Decline of the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire began to decline after attaining its highest point of success and stability. During this time, the empire was under the leadership of Shah Jahan and his son, after a successful rule of Aurangzeb. History records that the decline of Mughal Empire began towards the end of Aurangzeb’s rule. It is important to note that there were numerous reasons that led to the fall of such a great dynasty in the history of mankind. In this essay, we shall discuss major causes of the decline.
The first cause was Aurangzeb’s responsibility. He was largely responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire. This happened even though those kings, who ruled before him, did a great job in winning the loyalties of their subjects like the Hindus and the Rajputs. As a fanatic, Aurangzeb was unable to tolerate those who were non-Muslims in his empire. He introduced oppressive laws like the introduction of jazia and a total ban on celebration of Hindu festivals. Because of this animosity, he lost the trust and friendship with the Rajputs. He executed Sikh guru and created widespread enmity with the Marathas, forcing them to rebel against his leadership.
Additionally, Aurangzeb was also obsessed with the Deccan, which had detrimental effects on Mughal army. As a staunch Sunni Muslim, he did not have room for the Shias, who also turned against him. The nobles also developed rebellion against their king because he was mostly against their way of life, including dancing, singing and drinking. These were common habits among most Muslim nobles, who felt oppressed by the King. It is therefore evident that King Aurangzeb was responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire.
Besides the oppressive rule of Aurangzeb that, his successors also contributed to the fall of Mughal Empire. For example, his successors turned out to be weak and incompetent to take control of the entire empire. Most of them found pleasure in lavish lives without bothering the stability of the state. This created weaknesses that led to the decline of the once strong and stable empire. This weakness from successors took root because there was no law that defined the process of succession in the Mughal Empire. Oftentimes, the death of a king resulted into wars among their sons before a king would sit on the throne. They used nobles and royal family members to fight for power. Consequently, nobles were divided as they fought to safeguard their interests. This bred anarchy as nobles resorted to conspiracies, making Mughal Empire weak and vulnerable to external attacks.
Poor economy of Mughal Empire further weighed heavily on its stability. Importantly, the economy grew weak because of constant wars, which rocked the empire. In most cases, the wars had much loss that gain as no inch was added to the empire’s land. Moreover, Mughal Empire kings were less concerned with economic growth as they spent public resources on having fun and putting up monuments, which added no value in the state. This weak and crumbling economy was completely shattered by external invasions, as enemies saw loopholes to explore.
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