You are currently viewing Decline of the Mughal Empire

Decline of the Mughal Empire

Decline of the Mughal Empire:

Want to read about the Mughal empire:click 

1. Confused heirs and puppet rulers:

                 After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, Bahadur Shah I abolished his father’s religious policies. But  he faced internal turmoil and violent.From 1712, the Mughal dynasty enjoyed short-lived rulers,  with four emperors  ascending the  throne only in 1719.The Sayyid brothers, the leaders of the Sadat-i-Farah nobles, controlled the empire through puppet-emperors and became de facto rulers.

2.Dismemberment of the Empire:

                   Muhammad Shah’s reign (1719–1748) saw the disintegration of the empire, leading to the Marathas gaining control of central India.Nizam-ul-Mulk encouraged Maratha invasions when the Mughals tried to crush Deccani independence.Nader Shah’s invasion in 1739 further  weakened the Mughals, resulting  in Delhi being deposed and losing power.

3.Rise of Regional Powers:

                     The Mughal elites sought independence and carved out empires of their own.Despite the decline, the formal recognition of the Mughal emperor as the sovereign of India, comprising Muslim, Maratha, Hindu and Sikh leaders  , continued.

4. British and Maratha influence:

                          Shah Alam II’s attempts to reverse the decline were in vain.The Marathas later recaptured Delhi in 1771.  They became the protectors of the Mughal Emperor until the Second Anglo-MarathaAfter the British conquests, the East India Company assumed control over Bengal-Bihar in 1793. It marks  the beginning of British colonial rule.

5.The last Mughal and British supremacy:

                          The last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, faced defeat in the 1857-1858 war. This  led to  his dismissal and exile by the British East India Company in 1858.The Government of India Act 1858, establishing the British Crown,  marked the transition to direct British crown

Causes of decline (1707–1720):

                        The loss of financial resources for the imperial throne led to the inability of key officials to pay.This contributed to the decline of power.The imperial officials, disappointed, made deals with local lobbyists and weakened the central authority.The Mughal army lost its fighting spirit after being caught in futile battles with the Marathas .After the execution of Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1719, violent political battles over the throne  led to the rise of succession states.

Modern explanations of decline:

                            Historians put forward various factors for the decline.Psychological explanations in this highlight degradation and excessive Marxist ideas emphasize the exploitation of the peasantry and prevent support for the regime.The failure to cooperate with Hindu bankers and the independence  of the provinces due to religious interpretations and prosperity are also cited.Jeffrey G. Williamson’s economic perspective suggests post-Mughal industrialisation. This contributed  to India’s decline in the textile market against Britain.


Within a couple of decades of Aurangzeb’s death, the Mughal Empire began to fall dramatically and suddenly due to many different but connected circumstances. In this way, the great Mughal Empire, a brilliant period in medieval Indian history, ended, paving the way for the foundation of other independent regional kingdoms.

Learn about : The Administration of the Mughal Empire

Learn about : Mughal Rulers

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply