Political Development during the Mughals


  • The Mughal rulers, particularly Akbar, personally refurbished and consolidated the administrative system. Akbar maintained the alliance with the Rajput.

  • Akbar and his successors successfully maintained further attempted to broaden the political base of the Mughal Empire by allying with powerful sections including the Afghans and the Marathas.

  • Mughals architected their capitals not only beautifully, but also strategically where they tried to make the Mughal court the center of the cultural life in the country.

  • The Mughals played a positive role in developing and stabilizing India’s relations with her neighboring Asian powers, including Iran, the Uzbeks, and the Ottoman Turks. Likewise, the Mughals opened and promoted India’s foreign trade.

Mughal’s Successions

  • Jahangir, the eldest son of Akbar, succeeded to the throne without any difficulty, as his younger brothers died at early age (during the life time of Akbar) because of excessive drinking.

  • Khusrau, the eldest son of Jahangir, broke out into rebellion (Jahangir had also rebelled once against his father, and disturbed the empire for some time). However, Khusrau soon accepted his mistake and forgave by Jahangir.

Diplomatic Policy of Mughals

  • Like Akbar, Jahangir also realized that the conquest could be lasting on the basis not of force, but rather of winning the goodwill of the people. He, therefore, treated the defeated Afghan chief and their followers with great sympathy.

  • Jahangir, by following his diplomatic policy and released many of the princes and zamindars of Bengal who were detained at the court and allowed to return to Bengal. Musa Khan was released and his estates were restored.

  • To continue the policy, the Afghans also began to be welcomed into the Mughal nobility. The leading Afghan noble under Jahangir was Khan-i-Jahan Lodi who served the distinguished service in the Deccan.

  • Jahangir, however, had to begin a long era of peace, but the situation was changed radically by two incidents −

    • The Persian conquest of Qandhar, which was a misfortune to Mughal prestige and

    • Deteriorating health of Jahangir.

  • These two incidents unleashed the latent struggle for the succession among the princes as well as among the nobles (who were also competing for power). Further, the deteriorating health of Jahangir also introduced Nur Jahan into the political affairs.