The two were elite political actors in the Mughal empire. The Marathas, as they called themselves, were led by Shivaji in a protest against the rule of the Sultanate of Bijapur in 1645. The new Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah I, released Shahuji, grandson of Shivaji, from prison, who boldly took the Maratha throne (Keay 2000, p. 363). His Wazir Zulfiqar Khan possesses exceptional power. It would appear that even Aurangzeb, in his later years, realised that the war was fruitless, but he maintained his position. Raghoji then initiated a series of six expeditions into Bengal, during which he was able to annex Odisha into the Maratha Empire. The Maratha Empire, also known as the Maratha Confederacy, dominated a large portion of India during the 17th and 18th century. Let's have a look at the history of the Marathas, including its rise, fall and administration. ... And his attitude towards Marathas also varied. Following the peace treaty, the Marathas were granted a farman, or an ‘imperial directive’ establishing status or privilege (Keay 2000, p. 370), of autonomy over their homelands. But Aurangzeb could not see this possibility. Marathas’ North Indian conquest looked impressive than ever after their decisive victory over the Afghan troops. The Imperial attention was focused elsewhere: Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, was drawn toward the Deccan due to the Mughal–Maratha Wars (1680-1707), and the Subah of Bengal was busy with its dispute with the East India Company. At this time, the Mughal Empire was decentralised, meaning that many of the states and even towns were managed by their own nobles, who acted as a mediator with the Emperor, but rarely liaised with him. Akbar began to extend his empire towards the South and the rest of the Mughul emperors also followed his policy. Another prominent leader who was largely responsible in restoring the Maratha power was Mahadji Shinde. During his reign, the Saiyids yearned for more power and attempted to manipulate Farrukhsiyar to follow the policies that they set out, but he refused (Sunidhi). Aurangzeb's policy towards the Deccan had political as well as religious purpose. Shivaji left his son Sambhaji in a strong position to continue developing th… They continued to fight among themselves as well as against the Mughals in the Deccan. This signified the absolute end of the Mughal empire and the start of India as a British colony. The message was loud and clear – it is time for the Hindus to take control over their motherland. At that time, the Maratha ruler, Sivaji carved out an independent Maratha kingdom in the territories of north and south Konkan. The extension of the empire was one purpose of Aurangzeb. After the battle of Panipat, the Rajputs were defeated by the forces led by Malhar Rao Holkar, which restored Maratha rule in Rajasthan. He had also gathered an armed force to tackle issues with various other rulers, including the Mughals. restore them to fully committed warriors for the Mughal cause. • He acknowledged the independence of Mewar and Marwar. Also, the title ‘Chhatrapati’ was bestowed upon Shivaji, which proclaimed him to be the king of the new Maratha kingdom. Next, the Saiyids supported Muhammad Shah as emperor, who reigned for nearly 30 years from 1719 to 1748. These relations slowly began in the 1690s, but were vamped up in the 1710s by a farman signed by Emperor Furrakhsiyar, who granted them trading privileges. The Nature and Policies of Aurangzeb. Mughal rule reiterated multiple times by Marathas You would find it surprising that the Marathas re affirmed the Mughal in his prestigious seat on multiple occasions. Balaji Baji Rao – Also called as Nana Saheb, Balaji Baji Rao was one of the most important Prime Ministers of the empire as the actual king was nothing more than a mere figurehead during his tenure. By this point, the Mughal emperor was essentially powerless because of the decentralisation of both the administration and the economies. He remained steadfast on the trail for expanding the Maratha Empire and in 1674 was named king (Keay 2000, p. 354). Tarabai Bhosale – Tarabai served as the regent of the empire from 1700 to 1708. A friendly policy towards these two states could have made them his allies against the Maratha. From this moment onwards, the already weakened Mughal Empire started fearing the Marathas. Advocating a strong policy towards the Marathas inthe Deccan, he took them on, winning some and loosing others. Aurangzeb was bent upon crushing the power of the Marathas. Siege of Bijapur which had been in decadence due to internal dissensions began in 1685 and Aurangzeb arrived there in person in 1686. The clash of the Mughals and the Marathas. When he became the Mughal emperor, for the first twenty five years, he concentrated on the northwest frontier. Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by an endless stretch of golden beaches, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites, royal cities, colourful people, and rich culture. He led the troops to victory time and time again, and was only defeated after one of his men betrayed his position to Aurangzeb. Jahangir Continue The Policy Of Conquesr Towards The Deccan: However, Jahangir could not tolerate this act of Malik Ambar. Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by an endless stretch of golden beaches, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites, royal cities, colourful people and rich culture. In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed as the new Peshwa of the empire, after his father Balaji Vishwanath’s demise in April. The Mughal–Maratha Wars, also called the Maratha War of Independence, were fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire from 1680 to 1707. In 1677, Shivaji entered into a treaty with the ruler of the Golkonda sultanate, who agreed to Shivaji’s terms to oppose the Mughals unitedly. As a result, the Saiyids successfully plotted for his dethrone, and roped in the Marathas in the process. Aurangzeb’s policy towards the Deccan sultanates was guided by both imperialist interest and religious consideration. He used guerrilla warfare and strong military prowess to overthrow several military posts in Bijapur. serious setback to the prestige of the Empire.4. His policy towards the Sikhs the Marathas the Jats and the Rajputs lossed their support. After the death of Aurangzeb, Marathas defeated the Mughals in Delhi and Bhopal, and extended their empire till Peshawar by 1758. Sub- Contents1 Shivaji2 Marathas under Sambhaji3 Aurangzeb’s Last Stand Mughal Empire had its feet on the Indian soil with Babur, the descendant of Timur, invading India in the 15th century. For example, this was the case with Farrukhsiyar (1713-1719), who was unable to challenge his brother on his own and was supported by a number of troops provided by the Saiyids. During Balaji Baji Rao’s reign, the Maratha Empire extended further, before reaching its peak. Maratha get close to Rajasthan. She is largely credited for keeping the Mughals at bay after the demise of her husband, Chhatrapati Rajaram Bhosale. After Baji Rao’s demise in April 1740, Shahu appointed Baji Rao’s 19 year old son Balaji Baji Rao as the new Peshwa. The nobles maintained their power in their states, and in the decades that followed, the Mughal Empire was further divided into several successor states. Despite constant threat from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Sambhaji-led Maratha forces never lost a battle to the forces led by Aurangzeb for eight consecutive years. By 1760, the Maratha Empire had reached its peak with a territory of more than 2.5 million square km acres. https://www.patreon.com/Jabzy Thanks to Xios, Alan Haskayne, Lachlan Lindenmayer, Victor Yau, William Crabb, Derpvic, Seth Reeves and all my other Patrons. The Maratha Empire formally began with the rise of Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1674. To his relief, the Saiyids, who closely hovered over his rule for the first year of his reign, were eliminated in 1720. Therefore, he decided to continue the policy of conquest towards the Deccan. Religion was a major influence on politics in India at the time, and a decisive factor that contributed to the rise of the Maratha Empire. At that time, the Maratha ruler, Sivaji carved out an independent Maratha kingdom in the territories of north and south Konkan. But instead, succession wars ensued among Mughal royalty, diverting their attentions from their external threats, whereby the Marathas were able to cross the Narmada river and successfully take a large amount of the Mughal territory. Traditionally, the Narmada river was the dividing line between Deccan, the Marathas’ stronghold, and the North, the Mughals’ (Keay 2000, p. 357). The Maratha Empire, also known as the Maratha Confederacy, dominated a large portion of India during the 17th and 18th century. While he followed some guidelines set by his ancestors’ ruling, such as Akbar’s strategy of incorporating defeated populations into