Chapter 4 The Mughal Empire
1. Match the following:
mansab – Marwar
Mongol – governor
Sisodiya Rajput – Uzbeg
Rathor Rajput – Mewar
Nur Jahan – rank
subadar – Jahangir
mansab – rank
Mongol – Uzbeg
Sisodiya Rajput – Mewar
Rathor Rajput – Marwar
Nur Jahan – Jahangir
subadar – governor
2. Fill in the blanks:
- The capital of Mirza Hakim, Akbar’s half-bro: her, was …………………
- The five Deccan Sultanate were Berar, Khandesh, Ahmadnagar,
- If zat determined a mansabdar’s rank and salary, sewer indicated his………………………
- Abul Faze, Akbar’s friend and counsellor, helped him frame the idea of …………. so that he could govern a society composed of many religions, cultures, and castes.
- Bijapur, Golconda
- number of horses maintained
3. What were the central provinces under the control of the Mughals?
Answer: Panipat, Lahore, Delhi, Agra, Mathura, Amber, Ajmer, Fatehpur Sikri, Chittor, Ranthambhore and Allahabad.
4. What were the relationships between the mansabdar and the jagir?
Relationship between the mansabdar and the jagir:
- Mansabdars were those who joined Mughal service.
- Jagirs were the salaries of the mansabdars in the form of revenue assignments.
- It means mansabdars received jagirs as their salaries. Hence, mansabdars depended upon jagirs for their livelihood.
5. What was the role of the zamindar in Mughal administration?
Answer: Zamtndars were powerful local chieftains appointed by the Mughal rulers. They exercised great influence and power. They collected taxes from the peasants and gave them to the Mughal emperor. Thus, they played the role of intermediaries. In some areas the zamindars became more powerful. The exploitation by Mughal administrators made them to rebellion. They got support from the peasants in rebelling against the Mughal authority.
6. How were the debates with religious scholars important in the formation of Akbar’s ideas on governance?
In the 1570’s at Fatehpur Sikri Akbar started discussions on religion with people of different faiths. There were ulemas, Brahmanas, Jesuit Catholic priests and Zoroastrians.
- These discussions took place in Ibadat Khana. These were about social and religious customs.
- These interactions made him realise that religious scholars are bigots. They emphasize rituals and dogma.
- Their teachings create divisions in society. This led to the idea of Sulh-i-Kul or ‘Universal peace’.
7. Why did the Mughals emphasise their Timurid and not their Mongol descent?
Answer: The Mughals were descendants of two great lineages of rulers. From their mother’s side they were descendants of Genghis Khan, ruler of the Mongol tribes. From their father’s side they were the successors of Timur, the ruler of Iran, Iraq and modern-day Turkey. However, the Mughals did not like to be called Mongol because Mongol’s especially Genghis Khan’s, memory was associated with the massacre of innumerable people. It was also linked with the Uzbegs, their Mongol competitors. On the other hand, the Mughals were proud of their Timurid ancestry, because it achieved good name in the history.
8. How important was the income from land revenue to the stability of the Mughal Empire?
The income from land revenue is very important to the stability of the Mughal Empire as:
- It was used for extension of empire, wars, etc.
- Income is used to pay salaries/wages to army, bureaucrats, artisans and workers.
- The administrative expenditure is dealt by this income.
9. Why was it important for the Mughals to recruit mansabdars from diverse backgrounds and not just Turanis and Iranis?
Answer: The Mughal Empire expanded to different regions. Hence, it was important for the Mughals to recruit diverse bodies of people in order to make people comfortable with them. Apart from Turanis and Iranis, now there were mansabdars from Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas and other groups.
10. Like the Mughal Empire, India today is also made up of many social and cultural units. Does this pose a challenge to national integration?
No, this does not pose a challenge to national integration because:
- We have a unified system of government that has the same rules and regulations for all the citizens irrespective of religion, region, etc.
- We have a constitution guarding the rights of all and specifying their duties.
- Now we are unified as a nation, not as distinct states or regions of different rulers.
11. Peasants were vital for the economy of the Mughal Empire. Do you think that they are as important today? Has the gap in the income between the rich and the poor in India changed a great deal from the period of the Mughals?
Answer: Peasants are as important today as they were during the Mughal Empire. They cultivate land and grow crops without which we cannot survive. They pay land revenue to the government which is used in various development work. We cannot think of a sound economy without them. They are the backbone of the country.
12. The Mughal Empire left its impact on the different regions of the subcontinent in a variety of ways. Find out if it had any impact in the city, village or region in which you live.
- We have great architectural remains of this period which gives lots of information about construction, material styles, etc.
- Islam as a religion gave a distinct cultural flavour to the city.
- Urdu has enriched our literature, music, and art of writing.
- Mughal remains are great tourist attractions.
Very Short Answer Type Questions
1. Why was it a difficult task for rulers of the Middle Ages to rule the Indian subcontinent?
Answer: It was because people of diverse backgrounds and cultures lived here.
2. Who was Genghis Khan?
Answer: He was the ruler of the Mongol tribes, China and Central Asia.
