The Mughal empire was established by Babur, a Mughal prince. When Babur swept down out of the valleys of Central Asia to conquer India, he was only one of a long line of such conquerors through history. However, his descendants, the Mughal emperors, built a long-lasting empire that ruled much of the subcontinent until 1868, and that continues to impact the culture of India to this day.
Europe bought many Asian goods such as cotton and textiles. European traders traded the goods they brought for Indian manufactured items like cotton textiles; Indian textile trade was extremely important; cotton cloth, calico, chintz, and muslin were popular; textiles from India were cheap and could easily be washed; textiles popular among working and middles classes throughout Europe; nice Indian cloth was in fashion among royals in Europe. Millets, oilseeds, hemp, chili, cotton, indigo, and sugarcane were among cash crops. Improvement of transport and communication systems occurred during this period.
Indian cotton textile
Hinduism- (majority of empire) has no single founder; the Vedas were commonly accepted as sacred texts that consisted of poems, hymns, prayers, and rituals; Upanishads believed that a divine force was advising the whole world, that the human soul was part of Brahman (the World Soul), that the goal of humankind was union with Brahman; samsara (rebirth/reincarnation) is central to beliefs of Hinduism; karma was also believed to give way to a birth to a higher class; dharma stressed meditation and the study of the inner self, and demands thought of moral consequences Islam- (20%) Muhammad was the prophet; Muhammad left o Medina- celebrated by Muslims as the hijira; means “submission” looking to Islam’s main idea of submitting to the will of God; Five Pillars practiced (daily prayer, fasting during Ramadan, pilgrimage, charity, and confession of faith)
The many gods of Hinduism.
Symbol of Islam
Strong division in empire was due to Hinduism and Islam; Akbar encouraged social reforms; reforms included creating living places for the beggars and vagabonds; public works mainly favored by Muslim elites; widow remarriage was encouraged by Akbar as well as the discouragement of child marriages. Women’s position in the Mughal court improved in the middle of the Mughal empire; everywhere else in India women’s position declined. Child marriage was common. Seclusion of women became more strict among Hindus as Muslims. Muslim women almost never left their homes unveiled, and if they did they would be punished. Dowry for women to be married caused birth of girls to be seen as unfortunate while the birth of a son was celebrated. Muslim rulers did not interfere with old system of villages; state was involved very little with village life. Polygamy and divorce often occurred among the upper classes
Muslim women wearing full covering known as a burqa.
Hospitals existed in Mughal India with a small amount of local physicians. Vaccination against small pox was introduced by Eastern doctors. Literature was written such as: The Ramayana and the Hindu epic. Hindu and Islamic astronomical techniques were combined. Humayun constructed a observatory close to Delhi.
Arts and Architecture
Paintings could show influence slightly like the depiction of halos and cherubs or influence could also be shown more heavily such as religious themes like Christianity. Detailed structures were built such as: the tomb of Itimad al-Dowleh at Agra, the Red Fort at Delhi, and Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra. Mughal architecture incorporates Persian and Hindu influence
The Red Fort
Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra
Borders extend to north and central India. Centered around the Indus River, the Ganges River, and the Jumna River. Bay of Bengal is along the east coast. Arabian Sea is along the west coast. Indian Ocean is to the south coast. Climate varied from tropical monsoon in the south and temperate in the north. Plains in the south, flat and rolling plains along the Ganges River, Himalayas in the north, and desert in the west.