Centralized Government:
The political system in the Mughal Empire was very well organized. When the Mughal Empire came to power each area was individually run and kept separate from the other areas. The great ruler, Akbar, started a centralized government. A centralized government was easier to control and administer. This government was so successful that it was used until the nineteenth century.
-The emperor was the center of the government in the Mughal Empire. He was the supreme head of state, commander-in-chief of the army, and the chief judge in all disagreements. Whatever the emperor decided could not be challenged. The emperor's main jobs were to be responsible for diplomacy and foreign affairs. The emperor still needed some help to control his enormous empire. His administration was broken into four parts, each supervised by a minister. The section were Diwan, the department of finances and taxes, Mir Bakshi, the section of military affairs and state intelligence, Mir Saman, the group who ran the royal household, looked after factories, stores, roads, and trade, Qazi, which took care of legal and religious affairs.
- The government was separated even further into provinces, called subans. These subans were run the same way as the central government with the four different administrative sections. The heads of the administration all reported directly to the emperor, so they had to do there job well, or the Mansab would lose their job, and possibly their life.
During the rule of Akbar the higher ranks of the government were mainly filled with "nonnative Muslims," but there were still many lower positions and even some important positions filled by Hindus. These Officials were paid for their work at first, but later were given pieces of land, which were farmed by the peasants. These officials were called "zamindars" and recieved a portion of the taxes that the peasants paid for the land.

The Mansbdar System
The Mansabdar system was very important to the Mughal Empire. It was a system that helped control the empire, conquer new territories and gain money and manpower. Mansabs were officers of the state or that had some type of high rank. They were often provincial governors, had top administrative posts, were military commanders, or recruited and trained the army. A main
job that the Mansabs had was to provide troops for imperial service. There were grades of officer depending on the amount of troops that they were in charge of. The amount of troops that a Mansab was responsible for ranged from 20 to 10,000, but 7,000 to 10,000 troops was a title reserved for royalty. The emperor was responsible to appoint Mansabs, promote them and
dismiss them. The emperor also made sure to never keep a Mansab in one place for too long. If a Mansab was not moved often, they might build up local support and try to rebel against the emperor.
The Mughal army consisted of infantry soldiers who were equipped with things such as muskets and cannons. Elephants were also very important in the army, because they helped transport everything. The army traveled with a portable city with animals, equipment, supplies, workshops, offices and a traveling bazaar. The army was very respected and was also quite successful.

Law and Order
Like the government of the Mughals, their system of justice was also very well organized. For criminal cases there were judges, called qazis who ruled by the Islamic law of Shari'ah. For cases concerning financial matters, religious affairs and other general cases, the Panchayat, a council of elders would make the ruling. The emperor also had his own court where he held audiences who would present grievances. On Wednesdays he would make his rulings and have punishments such as fines, imprisonment, whippings, blindings and executions. (1)

The Political system in the Mughal empire was very succesful, and has had many influences on the present. The government being used in India now is more democratic, but still has some absolute power and split responsibilty for different areas.

Impact of the British:
The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese who established a monopoly over regional trade in the Indian Ocean but did not look to expand into the subcontinent. By the end of the 16th Century the English and the Dutch had arrived and all 3 powers were competing for trading rights in India.
When the English first arrived at Surat in 1608 requests for trading privileges were denied by the Emperor Jahangir. This was at the hands of the Portuguese advisers who had already acquired seating in the imperial court. The English needed the lightweight Indian cloth to trade for Spices in the East Indies and in 1616 they were finally allowed to install a ambassador at the imperial court in Agra. Three years later the first English factory was established in Surat.
Another factory was added at Fort William on the Hoogly River. From here the English ships carried Indian-made cotton goods to the East Indies. They used them to barter for spices that were shipped back to England. Tensions arose between local authorities and the English over the payment of taxes and they were expelled from India after a war in 1686, Aurangzeb permitted them to return.

The Rivalries:

The English success attracted rivals like the Dutch and the French. The Dutch had abandoned their interests to concentrate on Spice Trade in the middle of the 17th century but the French were more persistent and established factories of their own. Under Joseph Francois Dupleix the French began to compete successfully with the British. But this didn’t last long due to the fact. that the refusal of the French Government to provide financial support for the efforts eventually left the French with their single port at Pondicherry and a handful of small territories on the southeastern coast.

Robert Clive and British Power:

Clive began to consolidate British control in Bengal where the local ruler had attacked Fort William and imprisoned the local British population in the Black Hole of Calcutta.
A turn of power came in 1757 when British force of three thousand defeated a Mughal army over ten times that size in the battle of Plassey. As a result the British East India Company removed itself from the decrepit Mughal Court. Less then 10 years later British Forces seized the reigning Mughal Emperor and the British began to consolidate their economic and administrative control over Indian territory using the now powerless Mughal court.


The expansion of the East India Company was designed to seek guaranteed revenues to pay for increasingly expensive military operations in India. Historians see it as a major step in the gradual transfer of the entire Indian subcontinent to the British East India Company and the British Crown

Economic Difficulties:
The company’s takeover of vast landholdings was a disaster for the Indian Economy. It resulted in the transfer of capital from the local Indian aristocracy to company officials who often sent their profits back to Britain. Secondly it advanced the destruction of once healthy local industries because British goods such as machine made textiles were imported duty-free into India and competed against local products. Lastly this expansion hurt the peasants. A law was applied which allowed the lands of those unable to pay taxes to be confiscated. In the 1770’s massive famines led to the death of one-third of the population in the areas under company administration. They attempted to resolve the problem by assigning tax lands to local revenue collectors, but this backfired when many collectors fell into bankruptcy and sold their lands while the landless peasants remained in abject poverty.