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11.1 Introduction
11.2 18th Century Debate
11.3 Bengal
11.4 Hyderabad
11.5 Awadh
11.6 Summary
11.7 Exercises
18th Century Successor


The 18th century has been a subject of historical debate among scholars. It represents a phase of transition between medieval and modern periods. The decline of Mughal power in the 18th century was characterized by the rise of autonomous states in the
18th century. Earlier the historians regarded this period as crisis torn but recent researches have tried to study 18th century states as separate entities possessing elements of dynamism and growth.


It is important to study the 18th century debate among scholars for understanding the nature of successor states which emerged in this period. 18th century has been largely analysed in the context of the Mughal empire. However, recent writings focus on 18th century as an epoch in which certain trends emerged which were not wholly governed by the presence of Mughal empire. Therefore, an attempt is being made to study 18th century as a period in which many positive features existed thus demolishing the
‘bleak-century’ postulate. This phase represents a transitional era between the medieval and modern period. The earliest interpretation of 18th century is contained in Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar’s History of Bengal Vol. II and The Fall of Mughal Empire Volum IV in which the 18th century was categorized into pre-British period and the British period. He subscribes to the dark age postulate of 18th century. Historians like Athar Ali refers to the rise of successor states in the 18th century but feel that these should be analysed within the frame work of Mughal decline. Hermann Goetz in his lecture on the crisis of Indian Civilization in the 18th century and early 19th century laid emphasis on the cultural development in India in the 18th century. This was a marked departure from the ‘overall decay’ theory of 18th century. However, deviating from these approaches recently historians have tried to analyse the successor states and emergence of new states in the 18th century. These comprised of Awadh, Hyderabad, Bengal, Mysore, Marathas, Sikhs etc. These polities are analysed as preparing the ground for the metamorphosis from the Mughal imperial system to the British system. The 18th century polities should also be seen in the context of continuity with the Mughal political system and also changes introduced to suit the new political situation. Thus the 18th century reflected the political transformation from Mughal decline to British colonialism but the socio economic forces at the local level continued to operate as before but the local groups shifted their political allegiance. With the decline of Mughal empire the virtually independent zamindars performed the task of collection of revenue and the local rulers used these resources for sustaining court and armies. This income also penetrated into towns and urban centers which thrived continually. Several types of political formations emerged in this period ranging from successor states to zamindaris which later got absorbed into the category of Princely
states under the British. 1

State in Medieval Times However, the early British writers of Indian history (Elliot, Haig etc.) painted the 18th century in dismal colour since they wished to demonstrate that their predecessors were incompetent. The contemporary Persian works also portrayed the period as anarchic. The Persian writers were patronized by the nobles and with the decline of the Mughal empire their position was adversely affected. The contemporary historians were either lower officials or ‘prebendiaries’. However, some of them like Ghulam Husain Tabatabai in Bengal who wrote Siyar ul Mutakhkhirin or Shah Nawab Khan in Hyderabad who authored Maasir ul Umara or Ghulam Husain Salim of Bengal the writer of Riyaz us Salatin documented for the purpose of instructing the British officials and laboured under British auspices. This was a part of the broader project of recording colonial knowledge. The erosion of the traditional power and the adversity and the reversals which the older regime suffered were mirrored in these works. Recently scholars like M. Alam suggest that the 18th century was caught between the grandeur of the Mughals and the indignity of colonial rule.

The author of Maasir ul Umara writes: “That Nadir Shah’s invasion resulted in a setback to the prosperity of Delhi, but in a short while it returned to normal and in fact in every thing it is now better and shows progress….its industries and manufacturers are flourishing.” The Urdu Shahr Ashobs (Ruined cities) of the contemporary poets Mir and Sauda have been analysed by Ralph Russell and Khurshidul Islam. The poets lament the destruction of Delhi and Agra and the degeneration of the ethics and principles. The Ashob-I-Zamana of Jafar Zatalli written in 18th century refers to the decay of a pattern of life and setback to a group of people (umara) who gave protection to creative classes (poets, writers) and gains of the
‘lower’ categories (weavers, butchers etc.) from the changed social milieu. It seems that the British historians of the 18th century were not guided by any bias or prejudice towards the Muslim rulers of the previous regime. Col. A. Dow and Col. Kirkpatrick the historians cum officials (in Lucknow and Hyderabad) of 18th century represent the above mentioned category. Dow in his History of Hindustan refers to company rule as mercantile misrule and desired the reverting back to Mughal practices. Dow’s glorification of Akbar made Warren Hastings to order the publication of Francis Gladwin’s pioneering English translation of Ain-i-Akbari or the institutes of Akbar. Kirkpatrik believed that Mughal rule was based on a variegated set of laws and customary traditions which found favour with Lord Cornwallis too. The concept of Mughal maladministration was propounded by British officials of mid 19th century viz. Sir Henry Miers Elliott in his Bibliographical Index to the Historians of Mohammadan India. This view point was carried further by British as well as Indian historians like Sir Wolseley Haig, Sir Jadurath Sarkar and Dr. R. C. Majumdar.

Sir Jadunath Sarkar propounded a dark age postulate of the 18th century, which has been refuted and challenged by scholars like Athar Ali, Satish Chandra and Muzaffar Alam. It is based on an untenable premise focusing on degeneration which eroded the political organization which was a consequence of incompetent kings and nobles and their extravagant lifestyles. The 20th century ideology of polity also influenced the perceptions of writers of this period who regarded a centralist system as imparting stability as opposed to the regional or local assertion of authority and power which brought about destabilization.

Athar Ali’s fresh interpretation of Mughal decline in an article in the Modern Asian Studies, provided new insights into the understanding of the problem of degeneration of Mughal empire and the 18th century. The focal point shifted from the study of personalities held responsible for the catastrophe in the 18th century to the analysis and evaluation of the administrative structures of Mughal empire. He tried to understand the decay of Mughal power in the wider context of socio-economic and political vibrance in North western Europe in the 18th century and regarded the decline as a form of cultural degeration.


Satish Chandra is skeptical regarding economic deterioration in the riyasats or successor states, which emerged in the form of political formations from the erstwhile Mughal system and were later integrated into the British colonial system. He refers to them as possessing a vibrant political ethos. Muzaffar Alam’s work suggests “that in the first half of the 18th century the Indo-Gangetic subas of the North, from Allahabad to Lucknow and Multan to be precise, experienced multivariate manifestations of crisis rather than a positive linearity of decline.” He regards Awadh as being a picture of progressive activities with scope for emergence of a regional political system but in the Punjab suba he finds few indications, which testify to modifications in the Mughal system in the sphere of polity and economic growth.

