Foundation Of Autonomous States UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Foundation of Autonomous States

 Hyderabad and the Carnatic

  • The state of Hyderabad was founded by Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah (Chin Kilich Khan) in 1724. 
  • He was the Wazir of emperor Muhammad Shah. He was much disgusted by the indolence of the emperor. Finding no possibility of bringing the government into order he retired to Deccan where he became independent and founded the state of Hyderabad.
  • The Carnatic was one of the Subahs of the Mughal Deccan and as such came under the Nizam of Hyderabad’s authority.
  • But the Deputy Governor of Carnatic, known as the Nawab of Carnatic, had freed himself of the control of the Viceroy of Deccan and made his office hereditary. Thus Nawab Saadatullah Khan of Carnatic had made his nephew Dost Ali his successor without the approval of his superior, the Nizam.

Independence of Oudh

  • Saadat Khan, who came of a Persian family from Khorasan, was the founder of the line of Nawab-Wazir.
Important Statements
  • Safdar Jang: “The Avadh chiefs–were capable of creating a disturbance in the twinkling of an eye and were more dangerous than the Marathas of the Deccan.”
  • Tipu Sultan: “I can ruin their resources by land but I cannot dry up the sea.”
  • Tipu Sultan: “It is better to die like a soldier, than to live a miserable dependent on the infidles, in the list of their pensioned rajas and nawabs.”
  • Colonel Palmer, the British Resident: “At the death of Nana Phadnavis in 1800, at Poona, remarked: “With him, departed all the wisdom and moderation of the Maratha Government.”
  • Sidney Owen on the Treaty of Bassein: “The treaty by its direct and indirect operations gave the company the Empire of India.”
  • Palmer: “I consider it as the duty of every British subject in this country, however, situated to contribute to the utmost of his power, to take stock of general information.”
  • Napier: “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so, and a very advantageous, useful human piece of rascality it will be. It is not for me to consider how we come to occupy Sind, but to consider the subject as it now stands.”
  • Sir W. Butler about Sir C Napier:“No man ever longed for a mistress more than this man longed for war.”
  • Colonel Sleeman about the Annexation of Avadh: “It would cost the British power more than the value of ten such kingdoms and would inevitably lead to a mutiny of the Sepoys.”
  • Devendranath Tagore: “Owing to the spread of English education we cannot like ignorant people offer worship to wood or stone, imagining them to be god.”


  • He had been originally appointed Faujdar of Biana but he happened to quarrel with some of the favourite nobles of Muhammad Shah’s court.
  • He was sent away as Governor of Oudh in 1722 A.D. Before his death in 1739 A.D. he had become virtually independent and had made the province a hereditary possession.
  • He was succeeded by his nephew Safdar Jang, who was simultaneously appointed the Wazir of the empire in 1748 A.D. and granted in addition the province of Allahabad.
  • Safdar Jang gave a long period of peace to the people of Oudh and Allahabad before his death in 1754 A.D. Safdar Jang wrote: “The Avadh chiefs were capable of creating a disturbance in the twinkling of an eye and were more dangerous than the Marathas of the Deccan.”


  • After the death of Aurangzeb, Murshid Quli Khan and Alivardi Khan, made Bengal virtually independent.
  • Even though Murshid Quli Khan was made Governor of Bengal as late as 1717 A.D., he had been its effective ruler since 1700 A.D., when he was appointed its Dewan.
  • He established peace by freeing Bengal of internal and external danger. Bengal was now also relatively free of uprisings by zamindars.
Facts To Be Remembered
  • Bhil Risings (Western Ghats): Resented against the Company under Sewram (during 1817-19 1825, 1831 1846).
  • Koli Risings (in neighbourhood of Bhils): Against imposition of the British rule in 1829, 1839 and 1844-48.
  • The Cutch Rebellion: Demanding restoration of Bharmal, the Cutch ruler (in 1819 and 1831).
  • Waghera Rising (of Okha mandal): Against foreign rule during 1818-19.
  • Surat Salt Agitation: Against raising of salt duty. The Government had to withdraw it.
  • Ramosi Risings (Tribes of Western Ghats): Against British Rule (in 1822, 1825-28, 1829).
  • The Wahabi Movement: A revivalist movement of Islam with its centre at Patna under the leadership of Syed Ahmed of Rae Bareli (1786-1831).


