February 22th, 2012
Section 2: The Grandeur of the Moguls
During the 1500, the Indian subcontinent was divided into a number of Muslim and Hindu kingdoms. The founder of the Mogul dynasty wasBabur. When he as young he commanded a group of warriors who seized Kabul in 1504. Thirteen years later, his forces crossed the Khyber Pass. Babur captures Delhi and established his power in the plainsof North India. He continued his conquests in North India until his dead in 1530 at the age of 47.
Babur’s grandson Akbar was only 14 when we took the throne. Highly intelligent, he set out toextend his domain. By 1605, he had brought Mogul rule to most of India. He used heavy artillery to place almost all India under his rule. The Moguls were also successful negotiators. Akbar’s conquestscreated the greatest Indian empire since the Mauryan dynasty nearly two thousand years earlier. He was the greatest of the conquering Moguls monarchs, but he is best known for the humane character ofhis rule. He was tolerant in his administration of the government. The upper ranks of the government bureaucracy were filled with non-native Muslims, but many of the lower ranking officials were Hindus.It became common practice to give the lower ranking officials plots of farmland for their temporary use. These local officials were known as zamindars and they kept a portion of the taxes paid bythe peasants in lieu of a salary. They came to exercise considerable power in their local districts. The Akbar era was a time of progress.
Akbar died in 1605 and was succeeded by his sonJahangir. During Shah Jahan’s reign he maintained the political system established for earlier Mogul rulers. Aurangzeb is one of the most controversial rulers in the history of India. He forbade both Hinducostume of suttee and the levying of illegal taxes. He tired to forbid gambling and drinking. Hindus were forced to convert to Islam. A number of revolts against the imperial authority broke out in...
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