Trade between Western Europe and the Mughal Empire in the 17th century - Wikipedia
Mughal empire, Portuguese India, political succession, dynastic crises, European . This long and complex relationship was characterized by the practice of a. Contact between Western Europe and the Mughal empire was put into practice in the very beginning of the 17th century. The Portuguese, English, and later on, the Dutch were the ones to trade with of the Mughal court, which strongly suggest the overuse of alcohol and its social connection within the people and castes. This was something objectionable under the rule of a Mughal, who was a devout Muslim. During the reign of Jahangir the Portuguese lifted two.
Evidence of that were the records and journals of the British East India company. Its employees often requested for wine supply for themselves and for gifts for the monarch.
It was used not only for special occasions but also as a regular act of just revering the emperor. Jahangir was the emperor who was the most associated to alcohol but all the rest of the Great Mughals appreciated it too, with the exception of Aurangzeb who loathed it.
Wine and alcohol in general was as well used for negotiations and, was therefore a very important part of the trading process. The implementation of trade on the local level in India and the various trading posts[ edit ] The trade in India was implemented mainly on the coast.
During the 17th century there were two big countries. The detrimental outcomes of the trade on the Mughal empire[ edit ] Two and a half centuries of trade between India and Western Europe led to the downfall of an initially agriculturally-orientated empire with strong military forces and tolerance towards its subjects and their different religious beliefs with the exception of Aurangzeb.
All three Islamic empires found either their collapse or a significant weakening by the 19th century.Siege of Mumbai 1689 (English EIC vs Mughal Empire)
European countries, however, were growing, expanding, developing, coming up with new movements, inventions, technology. Even though they were essentially separated by the Ottoman and Safavid empire, the common interest, the trade, helped Europe to permanently settle into the Indian lands.
The most comprehensive and clear sources about the Mughal empire were the factory records of the British East India company, which suggests that trade was the only way of communication between Western Europe and the Mughal empire. The trade was carried out by the same countries, only there were variations of the proportion of import for those countries, depending on what was going on at that time in Europe and on the alliances the countries tight themselves into.
The pattern of Globalization and World entanglement was traced in 17th century through trade. This way the European countries found their place in the Mughal empire, gradually gaining more power over the trade and, consequently, over the empire until the British colonized the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century.
The European language was primarily spread amongst coastal regions, in particular large trading centres and sometimes throughout big commercial towns which were based inland. References[ edit ] Primary Sources: Sources Of Global History. Houghton Mifflin Company, The Lives of Alcohol in Pre-colonial India: The Medieval History Journal ; 8; Francisco da Gama gave an order to kill the prince Murad, a son of Akbar who commanded the Mughal conquest of the Deccan Subrahmanyam Three decades later, as we will later find, the Count of Linhares entertained the constitution of a regional league to overthrow the emperor Shahjahan Flores Interestingly, these critical situations, marked by fratricidal struggles and great agitation in imperial provinces and capitals, were welcome to Goa.
Naturally such breaches needed to be explored and deepened. Given the physical debility of the emperor in that period in conjunction with the revolt by Prince Salim, the foreseeable matter of the succession was amply discussed between Goa and Lisbon at the turn of the sixteenth century. And seeing as for a few days he [Akbar] did not appear, the rumor of his sickness diffused, until it became common voice that he was dying.
Then the people got disturbed and started securing what was theirs, showing the works that will be when he truly does die. Outside the city the thieves began like owls and with the setting of the sun rose, killing and robbing all manner of people.
The King, knowing or guessing the situation, labored to appear at one of the windows during those hours at least once a day for a quarter of an hour, even if it harmed him. His secret enemies laid low; his friends showed much sentiment, some refusing to eat for days, others would not dine until the King made them, saying their troubles were nothing. This interesting episode did not take long to be included in the political correspondence exchanged between Goa and Lisbon.
III, and was readily anticipating the death of the Mughal emperor. In Decemberwhen the emperor was only 55 years old, D. Then the archbishop of Goa added: On the one hand, there is the idea that would come to be repeated countless times in the following years: Secondly, the reference to the enmity between the brothers Salim and Murad is linked to the disappointing results of the military campaign in the Deccan led by the latter. At the time, it was not yet known in Lisbon that Salim had revolted against his father.
However, in Goa attention was centered on the effects of the rebellion and on the awaited fragmentation of the empire as soon as Akbar expired.
Shah Jahan : Relations with Portuguese
I, — that we see a much richer and embedded vision of the imperial succession. Those texts reveal an Akbar nervous and quite insecure, persecuting an imaginary opposition and reacting without thought to the movements of his son.
Jahangir, who witnessed the successive deaths of his brothers and potential rivals, Daniyal and Murad, experienced a relatively smooth process of transition, which seemed a good omen for future succession scenarios Alam and Subrahmanyam The caveat however came later in the same year, with the emperor dealing with the revolt of his son Khusrau, who he rebuked in the most violent of fashions. Following a common practice in the empire, the sultan was blinded so he could not exercise power or seek to take it.
