- Aurangzeb left three sons— Muazzam, Azam, and Kam Baksh. Aurangzeb did not nominate any successor but partitioned the empire among his three sons.
- None of them was satisfied with anything less than the whole and so the struggle for the throne ensued.
- The eldest, Muazzam defeated and killed the remaining two and himself ascended the throne under the title of Bahadur Shah.
- He adopted a conciliatory and tolerant policy towards the Marathas and the Rajputs. In course of time the Marathas became powerful and the Rajputs independent.
- On account of the persecution of Aurangzeb, the Sikhs had grown into an aggressive militant sect under their leader Banda. The Sikhs attacked the town of Sirhind. They fought with the spirit of crusaders and Banda himself
fought at the forefront of his army.
− The situation became serious and Bahadur Shah marched personally against them.
− The Sikhs were defeated and driven into the hills though Banda escaped.
- Bahadur Shah died in February 1712 A.D.
Jahandar Shah (1712-13)
- After the death of Bahadur Shah there was a struggle for succession among his four sons. The eldest and the worst son, Uniz-ud-din, with the help of Zulfikar Khan defeated and killed his brothers and ascended the throne with the title of Jahandar Shah.
- He was a worthless debauchee and was not liked by the people.
Facts To Be Remembered:
- The founder of Rohil-Khand was Ali Muhammad Khan.
- Muhammad Khan Bangash founded the independent Kingdom of Bangash Pathans around Farrukhabad (1714).
- Sawai Jai Singh of Amber of the eighteenth century performed two as ramedha sacrifices.
- The Sarkar of Guntur was the bone of contention between Nizam Ali, the ruler of Hyderabad and the English.
- Safdarjang and Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawabs of Awadh, were appointed Wazirs of the Mughal empire.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India eight times.
- Travancore rose into prominence under King Martanda Verma.
- Fauz-i-Khas of Ranjit Singh constituted the ‘model brigade’ of the Sikh army. It was trained by French officers and was also known as the French Brigade or the French legion.
- The central organisation of the misl was the gurmatta i.e., advice of the spiritual Guru.
- After the third Battle of Panipat Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India three more times to punish the Sikhs.
The two Sayyid brothers, Sayyid Abdulla, Governor of Allahabad, and Sayyid Hussain Ali Governor of Bihar, better known as Sayyid brothers, defeated and put Jahandar Shah to death and placed on the throne Farrukh Siyar, a nephew of Jahandar Shah.
Farrukh Siyar (1713-19)
- Jahandar Shah, after a disgraceful reign of eleven months, defeated and killed by his nephew Farrukh Siyar, who was helped by the two Sayyid brothers.
- The Sayyid brothers exercised a mighty influence over the emperor and possessed all real power.
- The Sikhs took advantage of the political situation renewed their ravages under the intrepid Banda. A strong governor in the person of Abdul Samad was sent to Lahore and the suppression of the Sikhs was taken in hand.
- After a severe fighting Banda and about a thousand of his followers were taken prisoners and put to death with savage tortures (1716). The Sikhs were crushed for a time.
- The Marathas became very powerful in the Deccan and compelled Hussain Ali to conclude a humiliating treaty.
- Sahu, the grandson of Shivaji, was allowed to levy Chauth and Sardeshmukhi over the whole of the Deccan.
- The emperor got tired of the authority of the Sayyid brothers and began to intrigue against them. As soon as the Emperor showed signs of resisting the authority, the Sayyid brothers procured his murder in 1719.
Muhammad Shah (1719-1748)
- After the death of Farrukh Siyar, the Sayyid Brothers raised Rafi-ud-Darjat and Rafi-ud-Daula, two youths of the royal family, to the throne but they died within a year.
- Then the two brothers to whom historians give the title of “Kingmakers” placed Roshan on the throne under the name of Muhammad Shah in November 1719 A.D.
- Muhammad Shah was anxious to get rid of the Sayyid brothers, for by that time they had become extremely unpopular on account of their haughty and overbearing behavior.
Facts To Be Remembered:
Ahmad Shah (1748-54)
- The Nawab of Awadh who committed suicide to save himself from disgrace at the hands of Nadir Shah was saadat Khan.
- The early capital of the nawabs of Awadh was Fyzabad.
- After nearly twelve years of exile, Shah Alam II was escorted back to the throne of Delhi by Mahasi Sindhia.
- From 1761 to 1770, the Supreme dictator of Delhi was Najib Khan.
- Sadashiv Rao Bhau stripped off the silver ceiling of the Diwan-i-Khas at Red Fort in Delhi and minted Rs. 9 Lakhs out of it.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali deposed Shah Alam II and proclaimed Ali Gauhar as emperor with the title of Shah Alam II.
- Alivardi Khan concluded a treaty with the Marathas and agreed to pay them an annual tribute as Chauth and ceded to them the revenues of part of Orissa.
- The governorship of Bengal became hereditary with Shujauddin Khan.
- Murshid Quli Khan was originally a South Indian Brahmin.
- Irani nobles were mostly Shias and Turani nobles were Sunnis.
- In 1788 the later Mughal emperor Shah Alam II was blinded by an Afghan Chief called Ghulam Kadir.
To undo their growing power and influence, a party was formed headed by Chin Kilich Khan, formerly the Governor of Deccan, and Saadat Khan, the Governor of Oudh.
Alamgir II (1754-59)
- This party was secretly supported by emperor Muhammad Shah who was anxiously waiting for an opportunity for deliverance from the domination of the Sayyid brothers.
