How powerful Akbar was during his reign
76 entered, the state fell into a severe economic crisis. The Delhi Sultanate was divided into a number of independent principalities. 4. The Empire of the Mughals The time of the Mughals in the early modern period (1526-1858) was one of the great epochs of Islamic power and culture. The empire was founded by a descendant of Genghis Kahn and Timur - Zahir ad-Din Muhammad, called Babur. After a constellation of various circumstances, which are not relevant for the consideration, he defeated the army of the Sultan of Delhi with his artillery in the battle of Panipat in 1526. This paved the way for numerous other battles to be fought successfully. When he died in 1530, his power extended from Kabul through the Punjab and the Ganges plain to Bengal. He previously allied himself with the Shah of Safavid Persia, Ismail I, in order to regain Samarkand.7 In return, he had to publicly profess Shiite Islam - an interesting example of the power of religions. Only later did he return to his Sunni faith in the midst of his mostly Hindu following. Babur's grandson Akbar, known as the Great, is particularly interesting for viewing. In his long reign (1556-1605) he led the empire to its peak. Akbar was undisputed within the Mughal dynasty; but his kingdom was threatened by the descendants of the Surides. After many challenges, Suride-General Hemu was defeated by Akbar's army. The Mughal Empire was thus militarily secured for the time being. The successful campaigns, combined with a skilful marriage policy, gave rise to an empire that, around 1600, comprised all of northern India from Kashmir to Bengal, as well as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, the Deccan as well as Kabul and Kandahar. In addition to his expansionary policy, Akbar was the first Mughal ruler to devote himself to the internal consolidation of the empire. In the social field he made special efforts to abolish child marriages and widow burnings. The most important religious basis for Akbar was tolerance towards the Hindu majority of the population. A return to this tolerance, pursued by Akbar, can now also be seen in today's India. Akbar was an insightful ruler, a tireless organizer, a brilliant statesman, deeply religious and tolerant at the same time, and a great patron of the arts. The question of the evidence of the numerous attributes can be answered as follows: Akbar understood that real rule over India could only be achieved if the economic and social differences between the Muslims and the Hindus were first eliminated. So he got rid of the tax disadvantage and saw to it that the feudal system was overcome. In this context, the farmers were in principle subject to clods, but, since there was no shortage of arable land, they had opportunities to escape excessive oppression by emigration. The so-called untouchables were barred from real estate and served as a reservoir of cheap labor. The religious tolerance mentioned was multifaceted. Akbar realized that real rule over India could only be achieved with mutual accommodation. And so he tried to integrate the Hindus more closely into the Mughal state structure. The policy of religious tolerance that he initiated was concerned with maintaining a balanced and long-term security of power. This was also reflected in the awarding of high posts in the army and in the administration to Rajputs and other Hindus. However, this was not a novelty in Indian history; for example, the first minister of Sultan Malwa was a Hindu in the early sixteenth century. A special measure is the abolition of the special religious tax: the pilgrimage tax levied at Hindu pilgrimage sites and the poll tax for non-Muslims laid down in the Koran. Akbar was also of the opinion that India must be a unity not only politically but also spiritually; he himself gave up his orthodox Islamic faith and founded a new syncretistic universal religion in which the most diverse beliefs came together. According to the ideas of the founder, this unifying religion should overcome the differences between the Hindus and Muslims. But it was too intellectually conceived, it was confined to the court and did not survive Akbar's death. The universalism pursued by Akbar, through which an Islamic-Hindu state was to emerge - a concern similar to that of Mahatma Gandhi - was not compatible with either the political reality of India or the non-Indian universalism of Islam. Akbar devoted himself to smaller issues. He promoted religious disputes, had the great Islamic epics translated into Persian; In addition to the Muslim festivals and the Persian New Year, he also included the holidays of the Hindu Rajputs in the festival calendar; he allowed non-Muslims to practice their rites in public and to build new temples. The Mughal administration structure was based on the "Mansabdar system". Elements of this institution go back to pre-Mughal traditions. In a figurative sense, the term means a position within an administrative network. A "mansab" was a kind of rank that determined the position of the owner. The personal dependence of a "Mansabdar" on the ruler formed an important basis of the system. The title was therefore not hereditary - in contrast to that of the local princes. The "Mansabdar system" is well represented by the chronicler Badaùni; here is a passage: “It was [Akbar] ordered that every emir [mansabdar] should initially be given a rank of 20. He and his followers had to be on hand whenever it was necessary. When he had brought the 20 horses - in accordance with the [new] regulations - to the place where the animals were marked with the branding, he could then be promoted to the 100 rank. He had to raise a certain number of elephants, horses and camels in accordance with the new mansab. If he came to the draft, he could get a 1000, 2000 or even a 5000 rank according to the Mansabdar system according to his abilities and his personal circumstances. There is no higher rank than 5000. But if they did not manage to provide the required animals at the draft, their rank was downgraded. ”8 The close connection between the official office and Mansab, especially with the nobility of the empire, can also be found in the résumés of Abu I -Fazl designated »greats of the empire«. 