The rise and fall of the Mughal Empire
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HWH69
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
Until the late 1600s, the Muslim Mughal Emperors of India were by reputation promoters of peace, religious tolerance, and patrons of art, literature, science and architecture, leading to the creation of Persian influenced, iconic sites like the Lahore Fort and Taj Mahal. The era also witnessed a remarkable acceleration in the population growth of India and the expansion of India’s trading powers, and by the early 1700s India contributed approximately 25% of the global cloth trade. On this one-day workshop we will explore Mughal military innovations; administrative policies and the role of Hindus in Mughal administration; the myths and reality of the Emperors’ courts and lifestyle; science, culture and language; the significance of religion, religious tolerance and the rise of rival Indian powers; and the impact of European trading and political expansion, including the transference to British Crown rule in 1858. What led the last Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, to describe himself as ‘a handful of dust, that’s all?’.
What will we cover?
• Foundations: military and administrative expansion in northern India
• Trade & wealth: textile manufacturing, indigo, salt and tobacco
• Life at the court of the Mughal Emperors
• Culture: literature, language and architecture
• Science and the observatories
• Religion, religious tolerance and religious persecution
• Rival Empire builders: The Marathas, Europe & British expansion in India.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Evaluate the significance of military and administrative expansion by the Mughal Emperors in India
• Assess the contribution of the Mughal emperors to science & the arts
• Recognise the importance of religious tolerance, how it varied according to the policies implemented by different rulers, and the impact it had on social stability in India
• Evaluate the significance of the East India Company & expansion of European/British trading and political power in India on the Mughal Empire.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary – an open mind and a willingness to constructively engage in discussions and debates is all that is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through interactive class-based discussions and debates. You will be provided with access to Google Classroom, where you will find reading resources and a book reading list.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook/paper to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HWH65 Indian women and the Raj
Please also look in our global history and Asian history sections for more courses on empires and Asia.