Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire
1526–1857
Mughal
The empire at its greatest extent in c. 1700 under Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707)
StatusEmpire
Capital
Common languages
Religion
State religion:
GovernmentUnitary absolute monarchy under a federal structure
Emperor[a] (Padshah) 
• 1526–1530
Babur (first)
• 1837–1857
Bahadur Shah II (last)
Historical eraEarly modern
21 April 1526
• Empire interrupted by Sur Empire
1540–1555
5 November 1556
1526-1750
1680–1707
• Baro-Bhuiyan of Bengal-Mughal Wars
1576-1612 (when Bengal finally becomes a part of the Mughal Empire under Islam Khan governor of Jahangir)
• Death of Aurangzeb
3 March 1707
24 February 1739
1746–1763
1757
1759–1765
8 June–21 September 1857
Area
1690[7][8]4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi)
Population
• 1700[9]
158,400,000
CurrencyRupee, Taka, dam[10]: 73–74 
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Timurid Empire
Delhi Sultanate
Sur Empire
Bengal Sultanate
Rajput states
Chero dynasty
Deccan sultanates
Maratha Empire
Bengal Subah
Durrani Empire
Sikh Empire
Bharatpur State
Hyderabad State
Kingdom of Rohilkhand
Company rule in India
British Raj

The Mughal Empire was an early-modern empire that controlled much of the Indian subcontinent between the 16th and 19th centuries.[11] For some two centuries, the empire stretched from the outer fringes of the Indus river basin in the west, northern Afghanistan in the northwest, and Kashmir in the north, to the highlands of present-day Assam and Bangladesh in the east, and the uplands of the Deccan plateau in south India.[12]

The Mughal empire is conventionally said to have been founded in 1526 by Babur, a warrior chieftain of Chagatai Turkic origin[13] and a great-great-grandson of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur,[14] who employed aid from the neighboring Safavid and Ottoman empires,[15] to defeat the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodhi, in the First Battle of Panipat, and to sweep down the plains of Upper India. The Mughal imperial structure, however, is sometimes dated to 1600, to the rule of Babur's grandson, Akbar.[16] This imperial structure lasted until 1720, until shortly after the death of the last major emperor, Aurangzeb,[17][18] during whose reign the empire also achieved its maximum geographical extent. Reduced subsequently, especially during the East India Company rule in India, to the region in and around Old Delhi, the empire was formally dissolved by the British Raj after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Although the Mughal empire was created and sustained by military warfare,[19][20][21] it did not vigorously suppress the cultures and peoples it came to rule; rather it equalized and placated them through new administrative practices,[22][23] and diverse ruling elites, leading to more efficient, centralised, and standardized rule.[24] The base of the empire's collective wealth was agricultural taxes, instituted by the third Mughal emperor, Akbar.[25][26] These taxes, which amounted to well over half the output of a peasant cultivator,[27] were paid in the well-regulated silver currency,[24] and caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets.[28]

The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's economic expansion.[29] Burgeoning European presence in the Indian Ocean, and its increasing demand for Indian raw and finished products, created still greater wealth in the Mughal courts.[30] There was more conspicuous consumption among the Mughal elite,[31] resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture, especially during the reign of Shah Jahan.[32] Among the Mughal UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Asia are: Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, Lahore Fort, Shalamar Gardens and the Taj Mahal, which is described as "the jewel of Muslim art in India, and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."[33]

