Shivaji's Administration - Maratha Kingdom and Confederacy, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev

History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

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UPSC : Shivaji's Administration - Maratha Kingdom and Confederacy, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Shivaji's Administration

  • Shivaji was the master of extensive territories expanding upto Maharastra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
  • His empire was divided into two parts: swaraj (own kingdom) or mulk-i-qadim (old territory).
  • And an undefined belt of land legally part of the Mughal empire which paid chauth but was not subject to Shivaji's administration.
  • A dictionary of official terms, entitled Raja Vyavahara Kosa, was prepared by a panel of experts under the supervision of Raghunath Pandit Hanumante.

Central Administration

  • Helped by Ashtapradhan (Eight Ministers) - not a council of ministers, for there is no collective responsibility, but only individual responsibility, i.e., each minister was directly responsible to Shivaji.

(i) Peshwa: Finances and general administration (later he became Prime Minister and very important);
 (ii) Sar-i-Naubat: Senapati or military commandar, only a honorary post with on real military powers;
 (iii) Majumdar or Amatya: Accountant General (but during the reign of the Peshwas, he became Revenue and Finance Minister);
 (iv) Waqanavis: Intelligence, posts and household affairs (Similar to those of Home Minister of today);
 (v) Surunavis or Sachiv: Also called "Chitnis" looked after correspondence.
 (vi) Dabir Or Sumanta: Master of ceremonies;
 (vii) Nyayadhish - Justice;
 (viii) Panditrao - Charities and Religious Affairs.
 Most of the administrative reforms of Shivaji are based on Malik Ambar's (Ahmednagar) reforms.

  • All ministers except the Panditrao and the Nyayadhish had to serve in war whenever necessary.

Revenue Administration

  • Assessment of land revenue based on mea

Points To Be Remembered

  • Sumant was also known as dabir. Similarly asta pradhans was also known as surunavis or chitnis.
  • The Maratha artillery in the third battle of Panipat was commanded by Ibrahim Khan Gardi.
  • The commander-in-chief of the Maratha troops in the third battle of Panipat was Viswas Rao.
  • An eyewitness account of the Third battle of Panipat has been provided by Kashiraj Pandit.
  • Baji Rao II became pensioner of the British and lived for more than thirty years at Bithur near Kanpur was Baji Rao II.
  • Holkar was the last Maratha chief to enter into a subsidiary alliance with the English.

surement; adoption of ‘Khathi’ of Ambar as the measuring rod. 

  • Increase of land revenue from 33% to 40% in later years.
  • Division of “Swarajya” (own kingdom) into number of revenue divisions, called “prants” consisting of 2 or more districts.
  • Changes in the position of the hereditary revenue officials, variously called Deshmukhs, Deshpandes, Patils, Kulkarnis, etc.
  • Though he did not completely do away with these officials, he considerably reduced their powers by close supervision and strict collection of revenue from them.
  • Appointment of his own revenue officials (Subahdars or Karkuns in charge of revenue administration of prants).
  • Chauth and Sardeshmukhi: Both were collected not on his “Swaraja” but on an undefined belt of land which was legally part of the Mughal empire or the Deccan States; Chauth-1/4th of the land revenue of this unspecified belt of land paid to Marathas so that land would not be subjected to Maratha raids.
  • Saradeshmukhi - an additional levy of 10% on the lands of Maharasthra over which Marathas claimed hereditary rights, but which formed part of the Mughal Empire.

Military Administration

  • Payment of ordinary soldiers in cash, but of big chiefs and military commanders through the grant of revenues of "saranjam” or “mokasa” (Jagirs).
  • Participation of all ministers, except the last two (Nyayadhish and Panditrao), in war.
  • Heirarchy of army officials : Sar-i-Naubat (Senapati), Panch Hazari, Jumladar, Havaldar and Naik.
  • Army consisted of Infantry (Mavali footsoldiers played the most important role); cavalry (consisting of Bargis and Silahdars; the former were provided with horses and equipment by the state, while the latter maintained their own) and navy (consisted of two squadrons, each under a Muslim and a Hindu). 
  • Forts-occupied an important position. Each fort was put under the charge of 3 officers of equal rank as a precaution against treachery, and frequently

Points To Be Remembered

  • Shivaji’s conquest of Javli, which commanded the Mavala area, was the beginning of his rise into prominence.
  • Shaista Khan was the maternal uncle of Aurangzeb.
  • Baji Rao-I assigned different territories to the prominent Maratha chiefs as their “Sphere of Influence”.
  • Shivaji killed Afzal Khan after eliciting information from the latter’s Brahmin envoy called Krishnai Bhaskar.
  • Shivaji’s greatest military feat was the invasion of Karnatik in 1677-78.
  • Tarf was a Maratha administrative division.
  • Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadava were enterprising Maratha generals and defeated the Mughal armies a number of times.
  • Shivaji II is better known as Shahu.
  • Zulfiqur Khan was responsible for the release of Shahu from Mughal imprisonment.
  • Baji Rao I compelled the Nizam of Hyderabad to submit to the dictated treaty of Mungi-Shevagaon in 1728.
  • Baji Rao II was the last Peshwa of the Marathas.
  • Mirasdars were the collective names for deshmukhs and deshpandes.
  • After the third battle of Panipat, the lost fortunes of the Maratha empire were restored by Peshwa Madhav Rao I

transferred them (by the end of his reign, Shivaji had 240 forts under him).

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