Mughal Empire Decline

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With the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Mughal period started to become more unpopular. By the mid of the next century, the British had totally overpowered the Mughal ‘Shah-en-Shahs’. This period of transition can be further broken into two periods of transitions, the first one from the Mughal Empire to the regional states and the second from the regional states to the British colonies which are both described separately later in the essay. A society always maintains the notion of constant total power. If a society is controlled by another society, the latter one may be seen as an external power factor. This implies that all individual powers of a society should add up to a constant. If the power of some object (Mughal Empire)…show more content…
At some places, the resistance of the later is used to describe the decline of the former. The Metcalfs employs three ‘fault lines’ that are reported to bring disintegration of the Mughals. The first were zamindars, who had “local roots”, “possessed local knowledge” and had “control over peasent cultivators”. They were stable and with the above characteristics, were able to devise ideal plans to rebel the Empire. The princely rulers, described as the second ‘fault lines’, “accepted Mughal power but kept the authority within their own compact domains”. Since they had the established authority, they can, at any time, cease to deliver tribute to the Mughals and challenge them. “The third was that of provincial governors, who were appointed by the emperor in the normal course as administrators over areas where they had no pre-existiing connections.” Over time, these governors stabilized their positions, and since their control areas were not kept in eye by the emperor, they easily betrayed their own appointers. Aurangzeb, in extending his territory, undermined the financial basis of the Empire. The regional rulers saw this weakening as an opportunity to attain power. Conquering the Empire in parts, they totally destroyed it. “In the 1730s, vast tracts of central India passed from Mughal into Maratha hands.… In 1739, Nadir Shah …razed Delhi in a devastating looting raid. …By 1940s, the subadars of Bengal, Awadh and the Deccan turned themselves into nawabs or independent kings.” “In 1748 and 1757, the Afghan Ahmed Shah Abdali …attacked Delhi.” This Empire was shattering since the early Eighteenth century, but was utterly demolished when Delhi was

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