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Malavika Kasturi

Sept 26 notes The Eighteenth Century 1 The Decline of the Mughal Empirethe Mughal Empire fell because of internal contradictions fuelled by the growing ambitions of prosperous regionsleaders and elite groups His work has encouraged historians to reevaluate the eighteenth century as an era in which assert new successor states who no longer recognised Mughal sovereignty competed with the British to exercise power in the sub continent1A Regional Prosperity and Mughal Decline Prosperous localregionalelites demanded autonomyElite ambitions grew regions became kingdoms revolts from 1650 th During the first half of the 18 century Mughal power contracted while the subordinate to Mughals flourished There seems to be three crucial fault lines Zamindars across northern and central India rose up to resist imperial authority Zamindar possessed local knowledge and controlled peasant cultivation They had amassed power as they grew up in wealth in thduring 17 century Examples are Marathas of Deccan the Sikhs in Punjab and the Jats of Delhi Second fault line was the established princely rulers They accepted the Mughal power but kept authority within their own domains They resisted Mughal demand and ceased to deliver tribute Example is the Rajputs The third fault line was the provincial governors who were appointed by the emperor as administrators over areas where they had no preexistinglocal connections who then acted autonomously individually2 The Eighteenth Century Successor States 2A Rise of New Successor States 173562New regional kingdoms princely kingdoms exprovincesAwadh Bengal MarathasThe rich provinces of Awadh and Bengal and Deccan gained the autonomy as local thgovernors now called nawabBy mid 17 century governors had become the head of domains of their own Within zamindar warrior states as well as within the now autonomous Mughal provinces the new regional kingdoms of effective state building reaching deeply into their populations and building powerful armiesMilitaryfiscal state Merchants financing bureacracies armyIn new system of regional states there was recruitment of soldiers forces developed with more discipline and effectiveness than traditional mounted armies of the Mughals The th18 century states welcomed Europeans to train the soldiers and it required money Military fiscalism created a new relationship between revenue extraction military and thfinancial agentsBecause there was enough economic expansion already in 17 century rulers turned to families of bankers and traders for the financial assistance At the same time for the revenue collection the landholding zamindars were consolidated and were replaced by court officials military adventurers and banking families In the end military fiscalism did not so much preserve India from conquest as it open the way to it
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