July 9, 2013

Features of political conditions of India during the 18th century

Features of  political conditions of India during the 18th century/ External and internal factors were responsible for political instability in India in 18th century

During the 18th century which is also beginning of Modern Indian History, there saw downfall of several empires like Mughals, Sikhs, Marathas, etc and also the rise of European Powers and their consolidation was also witnessed.

Internal Factors:
  • Lack of political unity : Before the 18th century, the Mughal Empire succeeded in establishing unity almost in the entire country by developing relations with the Hindus, the Rajputs and others. But in the 18th century, during the period of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, decline of Mughal Empire had started. Due to his strict policies, the revolts of Marathas, Sikhs and Jats had also occurred.
  • Inefficient Rulers : After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 A.D., there was no emperor in the Mughal dynasty who could check these revolts and reunite the Mughal Empire. The unity of Mughal Empire began to shaken, because his successors were weak and they were puppets in the hands of their nobles.
  • Powerful Mansabdars and Governors : Mansabdars and Mughal Governors had become powerful. They broke their connections with the centre with this they established their independent states.

External Factors:
  •  Foreign Invaders : Afghan invaders, Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali, attacked India again and again.
  • Nadir Shah's Invasion : In 1739 A.D. Nadir Shah of Iran invaded India and defeated Mughal emperor in a battle fought near Karnal. After defeating him Nadir Shah reached Delhi, and his army plundered the city. From 1748 A.D. to 1754 A.D. Nadir Shah's ablest general, Ahmed Shah Abdali, invaded India repeatedly and captured Multan and Punjab.
  • Invasion of Ahmed Shah Abdali : In 1761 A.D., Ahmed Shah Abdali invaded India and defeated Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat. At the time of his invasion of India Mughal Empire was almost limited only to Delhi.
  • During the 18th century, European powers such as Dutch, French, Portuguese and the English began to establish their companies in India. Slowly and gradually, they started meddling with the Indian affairs. Thus, country broke up into smaller independent states, which were always at war with each other for their selfish motive.

All these factors made the country weak and provide ground for foreign forces.


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