Critically examine the view that 1857 was not the first armed revolt  against  the British, Analyse the nature  and  causes  of early revolts.

     The British rulers met with stiff resistance from the Indian people  right from the beginning of their rule in India.   During the  entire period from the battle of Plassey till 1856 when  the British  conquest  of India was practically complete,  hardly  an year  passed without an outbreak of armed revolt in some part  of the  country  or  other.  The initial  period  of  naked  plunder followed  by  systematic  exploitation  of  the  country  in  the interests of the dominant sections of British society antagonised vast  sections  of the Indian people. The loss of  power  by  the Indian  princes  and  nobles ruined large  numbers  of  people  – officials, soldiers, craftsmen whose work and livelihood had been connected  with  the  courts. The icnreased  revenue  demands  by foreign  rulers  led to the worsening of the  conditions  of  the peasants. Heavy demands were made on the zamindars and chiefs who were dispossessed if they failed to meet them. The tribal  people were  deprived of their traditional rights and brought under  the exploitative  system established by the British.  Throughout  the first century of British rule in India, the peasants, the  tribal people,  the zamindars and chiefs, and other sections rose up  in revolt in every part of the country at different times. They  were often  joined by the disbanded soldiers of former Indian  rulers. There  were  also  mutinies by the sepoys. In  some  places,  the people  resorted to hartals to resist new taxes. The  leaders  of this almost unbroken chain of outbreaks were mostly old zamindars and tribal chiefs, and, sometimes, religious leaders. Though some of them persisted over long years and it took the British  rulers a  long time and vast resources to suppress them, these  revolts, being  generally localized, did not pose a serious  challenge  to the British rule in India.