The following periods of transition could not be more turbulent. On 28 Octoberwhen Jahangir passed away in the vicinity of the city of Lahore, there were already various pretenders to the Mughal throne and the turmoil did not delay in arising.
In fact, the death of the emperor began a short period of three months dominated by widespread political instability. In this process the central role belonged to Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan and wazir chief fiscal minister of the empire Kumar So, given that the latter as governor of the Deccan was quite removed from Lahore and that it was necessary to neutralize Shahryar, Asaf Khan opted for an alternative solution that permitted him more time.
With the aid of a large part of the Mughal nobility, he proclaimed Dawar Bakhsh, the son of Khusrau also known as Bulaqi, to be emperor Flores and Subrahmanyam The words of Muhammad Sharif Hanafi are telling in this regard: Bulaqi was simply another ploy to avoid a power vacuum and subsequent chaos.
He was a mere expedient comparable to the staging displayed during the deaths of Babur or Humayun. He left immediately for Agra, but not without sending a farman imperial edict ordering Asaf Khan to eliminate Shahryar, Dawar Bakhsh and likewise, other possible candidates to the throne.
Shahjahan waited in the vicinity of Agra for the ideal moment to enter the city and on 3 February he was crowned emperor Saksena Later, after the death of the five princes in Januarya rumor was spread claiming the sultan Bulaqi had been spared and, as the legitimate heir to Jahangir, was preparing an army of rebels to dispute power with the usurper Shahjahan. The legend of Bulaqi tied together evident parallels with a conjunction of episodes that marked the history of India, even in the twentieth century, and the majority of the European travelers attributed to it certain glamour.
All the same in Goa, where they were receiving information about the presence of the sultan in diverse areas of the Mughal domain and even Safavid Persia, and where the matter turned into more than just a literary topic. Shahjahan was an orthodox Muslim, distant from the eclectic approach to religion cultivated by his father and grandfather and less prone to compromises with Europeans that intermixed with his empire.
Despite registering important variations Flores He made three such entries in the last trimester of The first register, on 11 October, shows the manner in which these rumors circulated and, with them, the earnest vivacity of the viceroy: The objective, it goes without saying, was to remove the Mughal emperor from power and place Bulaqi on the throne.
Yet the opportunity went up in smoke. The war of succession constituted a watershed moment in the history of Mughal India and consequently has captured the attention of many of the historians of the Mughal empire Sarkar Shahjahan designated his eldest son, Dara Shikoh, to succeed him.
Nevertheless, the remainder of his sons resolved to dispute his decision, each proclaiming himself emperor of the provinces he governed: The politico-military advantage fell to Aurangzeb, who executed Dara Shikoh for heresy in and Murad Bakhsh two years later.
Shahjahan was incarcerated in the Agra fort, where he spent his last days d. Again, the Portuguese rejoiced in the civil war ravaging the empire. It was, in the end, the history of all Mughal princes who fought for the throne as soon as they felt the authority of their father, the emperor, to be waning. The Jesuit explained that the Mughal princes never truly felt like brothers for they grew and lived apart from one another.
It is surely a valid interpretation, leading us to revisit the Turco-Mongol inheritance in the words of Stephen Dale: Later, Botelho commented on the conversation of Shahjahan with his sons on the eve of the conflict and restated the emblematic expression of Aurangzeb, which we adopted for the title of this article BL, Add. Furthermore, the figure of Aurangzeb — in large part due to his strict religious policy — caused deep tremors and critical images amongst the Portuguese.
In the turbulence continued: Linhares had tested this very strategy nearly seventy years before with Bulaqi. They were discreet and largely inoffensive conspiracies, probably remaining unknown to the emperors targeted. In Surat and London: Long Live the Emperor! The English attitude during these moments of political instability in Mughal India was diametrically opposed to the Portuguese one.
In the first place, it is important to analyze the reactions by the EIC agents in India. Such information was later sent to the headquarters of the Company in London. The unsettled succession of Jahangir inthat came to be a major preoccupation for both the EIC and the VOC factors in India, is a good starting point.
The Dutch, also established in Surat, found out about the death of the emperor in the early days of December They genuinely feared a plundering of the city and the commissioner Dirck van der Lee, who was at the time en route to the inspection of the trading posts in Gujarat, decided to place guards at the door of the factory. For their part the VOC agents in Agra still did not know, as of 19 November, if the emperor was simply sick or dying, or if he had in fact already died.
The streets became insecure and supplies very expensive Prakash The Dutch factors commented: What were the reactions of the English merchants?