Athar Ali adopts J. N. Sarkar’s periodization paradigm with regard to establishment of British colonialism and places it at the middle of the 18th century. Barun De in his presidential address to the Indian History Congress in 1989 tries to unentangle the complicated web of historical perceptions regarding 18th century. He points out “Prof. Athar Ali identifies transition with the collapse of Mughal empire and then with the apparent chronological gap in which transitional regimes intervened (with) the rise of British power.” Athar Ali puts the 18th century polities in the middle phase of 18th century. Satish Chandra studies the 18th century in totality placed between the indigenous and exogenous imperialism represented by Mughal and British respectively. Therefore, the 18th century regimes are studied in the context of their continuity with earlier regime and the changes subsequently introduced and their final subordination by the British system.

Sarkar’s understanding of 18th century is clearly reflected in the following paragraphs from History of Bengal (Dacca University) Vol II: “On 23rd June 1757, the middle ages of India ended and her modern age began. When Clive struck at the Nawab, Mughal civilization had become a spent bullet. Its potency for good, its very life was gone. The country’s administration had become hopelessly dishonest and inefficient and the mass of the people had been reduced to the deepest poverty, ignorance and moral degradation by a small selfish, proud and unworthy ruling class. Imbecile lechers filled the throne…. the army was rotten and honeycombed with treason. The purity of domestic life was threatened by the debauchery fashionable in the Court and the aristocracy…. Religion had become the handmaid of vice and folly.

On such a hopelessly decadent society, the rational progressive spirit of Empire struck with resistless force. First of all an honest and efficient administration had to be imposed on the country and directed by the English if only for the sake of the internal peace on which their trade depended and the revenue by which the necessary defense force could be maintained…. In the space of less than one generation in the twenty years from Plassey to Warren Hastings (1757-1776) the land began to recover from the blight of man’s handiwork and political life, all felt the revivifying touch of the new impetus from the west. The dry bones of a stationary oriental society began to stir, at first faintly under the wand of a heaven sent magician.”

Satish Chandra produced his magnum opus ‘Parties and Politics at the Mughal court
1707-1739’ in 1959. According to him the end of Aurangzeb’s reign represented the beginning of 18th century and this late medieval period was marked by transition brought about by the break down of the Mughal imperial system. He analysed the disruption of the socio-political system as follows: “social problems which no mere devices for expanding cultivation could solve …. What was really required was the rapid expansion of industry and trade based on the introduction of new technology and the removal of old barriers hindering that expansion…. the existing social order encompassed trade and industry in too narrow a sphere. Hence a basic improvement in the situation was beyond the competence of any one king.”
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times In a number of articles published in the next twenty years, Satish Chandra laid stress on the inability of the ruling class to find new avenues when the tripolar relationship between the center, the zamindars and the Khudkasht (resident cultivator who cultivates with his plough and bullock) was under stress. In 1982 the earlier view held by Satish Chandra which regarded the first half of the 18th century as a dead end was modified by him. He was now receptive to the idea of the Western Scholars (Sociologists and Indologists) that the 18th century was teeming with opportunities and though the old system was tottering but the possibility of growth existed for worthy people.

Another important work was written by Irfan Habib titled ‘The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1556-1707’. Habib refers to the Maratha “plundering and warfare” activities which he thought were responsible for ravaging the countryside and causing ruination of the peasantry. He cited Aurangzeb’s letters as evidence of the Maratha pillaging in the beginning of the 18th century: “there is no province or district where the infidels have not raised a tumult and since they are not chastised they have established themselves everywhere. Most of the country has been rendered desolate and if any place is inhabited the peasants have probably come to terms with the
‘robbers’ ashqiya, official Mughal name for the Marathas. According to Habib “…. the Mughal empire had been its own gravedigger.” The crisis in the agrarian economy was reflected in the peasant rebellions which took place frequently and led to the collapse of the imperial system. Habib is of the opinion that the political forces which emerged subsequently on the debris of Mughal empire represented “reckless rapine, anarchy and foreign conquest.” The state’s appropriation of the agricultural surplus was based on oppressive practices since those who subsisted on peasant’s produce continued to increase the demand and a large part was utilized by the parasitic ruling class in urban areas for extravagant purposes but there was no corresponding increase in the agrarian production which resulted in agrarian distress.

Satish Chandra and I. Habib characterized the Mughal ruling elite as possessing a narrow class disposition. They feel that it was not broad-based. The absolutist character of the state is reflected in the authority of the racially and hierarchically organized ruling class. Barun De opines that “….medieval imperialism…. of the Mughals in South Asia .… was more sterile like the despotism of Bourbons….finally replaced by an equally authoritarian and absolutist colonial imperialism.” Therefore 18th century was a period of transition anterior to the modern period. Periodisation presents a complex problem. Should 1707 marking Aurangzeb’s death be regarded as the beginning of modern period? Or should the first half of the 18th century be merely regarded as a period of transformation till the beginnings of the British colonialism in 1757?

Athar Ali is known for his writings on administrative history of Mughal India. He too like I. Habib and S. Chandra lays emphasis on economic factors which caused the weakening of the Mughal state edifice and paved the way for the establishment of colonial rule. The Mughal imperial structure is considered by Athar Ali as analogous to a pan-Indian structure though peripheral (marginal) areas such as Kerala, Dakshin Kanara, Madura Nayakdom in Sothern Tamil Nadu, North East fell outside the pale of Mughal hegemony. They were later absorbed into the colonial state. 1700 onwards impediments and obstacles (peasant revolts, parasitical urban populace) hindered economic growth, which was considerably stifled. Therefore for many scholars (Athar Ali, I. Habib) the beginning of 18th century was crisis torn. The reasoning offered by these historians was in contrast to the exaggerated account of J. N. Sarkar depicting
18th century as a dark age.

Athar Ali mentions three categories of state formations in 18th century India:

1) Successor states like Hyderabad, Awadh and Bengal which were part of the
Mughal empire and emerged due to the disintegration of Mughal empire. Their
4 administrative structure was a continuation of the Mughal model.

2) The Maratha confederacy, Jats, Sikhs and Afghans rose to power as a consequence of the crisis which had weakened the Mughal imperial structure.

3) South Indian state of Mysore under Hyder Ali Khan and Tipu Sultan.