his administration, he opposed many others, including policies of religious tolerance. In our next article, we will explore the British colonisation of India. In his illustrious military career, which spanned across a couple of decades, Baji Rao remained undefeated in the battles. The Marathas used the harsh religious stance of the emperor to mount a campaign for the creation of a Hindu kingdom in the area south of the Deccan Plateau. The Mughal Empire officially ruled in India from approximately 1526 until 1856. What caused the real breakdown of the Mughal Empire was his faulty Deccan policy. Despite the policies established by the Saiyid brothers to reconcile all of the nobles in the remaining states and create a centralised administration, many nobles across the empire disobeyed them, primarily because they envied the seemingly limitless power that the Saiyids had, and wanted the same for themselves (Sunidhi). By hosting a grand coronation, which included the act of feeding over 50,000 guests, Shivaji announced himself on the big stage, which sent a direct warning signal to the Mughals. Though, after the fall of Suri Dynasty, Humayun had alliances with several Indian […] During the Shah Jahan’s reign, Aurangazeb, as governor of Deccan, followed an aggressive Deccan policy. In the 1650s, Shivaji became fed up with the religiously-based injustices in the Mughal Empire and began to rebel against it. Later, his son Humayun had great clashes with the Suri king, Sher Shah Suri. Additionally, Aurangzeb was focused on defending his borders with the Persians and Turks. As days passed by, Shahu became more of a puppet at the hands of his Prime Minister Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, who took major decisions for the betterment of the empire. The Marathas were also determined to drive the Mughal rulers out of India as they wanted their country to be ruled by the Hindus. • He pursued a conciliatory policy towards Rajputs and Marathas. This administrative system, which consisted of a council of eight ministers, formed the base of the Maratha administration. While, to the contrary the Marathas were seen as a guiding light for many people. However, in 1689 Sambhaji was captured and executed by the Mughals on various charges, including rape and murder. Ultimately, this resulted in Britain’s control of India. The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II made futile attempts to reverse the Mughal decline, and ultimately had to seek the protection of outside powers i.e. Bahadur Shah I began attempts to unify the empire contrary to Aurangzeb’s decentralised system. He continued the legacy that his father and brother set, but after nearly two decades of fighting, spoke with Aurangzeb about a cease-fire. His death, after a mere five years in power, sparked yet another expensive competition for the throne (Keay 2000, p.364). Jahangir made three attempts to conquer Ahmadnagar in 1608 C.E, 1611 C.E, and 1612 C.E. He then went on a spree by capturing the nearby territories like Ponda, Karwar, Kolhapur, and Athani within a span of two years. The Mughal policy towards the Rajputs contributed to the expansion and consolidation of the Mughal Empire under Akbar and his successors. While the Empire’s political power steadily declined, its economy soared as this was the time that the East India Trading Company established its trade relations between the British and Mughal economies. The eight ministers were ‘Peshwa’ (Prime Minister), ‘Amatya’ (Finance Minister), ‘Sachiv’ (Secretary), ‘Mantri’ (Interior Minister), ‘Senapati’ (Commander-in-Chief), ‘Sumant’ (Foreign Minister), ‘Nyayadhyaksh’ (Chief Justice), and ‘Panditrao’ (High Priest). However, he lacked an official title to rule over the new land of the Marathas. Causes of decline of Mughal Empire Beginning of the decline of the Mughal Empire can be traced to the strong rule of Aurangzeb. Shahu’s rule also saw the expansion of the empire in the east, thanks to his skilled and brave general, Raghoji Bhosale. In the same year, Shivaji invaded Karnataka and marched further southwards to seize the forts of Gingee and Vellore. Shivaji – Apart from founding the empire, Shivaji was also responsible in turning the Maratha power into a prominent force. Shivaji sued for the opportunity to negotiate his fate, so the Emperor paid for him to be transferred to and accommodated in Agra (Keay 2000, p. 353). On this authority, the Company associated itself with the Marathas and the noblemen in several states, most of which