History 1803 - 1857
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History of Haryana - History from 1803 to 1857

The year 1803 is an important year in the history of Haryana. In this year the area of what is now present day Haryana and Delhi came under the control of the East India Company of Great Britain. At that time Delhi was being ruled by the old and week Mughal ruler Shah Alam. But the real power lay in the hands of the Maratha leader Daulat Rao Sindhiya, who acted as his Regent. On 6th September, 1803 the battle between General Lake's British forces and the Marathas took place near village Partapganj, 6 miles south of Delhi. Many people from Haryana fought along with the Marathas against the British. Among them were the Jats, led by Hari Singh, the king of Ballabhgarh, Ahirs, led by Rao Tej Singh of Rewari and 5000 Sikhs. The Marathas fought bravely but lost due to the cowardice of French officers who were assisting them. When the British entered Delhi on 14 September, 1803, the Mughal ruler Shah Alam surrendered. On 30 September, 1803, the Maratha leader Daulat Rao Sindhiya also decided to make peace with the British by signing a treaty with the East India Company. Under this treaty the areas of Haryana and Delhi came under the control of the British.

In 1805 the British divided this area into 2 parts for administrative and political reasons. A smaller part called the 'Assigned Territories' was kept directly under the control of the Company. The larger part was divided and handed over to various local ruler who were faithful and loyal to the British. The Assigned Territory consisted of the areas under Panipat, Sonipat, Samalkha, Ganaur, Palam, Palwal, Nuh, Nagina, Hathin, Ferozepur Jhirkha, Sohna and Rewari. This area was administered by East India Company officer called the 'Resident' and he reported directly to the Governor General. The other larger part was divided into various princely states and handed over to loyal local kings and nawabs. But these arrangements didn't go down too well with the people of Haryana, who are by nature independent minded and dont like outsiders meddling in their affairs. Therefore they, especially the Jats of Rohtak and Ahirs & Meos of Gurgaon, rose again and again in revolt against the rulers. But by 1809 the British had established full control over the territory of Haryana.

Year 1833 was another important landmark in Haryana's history. In this year the Bengal Presidency under the East India Company, was divided into two provinces of Bengal and North Western Province. Most areas of Haryana and Delhi together became one of the six divisions of the North Western Province called the Delhi division. The Delhi division was further sub-divided into seven princely states and five districts. The princely states were Bahadurgarh, Ballabhgarh, Dujana, Farukhnagar, Jhajjar, Loharu and Pataudi. The five districts were Delhi, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Panipat and Hissar. These districts were divided into Tehsils and Tehsils into 'Zails'. The officer heading the Delhi division was now called a Commissioner instead of the 'Resident'. At this time some areas of present day Haryana were outside the Delhi division and they were considered as part of the 'upper region'. These were the districts of Ambala and Thanesar and the princely states of Buria, Chhachhrauli and Jind. But the people of 'upper region' and Delhi division though administratively in different provinces, were closely bound by socio-cultural ties. This administrative system continued till the revolt of 1857. 

The revolt of 1857 was sparked by the introduction of the Enfield rifle in the Indian Army. The cartridges of this new rifle were greased with an ingredient containing 'cow's fat' and 'hog's lard'. This news spread like wild fire among the sepoys of the army. Both Hindus and the Muslims were shocked and outraged at the use of 'cow's fat' and 'hog's lard' respectively. They soon formed panchayats in all corps and decided to socially boycott any sepoy who used these cartridges. This feeling continued to grow until at last a spirit of mutiny spread throughout northern India and Bengal. The first military station in northern India where the mutiny started  was Ambala on 10 May, 1857. Except for the princely states of Jind, Kalsia, Buria and some small Jagirs in Ambala and Thanesar, whole of the Haryana region was severely affected by the revolt. An important aspect of the uprising in Haryana was complete communal cooperation and amity. By the start of June, 1857 almost whole of Haryana had become independent of the British rule. It took almost six months for the British to take back the control of Haryana. This they managed by the use of superior firearms, artillery and the help of some loyal rulers of princely states. The rebels were ruthlessly crushed by the British and in doing so they burned down hundreds of villages and indulged in wanton killing.


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