Year 8

The Mughal empire in the 17th century

I can explain the development of the Mughal Empire during the 17th century.

Year 8

The Mughal empire in the 17th century

I can explain the development of the Mughal Empire during the 17th century.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb ruled the Mughal Empire for most of the 17th century.
  2. Shah Jahan contributed significantly to Mughal architecture.
  3. The Mughal Empire reached its maximum extent during the reign of Aurangzeb.
  4. Expansion and conflict made the empire increasingly costly to maintain.
  5. Rebellions increasingly destabilised the Mughal Empire by the late 17th century.

Common misconception

Expansion of an empire always means that is growing stronger.

As the Mughal Empire expanded, the costs of maintaining its rule across India also increased and new tensions were created with groups who lost out from extended Mughal control.


  • Destabilised - a government or country is destabilised when it begins to lose power and control

  • Guru - a guru is a religious leader in the Sikh religion

  • Discrimination - discrimination involves treating a person or particular group of people in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of characteristics like their race or religion

  • Martyr - a martyr is a person who suffers very much or is killed because of their religious or political beliefs; they are often admired because of this suffering

To engage further with the enquiry question, students could be asked what caused more problems for Aurangzeb: his religious policies or his use of violence. Students can discuss in pairs and may be encouraged to consider links between the two issues.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains distressing content.
  • Contains conflict or violence.


Adult supervision recommended.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

Before Akbar abolished it, non-Muslims paid the tax in the Mughal Empire.
Correct Answer: jizya
Under Akbar's rule, religious debates were held at the...
Correct Answer: Ibadat Khana, ibadat khana
What was the Akbarnama?
A new tax system introduced by Akbar.
The official name for the religious debates Akbar held.
Correct answer: A chronicle of Akbar's reign.
There was a risk that religious could lead to a serious rebellion in the Mughal Empire.
Correct Answer: intolerance
When Akbar became emperor the systems of the Mughal Empire were chaotic.
Correct Answer: taxation, tax
Why was the dahsala an improvement on the Mughal Empire's old taxation system?
Correct answer: It was more efficient
It taxed more people.
Correct answer: It was more reliable.
It taxed all non-Muslims.

6 Questions

Aurangzeb's royal name 'Alamgir' meant...
'restorer of faith'
'leader of men'
Correct answer: 'conqueror of the world'
Which Deccan state resisted the Mughal Empire most strongly?
Correct answer: The Marathas
The Mughal-Maratha war led to the deaths of over million soldiers in the Mughal army.
Correct Answer: 2.5, two and a half
In the late seventeenth century a rebellion broke out against Aurangzeb's attempt to take over the Rajput kingdom of...
Correct Answer: Marwar
Aurangzeb reintroduced the tax.
Correct Answer: jizya
Which religious group was mistreated by Aurangzeb in the late seventeenth century?
Correct answer: Sikhs

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