established a ‘banian’ or ‘dubash’ as a mediator between the Company and the locals (Keay 2000, p. 376). However, the Marathas were deserted by Rajputs and the Jats just before the battle, which ensured Marathas’ defeat at the battle. Its ancient monuments are the backdrop for the world’s largest democracy. Traditionally, the Narmada river was the dividing line between Deccan, the Marathas’ stronghold, and the North, the Mughals’ (Keay 2000, p. 357). Sawai Jai Singh’s pro-Maratha policy was motivated by his desire to drive away the Mughals from Malwa with the help of the Marathas and then extend his own territories upto Malwa. When it came to the land-based armed forces of the Marathas, the standards of the infantry and artillery were comparable to that of the standards of the European forces. Hence, Maratha Empire is largely credited with ending the Mughal rule in India and is often seen as a true Indian power, as it dominated the Indian subcontinent during 17th and 18th centuries. In December 1678, he introduced a change of policy towards the Rajputs who had contributed much to the growth of the Mughal Empire in India. By the time of his death in 1680, Shivaji had amassed several hundred forts in southern India, hundreds of thousands of cavalry in his support, and was the first leader in India to establish a navy for additional defense (Desai 2019). At the time of his coronation, Shivaji had 4.1 percent of the subcontinent to rule and hence focused on expanding his territory right from the outset. Shortly thereafter, the Marathas also experienced a succession war as Shivaji’s aunt challenged him on behalf of her son. With each win over the Muslim oppressors, Shivaji grew more and more popular as a symbol for Hindu nationalists in their defiance of Muslim supremacy (Keay 2000, p.350). But he was unsuccessful, and revolts from the Rajput and Sikh nobility arose for the proper authority to manage their lands. His mom was also a Rajput princess. The expansion of Maratha power in the northern territory of the Indian subcontinent caused a great concern in the court of Ahmad Shah Durrani. Aurangzeb was an equally feared and respected military leader, who was ruthless in his never-ending desire to conquer new territories. They thus began to expand outward to reclaim their traditional lands, including to the west to the Gaikwads, south to the Peshwas, north to the Scindias, and east to the Bhonsles. After a failed attempt to stage a coup against British powers, the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II was exiled to Rangoon in 1857. Bahadur Shah was, however, successful in conciliating Chatrasal, the Bundela chief, and Churaman, Image Credit : http://yugaparivartan.com/2016/01/20/third-battle-of-panipat-did-abdali-win-or-marathas-lose/. Each state individually interacted with the Company through this mediator, segmenting the economy, just as they had segmented the administration. Subsequently, Shivaji coined the term ‘Hindavi Swarajya,’ which called for self-rule among the Hindus. Before reading on, if you would like a bit more background into the Making of the Mughal Empire and its earlier emperors, click here. The Saiyids then promoted two ineffectual young emperors one after the other, both whom were unable to remain in power for more than six months. Baji Rao went on to become a prominent Peshwa of the Maratha Empire as he was responsible for the empire’s great expansion from 1720 to 1740. The Deccan policy of Aurangzeb was also partly responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire. The failure to completely quell this revolt led to Maratha domination of large swaths of the northern Mughal Empire following the death of Aurangzeb. Zulfiqar revised the policy of Aurangzeb and maintained friendly relations with Marathas and Rajputs. He became a Maratha Peshwa at a critical time, when the Marathas had lost the ‘Third Battle of Panipat.’ Hence, Madhav Rao I was largely responsible for rebuilding the empire, before it was finally annihilated by the British. There is no doubt that the single most important power to emerge in the long twilight of the Mughal dynasty was the Maratha confederacy. These two states were not only Shia states but also supportive to the Marathas by providing employment and even military training. However, their influence was paramount to Mughal history and the end of the Mughal-Maratha wars. Sambhaji was executed in 1689. Shivaji left his son Sambhaji in a strong position to continue developing the Empire, which he did. from the Emir of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, which led to the Third Battle of Panipat between the Maratha … During the ‘Second Anglo-Maratha War,’ which took place from 1803 to 1805, the British forces led by Arthur Wellesley defeated the Marathas, which gave rise to a number of treaties in favor of the British. tude towards the Marathas during this long period underwent several changes and the other Rajput rulers as well changed their policy towards the Marathas with changing situations. BalajiPeshwa convinced Angria on the futility of a fight and got him to side with Shahu and notTarabai.Eager to curb the growing power of the Marathas, the Mughal king appointed Nizam-ul-Mulk as the governor of the Deccan. The Maratha Empire was then ruled by various rulers like Sambhaji’s half-brother Rajaram, Rajaram’s widow Tarabai, and then by Sambhaji’s son Shahu. These two elements created the perfect opportunity for Shivaji to take action against the regime. Image Credit : https://www.quora.com/Where-was-the-Maratha-Empire-located. It will also point toward British colonisation as the final nail in the coffin for the Mughal empire. It is rumored that Aurangzeb requested that his empire be divided among his sons (Sunidhi). The emperor s policy toward the Marathas was also that of half-hearted conciliation. Aurangzeb inherited a large empire, yet he adopted a policy of extending it further to the farthest geographical limits in the south at … During the Shah Jahan's reign, Aurangazeb, as governor of Deccan, followed an aggressive Deccan policy. There might be a possibility that Rajputs,Sikhs or jaats get offended if Delhi was captured by Marathas in 1737 or 1758. Initially deriving from the western Deccan, the Marathas were a peasant warrior group that rose to prominence during the … The coronation of Shivaji took place in such a manner that it sent out a message to all the non-Hindu rulers. Aurangzeb ruled the Mughal empire from 1658,when he forcibly ascended the throne by defeating his brother and imprisoning his father, until his death in 1707. With every defeat, the Mughal reputation and authority both took hits. After defeating the Rohillas and the Jats, Shinde’s forces recaptured Delhi and Haryana, which brought the Marathas back into the picture in the north. In 1701, at the sieges of khelna, he did good service against the Marathas, and was rewarded by a rise in his mansab. While explaining their motive behind turning their back on the Marathas, Rajputs and the Jats cited Marathas’ arrogance and haughtiness as reasons for abandoning them at the cusp of an important battle. Marathas used to get one fourth of tax from the Mughal territory according to 12 April 1752 treaty, for the security of the empire. Specifically, it will look at the series of events and influences that occurred from the 1660s to 1730s, including Shivaji’s revolt, Aurangzeb’s death, and the rise of the Saiyid brothers, that contributed to the Mughal’s loss of power. The Deccan Wars started in 1680 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of the Maratha enclave in Bijapur established by Chatrapati Shivaji. In an attempt to drive the Marathas out of North India, Durrani joined forces with Nawab of Oudh and the Rohillas, before challenging the Marathas for a battle. Due to the growing defiance that Shivaji was instilling in his followers, Aurangzeb became even stricter with taxes and policies against Muslims. It was in the later part of Aurangzeb’s reign (1658-1707) until his death that power began to shift and the Mughal Empire began its downward trajectory. Hence, leaders of various groups like the Peshwas, Holkars, Gaekwads, Scindias, Bhonsales, and Puars started ruling different Maratha states. Image Credit : https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/460422761885610272/?lp=true. For long it has been held that the Mughal alliance with the Rajputs was determined by personal religious beliefs of the individual rulers. The reputation of the Mughal army was undermined by continuous rebellions and attacks from the Marathas in the Deccan. The ensuing battle that took place on January 14, 1761 would later be called as the ‘Third Battle of Panipat.’ Before the battle, the Marathas had sought the help of the Rajputs and Jats in order to combat the joint forces of Durrani, Rohillas, and the Nawab of Oudh. The Marathas used weapons like cannons, muskets, matchlocks, daggers, and spears among other weapons. 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