Mughal Empire

Authored by: Michael H. Fisher

The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Imperial Histories

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754664154
eBook ISBN: 9781315613277
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042525

10.4324/9781315613277.ch7

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Abstract

Through military victories, bureaucratic innovation, and cultural synthesis, the Mughal dynasty (1526–1858) built a vast, fabulously wealthy and ethnically diverse empire that eventually encompassed almost the entire Indian subcontinent and then, even after its decline, significantly shaped subsequent British colonial rule. 1 1

Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds), Mughal State, 1526–1750 (Delhi, 1998); Irfan Habib, Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (Delhi, 1999); Irfan Habib, Atlas of the Mughal Empire (Delhi, 1982); Shireen Moosvi, People, Taxation, and Trade in Mughal India (New York, 2008); John F. Richards, Mughal Empire, The New Cambridge History of India, part 1, vol. 5 (Cambridge, 1993); Douglas E. Streusand, Formation of the Mughal Empire (New York, 1989).

The dynasty’s founder, Emperor Babur, conquered much of north India. His grandson, Emperor Akbar, and Akbar’s three successors largely expanded their domain, despite repeated regional, as well as intra-dynastic, rebellions. At the peak in the late seventeenth century under Akbar’s great-grandson, Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir, the empire included over 1,250,000 square miles and some 100–200 million people. Even after its centralised control collapsed, the Mughal Empire continued for centuries as a powerful symbol and a precursor for British colonialism.

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