CBSE NCERT Class VII (7th) | Social Studies | History
Chapter : Eighteenth-Century Political Formations
CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer
Q1 What crisis were faced by the Mughal Emperors by the end of the 17th century?
Mughal Empire reached the height of its success and started facing a variety of crises towards the closing years of the seventeenth century.
Emperor Aurangzeb had depleted the military and financial resources of his empire by fighting a long war in the Deccan.
Under his successors, the efficiency of the imperial administration broke down.
It became increasingly difficult for the later Mughal emperors to keep a check on their powerful mansabdars.
Peasant and Zamindari rebellions in many parts of northern and western India added to these problems. These revolts were sometimes caused by the pressures of mounting taxes.
In the midst of this economic and political crisis, the ruler of Iran, Nadir Shah, sacked and plundered the city of Delhi in 1739 and took away immense amounts of wealth. This invasion was followed by a series of plundering raids by the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, who invaded northern India five times between 1748 and 1761. Already under severe pressure from all sides, the empire was further weakened by competition amongst different groups of nobles. They were divided into two major groups or factions, the Iranis and Turanis (nobles of Turkish descent). For a long time, the later Mughal emperors were puppets in the hands of either one or the other of these two powerful groups.
Q2 Explain the groups into which the Mughal Empire fragmented through the 18th century.
Through the eighteenth century, the Mughal Empire gradually fragmented into a number of independent, regional states.
Broadly speaking the states of the eighteenth century can be divided into three overlapping groups:
1. States that were old Mughal provinces like Awadh, Bengal and Hyderabad. Although extremely powerful and quite independent, the rulers of these states did not break their formal ties with the Mughal emperor.
2. States that had enjoyed considerable independence under the Mughals as watan jagirs. These included several Rajput principalities.
3. The last group included states under the control of Marathas, Sikhs and others like the Jats.
These were of differing sizes and had seized their independence from the Mughals after a long drawn armed struggle.
Q3 Trace the formation of Hyderabad by Asaf Jah.
Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, the founder of Hyderabad state, was one of the most powerful members at the court of the Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar.
He was entrusted first with the governorship of Awadh, and later given charge of the Deccan. As the Mughal governor of the Deccan provinces, Asaf Jah already had full control over its political and financial administration. Taking advantage of the turmoil in the Deccan he gathered power in his hands and became the actual ruler of that region.
He appointed them as mansabdars and granted jagirs. Although he was still a servant of the Mughal emperor, he ruled quite independently without seeking any direction from Delhi or facing any interference.
Q4 Name the states with which the state of Hyderabad was in struggle.
With the states of Marathas and Telugus warrior chiefs (nayakas).
Q5 What course of action did Sa’adat Khan follow to control Awadh?
Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan was appointed subadar of Awadh in 1722 and founded a state which was one of the most important to emerge out of the break-up of the Mughal Empire. Awadh was a prosperous region, controlling the rich alluvial Ganga plain and the main trade route between north India and Bengal.
Sa‘adat Khan was responsible for managing the political, financial and military affairs of the province of Awadh.
Sa‘adat Khan tried to decrease the Mughal influence in the Awadh region by reducing the number of office holders (jagirdars) appointed by the Mughals. He also reduced the size of jagirs, and appointed his own loyal servants to vacant positions.
The accounts of jagirdars were checked to prevent cheating and the revenues of all districts were reassessed by officials appointed by the Nawab’s court.
Q6 Who were Ijaradars? How moneylenders and bankers gained importance in the administration of Awadh?
The state sold the right to collect taxes to the highest bidders. These “revenue farmers” (ijaradars) agreed to pay the state a fixed sum of money. Local bankers guaranteed the payment of this contracted amount to the state. In turn, the revenue- farmers were given considerable freedom in the assessment and collection of taxes. These developments allowed new social groups, like moneylenders and bankers, to influence the management of the state’s revenue system, something which had not occurred in the past.
Q7 Explain the formation of Bengal.
Bengal gradually broke away from Mughal control under Murshid Quli Khan who was appointed as the Naib, deputy to the governor of the province.
Although never a formal subadar, Murshid Quli Khan very quickly seized all the power that went with that office. Like the rulers of Hyderabad and Awadh he also commanded the revenue administration of the state.
In an effort to reduce the Mughal influence in Bengal
He transferred all Mughal jagirdars to Orissa. Also, he ordered a major reassessment of the revenues of Bengal.