Athar Ali describes the distinction between the successor states and other states especially Maratha thus “while they might use certain Mughal administrative institutions for their own purposes their model of government was by and large antithetical to the empire and could not be reconciled with it.” Though the Aligarh school regards the 18th century as a period of crisis on account of Mughal decline and emergence of colonialism but this argument is replete with many loopholes. The focus of Mughal empire as representing pan-Indian aspirations and neglect of the peripheral polities is unwarranted. The centralization aspect of Mughal Empire is equated with stability and growth to the extent that the regional polities, which emerged with the decline of Mughal empire are regarded as anarchical. This proposition of the Aligarh school has been challenged in many writings recently (Cohn, Wink etc.)

In the 1983 Calcuta Deushkar Lectures Satish Cahndra was able to discover possibilities for economic growth in the 18th century. He refers to the elasticity and adaptability especially in the sphere of cloth production, long distance trade, dadni (term of agreement for providing means for production to artisans), cash crop, insurance, banking and other categories of rural fiscal mechanisms which led to the emergence of sahukari class to a position of economic and social prominence. He referred to the categorizaiton ( of rural society into two groups – the riyasati or privileged and the raiyati or others) The riyasati class was the rural aristocracy comprising of the upper strata, the customary holders (malik) of village lands (khud kashta) and those who held official positions at the village level. These constituted the core of the rural gentry (elite) and they played an important role in the new state structures which emerged in the 18th century. Satish Chandra suggests that “there were greater possibilities for upward social mobility for the rural privileged sector than in the earlier period but within the broad framework of feudal society”. He finally infers that “the 18th century was thus pregnant with possibilities…. The old mould was cracking and there was a possibility of growth in various areas. Everywhere capable, ambitious people were pushing forward. What was lacking was direction.”

Bernard S. Cohn in his important article, in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, titled “Political systems in 18th century India: the Banaras Region” deviates from the earlier position of scholars who analyse the 18th century in the context of the crisis which developed in the Mughal administrative and economic system. He attempted to study the political system which developed in the 18th century especially the micro system i.e. the Banaras zamindari as an autonomous domain under the Nawab of Awadh which was finally subordinated to the control of British East India Company. Cohn did not contest the proposition of the pan-Indian imperial structure which developed cracks. His originality lay in the attempt to find resilience in the political configurations and the process of building up of power and dominance in the society of that period. He followed the systems approach. According to this approach political structures comprise of not only the centralized states, which lie at the pinnacle of the graded and hierarchical system, but also consist of clan dominated villages, bands, groups, associations etc. at the local and community level. The latter too played an important role in the policymaking and implementation. Cohn argued that political control in pre-modern times was organized along vertical lines (hierarchical). The dominance of the hierarchically superior powers was sustained through antagonism among the different categories in society. Although state power was legitimized through traditions, rituals etc. but it could be maintained only through rivalry and balance among the various groups in society. On this premise Cohn was able to formulate four types of political systems in pre-modern India: 1. Imperial 2. Secondary 3. Regional 4. local. The Mughal power represented the imperial category
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times with an all embracing umbrella system. Successor states which emerged as a consequence of the decline of Mughal power are regarded as secondary states. Regional category comprises of petty rulers who owe allegiance to the superior (imperial) power and who are often engaged in internecine conflict among themselves. The local category were the kin-based groups, local leaders, chiefs or adventurers who were accountable to the secondary level power.

Cohn studied the micro-level polity of the Mughal successor state, Awadh especially, the Banaras Raja’s position vis a vis the Nawab of Awadh and the Rajput biradaris at the taluka and tappa level were analysed. Earlier the political changes which took place in the 18th century have been explained as a transition from one empire to another or in the context of agrarian or economic crisis. However, Cohn’s system approach and the conflict and consensus paradigm inherent in it offer a different explanation of the 18th century state formation. Herman Goetz (The Crisis of Indian Civilization in the 18th Century and early 19th Century) was the first scholar to deduce positive features in the 18th century and he felt that the 18th century ought to be studied as separate entity and though it was a period of decline in the political and moral sphere but this period was marked by an aesthetic sensitivity and contributed to the growth of cultural development in India.

Satish Chandra refers to the decline of empires in Asia when the nations states got strengthened in western Europe and modern science and technology gave rise to Industrial Revolution. These ideas had been explored by Marshall Hodgson and Athar Ali earlier. Satish Chandra emphasizes that the political decline manifested itself in the late 18th century. He points out that in most of the areas there was no sharp fall in agricultural production, land revenue demand did not decrease, agricultural distress was much less as compared to British rule. Towards the end of the 18th century with the weakening of the power of the regional and local elites in the face of British challenge the economy was marked by destabilization as a consequence of British policies. It is a significant point referred to by Satish Chandra that in the Riyasati politics a negative feature emerged in the form of the emergence of large zamindars or talluqdaris which tried to thrive on the labour of small landholders and khudkashta peasants. In this sense the Mughal tripolar balance between the jagirdar, zamindar and the peasants was replaced by a more exploitative system.

An important point which has been raised by scholars is that the polities which emerged as successors to Mughals or as an outcome of challenge to the Mughal imperial power could not survive for long. It is necessary to analyse the state systems of these polities to understand why they were not able to withstand the British onslaught. Another pertinent issue is the fact that most of the historians till 1970 perceived the 18th century as merely an interregnum or a period of transition which marked the fall of Mughals and the rise of British. The 18th century has not been studied in terms of changes in the economy and society of the polities of the different regions or localities. However, even the studies which have been undertaken from this perspective by Cohn, etc. are not able to rid themselves of the imperial paradigm.

One of the earliest interpretation of the 18th century as a dark age propounded by historians like Jadunath Sarkar has been seriously questioned by later scholars. Instead of attributing Mughal decline to personalities of rulers, scholars like Irfan Habib, Athar Ali and Satish Chandra try to analyse it in the context of the crisis in the Mughal administrative system. However all these historians perceived the 18th century as a period of crisis though J. N. Sarkar exaggerated it to the extent of analyzing it as a dark age. J. N. Sarkar emphasizes on personalities of rulers and characterizes the period as crisis torn, whereas Irfan Habib, Athar Ali and S. Chandra lay emphasis on the economic crisis. Herman Goetz was the first scholar who saw positive traits in the 18th century. He analysed it as a period of cultural achievements. Recently S. Chandra and various other historians (C.A. Bayly, Frank Perlin, Andre Wink etc.)
6 have tried to assess the 18th century as a period which was replete with opportunities

for growth. Some scholars like Muzaffar Alam, Chetan Singh and others have tried to study various regions of Mughal Empire in the 18th century and point out that new political alignments developed as a result of the decline of Mughal power which did not necessarily in all regions imply chaos. On the basis of the evidence from the various regions analysed by scholars the nature of 18th century is recently being reassessed.
18th Century Successor


The death of Aurangzeb in 1707 was marked by the decay of Mughal Empire especially the central power in Delhi. This was followed by the emergence of successor states which represented the subas of Mughal Empire. Let us examine whether the provinces were undergoing a phase of decay or decline.

