian Mutiny of 1857 The religion of the Hindus, who form a great part of the natives in India, teaches many things which seem very strange to Englishmen. Among otherthings they are taught that they will be defiledif they eat any part of a cow. By this defilement they will meet with much contemptfrom their fellows, and will suffer much after death in another world. The bulk of the army in India was composed of Hindus. It happened that an improved rifle had lately been invented for the use of the soldiers, and that the cartridgesused in this rifle needed to be greasedso they could be rammed down easily into the barrel. The men believed that the grease was made of the fat of cows, though this was not really the case. There was, therefore, much suspicion and angry feeling among the native soldiers, and when ignorant men are suspicious and angry they are likely to break out into deeds of unreasoning fury. Source:Gardiner’s English History for Schools, an English textbook edited for American students, 1881.Vocabulary defiled: made dirty, spoiled, ruined contempt:disrespect cartridge: ammunition for a gun or rifle fury:extreme anger STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu
Document B: Sir Colin Campbell (Modified)Sir Colin Campbell took charge of British forces during the uprising. In this passage from his book on the uprising, he first discusses the Hindu sepoys. These soldiers included members of various castes, and a sizable number of them were Brahmins, the highest caste. Any considerable offence offered to [the Brahmins] . . . might seriously endanger the fidelityof the native troops; and there seems to be little doubtthat offence has been given. Injudiciousattempts to convert sepoys to Christianity have been made, and [the sepoys believed] that they were to be converted by compulsion. . . . At the same time it is impossible to dissociate the revolt and the [removal] of the Muslim king of Oudh. The province of Oudh had always maintained its independence. . . . But at length the system of government became too bad to be tolerated; the court was a mere hot bed of oppression, intrigue, and sensuality; and the British took control of Oudh. It has never been disputed that this was a merciful change for the people ofOudh; but the people are not always governed by reason. Prejudices – religious, national and social – have paramount influence even in a civilizedcountry; this is even more true in a region sunk into barbarism. Source:Sir Colin Campbell, Narrative of the Indian Revolt from Its Outbreak to the Capture of Lucknow,1858.