Fall of Mughal Empire 

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Time Line of Mughal Empire

MUGHAL EMPIRE ……..…1526 – 1540, 1555-1857

Babar ……………………………….1526
– 1530 AD

Humayun ……………….
1530-1540, 1555-1556 AD

Akbar ……………………………….
1556 – 1605 AD

Jahangir ……………………………
1605 – 1627 AD

Shahjahan …………………………..
1628-1658 AD

Aurangazeb ……………………….
1658 – 1707 AD

Bahadurshah I……………………….1707-1712 AD

Jahandar Shah…………………………1712-1713 AD

Farrukhsiyar…………………………….1713-1719  AD

Muhhamad Shah…………………….1719-1748  AD


Decline  Of Mughal Empire

Causes of the Decline of the Mughal Empire

Deterioration of land relations

of regional powers as successor states

struggle of nobles at the court

 Lack of
initiative in modern weapons

 Lack of
control over the bankers of the state and above all

 Aurangzeb’s Deccan campaign

 Existing means of communication and the
economic and political structure of the country made it difficult to establish
a stable centralized administration over all parts of the country

Policies of Aurangzeb

Created too many enemies .

Destroyed main pillar of strength of Mughals
i.e. Relations with Rajputs

Absence from north for 25 years lead
deterioration in administration, defying of central authority by local

Jat and Sikh uprisings were not large but
significant because of popularity – peasants form their backbone

 Religious orthodox and
policy towards Hindu rulers

Imposing the jaziya, destroying many of the
Hindu temples in the north, and

Putting certain restrictions on the Hindus.

While Akbar, Jahangir, shahjahan tried to
establish a secular state and followed policy of non-interference with
religious beliefs while Aurangzeb policies led to widen the gulf between the
Hindu and Muslim upper classes

In his eagerness for further expansion,
Aurangzeb exposed to incessant raiding districts in the Deccan that were
formerly secure from outside attack. Unlike Emperor Akbar, who assimilated
Rajputs within his kingdom.

was unable to effectively assimilate the Maratha, Bedar, Gond or Telugu warrior
chiefs .

Although they were stationed in the Deccan, the
Mughals failed to defeat the Marathas.

After Aurangzeb

Neither the Hindus nor the Muslims formed a
homogenous community at that time.

As Aurangzeb left the Empire with many problems
unsolved, the situation was further

worsened by the ruinous wars of succession.

Civil wars loosened the administrative fabric of
the Empire.

After Bahadur Shah, the upcoming Emperor doesn’t
possess required capabilities.

Most of were worthless, weak-willed and luxury-
loving kings while rulers like

Aurangzeb was neither weak nor degenerated. He
lives simple and austere life.

Deterioration in character of nobles. i.e. they were no longer loyal,
efficient and alert

The Mughal court
consisted of four groups of nobles, the Turanis, the Iranis, the Afghans
and the Indian born Muslims

of Excessive luxury

took their families with themselves when they go out to fight

were poorly educated

of offices by making them hereditary and depriving the ablest person

with each other

groups and factions against each other and even against the king

of public virtue and political foresight

 Selfishness and lack of devotion to state gave birth to corruption in administration

for this was paucity of jagirs and the reduced income of the existing jagirs at
a time when no. of nobles and their expenditures was increasing

their expenditure by not maintaining full quota of troops and thus weakened the
armed strength of Mughal

balance their own budgets, appropriated khalisah (crown) lands, thus intensifying
the financial crisis of the central Government

Stagnation and deterioration in agriculture and impoverishment of peasants

Burden of land revenue increasing from Akbar’s

 Constant transfer of
nobles from their jagirs also led to great evil. They tried to extract as much
from a jagir as possible in the short period of their tenure as jagirdars.

They made heavy demands on peasants and cruelly
oppressed them

Rise of new class of revenue farmers and talukdars
whose extortions from peasants formed no bounds

 Impoverishment of peasants Resulted in:

Discontent increased

In some instances, peasants left the land to
avoid paying of land revenue

Discontent found outlet in series of uprisings
(the Satnamies, the Jats, the Sikhs, etc.) which eroded the empire’s stability

Some ruined peasants formed roving bands of
robbers and adventurers undermining the law and order and efficiency of empire

Trade and agriculture was alternative but they
also faced stagnation

Bad communications hampered the growth of trade
and commerce

·       No
new advances in science and Technology

Neglect of overseas trade and navy

Absence of spirit of political nationalism among people

Existing character of the Indian economy, social
relations, caste structure, and political institutions was such that the time
was not yet ripe for the unification of Indian society or for its emergence as
a nation took little interest in the politic of empire

Administrative Reasons

Rapid decline in the administrative efficiency
of Mughal empire

Law and order broke down in many parts of the

Unruly Zamindars openly defied central

Even the royal camp and Mughal armies on the
march were often plundered by hostile elements.

 Corruption and bribery,
indiscipline and inefficiency, disobedience and disloyalty prevailed on a large
scale among officials at all levels.

Financial Causes

 The Central Government
was often on the verge of bankruptcy.

The old accumulated wealth was exhausted while
the existing sources of incomewere narrowed.

 Many provinces failed to
remit provincial revenues to the centre.

The area of the khalsah lands was gradually
reduced as Emperors tried to placate friendly nobles by granting jagirs out of
these lands.

The rebellious Zamindars regularly withheld

 Efforts to increase
income by oppressing the peasantry produced popular reaction.


 Mughal army lacked
discipline and fighting morale during 18th century

 Lack of finance made it
difficult to maintain a large army

Its soldiers and officers were not paid for

Since soldiers were mere mercenaries, they were
constantly disaffected and often verged on a mutiny.

 Foreign invasion

Attacks by Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali
drained the Empire of its wealth, ruined its trade and industry in the North,
and almost destroyed its military power.

British challenge took away the last hope of the
revival of the crisis-ridden Empire.

Consequences of Decline of Mughal Empire?

 None of the Indian powers
rose to claim the heritage of the Grand Mughals for they were strong enough to
destroy the Empire but not strong enough to unite it or to create anything new
in its place.

 They could not create a
new social order which could stand up to the new enemy from the West. All of
the powers which were against Mughals were suffering from same weakness which
Mughals suffered.

 Degenerated state of
Mughals invited Europeans to knock at the gates of India.

 They had the benefit of
coming from societies which had evolved a superior economic system and which
were more advanced in science and technology.

 The centuries-old
socio-economic and political structure of the country was replaced it with a
colonial structure.

 The stagnation of Indian
society was broken and new forces of change emerged.

 Because the motives of
Europeans were colonial they brought extreme misery, national degradation,
economic, political, and cultural backwardness.


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