Ans. In contrast to their predecessors, the Mughals created an empire and accomplished what had hitherto seemed possible for only short periods of time. From the latter half of the sixteenth century they expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi, until in the seventeenth century they controlled nearly all of the subcontinent. They imposed structures of administration and ideas of governance that outlasted their rule, leaving a political legacy that succeeding rulers of the subcontinent could not ignore.
Ans. Babur, the first Mughal emperor (1526-1530), succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old. He was forced to leave his ancestral throne due to the invasion of another Mongol group, the Uzbegs. After years of wandering he seized Kabul in 1504. In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at Panipat and captured Delhi and Agra. He captured Delhi and led the foundation of Mughal Empire.
Ans. Akbar’s revenue minister, Todar Mal, carried out a careful survey of crop yields, prices and areas cultivated for a 10-year period, 1570- 1580. On the basis of this data, tax was fixed on each crop in cash. Each province was divided into revenue circles with its own schedule of revenue rates for individual crops. This revenue system was known as zabt. It was prevalent in those areas where Mughal administrators could survey the land and keep very careful accounts.
Ans. Abul Fazl wrote a three-volume history of Akbar’s reign, titled Akbar Nama. The first volume dealt with Akbar’s ancestors and the second volume recorded the events of Akbar’s reign. The third volume is the Ain-i
Akbari. It deals with Akbar’s administration, household, army, the revenues and the geography of his empire. It also provides rich details about the traditions and culture of the people living in India. The most interesting aspect about the Ain-i Akbari is its rich statistical details about things as diverse as crops, yields, prices, wages and revenues.
Ans. Mughal rulers campaigned constantly against rulers who refused to accept their authority. But as the Mughals became powerful many other rulers also joined them voluntarily. The Rajputs are a good example of this. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and received high positions. But many resisted as well. The Sisodiya Rajputs refused to accept Mughal authority for a long time. Once defeated, however, they were honourably treated by the Mughals, given their lands (watan) back as assignments (watan jagir). The careful balance between defeating but not humiliating their opponents enabled the Mughals to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains.
Ans. In Akbar’s reign these jagirs were carefully assessed so that their revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansabdar. By Aurangzeb’s reign this was no longer the case and the actual revenue collected was often less than the granted sum. There was also a huge increase in the number of mansabdars, which meant a long wait before they received a jagir. These and other factors created a shortage in the number of jagirs. As a result, many jagirdars tried to extract as much revenue as possible while they had a jagir. Aurangzeb was unable to control these developments in the last years of his reign and the peasantry therefore suffered tremendously.
Download to practice offline.