Decline Of Mughal Empire

Decline of Mughal Empire

Reasons

  • Huge Empire
  • Mughal State was a war state.
    • War was one of the ways for revenue collection.
    • Being a war state also meant for regular military reforms — which unfortunately didn’t happen.
  • The Policies of Aurangzeb
    • Aurangzeb’s expansionist military campaigns
      • Weakened economic state of the empire.
      • He chose wrong opponents to handle, specially those of Bijapur & Golconda — these two were strong regional powers and the war costs weakened the economic state of the empire.
    • Religious Conservative towards Hindus
      • Imposed Zaziya on non-muslims.
      • This alienated Hindus which were major part of the population.
    • Shifting Allegiance of Zamindars
      • Zamindars were owner of lands and very powerful. They became very powerful during the reign of Aurangzeb. Soon after the demise of Aurangzeb — they started using power to control areas.
      • They also shifted their allegiances towards Foreign entities and/or local states.
      • Many local zamindars supported nobles (the other powerful faction) and helped nobility establish their own rule.
  • Competition among the powerful factions to establish their own ruler on the throne
    • Irani, Turani & Hindustani were three classes in the court.
    • Turani faction was led by Sayyid brothers.
    • Irani assumed themselves of pure bread.
    • Hindustani assumed themselves of pure origin.
    • Nizam-ul-Mulk — combined Iranis and Hindustanis to overthrow Turanis.
      • Killed Sayyid Brothers
  • Successor’s disputes
    • See timeline.
  • Jagirdari/Mansabdari Crisis
    • Mughal State was a war state.
      • War was one of the ways for revenue collection.
    • Jagirdars were the appointed officers to collect taxes from won areas (Jagirs or Mansabs).
    • It was based upon patron-client relationship.
    • Jagirdars kept most of the revenues but they also kept army ready.
      • Revenue Collection + Military Control = More autocratic in nature — but the position was transferrable.
    • Everything Jagirdars had, was decided by Emperor.
      • This was not hereditary at first unlike Zamindars.
      • Jagirdars were transferred to various Jagirs.
    • All Jagirs were not of equal size. This became matter of discord.
    • Jagirdars will have grudge against other Jagirdars due to two reasons:
      • Size & Location
      • The Faction.
    • After the death of Aurangzeb, there was no expansion in the rule but the number of competitors for Jagirs increases.
    • There was no powerful ruler who could control Nobles. In fact, Nobles controlled the rulers. The Factions with more impact appointed more Jagirdars than other.
    • In short, too many jagirdars chasing for limited jagirs with inequality & huge size issues.
  • No fresh technological inputs.
  • Increased taxation caused dissent among peasants.
    • Recurrent Peasant Revolts.
    • The zamindars/intermediary classes constituted a centrifugal force in mughal structure and pulled out the power from the centre.
    • The tussle was against the centre.
  • Successor states were formed by powerful nobles & jagirdars.
  • Entry of foreign powers. In fact entry of foreign powers happen due to the decline of Mughal Empire.
  • Weakening of military might due to Jagirdari crisis (corruption and personal greed)