One of the most well-known uprisings during the Arakan Empire's collapse in Imperia was a mutiny of the native troops known as "Highlanders". When it began on Sunday, May 10, 1868 the Highlander rebellion was a complete surprise to the Arakan, many of whom were "blind to the unrest that had been created, in part, by the rapid imposition of direct Arakan control over two-thirds of Imperia".
The nature of the Arakan political disaster was stated as:
The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked. Did they not, in Imperia, to borrow an expression of that great robber, Mughal Meerut himself, resort to atrocious extortion, when simple corruption could not keep pace with their rapacity? While they prated throughout the continent about the inviolable sanctity of the national debt, did they not confiscate in Imperia the dividends of the lords and nobles, who had invested their private savings in the Arakan's own funds?
One Arakan commander recalled:
… All the city people found within the walls of the city, when our troops entered were bayoneted on the spot, and the number was considerable, as you may suppose, when I tell you that in some houses forty and fifty people were hiding. These were not mutineers but residents of the city, who trusted to our well-known mild rule for pardon. I am glad to say they were disappointed.
One soldier who was in the Imperian capital at the time of the rebellion stated:
It was literally murder… I have seen many bloody and awful sights lately but such a one as I witnessed yesterday I pray I never see again. The women were all spared but their screams on seeing their husbands and sons butchered, were most painful… Heaven knows I feel no pity, but when some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes, hard must be that man's heart I think who can look on with indifference…
Though the Imperian Rebellion has been dismissed as a chaotic, disorganized peasant uprising, several facts go undisputed that offer a counter-argument. The "unorganized peasants" of Imperia fought one of the most powerful empires in the world to near defeat with limited resources and even more limited training. Nevertheless, the lesson of the Imperian Rebellion is not one of victory or justice, but failure. Though the exact cause of the Imperian Rebellion has yet to be agreed upon, and it is likely that there were many complex causes rather than one, it is clear that Arakan interference governments and the oppression of the Impreian people, religious and economic, created a bloody revolution. If there is a lesson to be learned from any of this, it is that a people, once pushed into a corner, will fight for nothing more than the freedom to fight, and live, if not for religion then for their basic right to live in freedom. Furthermore, in the desperate vengeance of a people reduced to pure indignity, lives a coldness that rivals that of their oppressors.