It has been argued that in the 17th century the Mughal administration was extremely compact and cohesive. The mansabdars appointed by the center and posted in the provinces constituted the upper layer of administrative official hierarchy. Their position was transferable and the central government had absolute control over the provincial administration especially through the various officials (viz. subedar and diwan) posted there who served as a curb on each other’s power. Bengal however was a unique province because the zamindars as land holders at the local level enjoyed tremendous power and performed the function of revenue collection and maintenance of law and order. In the administrative hierarchy the provincial officials supervised the zamindar and other landholders and peasants. In the 17th century the zamindaris in Bengal were not large and therefore it was easier for the imperial government to manage them.

During the 18th century with the weakening of the central government the provincial government in Bengal also underwent transformation. The power of the mansabdars in Bengal weakened and the size of imperial contingents was reduced. The mansabdars found it difficult to send remittances to Delhi due to the declining military capabilities. Now a new phenomenon emerged in the form of an alliance between the representatives of Mughal power in the province (Subedar, Diwan) and the zamindars. This collaboration later incorporated the commercial and the financial groups in Bengal. In the 18th century Aurangzeb was confronted with the Maratha problem. He needed to mobilize resources for meeting the Maratha challenge. Irfan Habib in his Agrarian System of Mughal India points out that in comparison to the 1580 the revenue demand did not increase much in Bengal in the 18th century, although in other provinces of northern India the increase was higher as compared to Bengal. Due to devaluation of silver coinage (influx of metal due to European traders) in the
17th century agricultural prices soared but correspondingly the jama did not increase in Bengal.

Bengal in the 17th century was quite prosperous. Evidence shows that on account of extension of cultivation, growth of trade and influx of silver the province of Bengal was economically quite stable. We have pointed out that inspite of economic prosperity the revenue demand in Bengal did not increase. The evidence of the administrative document (Risala-i-Ziraat, written in about 1760) informs us that the revenue demand had continued to be the same since Akbar’s period and it had not been subject to revision on the basis of actual measurement. The officials responsible for revenue collection i.e. the mansabdars who possessed jagirs, the zamindars and other intermediate groups (collectors) remitted the revenue to the center in accordance with the official rate of demand whereas the actual collection was much higher. Therefore the mansabdars, zamindars etc. were amassing huge amounts at the cost of the centre. Hardpressed for funds to finance wars against the Marathas Aurangzeb decided to streamline the revenue administration in Bengal since its jama was low
and it remitted only a small sum to the central treasury. Therefore in 1700 he sent 7

State in Medieval Times Murshid Quli Khan from the Deccan to Bengal as Diwan. He had earlier demonstrated his skill in revenue administration in the Deccan. In Bengal he proved to be an adept revenue administrator who was initially appointed as Diwan but later combined the office of Diwan and Nazim. His revenue reforms prepared the ground for increase in jama (estimated revenue) and hasil (revenue collected) in the 18th century Bengal.

Murshid Quli Khan was successful in raising the revenue collection in Bengal. The increase in jama in the 18th century was about 22.5 % as compared to the figures of revenue demand in 1580. This increase was however not very high if we compare it with the increase in the other provinces of north India in the 17th century. The increase in hasil between 1700-1722 was about 20% as compared to rise of 22.5% in the 17th century. The upward swing in revenue collections was accompanied by transformation of the revenue administration in Bengal and the establishment of new political alignments in Bengal due to the growth of trade and banking. In this period the sum total of zamindaris decreased but there was increase in large zamindaris. Money lenders and bankers emerged as important groups and they provided finances to the zamindars who served as the revenue appropriating agency at the local level for the Nazim.

The revenue reforms introduced by Murshid Quli entailed increasing the revenue demand and collection through measurement and thereby abiding with the Emperor’s order for increased remittances to Delhi. This was also meant to act as a check on the jagirdars, zamindars and others who were depriving the center/government of revenue. The important steps taken by Murshid Quli Khan for achieving his aim of increasing revenue collection were: the jagirs of the mansabdars in Bengal were shifted to Orissa and consequently those lands in Bengal were placed under Khalisa (they yielded more revenue than the lands of Orissa) and thus the revenue collection went directly into the state coffers. The Nazim tried to tighten his hold over the zamindars by enquiring into their collections and ensuring that they paid revenue in accordance with state demand. By bringing jagir land under khalisa he was able to ensure that revenue assessment was proper and officials were sent to inquire into the revenue yielding capacity through actual field investigation.

Although surveys and investigations were conducted by the Nazim through his officials to get information about the revenue paid by the zamindars but it seems that these could not have been done at the village level as mentioned in the contemporary evidence (chronicles) and the efforts of the provincial government were directed to make the zamindars and the lower intermediate landholders accountable for proper revenue assessment and collection. Zamindari sanads (documents relating to revenue records) refer to assessment only upto zamindari level and not village level. Thus, the Nazim’s policies were aimed to control the zamindar and the lower intermediate land holders and affected the peasants only indirectly. In such a situation a zamindar who was not able to pay the state demand was deprived of his holding and it was either taken over by the government or money lender or given to a capable and loyal zamindar who would be able to fulfill the government’s demand.

Certain zamindars were encouraged to create big zamindaris by bringing other zamindaris under their control and also due to grant of lands to them by the Nazim. Rajshahi developed as a big zamindari between 1700-1727. Dinajpur, Nadia and Burdwan also emerged as large zamindaris in this period. By 1727 half of the revenue collected for the province was provided by 15 large zamindaris which existed in this period. The policies of the Nazim eliminated the zamindars who were not able to pay their dues in time. The zamindars who made prompt remittances to the government, were rewarded for their performance. Zamindars along with the bankers and money lenders had emerged as a powerful group within the province both economically and politically.


The Risala-i-ziraat refers to the mahajans who gave money to the zamindars as loan for making revenue payments to the Nazim. In many cases the zamindars got into the debt cycle especially since the Nazim was stern and strict in dealing with defaulters (zamindars). The banking house of Jagat Seth benefited immensely due to the revenue policies of the Nazim. They were able to establish a big and powerful banking house and became the custodians of the fiscal transactions of the provincial government by the 1730s due to the support of the Nazim. They provided loans to zamindars who were defaulters in payment of revenue and on these loans they charged interest and thus made huge profits. They also provided surety on behalf of the big zamindars to the government that the revenues would be paid in time irrespective of the actual collection and financial situation. A hierarchically stratified landholding system existed with big zamindars at the top and smaller at the bottom. Similarly in the case of moneylenders, there were small moneylenders catering to small zamindars and bigger ones catering to bigger zamindars.

