NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 4 - The Mughal Empire Notes

Chapter 4 - The Mughal Empire Notes

1. From the latter half of the 16th century the Mughals expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi and until in the 17th century they controlled nearly the entire subcontinent.

2. The Mughals were descendants (offspring) of two great lineages of rulers from the mother side Genghis Khan and from father’s side Timur.

3. Babur was the first emperor. He succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old.

4. In 1526, Babur defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at Panipat and captured Delhi and Agra.

5. In 1527, Babur defeated Rana Sanga, Rajput rulers and allies at Khanua.

6. In 1528, Babur defeated the Rajputs at Chanderi.

7. Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb were the Mughal emperors.

8. The mother of Jahangir was a Kachhwaha princess, daughter of the Rajput ruler of Amber (Jaipur).

9. The mother of Shah Jahan was a Rathor princess, daughter of the Rajput ruler of Marwar (Jodhpur).

10. Mughal rulers campaigned constantly against rulers who refused to accept their authority. Many rulers also joined them voluntarily. The Rajputs are a good example of this. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and received high positions.

11. Sisodiya Rajputs refused to accept Mughal authority for a long time.

12. Mughals recruited diverse bodies of people. Those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars. These mansabdars held a mansab. Rank, salary and military responsibilities of the mansabdars were determined by grading system.

13. Rank and salary were determined by a numerical value called zat. The higher the zat, the more prestigious was the noble’s position in court and the larger his salary.

14. The mansabdar’s military responsibilities required him to maintain a specified number of sawar or cavalrymen. The mansabdar brought his cavalrymen for review, got them registered, and their horses branded and then received money to pay them as salary.

15. Mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs.

16. In Akbar’s reign these jagirs were carefully assessed so that the revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansabdar.

17. By Aurangzeb’s reign this was no longer the case and the actual revenue collected was often less than the granted sum.

18. The main source of income available to Mughal rules was tax on the produce of the peasantry.

19. To describe the intermediaries, whether they were local headmen of villages or powerful chieftains, the term used was ‘zamindar’. Peasants paid taxes through this zamindar.

20. Akbar’s revenue minister, Todar Mal carried out a careful survey of crop yields, price and areas cultivated for a 10-years period, 1570-1580. On the basis of this data, tax was fixed on each crop in cash.

21. Each province was divided into revenue circles with its own schedule of revenue rates for individual crops.

22. This revenue system was called ‘zabt’. It was prevalent in those areas where Mughal administrators could survey the land and keep very careful accounts. This was not possible in provinces such as Gujarat and Bengal.

22. Abul Fazl wrote a three-volume history of Akbar’s reign, titled “Akbar Nama”. The first volume dealt with Akbar’s ancestors and the second volume recorded the events of Akbar’s reign. The third volume is the Ain-i-Akbari, it deals with Akbar’s administration, household, army, the revenues and the geography of his empire. It also provides rich details about the traditions and culture of the people living in India.

23. The most interesting aspect about the Ain-i-Akbari is its rich statistical details about things as diverse as crops, yields, prices, wages and revenues.

24. Akbar’s empire was divided into provinces called subas, governed by subadar. Subadar carried out both political and military functions.

25. Each province also had a financial officer or diwan.

26. The subadar was supported by other officers such as military paymaster (bakshi), the minister in charge of religious and charitable patronage (sadr), military commanders (faujdars) and the town police commander (kotwal).

27. As a strong administrative function, Akbar established ‘sulh-i kul’ or ‘universal peace’ which did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm. While it was focused on a system of ethics- honesty, justice, and peace-that was universally applicable.

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