History-1998 -Set I

Q.1. Why have the Saiyid Brothers been called the ‘kingmakers? (2 marks)
Ans. Mughal emperor Farukh Siyar who ruled in 1713 AD, owed his victory to Saiyid Brothers, Abdullah Khan and Jusain Ali Khan Barahow. The duo helped Farrukh Siyar to defeat Jahandar Shah and in return took up the office of wazir and mir bakshi. The two brothers soon acquired dominant control over the affairs of the state. Farrukh Siyar lacked the capacity to rule but he was not in favor of the two brothers controlling the empire. Thus, there ensued a prolonged struggle for power between the emperor and the Brothers. In the end, in 1919, the Saiyid brothers deposed and killed Farrukh Siyar .In his place they raised to the throne in quick succession two young princes who died of consumption. The princes were replaced by young Muhammad Shah, another puppet emperor under the control of the brothers. Thus, from 1713 until 1720, the Saiyid brothers wielded powers while the real emperor having no control to rule. This gave them the title of being the ‘kingmakers’.

Q.2 Describe the conflicts between the English and the French companies in India in the 18th century. What were the causes of these conflicts and how and when were these conflicts finally resolved?
(8 marks)

Ans. The bitter struggle between the British and the French to secure political authority in South India lasted from 1744 to 1763 AD. The central authority had weakened in South India after Auranzeb’s death. This has resulted in politically unsettled conditions and administrative disorganization. These conditions gave the foreigners an opportunity to expand their political influence over the South Indian states. The English East India Company was not alone in putting forward commercial and political claims. While it was able to eliminate the Dutch and the Portuguese from South India by the end of 17th century, France had appeared as a new rival. For nearly twenty years from 1744 to 1763 AD the French and the British indulged in bitter warfare for control over the trade, wealth and territory of India.

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