  • The only three major uprisings during his period were; first by Sitaram Ray, Udai Narayan, and Ghulam Muhammad, and then by Shujat Khan and finally by Najat Khan.
  • After defeating them, Murshid Quli Khan gave their zamindaris to his favourite, Ramjivan. Murshid Quli Khan died in 1727 A.D.
  • Shuja-ud-din, son-in-law of Murshid Quli, usurped the throne in 1727 and ruled Bengal till 1739 A.D. With the incorporation of Bihar in Bengal Subah by the emperor Muhammad Shah in 1733 A.D., Shuja-ud-din became the Subahdar of an extensive administrative unit embracing the provinces of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.
  • After the death of Shuja-ud-din in 1739 A.D., his son Sarfaraz peacefully ascended the Masnad of Bengal. In that year, Alivardi Khan deposed and killed Shuja-ud-din’s son, Sarfaraz Khan and made himself the Nawab.
  • From 1742 to 1751 A.D., the Marathas made repeated incursions and ravaged the territories of Alivardi Khan. Alivardi Khan agreed to pay to the Marathas an annual chauth of 12 lakhs of rupees, on condition that they would never cross the river Suvarnarekha.
  • Alivardi Khan did not permit the English and the French to fortify their factories in Calcutta and Chandernagar.
  • The Bengal Nawabs proved, however, to be short-sighted and negligent in one respect. They did not firmly put down the increasing tendency of the English East India company after 1707 A.D., to use military force, to threaten its use, to get its demands accepted.
  • On the demise of Alivardi Khan in April 1756 his grandson Mirza Muhammad, better known by his title Siraj-ud-daula succeeded to the throne.


  • The kingdom of Mysore had preserved its precarious independence ever since the end of the Vijayanagar empire.
  • Early in 18th century two ministers Nanjaraj and Devraj had seized power in Mysore.
  • Haidar Ali started his career as a petty officer in the Mysore army. Cleverly using the opportunities that came his way, he gradually rose in the Mysore army. He soon recognised the advantages of western military training and applied it to the troops under his own command.
Facts To Be Remembered
  • Mir Jafar suffered from leprosy
  • After Bengal, the English secured the rights of duty-free trade in the dominions of Nawab of Avadh.
  • Warren Hastings was the first governor-general of the government of Bengal.
  • On the eve of the Battle of Buxar, Shuja-ud-daula arrested Nawab Mir Qasim because Qasim evaded the payment for the maintenance of the army of Avadh. 
  • In the Battle of Buxar, Nawab Shuja-ud-daula of Avadh joined Mir Qasim under the terms that Mir Qasim would meet the expenses of Shuja‘s army and secondly, he would cede the province of Bihar to Avadh after his restoration.
  • The imperial grant of the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa by Shah Alam II legalised the Company‘s control over Bengal.
  • In grateful recognition of Clive’s services Mir Jafar secured for him the title of Omrah from Shah Alam II and the Zamindari of 24 Pargana.
  • The revolution of 1760 in Bengal refers to the deposition of Mir Jafar and accession of Mir Qasim as Nawab of Bengal.
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad did not participate in the alliance forged by Mir Qasim after he was defeated by the English in 1763.
  • Mir Qasim attempted to check the misuse of the farman of 1717 by the Company‘s servants.
  • Mir Jafar hatched a conspiracy with the Dutch at Chinsura.
  • Mir Jafar is known as ‘Colonel Clive‘s jackal.
  • A consiracy was set an foot to place Mir Jafar on the throne of Bengal. To silence Amichand Clive forged a copy of the agreement admitting his demands.
  • He established a modern arsenal in Dindigal in 1755. In 1761 he overthrew Nanjaraj and established his authority over the Mysore State.
  • Almost from the beginning of the establishment of his power, he was engaged in wars with the Maratha Sardars, the Nizam, and the British.
  • In 1769, he repeatedly defeated the British forces and captured the adjacent areas to Madras. He died in 1782 A.D. in course of second Anglo-Mysore War.
  • He was succeeded by Tipu Sultan, who ruled Mysore till his death in 1799 A.D. He was an able administrator and a military genius.
  • His infantry was armed with muskets and bayonets in the European fashion. He also made an effort to built a navy after 1796.
  • For this purpose he established two dockyards, the models of the ships being supplied by the Sultan himself.
  • His desire to change with the times was symbolised in the introduction of a new calendar, a new system of coinage, and new scales of weights and measures.
  • He showed a keen interest in the French Revolution.
  • He planted a Tree of Liberty at Sringapatnam and became a member of a Jacobian club.
  • He tried to do away with the custom of giving Jagirs. He also made an attempt to reduce the hereditary possessions of the Poligars. His land revenue raised upto 1/3rd of the gross produce.