In the period when Murshid Quli served as the Nazim in Bengal the power of the central government (Mughal) continued to weaken further and this gave opportunity to him to exercise greater autonomy in provincial matters. He tried to strengthen his position by appointing to official position those who were his relatives and who were loyal to him and removing antagonistic mansabdars. The big zamindars were his supporters since they had been permitted to enlarge their zamindaris and the government did not investigate into their activities as long as they adhered to the schedule in paying their dues. The category of moneylenders and bankers too profited and they had the official backing in this context.

Murshid Quli was able to establish a firm foothold in Bengal. He was interested in handing over the Nizamat which he had created to someone in his family. This was the first manifestation of the autonomy gained by Bengal since the centre had little real role to play in the important provincial appointments henceforth.

During the period of Shujauddidn (son-in-law of Murshid), the successor of Murshid Quli the bond between the centre and the province was further undermined. Although he did not possess his father-in-law’s acumen, but he was an efficient administrator and imperial revenues continued to be transmitted to Delhi in his period. The fact that Bengal now relied mainly on its own resources (mobilizing troops) for maintenance of law and order meant that he had to seek the support of zamindars, bankers and local militia in Bengal. The military support from the center could not be sought (due to the decline of jagirs and removal of mansabdars) in the context of independent policies pursued by the Nazim. Shujauddin initiated measures to win the loyalty of zamindars and bankers. The zamindars who had been defaulters earlier and had been punished by Murshid Quli were pardoned and an advisory council was established which had as its member Jagat Seth Fateh Chand. Shujauddin tried to secure his position by sending huge amounts to Delhi.

Thus in the 1730s the provincial administration in Bengal was carried out through the cooperation between Nazim, zamindars and bankers. This was not in accordance with the Mughal system. Thus it seems that the administrative link between the centre and province had been loosened and it was on the verge of being cut. Under Shujauddin taxes (abwabs) were imposed on the basis of the prevailing jama as a fixed percentage. It seems that a comprehensive assessment below the zamindari level (pargana level) was not carried out. During Murshid Quli’s period surveys of zamindaris had been conducted to get information about the productivity and efforts were made to arrive at assessment, which was based on field investigations. In Shujauddin’s period this policy was given up and therefore we find that revenue records of the period after Murshid Quli till 1757 were fewer and less comprehensive.

The emergence of big zamindars in Murshid Quli’s time enabled the provincial government to increase the jama and hasil. In the subsequent period (Shujauddin’s)
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times these zamindaris posed a problem. Murshid Quli being a stern administraor was able to control the big zamindars but his successor was not able to put a check on the growing power of the big zamindars. The imposition of abwabs further aggravated the problem as it led to peasant distress. The zamindars however continued to benefit. In the 1730s the banker and the zamindar category emerged powerful vis a vis Nazim. In 1739 the Nazim Sarfaraz Khan was removed due to the connivance of the Jagat Seth and the zamindars who installed a military commander Alivardi Khan as Nazim. Thus the coup of 1739 marks a new phase in the history of the province of Bengal. It shows the complete alienation of the province from the centre which was now virtually being controlled by zamindars, bankers and the ambitious military men. Alivardi was raised to the position of Nazim on the pretext that Sarfaraz was inefficient and Alivardi would provide better governance to the province.

Thus in the 18th century, as a province of Mughal empire, Bengal was able to move on the path of autonomy. But independent Bengal did not witness a crisis in administration but a transformation of the Mughal pattern and many new features were introduced in its political system, which have been discussed at length in the Unit on administrative and institutional structures in Block 6.


As a Mughal province of the Deccan, Hyderabad in the 18th century witnessed frequent transfers of the officials which were at times a consequence of the political activities at the Delhi court. Rivalries and hostilities at the imperial court had the impact on the appointments and postings of officials at Hyderabad. The emergence of Marathas in the western Deccan as a major contender for power further aggravated the problem. In this situation Nizam-ul-mulk Asaf Jah I strengthened his power in the Deccan and gained autonomy for the province in 1724. His initial appointment as Subedar took place in 1713. He was summoned to Delhi by the Mughal Emperor many times between 1719 to 1737. In 1719 he was called upon to confront the Marathas, in 1722 he was made Wazir of the Empire and in 1737 he was deputed to fight the Marathas and was again made Wazir. He came back to the Deccan as Subahdar in 1719 and in 1724 by forcing the Emperor to grant him the governorship. The year 1724, was a landmark since he was able to establish his superiority over the entrenched Mughal subedar. By 1740 the position of the Nizam was secure in the Deccan. He made appointments and also removed officials without reference to the imperial court. This was a sign of independence acquired by Hyderabad under the Nizam.

The Nizam maintained merely a pretension of allegiance to the Mughal emperor. Karen Leonard points out “ Nizam-ul-mulk conducted war, made treaties and conferred titles and mansab appointments himself.” The mansabdars appointed by the Nizam were known as ‘Asafia’ mansabdars to maintain the distinction with the ‘Padshahi’ mansabdars appointed by the Mughal Emperor. In this period the symbols of imperial authority which illustrated the subordination of the province to the Mughal Emperor were replaced. The ‘Padhshahi Diwan’ whose function was to confirm the land grants and supervise the revenue assessment and collection ceased to exist. Certain practices which served as the basis of link and bond between the centre and the province and which also emphasized the subordination of the province to the centre were discontinued. Gestures such as gifts to Mughal Emperor, festivities related to regnal year and ceremonies observed when farmans were received were practiced comparatively to a lesser degree. Although for practical purposes the Nizam had emerged as an independent ruler but he continued to rely on the outward manifestations of owing nominal or symbolic allegiance to Mughal power through mentioning the Emperor’s name in the Khutbah, inscribing his name on the coins, and procuring his orders (farmans) for imparting legitimacy to the appointments.

The second half of the 18th century was marked by the shift of the capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad. Here the establishment of a court and an administrative system which was based on certain novel features laid the foundation of a new phase in Hyderabad’s political history. Between 1762-1803 Nizam Ali Khan became the ruler. In this period, a political structure emerged which was no longer a replica of the Mughal pattern.

