NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 10: Eighteenth-Century Political Formations YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 10: 18th Century Political Formations

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By 1765: British grabbed territories in East India

New political groups emerged in first half of 18th century (from 1707 that is death of Aurangzeb to 1761 that is 3rd Battle of Panipat)

Decline of Mughal Rule

  • Started during end of 17th century

  • Aurangzeb depleted military and financial resources of kingdom

  • Later Mughals couldn’t check Mansabdar powers

  • Nobles appointed as governors (subadars) controlled offices of revenue and military administration (diwani and faujdari)

  • Periodic remission of revenue to the capital declined with governors consolidating control over provinces

  • Peasant and zamindari rebellion added to the problem – revolt caused by mounting taxes

  • Unable to arrest gradual shifting of political and economic authority into hands of provincial governors

  • Nadir Shah plundered Delhi in 1739 and took away lot of wealth – Rs. 60 lakh, 1000 gold coins, Rs. 1 crore gold-ware, Rs. 50 crore jewels & Peacock Throne – New city of Shahjahana bad was turned into rubbles.

  • Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded north India five times between 1748 and 1761

  • Faced competition from other groups

  • Were divided into Iranis and Turanis (Turkish people)

  • Worst Mughal experiences - Farrukh Siyar (1713-1719) and Alamgir II (1754-1759) were assassinated, and two others Ahmad Shah (1748-1754) and Shah Alam II (1759-1816) were blinded by their nobles

Emergence of New States

By 18th Century: Mughals fragmented into:

  • States that were old Mughal provinces like Awadh, Bengal and Hyderabad – powerful and independent - Saadat Khan – zat rank 6,000 (Awadh), Murshid Quli Khan – zat rank -7,000 (Bengal) and Asaf Jah – zat rank -7,000 (Hyderabad)

  • States that enjoyed considerable independence under Mughals as watan jagirs - several Rajput principalities

  • States under the control of Marathas, Sikhs and Jats


  • Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, founder of Hyderabad - Powerful members at court of Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar – 1st was governor of Awadh & later Deccan

  • He had full control over administration

  • Brought skilled soldiers from North India

  • He appointed mansabdars and granted jagirs

  • Mughals confirmed decisions taken by Nizams

  • Engaged in struggle against Marathas to west and with independent Telugu warrior chiefs (nayakas) of plateau

  • They aims to control rich textile areas of Coromandel Coast in East


  • Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan was appointed subadar of Awadh in 1722 and founded a state – emerged as break-up of Mughal

  • Controlled Ganga plains and trade route between North India and Bengal

  • Held combined offices of subadari, diwani and faujdari that is political, financial and military affairs

  • Reduced jagirdars (role to prevent cheating) appointed by Mughals

  • He seized Rajput zamindaris and fertile lands of Afghans of Rohilkhand

  • State depended on local mahajans for loans

  • It sold right to collect taxes to bidders

  • “Revenue farmers” (ijaradars) agreed to pay state a fixed sum of money


  • Murshid Quli Khan was appointed as naib, deputy to governor of the province – seized all power

  • Commanded revenue administration – collected in cash with strictness, those unable to pay were asked to sell lands

  • Transferred all Mughal jagirdars to Orissa and ordered major reassessment of revenues of Bengal

  • Under Alivardi Khan – Jagat Seth’s banking house became prosperous

Three Things Common under Awadh, Hyderabad & Bengal

  • States established by nobles of Mughal Empire – Jagirdari system

  • They contracted with revenue farmers for tax collection – ijaradari

  • Relation with bankers and merchants who lent money to revenue farmers

Watan Jagirs of Rajputs

  • Amber & Jodhpur kings – watan jagir (autonomy)

  • 18th century: Rulers extended control over nearby regions

  • Ajit Singh, ruler of Jodhpur was involved in politics

  • Influential Rajput families claimed subadari of rich provinces of Gujarat and Malwa.

  • Raja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur - held governorship of Gujarat and Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Amber was governor of Malwa & offices were renewed by Emperor Jahandar Shah in 1713

  • Nagaur conquered by Jodhpur

  • Amber seized Bundi

  • Raja Jai Singh founded new capital at Jaipur and was given the subadari of Agra in 1722

  • Maratha campaign started in Rajasthan since 1740s

Seizing Independence – Sikhs

  • Guru Gobind Singh fought against Rajputs and Mughals before & after Khalsa in 1699

  • After 1708, Khalsa rose in revolt against Banda Bahadur leadership – established administration b/w Satluj & Yamuna – removed coins in names of Nanak & Guru Gobind Singh - Banda Bahadur was captured in 1715 and executed in 1716.

  • Sikhs organized themselves under bands called jathas, and later on misls – combined army was dal khalsa

  • Rakhi was introduced - offer protection to cultivators on payment of tax of 20% of the produce.

  • Khalsa aimed to rule - Raj karega khalsa, introduced own coins in 1765 with same inscriptions as under Banda Bahadur

  • Resisted Mughals & later Ahmed Shah Abdali who seized Punjab & Sarkar Sirhind from Mughals

  • 18th Century: Extended from Indus to Jamuna

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Reunited these groups and established his capital at Lahore in 1799

Seizing Independence – Marathas

  • Shivaji with powerful warriors (deshmukhs)

  • Highly mobile, peasant pastoralists (kunbis) – Backbone of Maratha

  • After Shivaji - family of Chitpavan Brahmanas served Shivaji’s successors as Peshwa (or principal minister). Poona became capital of Maratha kingdom.

  • Peshwa – Good military organization

  • Malwa and Gujarat were seized from Mughals by 1720s

  • By 1730s, Marathas were recognized as overlord of entire Deccan peninsula. He possessed the right to levy chauth and sardeshmukhi in the entire region

  • Raided Delhi in 1737 & spread to Rajasthan & Punjab in the north; into Bengal and Orissa in east; and into Karnataka and the Tamil and Telugu countries in the south

  • Others became hostile towards Marathas and didn’t support Marathas during 3rd Battle of Panipat in 1761

  • Agriculture was encouraged and trade revived - Maratha chiefs (sardars) like Sindhia of Gwalior, Gaekwad of Baroda and Bhonsle of Nagpur raised powerful armies

  • Malwa: Ujjain expanded under Sindhia’s patronage and Indore under Holkar’s – these functioned as commercial centers

  • Silk from Chanderi was found in Poona, Maratha capital. Burhanpur had trade between Agra and Surat, expanded to Poona and Nagpur in south and Lucknow and Allahabad in east

Seizing Independence – Jats

  • Consolidated power during 17th-18th century

  • Churaman (leader) – controlled regions west of Delhi & b/w Delhi & Agra

  • They became the virtual custodians of Agra city

  • Panipat and Ballabhgarh – trading centers

  • Suraj Mal – king of Bharatpur (strong ruler) – many people took refuge in Bharatpur on invasion of Nadir Shah

  • Jawahir Shah had 30,000 troops of his own and hired 20,000 Maratha and 15,000 Sikh troops to fight Mughals

  • Bharatpur fort: Traditional in nature

  • Dig Fort: Elaborate garden palace combining styles seen at Amber and Agra (ideas from Shah Jahan)

French Revolution

  • 18th century: Common man did not participate in government affairs

  • Middle classes, peasants and artisans fought against special rights enjoyed by clergy and nobility

  • Believed no group should have privilege based on birth

  • Social position must be based on merit

  • Idea of equal law and opportunity for all

  • Ideas of citizenship, nation-state and democratic rights took root in India from late 19th century

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