Discuss briefly the Mughal-Maratha relations in the seventeenth Century

Mughal-Maratha relations in the seventeenth century were marked by a complex interplay of cooperation, conflict, and shifting alliances.

Here is a brief overview of their relations during this period: 

  1. Early Cooperation: In the early seventeenth century, the Mughals and the Marathas initially maintained a cooperative relationship. Emperor Akbar had recognized the Maratha leader Shivaji’s authority and granted him a jagir (land grant). However, conflicts soon arose over issues of control and taxation. 
  1. Clash and Conflict: Tensions escalated in the late seventeenth century. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb sought to assert his authority over the Deccan region, which included Maratha territories. This led to multiple military campaigns and clashes between the Mughals and the Marathas. 
  1. Guerrilla Warfare: The Marathas, under the leadership of Shivaji and later his son Sambhaji, adopted guerrilla warfare tactics to resist Mughal expansion. They utilized their knowledge of the terrain and employed hit-and-run tactics, making it difficult for the Mughal forces to achieve a decisive victory. 
  1. Treaty of Purandar: In 1665, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between the Mughals and Shivaji. According to the treaty, Shivaji accepted Mughal suzerainty and agreed to serve as a Mughal vassal. However, Shivaji’s subsequent escape from Mughal captivity strained the relationship further. 
  1. Maratha Confederacy: Following Shivaji’s death in 1680, the Marathas established a confederacy under the leadership of the Peshwas. The confederacy sought to expand its influence and challenge Mughal authority in the Deccan. 
  1. Mughal-Maratha Wars: The Mughal-Maratha conflicts continued throughout the seventeenth century and into the early eighteenth century. The Marathas, under the leadership of various Peshwas, launched successful military campaigns and gradually expanded their territories, often at the expense of Mughal control. 
  1. Balance of Power: The Mughal-Maratha conflicts resulted in a shifting balance of power. The Marathas emerged as a significant regional power, asserting their influence in the Deccan and expanding their control over large territories. The Mughals, on the other hand, faced challenges in maintaining their dominance and struggled to effectively govern their vast empire. 

In summary, Mughal-Maratha relations in the seventeenth century were characterized by a mix of cooperation, conflict, and shifting power dynamics. While early cooperation gave way to clashes and wars, the Marathas emerged as a formidable force, challenging Mughal authority and expanding their influence in the Deccan region. These dynamics set the stage for future developments and the eventual decline of the Mughal Empire in the face of Maratha power. 

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