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    Aurangzeb

    Aurangzeb, also spelled Aurangzib, Arabic Awrangzīb, kingly title ʿĀlamgīr, original name Muḥī al-Dīn Muḥammad, (born November 3, 1618, Dhod, Malwa [India]—died March 3, 1707), emperor of India from 1658 to 1707, the last of the great Mughal emperors. Under him the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its dissolution. Aurangzeb was the third son of the emperor Shah Jahān and Mumtaz Mahal (for whom the Taj Mahal was built). He grew up as a serious-minded and devout youth, wedded to the Muslim orthodoxy of the day and free from the royal Mughal traits of

    Aurangzeb

    Mughal emperor

    Alternate titles: ʿĀlamgīr, Aurangzib, Awrangzīb, Muḥī-ud-Dīn Muḥammad

    By T.G. Percival Spear • Last Updated: Feb 27, 2022 • Edit History

    Aurangzeb See all media

    Born: November 3, 1618 India

    Died: March 3, 1707 (aged 88)

    House / Dynasty: Mughal dynasty

    Notable Family Members: father Shah Jahān son Bahādur Shāh I

    Role In: Battle of Samugarh

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    Aurangzeb, also spelled Aurangzib, Arabic Awrangzīb, kingly title ʿĀlamgīr, original name Muḥī al-Dīn Muḥammad, (born November 3, 1618, Dhod, Malwa [India]—died March 3, 1707), emperor of India from 1658 to 1707, the last of the great Mughal emperors. Under him the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its dissolution.

    Early life

    Aurangzeb was the third son of the emperor Shah Jahān and Mumtaz Mahal (for whom the Taj Mahal was built). He grew up as a serious-minded and devout youth, wedded to the Muslim orthodoxy of the day and free from the royal Mughal traits of sensuality and drunkenness. He showed signs of military and administrative ability early; these qualities, combined with a taste for power, brought him into rivalry with his eldest brother, the brilliant and volatile Dārā Shikōh, who was designated by their father as his successor to the throne. From 1636 Aurangzeb held a number of important appointments, in all of which he distinguished himself. He commanded troops against the Uzbeks and the Persians with distinction (1646–47) and, as viceroy of the Deccan provinces in two terms (1636–44, 1654–58), reduced the two Muslim Deccan kingdoms to near-subjection.

    When Shah Jahān fell seriously ill in 1657, the tension between the two brothers made a war of succession seem inevitable. By the time of Shah Jahān’s unexpected recovery, matters had gone too far for either son to retreat. In the struggle for power (1657–59), Aurangzeb showed tactical and strategic military skill, great powers of dissimulation, and ruthless determination. Decisively defeating Dārā at Samugarh in May 1658, he confined his father in his own palace at Agra. In consolidating his power, Aurangzeb caused one brother’s death and had two other brothers, a son, and a nephew executed.

    Emperor of India

    Aurangzeb’s reign falls into two almost equal parts. In the first, which lasted until about 1680, he was a capable Muslim monarch of a mixed Hindu-Muslim empire and as such was generally disliked for his ruthlessness but feared and respected for his vigour and skill. During this period he was much occupied with safeguarding the northwest from Persians and Central Asian Turks and less so with the Maratha chief Shivaji, who twice plundered the great port of Surat (1664, 1670). Aurangzeb applied his great-grandfather Akbar’s recipe for conquest: defeat one’s enemies, reconcile them, and place them in imperial service. Thus, Shivaji was defeated, called to Agra for reconciliation (1666), and given an imperial rank. The plan broke down, however; Shivaji fled to the Deccan and died, in 1680, as the ruler of an independent Maratha kingdom.

    After about 1680, Aurangzeb’s reign underwent a change of both attitude and policy. The pious ruler of an Islamic state replaced the seasoned statesman of a mixed kingdom; Hindus became subordinates, not colleagues, and the Marathas, like the southern Muslim kingdoms, were marked for annexation rather than containment. The first overt sign of change was the reimposition of the jizya, or poll tax, on non-Muslims in 1679 (a tax that had been abolished by Akbar). This in turn was followed by a Rajput revolt in 1680–81, supported by Aurangzeb’s third son, Akbar. Hindus still served the empire, but no longer with enthusiasm. The Deccan kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda were conquered in 1686–87, but the insecurity that followed precipitated a long-incipient economic crisis, which in turn was deepened by warfare with the Marathas. Shivaji’s son Sambhaji was captured and executed in 1689 and his kingdom broken up. The Marathas, however, then adopted guerrilla tactics, spreading all over southern India amid a sympathetic population. The rest of Aurangzeb’s life was spent in laborious and fruitless sieges of forts in the Maratha hill country.

