Last Year Questions

First War of Independence

1)  What was the General Service Enlistment Act?  (ICSE Board : 2013)

The British Parliament passed the General Service Enlistment Act in 1856. According to this Act, the Indian soldiers serving in the East India Company could be sent overseas on duty. Indian Bhramins for whom going overseas was a taboo saw it as a act to defy their caste and religion.

2)  What is meant by Doctrine of Lapse?  (ICSE Board Sample Question Paper : 2017)


   Explain the term 'Doctrine of Lapse' ? (ICSE Board : 2006)

According to the Doctrine of Lapse, if a ruler died without an heir to succeed him, his adopted son could neither inherit the throne nor the title, and in such cases, the state was to be annexed to the British Empire.

3)  What was Nana Sahib's grievance against the British? (ICSE Board : 2012 & 2003)

Nana Sahib was the adopted son of the last Peshwa Baji Rao II. The British refused to grant him pension which they were paying to Peshwa Baji Rao II. Why did the Doctrine of Lapse become a political cause for the Revolt of 1857.

4)  State any two political causes responsible for the First War of Independence. (ICSE Board :2014)

(Any two points)  

(i) Many states like Jhansi, Satara, Nagpur were annexecl under the Doctrine of Lapse introduced by Lord Dalhausie. According to this heirs adopted without the consent of the C01npany could inherit the private property of the deceased ruler but the Kingdom would come directly under the Company's rule.

(ii) Awadh was annexed by Lord Dalhausie on the pretext of alleged misrule.

(iii) The disrespect shown to Bahadur Shah; 'the Mughal ruler. Dalhausie announced that Bahadur Shah's successors could not use the Red Fort as their palace and were to shift to Qutub Minar. Later Lord Canning announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah, his successor will not be allowed to use the imperial titles with their names and would be known as mere Princess.

(iv) Treatment given to Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Baji Rao II resented as the British refused to give the pension they were paying to Baji Rao II. Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi was a bitter enemy of the British as she was adversely affected by the Doctrine of Lapse.

(vi) The rule of the British was resentecl by the Indians as they felt that they were being ruledl frorn England and Indian’s wealth was not being for their welfare.


5)  Mention any two social reforms of the British which affected the religious traditions of the Indian people. (ICSE Board :2009)

 (i) The practice of Sati was made punishable by the law.

(ii) Lasses fornmed to ban girl infanticide.

6)  Mentioned any two social evils that existed in India during the 19th century. What measures did  the British Governrnent take to stop then? (ICSE Board :2007)

Sati , Caste System , Girl Infanticide etc. (Explain any two)

7)  Mention one reason for the unhappiness of the Indian soldiers in the British Army before '1857?

(ICSE Board :2004)

 [Remember - DLF IPL BG]

§  Deprivation of Allowances

§  Lower Salaries

§  Ill treatment

§  Bleak Prospects of Promotion

§  General Service Enlisment Act (1856)

(Mention and explain any one)

8)  Mention the economic factors, which became the causes of first war of Independence . (ICSE Board :2005)

(i) The British Trade Policy in India ruined Indian industries and trade. Heavy duties were imposed on Indian textiles imported to Britain. This resulted in the loss of handicraft and textile industry, leaving millions of artisans unemploved.

(ii) India was forced to export raw materials like raw cotton, and raw silk at cheaper rates that British industries needed urgently and also plantation products like indigo, tea and food grains which were in short supplv in Britain.

9)  Name the last Mughal Emperor of India before the British Crown declared India to be its Colony?

(ICSE Board : 2004)

Bahadur Shah Zafar was the last Mughal Emperor of India before the British Crown declared India to

be its Colony.

10)  Under which pretext and when Awadh was annexed to the Company's Dominions?  (ICSE Board: 2003)

Lord Dalhousie annexed Oudh to the Company's Dominions on the pretext of alleged misrule on

13th February 1856. .

11)  Name the Policy used by Lord Dalhousie for the extension of British territory in India. (ICSE Board : 2002)

The policy of 'Doctrine of Lapse' was used bv Lord Dalhousie for the extension of British territories in India.

12)  Why was the War of 1857 hailed as the 'First War of National Independence'? (ICSE Board: 2002)

The War of 1857 was hailed as the 'First War of Independence' because it inspiration to the leaders and to the people to fight for the independence from the British rule.


Great ! You did 12 questions.12 step towards succes!! Remember you are unique and better than anyone in the school. Close your eyes and feel your ‘josh’ to continue and win this race.


“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”



13)  Mention two administrative changes that the British Government brought about regarding the East India Company's rule in India. (ICSE Board : 2015)

(i) The Governor General earned the additional title of viceroy.

(ii) By the Act Of Better Government of India, The crown was made directly responsible for the management of Indian affairs.

14)  Several factors led to the Revolt of 18570 With reference of this, explain each of the Discontentment of sepoys  (ICSE Board: 2007)

(a)          (i) Indian and British soldiers were not treated equally. Indian soldiers were poorly paid, ill-fed and provided poor accommodation. British military authorities forbade the sepoys from earing caster or Sectarian marks, beards or turbans and they showed disregard for the sentiments of the sepoys

(ii) The General Service Enlistment Act:  The British Parliament passed the General Service Enlistment Act in 1856. According to this Act, the Indian soldiers serving in the East India Company could be sent overseas on duty. Indian Bhramins for whom going overseas was a taboo saw it as a act to defy their caste and religion.

 (iii) The wages of Indian soldiers were inadequate to support their families on the other hand, the British soldiers received.

(iv)Bleak Prospect of promotion:  All the higher positions in employment were reserved for the British, irrespective of their performance the future of the Indian soldiers was bleak and difficult.


15)  What impact did the upraising of 1857 have on the Mughal rule? (ICSE Board : 2016)

Ended the rule of the Mughals and also ended their titles, viz. Emperor.

16)  Who exposed the economic exploitation of India through his book 'Poverty and Un-British Rule in India'?  (ICSE Board: 2013)

Dadabhai Naoroji

Do you know !!

In 2019 ICSE Board a question was asked : “Name any two books of Dadabhai Naoroji which exposed economic exploitaion of India ?”. Most of the students (including me) were not able to answer the second book because it was not in most of the textbooks but only in APC.

Moral : Do read a chapter from various publications and note down the new things which are not mentioned in your textbook.You can get books of different publications from your school’s library.


17) Describe the result of the First War of Independence, with reference to the following. (ICSE Board: 2009)

(a) Policy toward the Indian Princes.

a) After the revolt, the British tried to appease the princes. The policy of annexation was put on hold. The doctrine of lapse abolished.

(b) Rise of Nationalism in India.

b) Through the first war of independence was short lived, it enthused the youth, who wanted to emulate or copy the leaders of this war.

Rani Lakshmi Bai, Nana Sahib, Tantya Tope and other leaders became the subject of many popular songs. Their sacrifices made others willing to sacrifices. Thus, the seed of nationalism was sown by the events of 185

(c) Changes in the administrative set-up of British territories in India.          

c)  Many changes were made in the administrative set up of the British territories in India. An Act of for the better government was passed in 1858 by which India came under the rule of the British monarch Queen Victoria.


Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.