Karen Leonard refers to the patron-client paradigm in analyzing the nature of Hyderabad state. An important feature of the system which emerged in Hyderabad was the participation of vakils or intermediaries who were basically middlemen employed by local nobility and outsiders (other local powers). All these categories were woven into the system through a complicated network.

The Nizam and the nobles in the late 18th century, on the strength of the revenues from the jagirs could support a large administrative, military and household apparatus. The nobles gave employment in their personal capacity in the form of administrative appointments or made cash payments for services rendered. They could also procure positions for their clients in the Nizam’s estate. The Noble’s position was reflected through the patronage extended by him to various clients, relatives, employees, artisans, poets, etc. These patron-client ties were not based on clan considerations but rested on individual relationships. The vakils or intermediaries played an important role in the Hyderabad political system. The nobility maintained its ties with the Nizam through the vakils who performed the role of diplomatic agents of the noble and all kinds of exchanges and transactions (official, personal, ceremonial) were conducted through them.

The vakils sometimes played the role of patrons when they found employment for others in their master’s establishment. The vakils of political powers also performed the role of diplomats in the Nizam’s court on behalf of their masters (viz. Peshwa, Nawab of Arcot etc.). These vakils managed the estates of their employers in Hyderabad and were able to employ men for assisting them. Although they were deputed by outsiders but they were able to win over the confidence of the Nizam who assigned jagirs to them and sometimes they shifted their loyalties to the Nizam along with their clients.

The court at Hyderabad was initially dominated by the Mughal vakils but towards the end of the 18th century vakils of the Peshwa, the Maratha chiefs (Scindia, Holkar) and of the Nawab of Arcot were able to secure an important position at the court. The dominions of the Nizam were being ruled by many local hereditary chiefs who gave annual tribute to the Nizam. There were roughly eight important samasthans or Hindu royal houses who had their own courts and they performed the role of patrons in the same manner as the Nizam and the nobles at Hyderabad. These local rulers were based mainly in Telingana (including Raichur), however, the exception was Sholapur in Marathwara. They hailed from the Telegu peasant castes. The territories ruled by these chiefs had been granted to them by the powers viz. Bahmani, Vijayanagara, Mughal etc. as a reward for their military services. The tributary relations of these local chiefs were an important feature of the political system in this period. These local landholders turned local chiefs ruled over their hereditary territories and maintained formal, tributary relations with the suzerain power which bestowed titles and honours upon them thus providing legitimacy to them.

The bankers, moneylenders and military commanders (generally mercenaries) also took part in the political activities of this period. The latter performed the role of military personnel and military commanders in wars. The bankers and moneylenders were responsible for the financial transactions. This group comprised of several communities viz. the Komati (Telegu), Marwaris, Agarwals, Jains etc. who had come from North India as merchants in the 18th century. The nobles and the Nizam depended on these financial groups in times of monetary emergency.
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times The army of the Nizam was not organized on the basis of central command. The troops were placed under the command of nobles who were paid by the Nizam in cash for maintaining the troops. These contingents were made available to the Nizam whenever required. The commanders of the troops belonged to the community from which the troops hailed. However, European military commanders were also employed by the Nizam in the 18th century. The troops placed under the European military adventurers were recruited from Deccani Hindu martial castes and they were organized in accordance with European standards.

The categories comprising of the nobles, vakils, military and financial groups played an important role in the political set up in Hyderabad. The nobles exercised power on account of their military capability and diplomatic acumen. The external vakils also played an important role as agents of other local powers and they together with the local vakils also performed the function of patrons. The civil administration was not centralized. Power was dispersed since the administrative offices were largely hereditary which accounted for the fragmented nature of the polity. The most important feature of the administrative system was the emergence of specialized hereditary offices related to record keeping. They played an important part in Hyderabad state under the Nizam. The administrative system though derived from the Mughal pattern was strikingly different in many ways. The most noticeable difference was with regard to the maintenance of financial records and land revenue administration. The Nizam as subedar of the Deccan was the supreme authority in the state. The next important officer was the diwan appointed by the Nizam. His function was to look after the administration of revenue, to conduct diplomatic relations and to appoint talukdars (revenue contractors). Another important functionary in the administrative hierarchy was the daftardar (record keeper). This office was hereditary and though the diwan was the head of the matters related to revenue administration but in Hyderabad real power of supervision of finances was vested with the daftardar. The two offices: Daftar-i-diwan and Daftar-i-mal were created in Hyderabad around
1760. The officers were responsible for record keeping in various areas and their jurisdiction was divided region wise viz. Marathwara region, Telingana region etc. The task of record keeping entailed the work of maintaining statistics related to income and expenditure. They performed the role of registering the revenue assignments viz. jagir, inam and grant of mansab rank. The important appointment orders viz. those of talukdar were formally issued by this office. Though the officers associated with these offices were subordinate to the diwan but in practice they subverted the power and position of the diwan.

In the Mughal revenue administrative system there existed a hierarchy of officials who were responsible for collection and assessment of revenue who were placed at various levels arranged vertically viz. centre, province and local. In Hyderabad the Mughal system was replaced by a system in which contractors were responsible for revenue administration. These autonomous contractors were called talukdars and they entered into an agreement with the diwan for assessing and collecting revenue for a particular area. They were given a fixed sum for their services and the surplus collected by them was also retained by them. Their transactions with the government were conducted through the office of daftardar who determined the revenue demand, issued their appointment orders as talukdars and also fixed their jurisdiction. The talukdars also maintained their personal records.

Under the Mughals revenue farming was deliberately avoided since it was not considered a proper method of revenue collection though it came to be extensively practiced in the 18th century. In Hyderabad direct control of the centre over the parganas and villages could not be established. The talukdars were not subordinate to the centre and functioned according to the terms of the contract. At the pargana level the hereditary intermediaries (deshmukhs, deshpandes) negotiated with the talukdars as representatives of the local village officials.

The mansab and jagir system in Hyderabad also differed from the Mughal pattern. The composition of the nobility in Hyderabad was also at variance from the organisation of the nobility under the Mughals. In Hyderabad mansabs (ranks) represented merely a ceremonial and military honour whereas in the Mughal system the zat mansab determined status of the noble. In Hyderabad the category of noble was characterized as possessing hereditary jagirs. However, the most important feature of the nobility was its hereditary character (especially of the jobs) i.e. administrative or military positions held and the personal relations with the Nizam.
18th Century Successor

11.5 AWADH

As a province of the Mughal empire Awadh’s place was strategic since it linked the eastern provinces to the centre (route from Delhi via Lucknow to Patna and Hugli). A large number of mansabdars and other nobles belonged to Awadh. In the case of Awadh it is important to study how the governors tried to enhance their power in the province and the process by which they emerged autonomous and established autonomous rule. The problems related to various groups such as the zamindars, madad-i-mash grantees and the jagirdars/mansabdars could be resolved by the governor by adopting measures which at times encroached on the imperial power and the position of the nobles at the court and those serving outside Awadh.