79 “Mir Sharif-i Amuli. In the 30th year [of Akbar's government = 1585], Prince Mirza Muhammad Hakim died in Kabul. The region was incorporated into the empire. Mir Sharif was appointed amin and sadr of the new province. The following year he served under Man Singh in Kabul. In the 36th year [of Akbar's government = 1590/91] he was given greater powers in the same offices in Bihar and Bengal. In the 43rd year [of Akbar's government = 1597/98] he received Ajmer as a benefice and the pargana of Mohan near Lucknow as a fief [tiyul]. During the siege of Asir, he and his troops joined the ruling camp. The pad [i] shah received him benevolently. It is said that he [later] rose to the rank of 3000. He was buried in Mohan. «9 The empire could only be governed as long as the contradictions between the multitude of religious and linguistic groups remained controllable, so the contradictions could not - as in today's India - be brought to the constellation Muslims versus Hindus. Akbar's centralized rule encompassed the courtly and provincial elites of the Turko-Mongols, Afghans, Iranians, Uzbeks, Rajputs and Marathas, whose loyalty Akbar could only be sure of as long as he was able to give high offices, lands and gifts. In 1605 Akbar's eldest son Selim ascended the throne under the name Jahangir. During his reign, the Mughal Empire experienced a period of relative peace. Akbar's liberal policies were continued, including a softened inheritance law and improved property protection. In addition, Jahangir's reign was, in accordance with the interests of the ruler, a significant phase of artistic creation. The era of the Mughals, especially the reign of Jahangir, shaped Indian culture in the fields of architecture and painting. The Persian tradition of miniature painting was adopted. There was also poetry - initially in the Persian language. Gradually an independent Mughal style emerged: a fusion of Persian and Central Asian elements - sponsored by Jahangir, who felt most strongly connected to his Central Asian homeland. A passage in his autobiography shows how intense his reference to his original Central Asian homeland was: »My intention [...] with this recommendation was ambivalent: Since the conquest of Transoxania was always present in the pure mind of my dear father, but every time If he chose to do things that prevented this from happening, if this matter [subjugating the Hindu rulers] could be settled and this danger was gone from my mind, I would leave [my son] Parviz in Hindustan and myself himself - especially at this time when there was no permanent [powerful] ruler in this region - to go to my hereditary territories in trust in God. «10 This nostalgia of Jahangir was connected with his Islamic belief, which his wife Nur Johan, who was influential at court, had who professed Twelve Schiism, reinforced it. In any case, there were not a few tendencies among the Mughals who aimed to keep non-Muslims out of public office - tendencies that stood in stark contrast to Akbar's endeavors to allow tolerance between the two religions. In contrast, Islam continued to expand; many Hindus hoped in vain for a new - open-minded - ruler. With Shah Jahan, one of the sons of Jahangir, a Mughal came to power in 1627, who had already assumed an important position in government at the side of his father. Shah Jahan was not just a great general; he also devoted himself to architecture and the fine arts. The Red Fort in Delhi and, as an unsurpassed masterpiece of Indian-Islamic culture, the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, speak for its architecture. And with a view to the general in Sha Jahan, it can be pointed out that he expanded the Mughal Empire further to the northwest and south in the fight against the Uzbeks and the Marathas. - His religious policy proved to be problematic. Shah Jahan's religious policy followed a completely different course from Akbar's policy. He insisted on the Islamic character of the empire and prohibited other religions from serving. 81 Soon after, Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb seized the throne by force and devoted himself fully to the policy of conquest. This included the occupation of the Orissa Empire by the Muslim sultans from Bengal and the Deccan. Aurangzeb used Islam to legitimize his rule, and he applied its laws to the empire more strictly than his predecessors. Drastic measures included the reintroduction of the poll tax for non-Muslims, which Akbar had abolished in 1564, and the ban on the construction of new Hindu temples and places of worship of other religions. Newly built temples across the country were destroyed. Aurangzeb's policy led to considerable tensions between Hindus and Muslims, which clearly disrupted the internal peace of the Mughal empire and gave rise to resistance from Hindu royal houses. The roots of the later and present religious conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims - which have contributed significantly to the return of cultures - lay in this politics. Refocusing on these conflicts was enough to give rise to new conflicts in India. Aurangzeb - probably the most important ruler of the Mughal dynasty - an enemy arose on the Deccan: the Hindu Shivaji. He had united the tribes of the Marathas under his leadership since the middle of the 17th century and was concerned with the establishment of a Hindu state. He tried to play off his neighbors, including the Mughals, against each other, was then captured during a consultation at Aurangzeb's court, but was able to escape and establish an empire in the western Deccan. In 1681 Aurangzeb's renegade son made an alliance with Sambhaji, Shivaji's successor. Aurangzeb's reaction did not last long. He concentrated all his energies on the conquest of the Deccan. The Deccan campaign was successful. Bijapur fell in 1686 and Golkonda a year later. Both states were integrated into the Mughal Empire, which now encompassed the entire subcontinent. After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the Mughal Empire split into several small states. The fall of an empire began that would last until 1857 when the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah II, was deported by the British to Rangoon, Burma. A year later India was taken over by the British Crown. In 1857 the Indian soldiers of the British-Indian Army in northern India turned against the rule of the British - in a first attempt to free themselves from British hegemony. This attempt is called "mutiny" in the English history books. In the Indian it is the first struggle for freedom to achieve independence.
In addition to the USA and Europe, Russia, China and India will increasingly determine world politics in the 21st century. To understand the purpose of these three new powers, one must look into the return of their political cultures. This return and the mostly parallel reorientation are based on a culturally pronounced collective memory and form a significant creative force.
This development, which has hardly been noticed until now, is the focus of the book. It also underscores the author's thesis that traditional cultures particularly emerge where - as with the new powers Russia, China and India - their political and cultural history was interrupted by imperialism and colonialism, but also by their own failed design experiments . An exciting book based on brilliant expertise.
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