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History — Chapter 5

Decline of the Mughal Empire

Class 8 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Name the following

Question 1

Two successors of Aurangzeb.

Answer

(a) Bahadur Shah I (b) Jahandar Shah

Question 2

Two foreigners who invaded India during the reign of Later Mughals.

Answer

(a) Nadir Shah (b) Ahmad Shah Abdali

Question 3

Two brothers who raised Farrukh Siyar on the throne in 1713.

Answer

(a) Abdullah khan (b) Hussain Ali Khan

Question 4

Two opponents who fought against each other in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761.

Answer

(a) Ahmad Shah Abdali (b) Marathas

Question 5

Two Nawabs who joined Shah Alam II in the Battle of Buxar.

Answer

(a) Mir Qasim (b) Shuja-ud-Daula

Fill in the blanks

Question 1

The successors of Aurangzeb were known as the Later Mughals

Question 2

Bahadur Shah I granted the Marathas Sardeshmukhi of the Deccan.

Question 3

Farrukh Siyar exempted the East India Company from paying custom duties for trade in Bengal.

Question 4

Nadir Shah invaded India in 1739 and took away the famous Kohinoor Diamond and Peacock throne of Shah Jahan.

Question 5

During the reign of Later Mughals, the powerful nobles acted as Kingmakers.

Match the following

Question 1

Sl.No.Column AColumn B
1Shah-i-bekhabarBahadur Shah Zafar
2Nadir Shah's GeneralChuraman
3Jat chiefMuhammad Shah defeated by Nadir Shah
4Last Mughal EmperorBahadur Shah-I
5Battle of KarnalAhmad Shah Abdali

Answer

Sl.No.Column AColumn B
1Shah-i-bekhabarBahadur Shah-I
2Nadir Shah's GeneralAhmad Shah Abdali
3Jat chiefChuraman
4Last Mughal EmperorBahadur Shah Zafar
5Battle of KarnalMuhammad Shah defeated by Nadir Shah

Answer the following questions

Question 1

Who were the Later Mughals? Explain the condition of the Mughal Empire under them.

Answer

The Nine Mughal Rulers who followed after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, were known as Later Mughals.

The Mughal Empire began to decline towards the beginning of the 18th century because the Later Mughals were weak and not efficient. In the 50 years after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, nine Mughal rulers followed one another in quick succession. The situation became worse due to their lax morals and internal rivalries. Mughals provided an opportunity to the other rulers to assert themselves. As the central authority grew weak, many rulers carved out independent States for themselves.

Question 2

The Sayyid brothers were known as 'king makers'. Give reasons to support this statement.

Answer

The Sayyid brothers, Abdullah Khan and Hussain Ali, helped Farrukh Siyar to become emperor and got the control over the affairs of the state. But in 1719, they strangled Farrukh Siyar to death and raised three rulers in quick succession — Rafi-ud-Darajat(1719), Rafi-ud-Daula(1719) and Muhammad Shah(1719-1748). For this reason, Sayyid brothers are known in the history as the 'Kingmakers'.

Question 3

What is the Law of Primogeniture? Why was this law not followed by the Mughals?

Answer

The law of Primogeniture is a law whereby the eldest son would be the rightful successor to the throne.

During the later Mughal period, the Nobles acted as king makers. The death of the king was followed by a war of succession among the sons of the dead ruler. The nobles used to put the weakest prince on the throne to suit their personal interest. That is why the law of Primogeniture was not followed by the Mughals.

Question 4

What were the consequences of frequent wars of succession on the stability of the Mughal Empire?

Answer

In the later Mughal period, the death of the king was followed by a war of succession among the sons of the dead ruler. The nobles used to support the prince of their choice and put him on throne to suit their personal interest. They also used to pull the king down when he stopped serving their interest. All this led to frequent wars of succession and instability of Mughal Empire. This made the empire weaker and gave other rulers chance to assert themselves.

Question 5

What were the weaknesses of the Mughal army which led to the decline of the Mughal Empire?

Answer

The weaknesses of the Mughal army which led to the decline of the Mughal Empire were:

  1. The Mughal army was organised more or less on the feudal lines, where the common soldier owed allegiance to the mansabdar rather than to the emperor.
  2. The soldiers cared more for their personal comforts and less on winning battles.
  3. Mansabdars did not maintained the number of troops they were required to, according to their rank. This affected the military strength of the empire.
  4. In 18th century, soldiers were hired from Central Asia who were not loyal to Mughal Empire.

Question 6

What was the jagirdari crisis? How was it responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire?

Answer

Jagirdari crisis refers to a crisis that emerged due to the enormous increase in the number of mansabdars to be assigned jagirs. As adequate number of jagirs were not available, a lot of crown land was converted into jagir land. This reduced the revenue share of the emperor and led to the further decline of his power. Another important consequence was that the uncertainty about mansabdars' income from their jagirs weakened the numerical strength of the army as number of troops to be maintained by each mansabdar was determined by the salary and allowances (paid through jagirs) attached to his mansab.

Question 7

To what extent foreign invasions undermined the stability and strength of the Mughal Empire?

Answer

The political instability in India gave an opportunity to the foreigners to invade India. The persian ruler Nadir Shah defeated Muhammad Shah at the Battle of Karnal and remained in Delhi for 57 days. He took away a huge booty, including the Kohinoor diamond and Shah Jahan's jewel-studded Peacock Throne. Muhammad Shah ceded all the territories West of Indus, from Kashmir to Sindh to him. After Nadir Shah, India was ravaged five times by Ahmad Shah Abdali between 1748 and 1761. These foreign invasions exposed the hidden weakness of the Mughal Empire greatly undermining its stability and strength.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Identify the person in the picture. State how was he responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire. How did the successors of the person in the picture lead to the decline of the Mughal Empire. Who do you think would have taken the place of Mughals? Why did they fail to do so? Decline of the Mughal Empire, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 8.

(a) Identify the person in the picture. State how was he responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire.

(b) How did the successors of the person in the picture lead to the decline of the Mughal Empire.

(c) Who do you think would have taken the place of Mughals? Why did they fail to do so?

Answer

(a) The person in the given picture is Aurangzeb. He was responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire in the following ways:

  1. Aurangzeb gave up Akbar's policies of diplomacy and religious tolerance. He reimposed jizya and the pilgrim tax on the non-muslims and removed them from high posts under the state.
  2. He interfered in the internal matters of Rajputs and made them his bitter enemies.
  3. His revenue officers oppressed the peasants.
  4. His policy of continuos war in Deccan made him lose control over his administration and officers in the North. His long absence from the North emboldened the local chiefs and zamindars to defy the local authority and governors of petty states to assert their independence. These wars also drained the resources of the Mughal Empire.

(b) The successors of Aurangzeb were incapable of maintaining the integrity of such a vast empire. They left the affairs of the empire in the hands of their nobles and governors. The central authority grew weak and the nobles and governors declared their independence.

(c) The Marathas would have taken the place of Mughals. They failed to do so because of the crushing defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat. Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated the Marathas and put their hope of replacing Mughals to an end.

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