3. Who was Babur?
Answer: He was the first Mughal emperor and reigned from 1526 to 1530
4. Name the battlefield where Ibrahim Lodi was defeated by Babur?
5. To whom did Babur defeat at Chanderi?[V- Imp.]
Answer: Babur defeated the Rajputs at Chanderi
6. What forced Hwnayun to flee to Iran?
Answer: After being defeated by Sher Khan at Chausa in 1539 and Kanauj in 1540 Humayun fled to Iran.
7. At what age did Akbar become the emperor of the Mughal Empire?
Answer: Akbar became the emperor of the Mughal Empire at the age of 13.
8. Who was the regent of Akbar?
Answer: Bairam Khan.
9. How is Prince Khurram better known as in Indian History?
Answer: Price Khurram is better known as Emperor Shah Jahan in Indian History.
1o. Who was victorious in the conflict over succession amongst Shah Jahan’s sons?
Answer: Aurangzeb was victorious.
11. Who fought guerrilla warfare?
Answer: The Marathas fought guerrilla warfare.
12. What do you mean by the rule of primogeniture? [V. Imp.]
Answer: Under the rule of primogeniture the eldest son inherited his father’s estate.
13. What was the Timurid custom of coparcenary inheritance? [Imp.]
Answer: It was a division of the inheritance amongst all the sons.
14. What qualities of the Mughals enabled them to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains? [V. Imp.]
Answer: The careful balance between defeating but not humiliating their opponents enabled the Mughals to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains. is.
15 What does the term mansabdar refer to?
Answer: The term mansabdar refers to an individual who holds a mansab, te. a position or rank.
16. What was zat?
Answer: Mansabdar’s rank and salary were determined by a numerical value called zat The higher the zat, the more prestigious was the noble’s position in the court.
17. What was jagir?
Answer: Mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments known as jagirs.
18. What was zabt?
Ans. It was the revenue collected on the basis of the schedule of revenue rates for individuals crops.
19. With whom did Akbar hold a discussion on religion?
Answer: Akbar held discussions on religion with the Ulama, Brahmanas, Jesuit priests who were Roman Catholics, and Zoroastrians.
20. When did Mehrunnisa receive the title of Nur Jahan?
Answer: After Mehrunnisa got married to Emperor Jahangir, in 1611 she received the title of Nur Jahan.
21. What power did the nobles exercise during Akbar’s reign?
Answer: During Akbar’s reign the nobles commanded large armies and had access to large amounts of revenue.
Short Answer Type Questions
1. Contrast the Mughals to their predecessors. [V. Imp.]
How were the Mughals greater than their predecessors?
Answer: Unlike their predecessors, the Mughals created a huge empire and accomplished what had hitherto seemed possible for only short periods of time. From the latter half of the 16th century, they expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi until in the 17th century they controlled nearly all the subcontinent. They imposed structures of administrations and ideas of governance that outlasted their rule, leaving a political legacy that succeeding rulers of the subcontinent could not overlook.
2. How did Babur become the ruler of Delhi?
Answer: Babur succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old. However, he had to leave his ancestral throne due to the invasion of the Uzbeks, a Mongol group. Babur wandered for several years. Then in the year 1504, he seized Kabul. In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at the battle of Panipat. Thus, he captured Delhi where he laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire. He became the first Mughal emperor and ruled from 1526 to 1530.
3. What do you know about the Mughal relations with other rulers especially the Rajputs? [Imp.]
Answer: It was the policy of the Mughal rulers to campaign constantly against rulers who were not ready to accept their authority. However, when the Mughal became powerful, many other rulers joined them willingly. There were several Rajputs who married their daughters into Mughal families in order to gain a high position. But at the same time, many resisted the Mughals. The Sisodiya Rajputs refused to accept Mughal authority for a long time. However, when they got defeat, the Mughals did not treat them badly. They honoured them by giving them their lands Le. watan back as assignments, Le. watan jagir. Thus the Mughals never humiliated their opponents even though they defeated them. This unique quality of theirs enabled them to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains.
4. Awangzeb, did not follow the Mughals’ policy and insulted Shivaji when he came to accept Mughal authority. What was the consequence of this insult? [Imp.]
Answer: After being insulted by Aurangzeb Shivaji escaped from Agra and declared himself an independent king. Then, he resumed his campaigns against the Mughals. Prince Akbar rebelled against Aurangzeb and received support from the Marathas and the Deccan Sultanate. He finally fled to Safavid Iran. Aurangzeb could not remain silent. He personally managed campaigns in the Deccan against the Marathas who started guerrilla warfare, which was difficult to suppress.
5. Give an account of Todar Mai’s revenue system?
Answer: Todar Mai was Akbar’s revenue minister. He 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, the 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 came to be known as zabt. This system was prevalent in those areas where Mughal administrators could survey the land and keep careful accounts
7. Give an account of Akbar Nama and Ain-i Akbari.
Answer: Abul Fazl, one of Akbar’s close friends and courtiers, wrote a three-volume history of the reign of Akbar. It was titled as Akbar Nama. The first volume dealt with Akbar’s ancestors and the second volume recorded the events of Akbar’s reign. Ain-i Akbari is the third volume. It deals with Akbar’s administration, household, army, the revenues, and the geography of his empire. The book also provides details about the traditions and cultures of the people living in India. The most interesting aspect of Ain-i Akbari is its rich statistical details about things as diverse as crops, yields, prices, wages, and revenues.
