Decline of the Mughals 

  • After 1759, Mughal Empire declined to ashes.
  • It remained in last breathing stage from 1759 till only because of the powerful hold that the Mughal dynasty had on as a symbol of the political unity of the country
  • In 1803, the British occupied Delhi
  • From 1803 to 1857, the Mughal emperors merely served as a political front of the British.
  • The consequence of the fall of the Mughal Empire was that it paved way for the British to conquer India because there was no other dynasty or province that power strong enough to integrate and hold India together.

Succession States

  • These Succession states arose as a result of autonomy to governors for Mughals provinces itself with the decline of the central power
  • Bengal, Awadh, Hyderabad

Hyderabad and the Carnatic

  • Founded by Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah in 1724
  • Tolerant policy towards Hindus

O A Hindu, Puran Chand, was his Dewan.

  • Established an orderly administration in Deccan on the basis of the jagirdari system on the Mughal pattern
  • He died in 1748
  • Nawab of Carnatic got freed from the control and made his office hereditary

O Saadutullah Khan of Carnatic made his nephew Dost Ali his successor

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  • 1700: Murshid Quli Khan made the Dewan of Bengal
  • Freed himself of the central control
  • Freed Bengal of major uprisings

o Three major uprisings during his time: Sitaram Ray, Udai Narayan and Ghulam Muhammad, and then by Shujat Khan, and finally by Najat Khan

  • Carried out fresh revenue settlement.
  • Introduced the system of revenue-farming.
  • Revenue farming ultimately increased distress of the farmers
  • Laid the foundations of the new landed aristocracy in Bengal
  • MQK died in 1727. Succeeded by Shuja-ud-din.
  • 1739: Alivardi Khan killed and deposed Shuja-ud-din’s son, Sarfaraz Khan, and made himself the Nawab
  • All three Nawabs encouraged trade.
  • Safety of roads and rivers. Thanas and Chowkies at regular intervals.
  • Maintained strict control over the foreign trading companies
  • They, however, did not firmly put down the increasing tendency of the English East India Company to use military force, or to threaten its use, to get its demands accepted.
  • They also neglected to build a strong army


  • 1722: Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk
  • Suppressed rebellions and disciplined the Zamindars
  • Fresh revenue settlement in 1723
  • Did not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims. The highest post in his government was held by a Hindu, Maharaja Nawab Rai
  • Died in 1739. Succeeded by Safdar Jung.
  • SJ’s reign was an era of peace
  • made an alliance with the Maratha sardars
  • declared warfare against Rohelas and Bangash Pathans
  • Organized an equitable system of justice
  • Distinct culture of Lucknow developed during his period


  • Haidar Ali, in 1761, overthrew Nanjaraj and established his own authority over Mysore
  • 1755: Established a modern arsenal at Dindigal with the help of French experts
  • Conquered Bidnur, Sunda, Sera, Canara and Malabar
  • He conquered Malabar because he wanted access to the Indian Ocean
  • First and Second Anglo-Mysore War
  • 1782: Succeeded by Tipu Sultan
  • TS was an innovator. Introduced a new calendar, a new system of coinage and new scales of weights and measures.
  • Keen interest in French Revolution

O Planted a ‘tree of liberty’ at Srirangapatnam and became a member of the Jacobin Club

  • Made efforts to build a modern navy
  • Mysore reached to epitome economically under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan
  • Sent missions to France, Turkey, Iran and Pegu Myanmar to develop foreign trade
  • Some historians say that Tipu was a religious fanatic. But facts don’t support this assertion.

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  • Divided into large number of feudal chiefs in the 18th century
  • Four important states

O Calicut (under Zamorin), Chirakkal, Cochin and Travancore

  • In 1729, Travancore rose to prominence under King Martanda Varma
  • Conquered Quilon and Elayadam, and defeated the Dutch
  • From 1766 Haidar Ali attacjked Kerala and annexed northern Kerala up to Cochin
  • Revival of Malyalam literature

O Trivandram became a famous centre of Sanskrit scholarship

Rajput States

  • Rajputana states continued to be divided as before
  • Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Amber was the most outstanding ruler of the era

O Founded the city of Jaipur

O Made Jaipur a great seat of science and art

O Astronomer. Erected observatories at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, and Mathura

O Drew up a set of tables, entitled Zij Muhammadshahi, to enable people to make astronomical observations

O Translated Euclid’s “Elements of Geometry” into Sanskrit

O Social reformers. Reduce lavish marriage expenditures.


  • Jat peasants revolted in 1669 and 1688
  • Bharatpur set up by Churaman and Badan Singh
  • Reached its highest glory under Suraj Mal, who ruled from 1756 to 1763

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Note:- remaining succession Sikhs and Marathas will be explained in next article.

For more see here.

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