Russian Card In The Revolt Of 1857
There were many reasons for the outbreak of the revolt of 1857. Most of the reasons were domestic. But the historian Elena Karatchkova has highlighted one international factor for the outbreak.
According to Elena Karatchkova, the British believed that Tsarist Russia had played a role in instigating the mutiny as it wanted to further its own imperial ambition in Asia. The author informs us on the basis of documents available in Russian archives that in the beginning of the 19th century, Russian emperor Paul was inclined to accept the proposal of Napoleon Bonaparte to form a joint Franco – Russian army to expel the British from India.
However, after the Paul’s assassination, his successor Alexander I rejected the idea. By the revolt of 1857, Russian generals viewed British India as a serious threat to Russian interest in Asia and had a plan ready to invade India. However, it did not find favour with many and the reality was that Russia had no inkling of the great upheaval that the revolt of 1857 proved to be.
However, as the talk of a possible Russian intervention was in the air, Elena Karatchkova asserts that the mutineer’s belief based on an astrologer’s prediction of an imminent Russian invasion to help their cause was one of the factors that ignited the fuse, leading to the outbreak of the uprising.