Pakistani History/Mughal Empire

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The Mughal Empire (Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, Mug̱ẖliyah Salṭanat)[1] or Mogul Empire,[2] self-designated as Gurkani (Persian: گورکانیان‎, Gūrkāniyān, meaning "son-in-law"),[3] was a Persianate[2][4] empire extending over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and ruled by a dynasty of Chagatai Turco-Mongol origin.[5][6][7]

The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the founder Babur's victory over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the First Battle of Panipat. The Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turco-Mongols belonging to the Timurid dynasty, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan (founder of the Mongol Empire, through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur (founder of the Timurid Empire). During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was briefly interrupted by the Sur Empire. The "classic period" of the Mughal Empire started in 1556 with the ascension of Jalaludin Mohammed Akbar ("Akbar" loosely translates to "Great") to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, India had a period of economic progress as well as religious harmony, and the monarchs were interested in local religious and cultural traditions. Akbar was a successful warrior. He also forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but they were subdued by Akbar. All Mughal emperors were Muslims. However, Akbar founded a new religion called Din-i-Ilahi ( "religion of God"), the principles of which were taken from all the major indian religions of the time. ( Ain-e-Akbari and Dabestan-e Mazaheb.[8])

The Mughal Empire did not interfere in the prevalent societies' culture and traditions during most of its existence, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices[9][10] and diverse and inclusive ruling elites,[11] leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule.[12] Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.[13]

The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He erected several large monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi, and the Lahore Fort. The Mughal Empire reached the zenith of its territorial expanse during the reign of Aurangzeb and also started its terminal decline in his reign due to Maratha military resurgence under Shivaji Bhosale. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles), ruling over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 1/4th of the world's population, with a combined GDP of over $90 billion.[14][15]

By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies, and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal,[16] and internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the Mughal Empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to the break-up of the empire and declaration of independence of its former provinces by the Nawabs of Bengal, Oudh, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Shah of Afghanistan and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, and Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline. During the following century Mughal power had become severely limited and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. He issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and following the defeat was therefore tried by the British East India Company for treason, imprisoned, exiled to Rangoon.[17] The last remnants of the empire were directly taken over by the British, and Queen Victoria formally assumed the title as the Empress of India. through the Government of India Act 1858 which led the British Crown assuming direct control of India, marking the start of the new British Raj.

Citations[edit]

  1. Balfour, E.G. (1976). Encyclopaedia Asiatica: Comprising Indian-subcontinent, Eastern and Southern Asia. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. S. 460, S. 488, S. 897. ISBN 978-81-7020-325-4. 
  2. a b John Walbridge. God and Logic in Islam: The Caliphate of Reason. p. 165. "Persianate Mogul Empire." 
  3. Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (10 September 2002). Thackston, Wheeler M.. ed. The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. New York: Modern Library. p. xlvi. ISBN 978-0-375-76137-9. "In India the dynasty always called itself Gurkani, after Temür's title Gurkân, the Persianized form of the Mongolian kürägän, 'son-in-law,' a title he assumed after his marriage to a Genghisid princess." 
  4. John Barrett Kelly. Britain and the Persian Gulf: 1795–1880. p. 473. 
  5. Richards, John F. (1995), The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. 6, ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2, http://books.google.com/books?id=HHyVh29gy4QC, retrieved 31 July 2013 
  6. Schimmel, Annemarie (2004), The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture, Reaktion Books, p. 22, ISBN 978-1-86189-185-3, http://books.google.com/books?id=N7sewQQzOHUC, retrieved 31 July 2013 
  7. Balabanlilar, Lisa (15 January 2012), Imperial Identity in Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic Politics in Early Modern Central Asia, I.B.Tauris, p. 2, ISBN 978-1-84885-726-1, http://books.google.com/books?id=7PS6PrH3rtkC, retrieved 31 July 2013 
  8. Roy Choudhury, Makhan Lal. The Din-i-Ilahi:Or, The Religion of Akbar. 
  9. Asher & Talbot 2008, p. 115.
  10. Robb 2001, pp. 90–91.
  11. Metcalf & Metcalf 2006, p. 17.
  12. Asher & Talbot 2008, p. 152.
  13. Metcalf & Metcalf 2006, pp. 23–24.
  14. Richards, John F. (18 March 1993). Johnson, Gordon; Bayly, C. A.. eds. The Mughal Empire. The New Cambridge history of India: 1.5. I. The Mughals and their Contemporaries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1, 190. doi:10.2277/0521251192. ISBN 978-0-521-25119-8. 
  15. Warrior Empire: The Mughals. [DVD]. The History Channel. 31 October 2006. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Ygz9VbiE0. 
  16. An Advanced History of Modern India By Sailendra Nath Sen, p. Introduction 14
  17. Delhi, the Capital of India By Anon, John Cappe, p.28-29

References[edit]