Decline of Mughal Empire: Causes
Posted on : 22-01-2018 Posted by : Admin

The Decline of Mughal Empire started in eighteenth century. And the causes which led to the breakup can be traced back to seventeenth century. The following are the causes for the decline of Mughal Empire.


Weak and incapable rulers

  • It was a fact that the rulers after Aurangzeb were incapable and weak. They could not prevent the breakup of the kingdom.
  • Large amounts of money and energy was lost in the fight for succession after the death of kings.
  • Furthermore the kings always doubted the ministers and courtiers.
  • As a result of this the provincial governors of Hyderabad, Bengal and Awadh claimed their independence.


Financial crisis

  • Mughal Empire was in need of constant supply of money but it faced huge financial crisis.
  • Large army was deployed in controlling the threats from Marathas and Sikhs. The maintenance of the army needed lot of money.
  • The campaigns led by previous Mughal emperors were a big drain on the empire income.
  • The empire did not have enough jagirs or lands to assign to officers. Conquently lots of regulations were imposed on zamindars.
  • Zamindars felt nobles collected major share of taxes. This led to conflict between zamindars and nobles.
  • The protest of zamindars took a massive form of revolt with the support of the peasant.


Inefficient administration

  • Mughal administration was the best during the rule of Akbar. The administration by the rulers after Aurangzeb was inefficient.
  • During Akbar, mansabdari system was very popular and effective with limited number of mansabdars. Later the number of mansabdars grew more than three times.
  • Moreover the mansabdars were not honest about the collected revenue or the number of troops they maintained for the emperor.
  • Akbar insisted in transfer of the mansabdars to prevent them from becoming powerful in particular area. But after Akbar mansabdars were rarely transferred and hence they started to behave like local rulers.


Weak Military forces

  • Artillery arm of the military which was outstanding became outdated compared to other armies.
  • Latest models of guns were developed in other parts of the world but the guns used in the military were outdated.
  • Mughals did not pay much interest to the sea power, and thus the navy was underdeveloped. As Mughals could not estimate the upcoming threat from European trading companies, they never concentrated on the developing Mughal navy.


No Scientific development

Mughals had little interest in encouraging scientific discoveries. On the other hand Europeans could reveal great scientific knowledge. The advancement of knowledge had no value for Mughal emperors. Wealthy traders were satisfied just with their wealth and luxury.


Luxurious life of Mughal emperors

The habit of Mughal emperors to lead luxurious life consumed lot of income from land and trades. Unlimited access to money enabled the Mughals to live in magnificence and glory. All the rich class competed and compared with each other to lead an elegant life. They used rich clothes, costly jewels with number of courtiers to add enjoyment to life. These things acted as the symbols of high status. This kind of luxury brought about moral decay in the society of eighteenth century.

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