  1. ^ Samrin, Farah (2005). "The City of Kabul Under the Mughals". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 66: 1307. JSTOR 44145943.
  2. ^ Sinopoli, Carla M. (1994). "Monumentality and Mobility in Mughal Capitals". Asian Perspectives. 33 (2): 294. ISSN 0066-8435. JSTOR 42928323.
  3. ^ Conan 2007, p. 235.
  4. ^ "Islam: Mughal Empire (1500s, 1600s)". BBC. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  5. ^ Pagaza & Argyriades 2009, p. 129.
  6. ^ Morier 1812, p. 601.
  7. ^ Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D. (2006). "East–West Orientation of Historical Empires and Modern States". Journal of World-Systems Research. 12 (2): 219–229. doi:10.5195/JWSR.2006.369. ISSN 1076-156X.
  8. ^ Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies Quarterly. 41 (3): 475–504. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053. JSTOR 2600793.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference borocz was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Richards1995 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Richards, John F. (1995), The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. 2, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2 Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the dynasty and the empire itself became indisputably Indian. The interests and futures of all concerned were in India, not in ancestral homelands in the Middle East or Central Asia. Furthermore, the Mughal empire emerged from the Indian historical experience. It was the end product of a millennium of Muslim conquest, colonization, and state-building in the Indian subcontinent."
  12. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 159–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "The realm so defined and governed was a vast territory of some 750,000 square miles [1,900,000 km2], ranging from the frontier with Central Asia in northern Afghanistan to the northern uplands of the Deccan plateau, and from the Indus basin on the west to the Assamese highlands in the east."
  13. ^ Richards, John F. (1995), The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. 6, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2
  14. ^ Babur (2006). Babur Nama. Penguin Books. p. vii. ISBN 978-0-14-400149-1.
  15. ^ Gilbert, Marc Jason (2017), South Asia in World History, Oxford University Press, pp. 75–, ISBN 978-0-19-066137-3 Quote: "Babur then adroitly gave the Ottomans his promise not to attack them in return for their military aid, which he received in the form of the newest of battlefield inventions, the matchlock gun and cast cannons, as well as instructors to train his men to use them."
  16. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 159–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "Another possible date for the beginning of the Mughal regime is 1600, when the institutions that defined the regime were set firmly in place and when the heartland of the empire was defined; both of these were the accomplishment of Babur’s grandson Akbar."
  17. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 159–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "The imperial career of the Mughal house is conventionally reckoned to have ended in 1707 when the emperor Aurangzeb, a fifth-generation descendant of Babur, died. His fifty-year reign began in 1658 with the Mughal state seeming as strong as ever or even stronger. But in Aurangzeb’s later years the state was brought to the brink of destruction, over which it toppled within a decade and a half after his death; by 1720 imperial Mughal rule was largely finished and an epoch of two imperial centuries had closed."
  18. ^ Richards, John F. (1995), The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. xv, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2 Quote: "By the latter date (1720) the essential structure of the centralized state was disintegrated beyond repair."
  19. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 159–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "The vaunting of such progenitors pointed up the central character of the Mughal regime as a warrior state: it was born in war and it was sustained by war until the eighteenth century, when warfare destroyed it."
  20. ^ Robb, Peter (2011), A History of India, Macmillan, pp. 108–, ISBN 978-0-230-34549-2 Quote: "The Mughal state was geared for war, and succeeded while it won its battles. It controlled territory partly through its network of strongholds, from its fortified capitals in Agra, Delhi or Lahore, which defined its heartlands, to the converted and expanded forts of Rajasthan and the Deccan. The emperors' will was frequently enforced in battle. Hundreds of army scouts were an important source of information. But the empire's administrative structure too was defined by and directed at war. Local military checkpoints or thanas kept order. Directly appointed imperial military and civil commanders (faujdars) controlled the cavalry and infantry, or the administration, in each region. The peasantry in turn were often armed, able to provide supporters for regional powers, and liable to rebellion on their own account: continual pacification was required of the rulers."
  21. ^ Gilbert, Marc Jason (2017), South Asia in World History, Oxford University Press, pp. 75–, ISBN 978-0-19-066137-3 Quote: "With Safavid and Ottoman aid, the Mughals would soon join these two powers in a triumvirate of warrior-driven, expansionist, and both militarily and bureaucratically efficient early modern states, now often called "gunpowder empires" due to their common proficiency is using such weapons to conquer lands they sought to control."
  22. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 115–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7
  23. ^ Robb, Peter (2011), A History of India, Macmillan, pp. 99–100, ISBN 978-0-230-34549-2
  24. ^ a b Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 152–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7
  25. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 164–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "The resource base of Akbar’s new order was land revenue"
  26. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 158–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "The Mughal empire was based in the interior of a large land-mass and derived the vast majority of its revenues from agriculture."
  27. ^ Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 164–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1 Quote: "... well over half of the output from the fields in his realm, after the costs of production had been met, is estimated to have been taken from the peasant producers by way of official taxes and unofficial exactions. Moreover, payments were exacted in money, and this required a well regulated silver currency."
  28. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 152–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "His stipulation that land taxes be paid in cash forced peasants into market networks, where they could obtain the necessary money, while the standardization of imperial currency made the exchange of goods for money easier."
  29. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 152–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "Above all, the long period of relative peace ushered in by Akbar's power, and maintained by his successors, contributed to India's economic expansion."
  30. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 186–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "As the European presence in India grew, their demands for Indian goods and trading rights increased, thus bringing even greater wealth to the already flush Indian courts."
  31. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 186–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "The elite spent more and more money on luxury goods, and sumptuous lifestyles, and the rulers built entire new capital cities at times."
  32. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 186–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 Quote: "All these factors resulted in greater patronage of the arts, including textiles, paintings, architecture, jewelry, and weapons to meet the ceremonial requirements of kings and princes."
  33. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Taj Mahal". UNESCO World Heritage Centre.


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