Notes of Ch 10 Eighteenth-Century Political Formations Class 7th History

Notes of Chapter 10 Eighteenth-Century Political Formations Class 7th History

The Crisis of the Empire and the Later Mughals

• By the end of the seventeenth century, Mughal Empire was shrinking. There are various factors behind this:

→ Emperor Aurangzeb had depleted the military and financial resources of his empire by fighting a long war in the Deccan.

→ Under his successors, the efficiency of the imperial administration broke down.

→ Peasant and zamindari rebellions in many parts of northern and western India.

→ In the midst of this economic and political crisis, the ruler of Iran, Nadir Shah, sacked and plundered the city of Delhi in 1739 and took away immense amounts of wealth.

→ The empire was further weakened by competition amongst different groups of nobles. They were divided into two major groups or factions, the Iranis and Turanis.

Emergence of New States

• Through the eighteenth century, the Mughal Empire gradually divided into a number of independent, regional states. 

• Broadly these independent states can be divided into three groups: 

→ States that were old Mughal provinces like Awadh, Bengal and Hyderabad.

→ States that had enjoyed considerable independence under the Mughals as watan jagirs. These included several Rajput principalities. 

→ States under the control of Marathas, Sikhs and others like the Jats. These had seized their independence from the Mughals after a long-drawn armed struggle.

The Old Mughal Provinces


• Founded by: Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah (1724-1748) was powerful member at the court of the Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar.

• Asaf Jah brought skilled soldiers and administrators from northern India.

• He appointed mansabdars and granted jagirs.

• The state of Hyderabad was constantly engaged in a struggle against the Marathas to the west and with independent Telugu warrior chiefs (nayakas) of the plateau.


• Founded by: Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan.

• Awadh was a prosperous region, controlling the rich alluvial Ganga plain and the main trade route
between north India and Bengal.

• Sa‘adat Khan tried to decrease Mughal influence in the Awadh region.

• He reduced the size of jagirs, and appointed his own loyal servants to vacant positions.

• The state sold the right to collect tax to the highest bidders called ijaradars.


• Founded by: Murshid Quli Khan

• He very quickly seized all the power that went with formal subadar office.

• He commanded the revenue administration of the state.

• Revenue was collected in cash with great strictness from all zamindars.

• Under the rule of Alivardi Khan (r. 1740-1756), the banking house of Jagat Seth became extremely prosperous.

The Watan Jagirs of the Rajputs

• Many Rajput kings were permitted to enjoy considerable autonomy in their watan jagirs.

• In the eighteenth century, these rulers now attempted to extend their control over adjacent regions.

• Raja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur held the governorship of Gujarat and Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Amber was governor of Malwa.

• They tried to extend their territories by seizing portions of imperial territories neighbouring
their watans.

• Maratha campaigns into Rajasthan from the 1740s checked their further expansion.

Seizing Independence

The Sikhs

• During the seventeenth century, Sikhs built regional state, Punjab.

• Several battles were fought by Guru Gobind Singh against the Rajput and Mughal rulers.

• After his death in 1708, the Khalsa rose in revolt against the Mughal authority under Banda Bahadur’s leadership.
→ Banda Bahadur was captured in 1715 and executed in 1716.

• The Sikh territories in the late eighteenth century extended from the Indus to the Jamuna but they were divided under different rulers.

• Maharaja Ranjit Singh, reunited these groups and established his capital at Lahore in 1799.

The Marathas

• Shivaji (1627-1680) carved out a stable Maratha kingdom with the support of powerful warrior families (deshmukhs).

• After Shivaji’s death, effective power in the Maratha state was exercises by a family of Chitpavan Brahmanas who served Shivaji’s successors as Peshwa (or principal minister).

• Between 1720 and 1761, the Maratha empire expanded.

• By the 1730s, the Maratha king was recognised as the overlord of the entire Deccan peninsula.

• The Marathas developed an effective administrative system as well.

• New trade routes emerged within the areas controlled by the Marathas.

The Jats

• The Jats consolidated their power during the late seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries.

• Under their leader, Churaman, they acquired control over territories situated to the west of the city of Delhi.

• The Jats were prosperous agriculturists.

• The important trading centres in the areas under Jats were Panipat and Ballabgarh.

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