Are you an aspiring civil servant preparing for the UPSC Mains examination with history as your optional subject? If so, you’re in the right place! The UPSC Mains examination is a rigorous test of knowledge and analytical skills, and selecting the right optional subject is crucial. For history enthusiasts, delving into the pages of the past can be a fascinating journey, and one of the most intriguing periods in history is the Eighteenth Century. To help you ace this subject, we’ve compiled a treasure trove of previous year questions from 2013 to 2023, specifically focused on the Eighteenth Century. In this blog series, we’ll explore the historical nuances and key topics of this era, allowing you to delve deep into the past and enhance your understanding of this significant period. So, let’s embark on a historical voyage as we decipher the mysteries of the Eighteenth Century through the lens of the UPSC Mains examination!
The Eighteenth Century was a time of great social, political, and cultural transformations, both in India and across the world. It marked the decline of mighty empires, the rise of colonial powers, and the birth of revolutionary ideas. As history is often said to be the mirror of the future, understanding this pivotal century’s dynamics is essential for any aspiring civil servant. In this series, we will not only provide you with a comprehensive collection of previous year questions, but we’ll also offer insights, tips, and valuable resources to help you master this subject. By the end of this journey, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any question related to the Eighteenth Century in the UPSC Mains examination and shine as a historian in the making. Let’s embark on this exciting adventure into the annals of history.
The Eighteenth Century History – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire; The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan. Bengal. Awadh; Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas; The Maratha fiscal and financial system; Emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat: 1761; State of political, cultural and economic, on the eve of the British conquest.
1. Account for the rise of the Marathas as a political power. How did they influence the course of history? (1986)
2. Write short answer of not more than 200 words: Structure and role of the Maratha Confederacy. (1987)
3. “The expansion of Mughal empire in Deccan brought about its decline.” Discuss. (1988)
4. Write brief essay: Third Battle of Panipat. (1998)
5. Were the Marathas restricted by their geopolitical limitations from becoming the paramount power of India? (2001)
6. Write brief essay on Savai Jai Singh the astronomer. (2001)
7. Write brief essay on Consequences of the Third Battle of Panipat. (2002)
8. Write brief essay on Chauth and Sardeshmukhi. (2003)
9. Write brief essay on the system of the collection of Chauth and Sardeshmukhi by the Maratha rulers. (2004)
10. How would you like to characterize the eighteenth century in Indian history? (2005)
11. Write brief essay on Chauth and Sardeshmukhi of the Maratha rulers. (2007)
12. What are the distinguishing components of the debate on “The Eighteenth Century”? (2008)
13. Discuss the causes of the rise and growth of regional kingdoms with special reference to the Deccan in the 18th century.(2011)
14. How was the Afghan nobility responsible for the decline of the Afghan empires? Discuss. (2012)
15. Compare the Peshwas’ bureaucratic management with that of the Imperial Mughal administration. (2015)
16. Do you think that the agrarian crisis of the 17th century led to the disintegration of the Mughal empire? Discuss. (2016)
17. Was it the weakening of the Mughal empire or the rise of regional power that led to British conquest of India? Discuss. (2016)
18. Is it true that the court intrigues and weak revenue system led to the collapse of the Maratha empire? Comment. (2016)
19. “The political disintegration was responsible for the socio- economic decline in India during the 18th century.” Comment. (2017)
20.How will you view the Maratha policy of expansion? Delineate. (2017)
21. “The Afghan invasions in the Eighteenth Century not only signified the military irrelevance of the Mughal Empire but also hastened its decline”. Explain. (2018)
22. “It was as much the court intrigues as also the defiance of the provincial powers that hastened the decline of the Mughals in the 18th Century. Comment. (2019)
23. Critically evaluate history of the Eighteenth century India with reference to culture and economy. (2020)
24. How far is it justified to consider the states like Bengal, Awadh and Hyderabad as ‘successor states’ of the Mughal state? (2021)
FAQs on The Eighteenth Century
Q: What were the major political developments in 18th-century India?
A: The 18th century was a period of significant political change in India. The emergence of powerful regional kingdoms, the decline of the Mughal Empire, and the establishment of European colonial powers marked this era. These political shifts set the stage for India’s complex political landscape in the subsequent centuries.
Q: How did the decline of the Mughal Empire influence political formations in the 18th century?
A: The gradual weakening of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century had a profound impact on India’s political landscape. It led to the rise of regional powers, including the Marathas, Sikhs, and various nawabs and independent kingdoms, who asserted their autonomy and control over their respective territories.
Q: What role did European colonial powers play in the political dynamics of 18th-century India?
A: European colonial powers, particularly the British, French, and Portuguese, played a crucial role in shaping 18th-century India’s political formations. They established their trading posts, forts, and ultimately, colonial rule in various parts of the subcontinent, often influencing local politics and establishing client states.
Q: How did social and cultural factors interact with political formations in the 18th century?
A: The 18th century in India was not just about political transformations but also witnessed significant social and cultural changes. Movements like the Bhakti and Sufi movements, as well as the growing influence of European ideas, had an impact on the political climate. Understanding these intersections is crucial to grasp the complete picture of the era.
Q: What were the key challenges and conflicts that defined political formations in 18th-century India?
A: The 18th century was marked by various conflicts and challenges, including wars of succession, conflicts between regional powers, and battles against European colonial forces. These conflicts often had a profound impact on the political landscape and contributed to the complexity of the era.
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