    Aurangzeb’s absence in the south prevented him from maintaining his former firm hold on the north. The administration weakened, and the process was hastened by pressure on the land by Mughal grantees who were paid by assignments on the land revenue. Agrarian discontent often took the form of religious movements, as in the case of the Satnamis and the Sikhs in the Punjab. In 1675 Aurangzeb arrested and executed the Sikh Guru (spiritual leader) Tegh Bahadur, who had refused to embrace Islam; the succeeding Guru, Gobind Singh, was in open rebellion for the rest of Aurangzeb’s reign. Other agrarian revolts, such as those of the Jats, were largely secular.

    In general, Aurangzeb ruled as a militant orthodox Sunni Muslim; he put through increasingly puritanical ordinances that were vigorously enforced by muḥtasibs, or censors of morals. The Muslim confession of faith, for instance, was removed from all coins lest it be defiled by unbelievers, and courtiers were forbidden to salute in the Hindu fashion. In addition, Hindu idols, temples, and shrines were often destroyed.

    स्रोत : www.britannica.com

    part2_15

    XV. Aurangzeb

    *The Eastern Borders* == *The Northwestern Frontier* == *The Sikhs* == *The Marathas* == *Religious Policy* == *The East India Company* == *The Enigma of Aurangzeb's Purposes*

    [[189]] AURANGZEB, the third son of Shah Jahan, was born on October 24, 1618, at Dohad, on the frontier of Gujarat and Rajputana. Industrious and thorough, he had distinguished himself as an able administrator during the years that he spent in the Deccan and other provinces of the empire. He was also a fearless soldier and a skillful general, and because of the hostile influence at court of his brother Dara, he had had to learn all the tactics of diplomacy. As emperor, he ruled more of India than any previous monarch, but in a court that had become a byword for luxury, he lived a life of austere piety. Yet of all India's rulers, few pursued policies that have excited more controversy among successive generations. In large measure, this is the result of his religious policies, for it was these that have colored men's evaluation of his reign.

    Even as a young man, Aurangzeb was known for his devotion to the Muslim religion and observance of Islamic injunctions, and in some of his letters written during the struggle for the succession he claimed that he was acting "for the sake of the true faith and the peace of the realm." As soon as he was securely on the throne, he introduced reforms which could make his dominion a genuine Muslim state. After his second (and formal) coronation on June 5, 1659, he issued orders which were calculated to satisfy orthodoxy. He appointed censors of public morals in all important cities to enforce Islamic law, and he tried to put down such practices as drinking, gambling, and prostitution. He forbade the cultivation of narcotics throughout the empire, and in 1664 he issued his first edict forbidding sati or the self-immolation of women on funeral pyres. He also repeatedly denounced the castration of children so they could be sold as eunuchs. In the economic sphere he showed a determined opposition to all illegal exactions and to all taxes which were not authorized by Islamic law. Immediately after his second coronation he abolished the inland transport duty, which amounted to ten percent [[190]] of the value of goods, and the octroi on all articles of food and drink brought into the cities for sale.

    Although these measures were partly responsible for Aurangzeb's later financial difficulties, they were popular with the people. But gradually the emperor's puritanism began to manifest itself, and steps were taken which were not so universally approved. In 1668 he forbade music at his court and, with the exception of the royal band, he pensioned off the large number of state musicians and singers. The festivities held on the emperor's birthday, including the custom of weighing him against gold and silver, were discontinued, and the mansabdars were forbidden to offer him the usual presents. The ceremony of darshan, or the public appearance of the emperor to the people, was abandoned in 1679.

    During the long struggle for the throne, the central authority had tended to lose administrative control over the distant parts of the empire; and after he had defeated his rivals, Aurangzeb started to reorganize the civil government. He had used the need of revitalizing the instruments of imperial power as a justification for his seizure of the throne, and his intention of making good his promise was soon felt throughout the empire./1/ The provincial governors began to expand the borders of the empire, and local authorities, who had grown accustomed to ignoring orders from Agra, the imperial capital, discovered that the new regime could act swiftly against them.

    The Eastern Borders

    Aurangzeb's earliest conquests were in the eastern parts of the empire. In the years when he had been fighting with his brothers for the throne, the Hindu rulers of Cooch Behar and Assam, taking advantage of the disturbed conditions in the empire, had invaded the imperial dominions. For three years they were not attacked, but in 1660 the time came for restitution. Mir Jumla, the viceroy of Bengal, was ordered to recover the lost territories. He started from Dacca in November, 1661, and occupied the capital of Cooch Behar after a few weeks. The kingdom was annexed, and the Muslim army left for [[191]] Assam. The capital of the Ahom kingdom was reached on March 17, 1662, and the raja was forced to sign a humiliating treaty.