It is important to study the emergence of autonomous states in the context of the alienation of various social groups and categories of the regions from the centre. This may have facilitated decline of the central power but this did not imply a corresponding decline of the economy and polity of the region. In the 17th century the province of Awadh witnessed economic prosperity. However, in the 18th century the imperial power was weakened and the zamindars and the peasants defied the imperial authority and resisted them. This compelled the governor to seek greater powers for the proper functioning of provincial administration.

Through an analysis of the Persian sources we find reference to zamindar or rural resistance, which was a consequence of their desire to obtain a share in power and authority. They tried to organize armed resistance against the central power by mustering their clan and kin support. The rebellions were mainly planned and executed by the big and strong zamindars. These insurrections could be quelled by the Mughal officials through playing one group against the other or appeasement of these powerful local groups. At times these uprisings were not directly aimed at the imperial power but sought to enhance the power of the local groups through acts of defiance. However they did succeed in weakening the central power. In this situation, the bond which existed between the emperor and the local groups and provincial officials began to weaken. The nobles and officials at the provincial level relied less on the Emperor and more on the nobles at the court for dealing with the problems at the provincial level. This paved the way for the emergence of the new subedari in Awadh. To deal with the local situation several measures were adopted such as creation of loyal zamindars and jagir-i-mahal-i-watan. The practice of jagir-i-mahal-i-watan undermined the imperial power since they were a deviation from the classical Mughal jagir system. The power of the provincial officials was strengthened and the foundation of the autonomous state was laid.

Under Sadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk nawabi rule got firmly rooted in Awadh. Several changes were made in the faujdari and jagir administration and the widespread practice of ijaradari enabled the subedar to establish autonomous rule in Awadh. The amils as agents in jagirs were placed directly under governor. Amils were responsible for administration of jagirs under the supervision of governor. By 1722 the faujdars were placed under the governor and their appointments were made by governor and he was responsible to the governor as his deputy in the sarkar and
chakla. 13

State in Medieval Times It has been pointed out that due to the political stability and harmony under the Mughals economic growth got a boost. Trade was instrumental in linking the towns and markets in various regions of the empire. Economic prosperity proved advantageous for the zamindars and merchants. As a powerful local group the zamindars had managed to find a place in the Mughal system but their aspirations continued to rise since they wished to have a greater share in political power. However, they could not pose a major threat because they constituted a narrow group based on kin and clan interests. The madad-i-mash holders as a privileged group came into conflict with the zamindars. They became rich enough to acquire zamindaris and ijaras and also lent money to zamindars. The jagirdars’ power was enhanced by conversion of their jagirs into permanent possessions. In 1719 Giridhar Bahadur the governor of Allahabad rebelled against the centre. The defacto Sayyid brothers were forced to give him the subedari of Awadh along with the diwani and faujdari. The chief characteristics of new subedari were: extended period, total control over administration and military spheres etc.

The failure of the local groups to unite against the Mughals enabled the provincial governor to mobilize those groups to his own advantage and emerge as an autonomous power in the region. The independent region of Awadh continued to pay allegiance to Mughal Emperor for a long period of time. The Mughal institutions continued but were transformed to suit the local purpose. In Awadh the new subedari emerged on the basis of new alignment with the zamindars and jagirdars. During the Nawabi period the office of the governor was confined to the family of the Nawab and it was called the suba-i-mulki (home province) of the governor. The symbolic link with the imperial power was not broken and the subedars maintained their connections with the nobles at the court.

A pertinent point to be noted is that inspite of autonomous ambitions the provincial governor continued to pay allegiance to the Mughal imperial power. In the 18th century though the central power was weakened but the realignment with the groups in the region was made possible within the Mughal institutional system. Though the central power was waning but it was not possible for regions to break their ties totally with the centre. The regions were linked to each other and depended on each other for trade and money transactions. Decentralisation did not imply that the political powers which emerged as autonomous in the regions were in a position to command the loyalty and support which the Mughals enjoyed. They needed the sanction of the Mughal imperial power for legitimizing their authority.

The Mughal authority symbolized prestige and power and though it could not prevent the regions from asserting their independence but it still inspired awe in the minds of the people. Thus the attempts by the governors posted in the province to acquire positions at the court reflected their aspirations to validate their position in the province by having access at the centre. Once the provincial governor had subdued and won over the local elements he tried to consolidate his regional power base by obtaining a position at the court.

Thus the periphery tried to maintain its links with the centre for furthering its regional aspirations. But the Mughal prestige was unchallenged in the 18th century and the autonomous regions had to seek the allegiance of Mughals for legitimacy.

The problems related to the disintegration of Mughal empire were manifested in the zamindar rebellions and for countering them, the provincial officials sought greater authority which the emperor perceived as a threat to the central structure. Thus the balance between the emperor, nobles and local groups was disturbed. Since the reign of Farukhsiyar the provincial governor had tried to arrogate greater power by ensuring an extended tenure, bringing provincial finance under his purview, etc. In 1716 the governor opposed the conferment of military and executive powers on the provincial
14 diwan by the imperial power. In this period the powerful nobles themselves took

decisions regarding the administrative affairs. Giridhar Bahadur was appointed subedar of Awadh in 1719, a position he had himself asked for. The emperor was dependent on the nobles for support. He permitted the governors to exercise greater powers in order to keep them away from the centre. At the court he generally sought the support of the faction which was comparatively less ambitious to maintain his power. Farukhsiyar initially depended on Sayyid brothers (nobles) but later the relations between the two became strained and gave rise to factional politics at the court.

The provincial governor’s attempt to get wider power also suited the interests of the other categories of ruling groups in the province. The weakened centre was not in a position to provide guidance or security to the province. Thus the provincial authorities themselves tried to resolve their problems by forging alliances with the local groups. The central power itself was ridden with factional politics at the court and this percolated down to the provinces and brought about instability and confusion.

The governor emerged as powerful and the classical Mughal system of checks and balances received a set back. The politics at the court (nobles vs. emperor) also permeated into the provinces and the provincial appointments were affected.

