Mughals After Aurangzeb

Bahadur Shah I (1707-12)

  • Muzam succeeded Aurungzeb after the latter’s death in 1707
  • He acquired the title of Bahadur Shah.
  • Granted sardeshmukhi to Marathas but not Chauth
  • Released Shahuji (son of Sambhaji) from prison (who later fought with Tarabai)
  • Tried to make peace with Guru Gobind Sahib by giving him a high Mansab.
  • After Guru’s death, Sikhs again revolted under the leadership of Banda Bahadur. This led to a prolonged war with the Sikhs.
  • Made peace with Chhatarsal, the Bundela chief & Churaman, the Jat chief.

Jahandar Shah (1712-13)

  • The death of Bahadur Shah plunged the empire into a civil war
  • Jahandar Shah, son of Bahadur Shah, ascended the throne in 1712 with help from Zulfikar Khan
  • Zulfikar Khan, his wazir, was virtually the head of the administration
  • ZK abolished jizyah
  • Peace with Rajputs: Jai Singh of Amber was made the Governor of Malwa. Ajit
  • Singh of Marwar was made the Governor of Gujarat.
  • Chauth & Sardeshmukh granted to Marathas. However, the Mughals were to collect it & then hand it over to the Marathas.
  • Ijarah: (revenue farming) the government began contracts with revenue farmers & middlemen to pay the government a fixed amount of money while they were left free to collect whatever they could from the peasants
  • Jalandhar Shah was defeated in January 1713 by his nephew Farrukh Siyar at Agra

Farrukh Siyar (1713-19)

  • Owed his victory to Saiyid Brothers: Hussain Ali Khan Barahow & Abdullah Khan
  • Abdullah Khan: Wazir, Hussain Ali: Mir Bakshi
  • FS was an incapable ruler. Saiyid brothers were the real rulers.

Saiyid Brothers

  1. Known the Indian History as King Makers
  2. Adopted the policy of religious tolerance. Abolished jizyah.
  3. Pilgrim tax was abolished from a number of places
  4. Marathas: Granted Shahuji swarajya & the right to collect Chauth & sardeshmukhi of the six provinces of the Deccan
  5. They failed in their effort to contain rebellion because they were faced with constant political rivalry, quarrels & conspiracies at the court.
  6. Nobles headed by Nizam-ul-Mulk & Muhammad Amin Khan began to conspire against them
  7. In 1719, the Saiyid Brothers killed & overthrew Siyar.
    Muhammad Shah ‘Rangeela’ (1719-1748)
    Weak-minded, frivolous & over-fond of a life of ease
    Neglected the affairs of the state.
  • Naizam ul Mulk Qin Qulik Khan, the wazir, relinquished his office & founded the state of Hyderabad in 1724
  • “His departure was symbolic of the flight of loyalty &
  • virtue from the Empire”
  • Heriditary nawabs arose in Bengal, Hyderabad, Awadh & Punjab
  • Marathas conquered Malwa, Gujarat & Bundelkhand

Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738)

  • Attracted to India by its fabulous wealth.
  • The twarmies met at Karnal on 13th Feb 1739. Mughal army was summarily defeated. MS was taken prisoner
  • Massacre in Delhi in response to the killing of some of his soldiers.
  • Plunder of about 70 crore rupees. Carried away the Peacock throne & Koh-inoor
  • MS ceded thim all the provinces of the Empire west of the river Indus
  • Significance: Nadir Shah’s invasion exposed the hidden weakness of the empire to the Maratha sardars & the foreign trading companies

Ahmed Shah Abdali:

  • One of the generals of Nadir Shah
  • Repeatedly invaded & plundered India right down to Delhi & Mathura between 1748 & 1761. He invaded India five times.
  • 1761: Third battle of Panipat. The defeat of Marathas.
  • As a result of the invasions of Nadir Shah & Ahmed Shah, the Mughal empire ceased to be an all-India empire. By 1761 it was reduced merely to the Kingdom of Delhi

Shah Alam II (1759)

  • Ahmed Bahadur (1748-54) succeeded Muhammad Shah
  • Ahmed Bahadur was succeeded by Alamgir II (1754-59)
  • 1756: Abdali plundered Mathura
  • Alamgir II was succeeded by Shah Jahan III
  • Shah Jahan III succeeded by Shah Alam II in 1759
  • Shah Alam spent their initial years wandering for he lived under the fear of his wazir.
  • In 1764, he joined forces with Mir Qasim of Bengal & Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh in declaring war upon the British East India company. This resulted in the Battle of Buxar
  • Pensioned at Allahabad.
  • Returned to Delhi in 1772 under the protection of Marathas.

The decline of the Mughal Empire

  • After 1759, the Mughal empire ceased to be a military power.
  • It continued from 1759 till 1857 only due to the powerful hold that the Mughal dynasty had on the minds of the people of India as a symbol of the political unity of the country In 1803, the British occupied Delhi
  • From 1803 to 1857, the Mughal emperors merely served as a political front for the British.
  • The most important consequence of the fall of the Mughal empire was that it paved way for the British to conquer India as there was no other Indian power strong enough to unite & hold India.
  • The most important consequence of the fall of the Mughal empire was that it paved way for the British to conquer India as there was no other Indian power strong enough to unite & hold India.

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