8. What were the main features of Sulh-i Kul? [Imp.]
Answer: The idea of Sulh-i Kul was introduced by Akbar, the Great. Sulh-i Kul meant universal peace. Its main features are given below :
- The idea of Sul-i Kul was based on the idea of tolerance which did not discriminate between the people of different religions in Akbar’s realm.
- It focused on a system of ethics—honesty, justice, peace. These values were universally applicable.
Long Answer Type Questions
1. Divide Akbar’s reign into three periods and give details about them.
Mention the major campaigns and events of Akbar’s reign.
Answer: Akbar’s reign can be divided into the following three periods.
- 1556-1570. Akbar became independent of the regent Bairam Khan and other members of his domestic staff. He launched military campaigns against the Suris and other Afghans, against the neighbouring kingdoms of Malwa and Gondwana to suppress the revolt of his half brother Mirza Hakim and the Uzbeks. In the year 1568, he seized the Sisodiya Capital of Chittor and in 1569 Ranthambhor.
- 1570-1585. Military campaigns in Gujarat were followed by campaigns in the east in Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa. These campaigns were complicated by the 1579-1580 revolt in support of Mirza Hakim.
- 1585-1605. During this period Akbar expanded his empire. He launched campaigns in the north-west. Qandahar was seized from the Safavids and Kashmir was annexed. Kabul was seized after the death of Mirza Hakim. Afterward, Akbar started his campaigns in the Deccan and soon he annexed Berar, Khandesh, and parts of Ahmadnagar.
2. Write a short note on Akbar’s administrative policies. [V. Imp.]
Answer: Akbar’s administrative policies were mentioned in Abul Fazl’s book the Akbar Nama, particularly in its third and last volume, the Ain-i Akbari In the book Abul Fazl explained that the empire was divided into provinces known as Subas, governed by a Subadar. The Subadar carried out both political and military functions. Each province also had a financial officer or Diwan. For the maintenance of peace and order in his province, the Subadar was supported by several officers, for example
- The military paymaster also is known as Bakhshi.
- The minister in charge of religious and charitable patronage or
- Military commanders called Faigdars, and
- The town police commander called Akbar’s nobles commanded huge armies and had access to large amounts of revenue.
Akbar wanted to govern his empire peacefully. Hence he gave utmost importance to the idea of tolerance because it did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm. He held religious discussions with the Ulama, Brahmanas, Jesuit priests who were Roman Catholics and Zoroastrians and came to the conclusion that the idea of sulh-i kul or ‘universal peace’ would work effectively. This idea focused on a system of ethics, honesty, justice and peace. These values were universally accepted.
Thus, Akbar’s administrative policies were based on considerate ideas,
3. Who were mansabdars? What were their responsibilities?
Answer: The Mughals recruited diverse bodies of people in order to run the empire smoothly. Those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars.
The term mansabdar referred to an individual holding a mansab, meaning a position or rank. It was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities.
The mansabdars were assigned to military responsibilities. For this they maintained a specified number of sowar or cavalrymen. The mansabdar brought his cavalrymen for review, got them registered, their horses branded and then received money to pay them as salary.
4. Why did the peasantry suffer a lot during the last years of Aurangzeb’s reign? [V. Imp.]
Answer: Mansabdars, recruited by the Mughals to discharge Mughal services, received their salaries as revenue assignments known as jagirs. But most mansabdars did pot actually reside in or administer their jagirs. They only had rights to the revenue of their assignments which was collected for them by their servants while they served in some other part of the country.
Akbar managed to carefully assess these jagirs so that their revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansabdar. But Aurangzeb failed to do this. During his reign 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 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. As Aurangzeb could not control these developments, the peasantry suffered a lot. They had to give the revenue under all circumstances which made their life miserable.
5. Write in brief about the Mughal Empire in the 17th century and afterward.[Imp.]
(a) The influence and power of the Mughals were at the height during the 17th century. The sheen of their administrative and military efficiency brought great economic and commercial prosperity to the Empire. They had a huge treasure of wealth. They led a highly luxurious life. But the common mass had to face the curse of poverty.
( b) The Mughal emperors and their mansabdars spend a great deal of their income on salaries and goods. This expenditure benefited the artisans and peasantry who supported them with goods and produce. But the scale of revenue collection left very little for investment in the hands of the peasants and artisans. The poorest among them led a very miserable life. It was not possible for them to invest in additional resources like tools and supplies in order to increase productivity. However, the wealthier peasantry and artisanal groups, the merchants, and bankers profited in this economic world.
(c) The Mughal elites exercised a great deal of power in the late 17th century. With the decline of Mughal power and influence, many nobles became independent. They constituted new dynasties and held command of provinces, such as Hyderabad and Awadh.