  • Sikhism had its birth at the same time when the Mughal rule was established in India. It was organised with a view to purging the society of its ills, promoting the Bhakti cult and securing unity between Hindu and Muslims.
  • In its earlier phase, Sikhism remained a peaceful faith of devotion and service. It underwent transformation under the guidance of Guru Arjan Dev who gave his followers the idea of setting up self-government within the Mughal empire.
  • The stream of persecutions that engulfed the Sikhs after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev changed the entire out-look of the Sikhs.
  • They continued to resist actively the tyranny of Mughal officials under the guidance of Guru 
Facts To Be Remembered
  • Sanyasi Revolt: By Sanyasis against the restrictions imposed by the English Company on visits to holy places.
  • Kol Risings: The Kols of Chhotanagpur resented the transfer of land to outsiders and in 1831 killed or burnt about a thousand outsiders.
  • Santhal Rising: Santhals, under Sidhu and Kanhu, rebelled in 1855 against the ill-treatment of revenue official, police, landlords and moneylanders.
  • Ahom’s Revolt: Against the English attempt to incorporate the Ahom’s territory (in Assam), by Ahoms under Gomdhar Konwar in 1928.
  • Khasi Rising: The ruler of Nunklow resented against occupation of Jaintia and Garo by the Company. Suppressed in 1833.
  • Pagal Panthis and Faraizis’s Revolts: Against the oppressions of Zamindars under Tipu (in Bengal), the son of Keran Singh. Faraizis,. followers of a Muslim sect, took the cause of tenants.

Gobind Singh and Banda Bahadur.

  • After Banda Bahadur they split themselves into several depradatory bands and took to guerilla warfare.
  • They organised themselves in 65 roving bands in 1745. Later in 1748, at the instance of Nawab Kapur Singh, the bands were amalgamated into Dal Khalsa.
  • The Dal Khalsa was placed under the command of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. The Dal Khalsa was split up into 12 divisions, democratic in nature. After some time they came to be known as misls. ‘Misl’is an Arabic word. It means ‘equal’ or ‘alike’.

The twelve misls are as follows:
  Name of the Mis            Name of the  Founder leader

  • Singhpuria Misl:    Nawab Kapur Singh
  • Ahluwalia Misl:    Jassa Singh Alhuwalia
  • The Ramgarhia    Jassa Singh
              Misl:            Ramgarhia
  • The Phulkian    Phul Singh
  • Kanhiya Misl:    Jai Singh
  • Bhagi Misl :    Hari Singh
  • Sukarchakya Misl:     Charat Singh
  • Nishanwalia Misl:    Sardar Sangat Singh
  • Karor Singhia    Bhagel Singh
  • Dallewalia    Gulab Singh 
  • Nakai Misl :     Hira Singh
  • Shahidi Misl :     Baba Dip Singh
  • Every misl had its own chief who was quite independent in goveming his territory. When the misldars acted jointly, they divided the booty among themselves.
  • The retainers had the perfect freedom in serving the chief of their misl or another chief whenever they so desired.
  • The retainers did not receive any pay. They held land on the condition of rendering military service.

Panchayat System

  • The village formed the administrative unit. It had its own panchayat which managed its affairs, decided disputes and arranged for defence in emergency.
  • The village functionaries were the headman, accountant and watchman.

 The sources of income were:

  • Land Revenue.
  • Booty.
  • Taxes on Trade.
  • Heavy Fines.

Land Revenue

  • For the puposes of land revenue, the villages were classified into two divisions viz.,

(i) Villages in the territory of the chief.
 (ii) Villages under Rakhi system.

  • Land revenue was collected at the rate of 1/5 of the produce of the artificially irrigated soil and 1/4 of the produce of rainy soil.
  • It was collected in two six-monthly instalments in kind and cash.
  • The villages under Rakhi system paid 1/5 to 1/2 of the rental or Government share. This cess was like Chauth of the Marathas.


  • A cess called ‘Aya Gaya’ was levied to defray the expenses incurred in connection with the entertainment of guests and officials.


  • There was no elaborate judicial system to dispense justice.
  • Civil suits were decided by the local panchayats though they could be taken to the chief of the misl.
  • Criminal cases were decided by the chief and his officials. Punishments were harsh and they varied with the nature of crime.
  • Mutilation of limbs and capital punishments were awarded in rare cases ‘Shukrana’ and ‘Jurmana’ were also realised.

Land Tenure

  • The following four system of land tenure were in vogue:

(i) Pattidari, (ii) Misldari, (iii) Tabedari, and (iv) Jagirdari.


  • All constituents of a misl below the rank of a ‘Sardar’ held land as ‘Pattidar’. They were free in the management of their land.


  • Some petty chiefs who helped the misl got land under misldari system. If a misldar was not satisfied with the treatment meted out to him by the chief of the misl, he could shift to another chief’s territory with the same privileges.


  • Under this system, retainers held the land which could be taken back if the chief was not satisfied with their work or conduct.


  • It gave hereditary possession to the jagirdars. Jagirdars were usually the near relatives and dependents of Sardars. They had to render military service to the chief. 
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