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Mogul Empire

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The Mughal (or Mogul) Empire was founded by Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi[?], the last of the Delhi Sultans[?] at the Battle of Panipat. It was largely conquered by Sher Shah during the time of Humayun, but under Akbar, it grew considerably, and continued to grow until the end of Aurangzeb's rule. After Aurangzeb died in 1707, the empire started a slow and steady decline in actual power, although it maintained all the trappings of power for another 150 years. In 1739 it was defeated by an army from Persia led by Nadir Shah. In 1756 an army of Ahmad Shah looted Delhi again. The final defeat was by the British Empire in 1857.


The Mughal Empire was Islamic, although many of the subjects of the Empire, up to and including very high-ranking members of the court, were Hindu. When Babur first founded the Empire, he did not emphasize his religion, but rather his Turkic heritage. (The name Mughal, seems to have been attached somewhere in the 19th Century. It is derived from Mongol, another piece of Babur's ancestry.) Under Akbar, the court dropped use of the jizya[?], the tax on non-Muslims, and dropped use of the lunar Muslim calendar in favor of a solar calendar, more useful for agriculture. These actions were later retracted by Aurangzeb, known for his religiosity, but even under Aurangzeb, one quarter of his court princes were Rajput[?] hindus.

Political Economy

The Mughals used the mansabdar[?] system to generate land revenue. The emperor would grant revenue rights to a mansabdar in exchange for promises of soldiers in war-time. The greater the size of the land the emperor granted, the greater the number of soldiers the mansabdar had to promise. The mansab was both revocable and non-hereditary; this gave the center a fairly large degree of control over the mansabdars.

Greater Mughal Emperors:

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