The Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century was a pivotal period in Indian history marked by a complex blend of political, cultural, and economic developments. It’s a period that has intrigued historians, scholars, and aspiring civil servants for decades. When it comes to the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Mains examination, the History optional subject is a popular choice for candidates who wish to delve deep into India’s rich historical past. In this blog series, we’ll embark on a journey through time, specifically exploring the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century. We’ll not only analyze the key events, rulers, and cultural shifts during this period but also delve into the realm of UPSC Mains preparation, as we examine previous year questions from 2013 to 2023. This guide aims to provide aspirants with a comprehensive understanding of the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century, all while offering valuable insights into the type of questions they might encounter in the examination.
The Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century offers a fascinating backdrop for historical analysis, considering it was an era of great transition and turmoil. As candidates prepare for the UPSC Mains, having a deep understanding of this period’s intricacies is crucial for acing the History optional subject. By examining previous year questions, we’ll uncover the specific themes and aspects that the UPSC often focuses on. This blog series will serve as a valuable resource, offering aspirants the opportunity to not only gain historical knowledge but also to refine their exam strategy. So, whether you’re a seasoned history enthusiast or just beginning your UPSC journey, join us as we unravel the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century through the lens of UPSC Mains previous year questions, paving the way for a more informed and well-prepared approach to this challenging examination.
Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century History – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; The Empire and the Zamlndars; Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; Nature of the Mughal State; Late Seventeenth century crisis and the revolts; The Ahom Kingdom; Shivajl and the early Maratha Kingdom.
1. Analyse the religious policy of the Mughal emperors from Akbar to Aurangzeb. How did it affect the stability of the Mughal empire? (1985)
2. What were the major features of the administrative system of the Mughal State? To what extent did other Indian powers model their administration on this system in the late medieval period? (1991)
3. “Aurangzeb is a much maligned monarch.” Argue the case for and against the proposition. (1994)
4. Changes in the composition of nobility from Akbar to Aurangzeb. Comment. (1995)
5. Write brief essay on Nurjahan. (1998)
6. Write brief essay – Spanish ulcer ruined Napolean Bonaparte, the Deccan ulcer ruined Aurangzeb. (1999)
7. Describe the Rajput policy of the Mughal emperors. Do you agree with the view that the reversal of Akbar’s Rajput policy by Aurangzeb was responsible for the disintegration of the Mughal empire? (2000)
8. ‘Akbar built the Mughal Empire by enlisting the support of the Rajputs, Aurangzeb destroyed it by alienating the Rajputs.’ Do you agree? (2003)
9. In what ways were Aurangzeb’s Rajput and religious policies different from those of his predecessors? What were the consequences of the changes made by him? (2004)
10. Write brief essay on Dara Shikoh. (2006)
11. “Akbar built the Mughal Empire by enlisting the support of the Rajputs, Aurangzeb destroyed it by alienating the Rajputs.” Discuss critically. (2007)
12. “The major causes of revolts against the Mughal Empire during the latter half of the 17th century were economic, rather than religious.” Discuss. (2009)
13. How was Iqta system of the Sultans different from the Jagir system under the Mughals? (2014)
14. Identify the broad contours of the Mughal foreign policy and their impact on the Mughal empire. (2016)
15. Discuss the working of Zamindari System under the Mughal rulers. Also describe the role played by the Zamindars in the agrarian economy of Mughal India. (2018)
16. The late seventeenth century Mughal India is considered to be a period of Jagirdari crisis. Discuss. (2021)
The Ahom Kingdom
1. Write short essay on The Ahom Kingdom in 200 words. (2008)
2. Give a brief account of resistance offered by Ahom State against the Mughal rule. (2014)
Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom
1. Write short answer of not more than 200 words: Was Shivaji a nationalist leader? (1985)
2. Shivaji was a great organizer and builder of civil institutions, examine this statement in the light of the difficulties of administration and the extent of success achieved by him. (1992)
3. Shivaji’s rise to power cannot be treated as an isolated phenomenon in Maratha history. It was as much the result of his personal daring and heroism as of the peculiar geographical situation of the Deccan country and the unifying religious influences that were animating the people with new hopes and aspirations in the 15th and 16th centuries. Explain. (1996)
4. Examine circumstances leading to rise of Shivaji. Throw light on his legacy. (1999)
5. How did Shivaji organise his administration and finances to consolidate his power? (2010)
6. Give social background to the rise of the Maratha movement during the seventeenth century. (2012)
7. Shivaji was not merely a military conqueror but also was an enlighened ruler. Discuss. (2019)
8. Examine the sources of the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji with special reference to Shivabharat and Sabhasad Bakhar. (in 150 words) (2020)
FAQs on Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century
1. Who ruled India in the 17th century?
A: In the 17th century, India was primarily ruled by the Mughal Empire. This period saw the reign of notable Mughal emperors such as Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, who left a lasting impact on the subcontinent.
2. Can you provide a brief overview of the history of Mughal kings in the 17th century?
A: Certainly! In the 17th century, the Mughal Empire was ruled by Jahangir (1605-1627), who was succeeded by Shah Jahan (1628-1658) known for his architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal, and then Aurangzeb (1658-1707), whose rule saw both territorial expansion and decline.
3. What was the sequence of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century?
A: The Mughal Empire in the 17th century followed a sequence of emperors, starting with Jahangir, who was succeeded by Shah Jahan. After Shah Jahan, his son Aurangzeb ascended to the throne and ruled until the early 18th century, marking the closing years of the 17th century.
4. What major historical events characterized the Mughal Empire in the 17th century?
A: The 17th century in the Mughal Empire witnessed significant historical events, including the reign of Jahangir, the construction of iconic monuments during Shah Jahan’s rule, and the rise of Aurangzeb, known for his expansion and the subsequent decline of the empire.
5. How did the Mughal Empire’s power and influence change during the 17th century?
A: Throughout the 17th century, the Mughal Empire experienced both periods of expansion and decline. The empire reached its zenith under Akbar, and while it continued to be a dominant force, it faced challenges, particularly during the later years of Aurangzeb’s rule, which set the stage for significant transformations in the following centuries.
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