Jahangir was still reigning feebly and the Surat agents were already foretelling the coup by Khurram. It was November and prince Parwez had died a little over a month ago. The merchandise could not be sold for it was not known who would reign, much to the lamentation of the agents of the factory in Agra in the last days of December.
Even though the ascension of Khurram constituted the most probable of events, rumors and veiled information arrived daily from Lahore EFI, vol. The people passionately disputed the succession and manifested their support for one or another candidate.
The same choice was made by the governor of Surat, who anticipated the succession by minting coins in the name of Shahjahan EFI, vol. Bulaqi was proclaimed emperor in Lahore: In the early days of January, James Slade noted that the succession had not yet been settled and that, for an empire of that dimension, it was admirable that the cities were so calm.
But even this Englishman suspected that it was all a well-disguised strategy: According to some letters received from Ajmer, Khurram had already entered Agra and even reconciled himself with Bulaqi. He gave him his daughter in marriage and entrusted him with the governance of the province of Bhakkar, commanding an army of 40, horsemen.
The same English merchants claimed that many of the Rajputs were known to be on the side of Khurram. They also give account of a revealing dialogue between Asaf Khan and Amanullah Khan-i Zaman, a prominent Mughal noble who genuinely favored Bulaqi.
Asaf Khan defended himself arguing that he made him King but Bulaqi readily spent too much money and was too young to govern such a large empire. Amanullah Khan-i Zaman then went to a meeting with Bulaqi. To avoid the worst, he said, Bulaqi should place himself under his permanent protection and he counseled him to be more frugal in his expenses and his gift giving EFI, vol.
The English did not wait to hear of the death of Bulaqi and the other princes. The agents of Agra reveal that on 17 February The following day the agents in Ahmadabad inform the Company in Surat. Perusing the English documentation relative to the war of succession brings us to much the same conclusion. The account of the factor of the Company in Agra regarding the supposed death of Shahjahan towards the end of is a relevant example: At the beginning ofShahjahan already being a prisoner of Aurangzeb, Surat informed London about the political situation in the Hindustan: They reacted identically in late when the rumor raged in the empire concerning the death of Aurangzeb: The trying moments of dynastic transition in the Mughal empire are analyzed by the representatives of the EIC using a predominantly mercantile logic: Here lies, independent of its nationality, the language used by the European merchant in Timurid India: However, one should perhaps be cautious regarding an oversimplified and somewhat static and uniform view of this question.
Yet other Londoners, without knowing the fluctuations of the dealings of the Company, also looked wearily on the prospect of civil war within the imperial Mughal domains, for other reasons.
To understand the far-reaching consequences of such a phenomenon, it is necessary to study other types of texts, not the commercial correspondence from the EIC. This position found a strong reverberation amongst other western authors, molding the European discourse relative to the Mughal empire and its political regime for a long period of time, and has been interpreted as a warning against the excesses of the absolutist monarchies in Europe, particularly against the tyrannical temptations of Louis XIV r.
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As Sylvia Murr has stressed, Aurangzeb, being indubitably a tyrant — though one cannot escape such a label when one governs an empire which is structurally so — does not exclude Bernier from considering him a great politician and king: Reason of State prevails and Machiavellian political realism is present and noted, for the real tyrant is he who maintains himself in power without having the qualities to wield it, not one who is a gifted ruler and has the abilities to assure political stability in his reign.
In truth, Bernier himself offers Dryden the adaptation of his book: Aureng-Zebe, or the Great Mogul was presented for the first time in November at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, a theater inaugurated inwhich quickly became a reference for the Restoration drama. The text was published in under a slightly different title — Aureng-Zebe, A tragedy — and five more editions followed before the end of the century,e On stage, the play would not be performed again in the seventeenth century, but, in exchange, became somewhat popular in the first three decades of the following century: But the relative success of Aureng-Zebe may also be a consequence of the English political panorama at the time.
Dryden appears particularly interested in applying lessons learned from the turbulent dynastic transitions in Turco-Mongol Asia to the political circumstances of his own country. In a short article, L. Advised by his astrologers of the danger to his life, the Safavid emperor temporarily abandoned power for expediency: The true emperor later returned to his throne confident of his safety Martin But Dryden prefers to identify him as Aurangzeb, imagining the future Mughal emperor unjustly imprisoned by his father and brother Morat, i.
Murad Bakhsh and calmly awaiting the inevitable execution. Aurangzeb laments, at the beginning of the final act: Taken as a whole, Aureng-Zebe has merited the attention given it by scholars of seventeenth century English drama inter alia, Alssid ; Newmanbut there are also contributions by specialists of south Asia to consider as well Bhattacharya What prevails is the analysis of the dramatic method and other formal aspects of the play; the characterization of the protagonists especially the women — Nourmahal, Indamora, Melesinda and Zayda ; and the interpretation of Aureng-Zebe as a metaphor for the political reality of Restoration England.
- Trade between Western Europe and the Mughal Empire in the 17th century