- Chin Qilich Khan revolted and twice defeated the army of the Sayyids. Hussain Ali was assassinated at the instigation of Muhammad Shah while he was on his way to subdue Qilich, also called Nizam-ul-Mulk.
- The other brothers, Sayyid Abdulla, was also defeated, taken prisoner and killed. The Sayyid brothers thus disappeared from the stage and their power came to an end. Nadir Shah’s Invasion
- Born in humble parents, Nadir Shah who had started life as a free booter, rose to a high position in Persia on account of his military genius and became king of Persia. After establishing himself on his throne he captured Ghazni and Kabul.
- The weakness of the Government and the disturbed state of affairs at Delhi. The wealth of India offered him a tempting field for immense spoil.
- His main grievance, rather a pretext for the invasion that Muhammad Shah had stopped sending embassies to the court of Persia.
- Nadir Shah sent an ambassador to Muhammad. Shah praying that the Afghans who were expelled from Persia should be given no quarter i.e. he wanted that the king of Delhi should close the Indian frontier against the Afghan refugees. The replies given by Muhammad Shah were evasive and Nadir Shah’s ambassador had to go dissatisfied. Nadir Shah decided to invade India.
- Nadir plundered the treasury, seized the crown jewels, the Peacock Throne, and Koh-i-Noor, and took away a large booty.
- Nadir Shah and his soldiers stayed in Delhi for about two months and got about seventy crores of rupees from Muhammad Shah, the nobles and the general public.
- This amount was so huge for Nadar Shah’s purposes that to please his own people he remitted the entire revenue of Persia for three years and lavishly gave prizes to his troops.
- Before his departure, Nadir Shah made a treaty with Muhammad Shah by which the latter was left emperor of India, but he had to cede to the Persians the country west of the Indus “from Kashmir to Sindh.“
- Muhammad Shah was succeeded by his son in 1748. He reigned only in name and his short reign was a time of great disturbance.
- The Rohillas rebelled openly and the government sought the help of the Marathas to put them down.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded Punjab for the second time and obtained from the emperor the formal cessation of the whole province.
- A civil war broke out between the Nawab- Wazir and Ghazi-ud-din, grandson of Asaf Jah. Ghazi-ud-din assumed the office of the Wazir.
- The emperor being soon weary of him sought his blood. Ghazi-ud-din, therefore, blinded and disposed Ahmad Shah in 1754.
Shah Alam II (1759-1806)
- After Ahmad Shah had been blinded and disposed of, Ghazi-ud-din raised to the throne a son of Jahandar Shah with the title of Alamgir II. Ghazi-uddin was now the all-powerful man in the State.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali made his third invasion during his reign. Ahmad Shah captured Delhi and horribly sacked it. Mathura also was given up to plunder and carnage (1758). Alamgir II was murdered in 1759 and was succeeded by his son, Shah Alam.
- Ali Gauhar, Alamgir’s son, assumed the title of Shah Alam II.
- Ghazi-ud-din created for him a host of enemies and so he called the Marathas to his aid against his rivals. The Marathas entered Delhi and then conquered the whole of Punjab.
- Two rival forces met at Punjab in 1761, known as the Third Battle of Panipat or the Fifth Invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali, where Marathas suffered a crushing defeat and had their imperialistic dream shattered.
- In 1765 Shah Alam granted the Dewani of Bengal and Bihar to the English in return for a pension of 26 lacs a year. He, however, lost his pension when he left British protection and joined the Marathas.
- Shah Alam died in 1806 and was succeeded by his son Akbar II (1806-1837). He was the nominal king of Delhi, his authority being confined to the fort only.
- His son, Bahadur Shah (1837-1851), was also a titular king. He took part in the Mutiny of 1857 and was deported to Rangoon where he died in 1862. Thus ended the line of Babar.
Ahmad Shah Abdali
Facts To be Remembered
- The later Mughal emperor Shah Alam II was actually known as Ali Gauhar.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali proclaimed Shah Alam II emperor of India after the third battle of Panipat.
- A courtesan called Lal Kunwar dominated the affairs of the Mughal empire during the reign of Jahandar Shah.
- The most powerful noble during the reign of Bahadur Shah and Jahandar was Zulfiqar Khan.
- Usmal Ali Khan was the last Nizam of Hyderabad.
- Nizam Ali signed the subisdiary Treaty with Lord Wellesley.
- Nizam-ul-Mulk got the confirmation of his viceroalty of the Deccan and the title of “Asaf Jah” from Emperor Mughammad Shah in 1725.
- Shuja-ud-daula purchased Kara and Allahabad from the British in 1773.
- Ahmad Shah Abdali was the treasurer of Nadir Shah.
- On the death of Nadir Shah, his kingdom has been divided. Ahmad Shah Abdali or Durrani, an Afghan of Herat, had secured the Afghan portion and set up himself as an independent king.
- He invaded Punjab for the second time in 1749 but retired on receiving a large amount of money from the Governor of Punjab.
- His last and most important invasion was that of the year 1760-61 when he defeated the Marathas on the plains of Panipat.
- After this great victory, the empire of Hindustan was within his grasp but the Afghan king was unable to profit from it. His army mutinied and demanded a return to Afghanistan.
- The Shah was forced to yield. Although he returned to punish the Sikhs, his health was failing and he died in 1764 leaving the Sikhs to capture Lahore and the major portion of Punjab.