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The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North IndiaAwadh and Punjab, 1707-48$
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Muzaffar Alam

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077411

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077411.001.0001

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Breakdown of Imperial Organization

Breakdown of Imperial Organization

Chapter:
(p.18) Chapter 1 Breakdown of Imperial Organization
Source:
The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India
Author(s):

Muzahpar Alam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077411.003.0002

This chapter outlines developments in and around the centre in the post-Aurangzeb period to set the scene for discussing the problems of imperial power, political formations in the regions and the changing economic scenario. By examining these developments, analysing the links with the factional politics, and the administrative relapse at the centre in four phases, the chapter highlights the gradual but steady alienation of the nobles, the smaller government officials, and the local magnates from the Mughal state, both at the centre and in the provinces. The chronological order of these events reflects the problems and the shifts of social and political alignments in the provinces, leading to their virtual breakaway from the imperial centre. Simultaneously, the chapter delves on the interlinkages of the political breakdown and the economic collapse of the imperial centre, the paucity of jagir(s) and the consequent breakdown of the jagirdari system, and the emergence of ijaradars. It deals with the financial effects of continuous wars, uprisings of zamindar(s), as well as the impact of droughts and famines. The result is a composite picture of the breakdown of the politico-economic order of the Mughal imperial organization.

Keywords:   Mughal empire, imperial power, political formation, political order, nobles, government officials, local magnates, ijara, jagir, jagirdar, zamindar, famine, uprising

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