Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire

The greatest flourishing of northern Indian
culture, art, and imperial strength undoubtedly took place during the reign
of the Mughal monarchs of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Mughals were

Central Asian descendents of the great Mongol warriors Ghengis Khan and

Timur. The Mughals seized power and held on to it by using various
methods. The system of government used by the Mughals was also efficent
in helping the Mughals to hold on to their power. But the Mughals
didnít flourish too long, after the new ruler Auranzeb took control.

The Mughalís gained power and were able
to hold on to it by Akbarís expert use of diplomacy. Akbar added
new territory to the Mughal empire. Along with new territory came
diverse ethnicity and problems. To prevent problems Akbar secured
the allegiance of the diverse populations within his empire. At the
height of his political power, Akbar ended the taxes on non-Muslims and
permitted Hindus to build new temples, creating religious tolerance.

He also secured Hindu support by negotiating peace treaties.

The system of government used by the Mughals
was very effcient in holding on to their power. Akbar divided his
empire into provinces and districts, giving local governors salaries instead
of land grants. This way if the officials were dependent on the central
government for income, they would probably not rebel. Akbar set up
an efficient tax collecting system and made an effort to ensure that it
was applied fairly. Later years however, when Akabarís son and grandson
ruled they increased taxes to support military campaigns.

However, the Mughals decline set stage
rapidly when Auranzeb took leadership. Religious intolerance was
at itís height during Auranzebís rule. His policy caused tension
between Hindus and Muslims. Hindu rulers challenged Auranzeb, he
reacted by reinstating a tax on non-muslims and destroying many Hindu temples.

There was constant warfare which weakened the empire. Along with
constant warfare, corruption grew. The treasury was being drained
by corrupt officials. The empire had no money to support a strong
military, so they required heavy taxes. Which increased problems
with peasants. He tried to cut non-military expenses by dismissing
artists, architects, and historians. By doing this the growth of
the Mughal culture stopped. Many Indian states withdrew their support
or declared their independence. Auranzeb died in 1707 leaving
his decendants to rule a weakend empire.