Revenue was collected in cash with great strictness from all zamindars. As a result, many zamindars had to borrow money from bankers and moneylenders.
Those unable to pay were forced to sell their lands to larger zamindars.
Q8 List the common features of Bengal, Awadh and Hyderabad. We can detect three common features amongst these states.
First, the Mughal nobles they were highly suspicious of some of the administrative systems that they had inherited, in particular the jagirdari system.
Second, their method of tax collection differed. Rather than relying upon the officers of the state, all three regimes contracted with revenue-farmers for the collection of revenue. The practice of ijaradari, thoroughly disapproved of by the Mughals, spread all over India in the eighteenth century.
The third common feature in all these regional states was their emerging relationship with rich bankers and merchants. These people lent money to revenue farmers, received land as security and collected taxes from these lands through their own agents.
Q9 Who was the governor of Gujarat in the 18th century?
Raja Ajit Singh
Q10 Who was the governor of Malwa?
Sawai Raja Jai Singh
Q11 Where did Sawai Raja Jai Singh set up his new capital?
Q12 When was Khalsa instituted?
Q13 How did the state of Punjab come into being?
The organization of the Sikhs into a political community during the seventeenth century helped in regional state-building in the Punjab. Several battles were fought by Guru Gobind Singh against the Rajput and Mughal rulers, both before and after the institution of the Khalsa in 1699. After his death in 1708, the Khalsa rose in revolt against the Mughal authority under Banda Bahadur’s leadership, declared their sovereign rule by striking coins in the name of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, and established their own administration between the Sutlej and the Jamuna. Banda Bahadur was captured in 1715 and executed in 1716.
Q14 What were Jathas?
The Sikhs organized themselves into a number of bands called Jathas.
Q15 How were the Sikhs organised in the eighteenth century?
Under a number of able leaders in the eighteenth century, the Sikhs organized themselves into a number of bands called jathas, and later on misls. Their combined forces were known as the grand army (dal khalsa). The entire body used to meet at Amritsar at the time of Baisakhi and Diwali to take collective decisions known as “resolutions of the Guru (gurmatas)”. A system called Rakhi was introduced, offering protection to cultivators on the payment of a tax of 20 per cent of the produce.
Q16 How did Guru Gobind Singh inspire the Khalsa?
Guru Gobind Singh had inspired the Khalsa with the belief that their destiny was to rule (Raj Karega Khalsa). Their well-knit organization enabled them to put up a successful resistance to the Mughal governors first and then to Ahmad Shah Abdali who had seized the richest province of the Punjab and the Sarkar of
Sirhind from the Mughals. The Khalsa declared their sovereign rule by striking their own coin again in 1765.
Significantly, this coin bore the same inscription as the one on the orders issued by the Khalsa at the time of Banda Bahadur
Q17 Who ruled the Maratha kingdom after the death of Shivaji?
After Shivaji’s death, effective power in the Maratha state was a family of Chitpavan Brahmanas who served Shivaji’s successors as Peshwa (or principal minister). Poona became the capital of the Maratha kingdom.
Q18 Who were Deshmukhs and Kunbis?
Shivaji (1627-1680) carved out a stable kingdom with the support of powerful warrior families (deshmukhs). Groups of highly mobile, peasant pastoralists
(kunbis) provided the backbone of the Maratha army. Shivaji used these forces to challenge the Mughals in the peninsula.
Q19 Explain the two types of taxes imposed by the Marathas.
Chauth- 25 per cent of the land revenue, claimed by the zamindars. In the Deccan this was collected by the Marathas.
Sardeshmukhi- 9-10 per cent of the land revenue paid to the head revenue collector in the Deccan.
Q20 Why did the other rulers become hostile towards Marathas?
After raiding Delhi in 1737 the frontiers of Maratha domination expanded rapidly: into Rajasthan and the Punjab in the north; into Bengal and Orissa in the east; and into Karnataka and the Tamil and Telugu countries in the south. These were not formally included in the Maratha Empire, but were made to pay tribute as a way of accepting Maratha sovereignty.
Expansion brought enormous resources, but it came at a price. These military campaigns also made other rulers hostile towards the Marathas. As a result, they were not inclined to support the Marathas during the third battle of Panipat in 1761.
Q21 Name some of the Maratha Chiefs.
Sindhia of Gwalior, Gaekwad of Baroda and Bhonsle of Nagpur
Q22 Who was the leader of Jats in the late 17th century?
Q23 Name the important trading centres that were under the control of Jats.
Panipat and Ballabhgarh