Notes of Ch 4 The Mughal Empire Class 7th History

• From the latter half of the sixteenth century, the Mughals expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi
→ Until in the seventeenth century, the Mughals created huge empire which controlled nearly all of the subcontinent.

• They imposed structures of administration and ideas of governance that lasted even after their rule.

Who were the Mughals?

• The Mughals were the descendants of two great lineages of rulers, Genghis Khan and Timur.

Mughal Military Campaigns

Babur (1526-1530)

• Babur, the first Mughal emperor (1526-1530), succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old.

• In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at Panipat and captured Delhi and Agra.

• In 1527, he defeated Rana Sanga, Rajput rulers and allies at Khanua.

• In 1528, he defeated the Rajputs at Chanderi;

• He established control over Agra and Delhi before his death.

Humaayun (1530-1540, 1555-1556)

• He was defeated by Sher Khan at Chausa in 1539 and Kanauj in 1540 forcing him to flee to Iran.

• He recaptured Delhi in 1555 but died the next year after an accident in a building.

Akbar (1556-1605)

• Akbar was 13 years old when he became emperor.

• After 1570, Akbar became independent of the regent Bairam Khan.

• He launched military campaign against the Suris and other Afghans, against the neighbouring kingdoms of Malwa and Gondwana, and to suppress the revolt of his half-brother Mirza Hakim and the Uzbegs. 

• In 1568 the Sisodiya capital of Chittor was seized and in 1569 Ranthambhor.

• During 1570-1585, military campaigns in Gujarat were followed by campaigns in the east in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.

• During 1585-1605, campaigns were launched in the north-west. 
→ Qandahar was seized from the Safavids
→ Kashmir was annexed, as also Kabul, after the death of Mirza Hakim. 
→ Campaigns in the Deccan started and Berar, Khandesh and parts of Ahmadnagar were annexed.

Jahangir (1605-1627)

• The Sisodiya ruler of Mewar, Amar Singh, accepted Mughal service. 

• Less successful campaigns against the Sikhs, the Ahoms and Ahmadnagar followed.

Shah Jahan (1627-1658)

• Campaigns continued in the Deccan.

• The Afghan noble Khan Jahan Lodi rebelled and was defeated. 

• The Bundelas were defeated and Orchha seized. 

• In the north-west, the campaign to seize Balkh from the Uzbegs was unsuccessful and Qandahar was lost to the Safavids. 

• In 1632, Ahmadnagar was finally annexed and the Bijapur forces sued for peace.

Aurangzeb (1658-1707)

• He became Emperor after killing his brothers and imprisoning his father, Shah Jahan.

• In the north-east, the Ahoms were defeated in 1663, but rebelled again in the 1680s. 

• Campaigns in the north-west against the Yusufzai and the Sikhs were temporarily successful.

• Maratha chieftain Shivaji declared himself an independent king and resumed his campaigns against the Mughals.

• Bijapur was annexed in 1685 and Golconda in 1687. 

• From 1698 Aurangzeb personally managed campaigns in the Deccan against the Marathas.

• He also had to face the rebellion in north India of the Sikhs, Jats and Satnamis, in the north-east
of the Ahoms.

• His death was followed by a succession conflict amongst his sons.

Mughal Traditions of Succession

• Mughal followed coparcenary inheritance, or a division of the inheritance amongst all the sons.

Mughal Relations with Other Rulers

• As the Mughals became powerful many other rulers also joined them voluntarily.
→ But many resisted as well.

• The careful balance between defeating but not humiliating their opponents enabled the Mughals to

extend their influence over many kings and chieftains.

Mansabdars and Jagirdars

• Groups coming from different backgrounds such as Iranians, Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars.

• The mansabdar’s military responsibilities required him to maintain a specified number of sawar or

• Mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs.

Zabt and Zamindars

• The main source of revenue was tax on the produce of peasants. The intermediaries who collected taxes were called zamindars.

• Zabt was the revenue system which was started by when Akbar’s revenue minister, Todar Mal, carried out a careful survey of crop yields and fixed tax on each crop in cash.

Akbar’s Policies

• Abul Fazl explained that the empire was divided into provinces called subas, governed by a subadar
who carried out both political and military functions.

• Each province also had a financial officer or diwan.

• For the maintenance of peace and order in his province, the subadar was supported by other officers.

• Akbar started the idea of sulh-i kul or “universal peace” which was a idea of tolerance that did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm.

• This principle of governance was followed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan as well.

The Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century and After

• The administrative and military efficiency of the Mughal Empire led to great economic and commercial prosperity.

• The Mughal emperors and their mansabdars spent large part of their income on salaries and goods which benefited the artisans and peasantry who supplied them with goods and produce.

• In the late seventeenth century, the enormous wealth and resources commanded by the Mughal elite made them an extremely powerful group of people.

• As the authority of the Mughal emperor slowly declined, his servants emerged as powerful centres of power in the regions.

• By the eighteenth century, the provinces of the empire such as Hyderabad and Awadh had consolidated their independent political identities.

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