    The Mughals received a heavy tribute, and annexed some forts and towns in the cultivated districts near the frontier of Bengal, but their army had suffered great hardships. The aged Mir Jumla died on his way back to Dacca, and was succeeded as viceroy by Shayista Khan. The new viceroy took action against the Arakan pirates who, with the help of Portuguese adventurers and their half-caste offspring, had made the area unsafe. They carried their depredations to Dacca, the provincial capital. "As these raids continued for a long time, Bengal became day by day more desolated. Not a house was left inhabited on either side of the rivers lying on the pirates' track from Chittagong to Dacca."/2/ Shayista Khan made thorough preparations, built a powerful flotilla, won over some of the European collaborators of the pirates by inviting them to Dacca, and in January, 1666, attacked the king of Arakan. He captured the island of Sondip in the Bay of Bengal, and after defeating the Arakanese fleet, compelled the king of Arakan to cede Chittagong, the pirates' stronghold. Chittagong, which was renamed Islamabad, proved a valuable addition to the empire.

    स्रोत : www.columbia.edu

    READ: Mughal Empire (article)

    1.3: Expanding to a Global Scale

    READ: Mughal Empire

    Created by World History Project.

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    The article below uses “Three Close Reads”. If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

    First read: preview and skimming for gist

    Before you read the article, you should skim it first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the article is about. You should be looking at the title, author, headings, pictures, and opening sentences of paragraphs for the gist.

    Second read: key ideas and understanding content

    Now that you’ve skimmed the article, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the article. Keep in mind that when you read the article, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you see in the article that is unfamiliar to you.

    By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:

    Looking at the map, what do you notice about the changing shape and size of the Mughal Empire in the years leading up to 1750?

    What groups or classes of people were the most important supporters of Mughal rule?

    Like other empires, the Mughal Empire had lots of different communities. How did it successfully rule all of these groups until the mid-eighteenth century?

    According to the article, what was the role of the Mughal Empire in the global economy?

    What internal challenges did the Mughal emperors face in 1750?

    What external challenges did the Mughal emperors face in 1750?

    Third read: evaluating and corroborating

    Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this article matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.

    At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:

    Based on the evidence in this article, what aspects of the Mughal Empire in 1750 seem unique or distinctive, and what aspects seem to be part of a wider global pattern?

    If you could ask the author for one more piece of information about the Mughal Empire—that isn’t included in this article—what would it be?

    Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to read! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished reading.

    The Mughal Empire

    Whitney Howarth

    The religiously diverse Mughal Empire is partly responsible for what’s in your spice rack. This was one of the wealthiest and most peaceful empires the world has ever known. Until it wasn’t.

    An empire in fragments

    The South Asian subcontinent—modern India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan— is part of the Eurasian landmass. Like Europe, it has a long history of big empires and small states. In 1750, it was mostly governed through a loose confederation of powerful princely states

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    start superscript, 1, end superscript

    and rich port cities. Once upon a time, the subcontinent had been dominated by the mighty Mughal Empire. But in the eighteenth century, the control held by the Mughals had begun to change for two reasons. First, growing internal divisions led to rival groups challenging the central government of the declining empire. Second, European merchants and governments started looking for ways to get some of the empire's wealth. Technically, the empire would survive until 1858. In reality, these two changes amplified each other and had already created a major crisis for the Mughal rulers in 1750.

    This map details the growth of the Mughal Empire under three of its rulers, Babur, Akbar, and Aurangzeb. By Santosh.mbahrm, CC BY-SA 3.0.

    Networks of trade and bureaucracy

    The Mughals were a Muslim dynasty who ruled over a majority Hindu population. By 1750, they had dominated much of South Asia for several centuries. Muslims were already living in India when the Mughals first arrived. During Mughal rule, Muslims averaged only about 15 percent of the population. For most of their era of dominance, however, Mughal rule was generally tolerant of all of the religions of the region. That policy created enough social stability to ensure healthy business, investment, and trade.

    The Mughals had built their empire by making good use of India's resources, developing its production capacity, and supporting a very rich Muslim-dominated trade system in the Indian Ocean. India was at the center of a global market for goods in which Muslims, from many backgrounds and regions, were the principal dealers. Muslims across the Indian Ocean benefitted by having a common language (Arabic), a common set of ethical codes, and a shared tradition of commercial practices.

    Portrait of navigator Vasco da Gama, from the c.1565 compendium, Livro de Lisuarte de Abreu (Pierpont Morgan Library, M.525). Public domain.

    South Asia had an important place in this system. While most of the population farmed foods such as rice, Mughal India had a thriving manufacturing industry, producing a massive quantity of hand-loom textiles for the Indian Ocean economy. The trade in cotton and silk fabrics had brought great wealth to India as early as the fifth century BCE (during the Roman Empire). High demand for these items had attracted traders from as far as China in the East and Persia in the West. Yet this wealth made the region a target for competitive rivals.

    स्रोत : www.khanacademy.org

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