The Decline Of The Mughal Empire History Essay
Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
The Mughal Empire was a royal Muslim imperial power of the Indian subcontinent which began in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It was said to be the first large empire in India since the Gupta Empire. It is approved by many scholars that the Mughal empire was the greatest, richest and most long-lasting Muslim dynasty to rule India. The Mughal emperors, with few exceptions, were among the world’s most creative minded rulers, they were famous for the creation and management of one of the greatest empires. The extended existence of the Mughal empire can be contributed to a number of factors. The Mughal Empire gave the history of India a chapter full of great accomplishments and massive power. Unfortunately, due to the irreparable mistakes of the Mughal emperors such as Aurangzeb, all of that great accomplishments was simply gone with the wind.
The Mughal Empire reached its utmost level in the time of the most powerful Aurangzeb; the last great Mughal emperor. He ruled a large landmass in India which was under the Mughal rule. “Aurangzeb also expanded the borders of the Mughal Empire to the point where effective governing was nearly impossible.” (Puzak, 2005). Aurangzeb, was much more traditional in his Islamic practices. He reinstituted the jizya, or tax on non-believers on the Hindu majority and destroyed their temples, he didn’t allow any Hindu festivals to take place, Hindus had to pay taxes to visit their holy sites, and singing and dancing in general was forbidden. Aurangzeb was more concerned in promoting Islam than maintaining stability in the empire, and religious tension between Hindus and Muslims increased; he encouraged the studying of Islam and discouraged other religions. The main causes of rebellion were political, not only religious. Aurangzeb religious policies surely did not lend a hand to his empire, but they were not sufficient to cause the whole empire to fall into decline. One of the major causes that led to the decline of the Mughal Empire was the weak successors that could not unite the huge empire after him. After the death of Aurangzeb, various provinces became independent of the central Authority. Therefore, gradually the Mughal Empire have fallen apart. Before Aurangzeb’s death, he left a will which he divided his empire between his successors. In spite of this, a war took place among his successors for the throne. The Mughal Empire was very powerful and strong. Unfortunately, after the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire shrunk. “A series of rulers came to power who were incapable of confronting the great wave of discontent that was then sweeping the empire.” (Berinstain, 1997). All of the Mughal emperors were getting weaker and lacked the character, motivation and commitment to rule the empire strongly, and they were incapable to face the challenges and were unable to detain the declining empire from its fall.
The lack of any definite law of succession was another significant reason that led to the decline of the Mughal Empire. The war of successions led to the ultimate fall of the Mughal Empire. The Mughals financial status had became terrible and hard to deal with. They had used up a large amount of the empire’s money and reserves, ending up with an economic failure. Not only that, it also led to aggression, and loss of money and status of the empire over a period of time. The fall of the Mughal rulers had also led to some ethical issues and conflicts. The nobles in the early stages of the Mughal Empire, preformed some helpful actions and they were well known and respected for their amazing achievement and skills in both war and peace. But the nobles in the late stages of the Mughal Empire were selfish and self centered. The nobles who were once honest, loyal and talented turned out to be so selfish and greed. The weakening of the nobles had a massive effect on the army. The soldiers had identified themselves with different ethnic group instead of identifying themselves as Indians and part of the Mughal society. Widespread Bribery in the court administration, taking bribes became so popular, which caused the damage of the entire government.
When Aurangzeb died, his son succeeded him. The son of Aurangzeb was really old by the time he was declared as a Mughal emperor. He only lived few more years after ascending the throne. The government was so weak and wasn’t stable at that time. The Empire was a quite easy target for others to invade the country. The death of Aurangzeb and the short reign of his son led to the end of the Mughal empire and the beginning of the British Rule. Many actions of the British also caused the decline, especially that of the economy. A company named the East India Company was owned by the British. The British took over money from the hands of local Indian landowners and gave it to the East India Company officials, causing the damage of the healthy local industries, and took away the land of many peasants, killing one-third of the population in areas under the British control. Increased interruption along with the financial bankruptcy, created a period of social conflict. Rebellions existed in so many different areas in the 19th century. There reasons of this rebellion varies. Later on, the British were able to contribute with the loyal Sikh in order to shut down the rebellion that was occurring.
To put it briefly, the Mughal Empire was one of the greatest and largest empires in history. They ruled a large landmass in India and ruled millions of people at that time in history. India was much larger and became united under one rule. The Mughal gave India a very rich culture and brilliant architecture and great accomplishments. There were many Hindu and Muslim areas that were split all over India until the Mughal empire was established. Unfortunately, the Mughal Empire faced many difficulties, and by the turn of the 19th century, had weakened significantly and slowly disintegrated into dust. Even when the empire no longer exists today, the memories of the great emperors will last forever and will never fade away.
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