An important feature of administration in Awadh in the 18th century was the transformation of offices into hereditary positions. The qazis as holders of madad- i-mash, which was granted to them in lieu of their services, tended to treat them as hereditary. The jagirs also got metamorphosed into hereditary domains of zamindar and non-zamindar mansabdars.

The imperial power found it difficult to control the provincial administration when the local officials defied the agents of jagirdars or amils in khalisa. The waqianavis were ineffective and did not get the support of the jagirdars for obtaining information.

An important feature of the 17th century was the boom in economy. Trade and artisanal production received impetus. In the 18th century the central and southern districts of Awadh were connected with the towns in the provinces of Allahabad and Agra. This area recorded remarkable agricultural growth due to favourable physiography. This got reflected in the high jama (revenue demand) from the 16th century. In this situation the powerful zamindars allied with the peasant groups and tried to strengthen their position by encroaching upon the adjoining territories. This brought them into conflict with centre, other zamindars or the provincial authority. Against the background of economic growth, which benefited the zamindars, the latter were better equipped to challenge Mughal imperial power.

The Mughal system was poised on the delicate equilibrium between the local groups and the emperor, his nobles and mansabdars. The local groups led by zamindars could never emerge supreme because they were organized on caste and community basis and had a parochial character. Sometimes the zamindars allied with the Mughals against their own king groups. Mansa Ram, a Bhumihar zamindar of Gangapur, forged an alliance with the Mughals against the Rajputs and established the Banaras Raj. To further their aspirations the mutinous zamindars were hostile to the symbols of imperial power like qazi, kotwal trade and urban centres.

The provincial authority thus had to contend with the power of the zamindars and the madad-i-mash grantees. To meet the challenge the governor tried to augment his power. Thus the governor tried to combine the powers of diwan and faujdar, which brought him into conflict with the other officials posted in the province who acted as a check on the power of the governor. In this way the Mughal model of equilibrium among various groups was disturbed. The governor’s desire for extended tenure also emanated from the need to re-organise the political alignments in the region. Burhan- ul-mulk was transferred through imperial order to Malwa. He however defied the imperial directive and laid the foundation of Nawabi rule in Awadh. His sister’s son
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times Safdar Jang succeeded him in Awadh. The governor’s political and administrative initiatives were based on securing his position in the province and at times were in conflict with the position of the imperial power in Delhi. Though the position of governor was independent of the centre yet the aura of imperial centre and emperor still persisted and the imperial symbols were not totally abandoned. In 1739 during Nadir Shah’s invasion Burhan-ul-mulk came to the aid of the Emperor. However, at times the governor defied the imperial farman.

The functioning of the jagir administration also created problems for the governor. The jagirs in Awadh were assigned to nobles posted either at the court or in other provinces. The agents of the jagirdars along with the other rural and urban groups posed a challenge to the governor. The emergence of jagir-i-mahal-i-watan (See Block 6, Unit 22) and the practice of giving faujdari rights to jagirdar also served as a threat to the governor therefore, further changes were introduced in jagir administration.

The formal links with the Emperor helped the governor to legitimse and further strengthen his position and also to obtain favours from the Emperor. Burhan-ul-mulk and Safdar Jang kept themselves informed and aware of the court politics.

The nobles who held jagirs in Awadh tried to interfere in the provincial administration through the medium of their agents in jagirs. Therefore, Burhan-ul-mulk introduced changes in the working of the jagir administration. Jagirs in the region were a manifestation of imperial authority and symbolized the jagirdars’ power. The agents of jagirdars often tried to subvert the power of the governor. The reduction of the jagirs and converting them into khalisa would have incurred the wrath of nobility therefore under Burhan-ul-mulk the agents responsible for revenue collection were made directly subordinate to the governor rather than to the jagirdars. Thus he could ensure proper revenue collection through local service groups. The interference of jagirdars was reduced and payments were made to them by the officials under the control of governor. The big jagirs of nobles outside Awadh were also reduced. The jagirs in Awadh were now mainly held by the officials and military men of the governor.

Various local groups (shaikzadas and Afghans) were inducted into the provincial administration and the army by the governor. The shaikhzadas, Afghans and Hindus constituted the local ruling groups in Awadh. The madad-i-mash holders were also appeased by conversion of their grants into zamindaris.

The conciliatory move with regard to the zamindars (esp. Baiswara) through the taahhud (a contractual system which permitted the zamindars to collect revenue and pay a fixed sum to the government in lieu of military, administrative powers) arrangement led to the emergence of talluqdaris in 18th century Awadh. The decline of faujdari is attributed to the combining of governorship with faujdari rights and the appointment of local men as naib and nazim or the governor’s subordinates entrused with executive and financial authority.


This Unit critically examines the 18th century debate regarding the political formations which emerged as a result of the decline of Mughal power. Historians have categorized these states to three distinct groups: successor states, states which emerged as a result of rebellion against Mughals and new states. In this Unit we have tried to explain the nature of successor states, which emerged autonomous from the position of subas or provinces of the Mughals. This account enables us to enumerate the continuities with the Mughal system and also the changes introduced in the autonomous states.


1) Write a critical note on 18th century debate.

2) Discuss the nature of the autonomous state of Hyderabad under the Nizams.
18th Century Successor


State in Medieval Times


Muhammad Habib and K. A. Nizami, A Comprehensive History of India, Vol. 5, Part I.

Muhammad Habib and Afsar Salim Khan (eds.), The Political Theory of the Delhi
Sultanate, Allahabad.

Peter Jackson, The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, Cambridge, 1999.

Hermann Kulke, The State in India: 1000-1700, Delhi, 1995. Burton Stein, Vijayanagara, Delhi, 1994.
Noburu Karashima, Towards a New Formation, Delhi, 1992.

H. Kulke and D. Ruthermund, A History of India, Delhi, 1993. R. C. Majumdar, History of Bengal, Vol. II.
U. N. Day, Medieval Malwa, Delhi, 1965.

H. K. Sherwani, The Bahmanis of the Deccan, Delhi, 1985.

M. Alam and S. Subrahmanyam (eds.), The Mughal State 1526-1750, Delhi, 1998. D. E. Streusand, The Formation of the Mughal Empire, Delhi, 1989.
J. F. Richards, The Mughal Empire (The New Cambridge History of India Vol. 1.5),

R. B. Barnett, North-India Between Empires: Awadh, the Mughals and the British
1720-1801, 1980.

J. R. Mclane, Land and Local Kingship in Eighteenth Century Bengal, Cambridge, 1993.
J. F. Richards, Mughal Administration in Golconda, Oxford, 1975. Muzaffar Alam, The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India, Delhi, 1986.



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